Teach English in Saudi Arabia

Salaries

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Kirsten Colquhoun
February 28, 2024

Table of Content

Other benefits available
Where teachers earn the most
Saudi Arabia cost of living
Saving as a TEFL teacher
How to start teaching

Teaching jobs abound in Saudi Arabia! TEFL teachers can teach at international schools, language centres, universities and colleges. 

TEFL teachers can earn between SAR 9,000 and SAR 18,000 ($2,500 and $5,000 USD) a month.

A Bachelor’s degree is necessary to teach in Saudi Arabia, as well as a TEFL certificate, but teachers with teaching qualifications and experience can expect higher salaries.

And don’t forget: your salary is tax-free!

In addition to salary, what other benefits can be available?

One of the reasons Saudi Arabia is so popular with TEFL teachers is its generous packages. Salaries usually include:

  • flights,
  • accommodation,
  • visa reimbursement,
  • health insurance,
  • end-of-contract bonuses, and
  • 8 weeks’ paid holiday.

Where in Saudi Arabia do teachers earn the most?

Jeddah, Riyadh and Dammam are the most popular cities for teaching English. These are bigger cities and offer more opportunities for TEFL teachers. These are the cities where you find the most language schools, international schools and universities. 

Salaries don’t vary much around the country but rather depend on the institution and your experience and qualifications. Simply put, the more qualified and experienced you are, the higher your salary will be.

How much is the cost of living in Saudi Arabia?

The cost of living in Saudi Arabia is lower than in other Middle Eastern countries. It varies slightly from city to city, with bigger cities like Jeddah and Riyadh having a higher cost of living than smaller cities. 

The average cost of living for a single person in Saudi Arabia per month is approximately SAR 3,000 ($800) before rent, which you probably won’t need to worry about anyway.

Is it possible to save in Saudi Arabia as a teacher?

Saudi Arabia is all about saving!

The high tax-free salaries, generous benefits and low cost of living make saving the name of the game for TEFL teachers in Saudi Arabia

It can be easy to fall into the trap of spending money on luxury items, fancy dinners and extravagant shopping trips. The fact that your nightlife is quite limited is advantageous. Saudi Arabia is not recommended for TEFL teachers who want to party their weekends away! 

But if you’re serious about teaching, cultural experiences, and building up a nest egg, then this is the place to be.

How to start teaching English in Saudi Arabia

With the generous salaries and packages and the importance of education in Saudi Arabia, competition is tough for TEFL positions in Saudi Arabia

You need a Bachelor’s degree and a Level 5 TEFL certificate. A teaching qualification (apart from the TEFL) is a bonus but not essential. Teaching experience is preferred. 

The first step towards teaching in Saudi Arabia is to get TEFL qualified through a reputable and internationally recognised TEFL course provider. Don’t bother with anything less than a Level 5 TEFL course.

Once you’ve completed your TEFL course, apply for jobs through online jobs boards. Once you have secured an offer, your employer will help you through the somewhat lengthy process of submitting documents for a visa. Once your visa has been endorsed, stamped and approved (don’t worry, your employer will help you through these steps), you obtain a residence permit or iqama on arrival in Saudi Arabia.

Table of Content

Teaching jobs abound in Saudi Arabia! TEFL teachers can teach at international schools, language centres, universities and colleges. 

TEFL teachers can earn between SAR 9,000 and SAR 18,000 ($2,500 and $5,000 USD) a month.

A Bachelor’s degree is necessary to teach in Saudi Arabia, as well as a TEFL certificate, but teachers with teaching qualifications and experience can expect higher salaries.

And don’t forget: your salary is tax-free!

In addition to salary, what other benefits can be available?

One of the reasons Saudi Arabia is so popular with TEFL teachers is its generous packages. Salaries usually include:

  • flights,
  • accommodation,
  • visa reimbursement,
  • health insurance,
  • end-of-contract bonuses, and
  • 8 weeks’ paid holiday.

Where in Saudi Arabia do teachers earn the most?

Jeddah, Riyadh and Dammam are the most popular cities for teaching English. These are bigger cities and offer more opportunities for TEFL teachers. These are the cities where you find the most language schools, international schools and universities. 

Salaries don’t vary much around the country but rather depend on the institution and your experience and qualifications. Simply put, the more qualified and experienced you are, the higher your salary will be.

How much is the cost of living in Saudi Arabia?

The cost of living in Saudi Arabia is lower than in other Middle Eastern countries. It varies slightly from city to city, with bigger cities like Jeddah and Riyadh having a higher cost of living than smaller cities. 

The average cost of living for a single person in Saudi Arabia per month is approximately SAR 3,000 ($800) before rent, which you probably won’t need to worry about anyway.

Is it possible to save in Saudi Arabia as a teacher?

Saudi Arabia is all about saving!

The high tax-free salaries, generous benefits and low cost of living make saving the name of the game for TEFL teachers in Saudi Arabia

It can be easy to fall into the trap of spending money on luxury items, fancy dinners and extravagant shopping trips. The fact that your nightlife is quite limited is advantageous. Saudi Arabia is not recommended for TEFL teachers who want to party their weekends away! 

But if you’re serious about teaching, cultural experiences, and building up a nest egg, then this is the place to be.

How to start teaching English in Saudi Arabia

With the generous salaries and packages and the importance of education in Saudi Arabia, competition is tough for TEFL positions in Saudi Arabia

You need a Bachelor’s degree and a Level 5 TEFL certificate. A teaching qualification (apart from the TEFL) is a bonus but not essential. Teaching experience is preferred. 

The first step towards teaching in Saudi Arabia is to get TEFL qualified through a reputable and internationally recognised TEFL course provider. Don’t bother with anything less than a Level 5 TEFL course.

Once you’ve completed your TEFL course, apply for jobs through online jobs boards. Once you have secured an offer, your employer will help you through the somewhat lengthy process of submitting documents for a visa. Once your visa has been endorsed, stamped and approved (don’t worry, your employer will help you through these steps), you obtain a residence permit or iqama on arrival in Saudi Arabia.

Download the World TEFL Factbook

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