Top 5 High Salary ESL Teaching Jobs | Highest Paying ESL Job

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High Salary ESL Teaching Jobs

Teachers mainly gravitate towards educational careers, driven by the passion of enriching the lives of their students. Of course this is reality! This choice is not driven by money in most cases. Rather, it’s the joy and contentment of the job that makes teachers choose their profession. Shaping and guiding young minds-love it!

Sounds great, doesn’t it? But, let’s be real. Many teachers decide to work abroad for the money and it’s often possible for them to save more in a place like Korea or Japan than it is working a job back in their home countries.

Get Qualified to Compete for Top Jobs

When it comes to high salary teaching jobs in the expatriate community, those teaching ESL abroad are probably placed at the bottom. But teaching ESL abroad can be an attractive if you have a CELTA or TEFL or TESOL certification and a Master’s degree. Many countries across the world offer lucrative pay packages along with outstanding benefits to teachers having the said certifications. But before you jump into this field, you need to opt for some basic preparations. These will become extremely helpful when you’ll be actually looking for such jobs.

Below are some of the preparations you’ll need to make before heading Abroad:

Network your Way to a Great Job

Try to network with others who are teaching ESL abroad or teaching ESL in your own country. These people will be the chief support providers when you’ll be in need of help or encouragement. Joining a social networking site is a real good option as well. There are many ESL pages and groups available with thousands of members. If your key motivation for teaching ESL abroad is money, you may try to join some Middle Eastern groups.

Get a High Salary Job Online

Try to get hired before heading out for teaching ESL abroad. It’ll help you in settling in the new country, in terms of finding a house or getting yourself accustomed with the city.

Research, a Lot

Try to know the ins and outs of the destination where you’ll be working. Make yourself familiar with the rules and customs of the region as well as the regional languages spoken by your students. Any sort of preparation you make before going will be time well-spent.

High Salary English Teaching Jobs

5 Countries for High Paying ESL Teaching Jobs 

If you have your eyes set on teaching ESL abroad, you can take your pick from the following list of 5 high paying countries.

High Salary Job #1: Gulf Arab States

Residents of these oil-rich nations have been encouraged to enhance their English skills, thanks to the increasing number of global corporations that have opened their operations here. The job market in the ESL field is quite competitive in this region and a master’s degree and/or a professional educational background are generally required. Salaries vary between US$2000 – US$5000 per month and most companies offer benefits like annual return airfare to the home country, furnished accommodation and health insurance. It can be an excellent place to consider if you have a family because international school tuition is often included in the package.

Looking for a high salary ESL teaching job? Head straight here!

High Salary Job #2: Taiwan

Along with a lucrative pay package, the democratic and prosperous Asian society of this nation offers an opportunity to feel the Chinese culture in a subtropical ambiance. Salaries vary between US$2000 – US$4000 per month although extra benefits are almost nil since no bonuses, airfares or health insurances are on offer. However, if you have a bit of hustle and are willing to piece together a few different jobs, the sky is almost the limit.

High Salary Job #3: South Korea

Korea has been a much sought after destination for a long time for teaching ESL abroad. Though the salary is sometimes a little lower than Taiwan, the additional benefits on offer are excellent. Generally, salaries here vary between US$2000 – US$3000 per month. Although the days of “high-salary” everything in South Korea are done, it’s still a great place to find a well-paying job. Additional benefits include furnished accommodation, return airfare, health insurance and end of contract bonus of an additional month’s salary.

If you can get a How to Get a University Job in South Korea: The English Teaching Job of your Dreams with low teaching hours and overtime opportunities, it is possible to earn more than US$5000 per month. See University Jobs in South Korea for details about getting one of these prime jobs.

High Salary Job #4: Japan

Japan has been a top destination for competent English teachers for a long time. Along with a standard pay package, the country offers a unique combination of cuisine, culture, natural beauty and history to soak in.  Salaries offered are around US$3000 per month. Additional benefits may include return airfare, accommodation, health insurance and a little bonus.

If you’re looking for a high salary teaching job and are willing to live frugally, consider Japan!

High Salary Job #5: Vietnam

For the last 10 years, Vietnam has become an attractive destination for ESL teachers. There are plenty of opportunities available in the nation’s ESL centers, universities and schools. Teachers can enjoy a distinct blend of Buddhist Khmer culture and Chinese Confucianism along with spectacular beaches, colorful cities and mountainous highlands. Salaries vary between US$1000 – US$3000 per month. This is well within the “high-salary” zone. Additional benefits may include only the bonus, which is usually equal to a month’s salary; teachers are mostly responsible to organize their own housing.

Where to Find an English Teaching Job Online

These days, there are so many websites where you can find ESL teaching jobs online. But, my 3 favourites include:

ESL Cafe- The oldest and although it’s not so user-friendly, it does have a massive number of jobs.

Profs Abroad– This is a paid site that compiles university jobs from around the world onto one single site. It’s well worth the money because it’ll save you a ton of time.

It’s not all about the Money…but…

Of course teaching English abroad isn’t all about the money. People teach abroad to have a bit of an adventure, a change in life or because they genuinely want to help people learn English. But, if you have some students loans or other debts to pay off, or want to save up money for something like grad school or a down payment on a house, you’d do well to consider one of these 5 destinations.

You’ll also need to read The Wealthy English Teacher: Teach, Travel, and Secure Your Financial Future, which is the first and only personal finance book specifically for English teachers abroad. It’ll help you set yourself up for some financial awesome in your future. You want some awesome, don’t you?

You can check out the Wealthy English Teacher on Amazon:

Have your Say about the Highest Salary English Teaching Jobs in the World

Do you have any recommendations for the highest salary ESL jobs in the world to consider? Leave a comment below and let us know what you think.

Also be sure to give this article a share on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest. It’ll help other teachers, like yourself find this useful resource guide.

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  1. Although there are still some pretty poorly paid entrance jobs in China (about $1200+), there are now lots of ones that pay really well. In Shanghai or other big cities you can earn $3000-$5000 for a decent gig, or more if you’re qualified. Even out in the smaller cities you can earn $2000-$3000 and the cost of living is so low that you could easily save 75% of your salary. In terms of saving, then, China’s probably one of the best places in the world to be teaching right now.

    1. admin

      Thanks for the information! I don’t really know that much about teaching in China so always appreciate people who are in the know. Would you perhaps be interested in doing a guest post related to that on this blog? If yes, get in touch with me: [email protected]. Thanks,


    1. admin

      It’s pretty tough as an ESL teacher abroad when you’re over 50 or so. Many countries simply don’t offer visas to older teachers, and if they do, schools might still discriminate. A great option for you could be online teaching?

  2. Pete Griffiths

    Totally agree David, I am in a very small city and save around 75% of my monthly salary which is around $1,400 per month. I also have accommodation included and an annual contract completion bonus of around $1,000. Furthermore, the Chinese are so interested in foreigners that, if you are outgoing you will be treated to dinner out extremely often at no cost to you. Saving even more money.

    1. admin

      In Korea, it seemed like we always had work dinners and events where everything was paid for. There was just a lot of “free entertainment for me” stuff that happened. Canada: never! You usually have to pay for your own work social events, unfortunately 🙁

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