How much can I earn or save
teaching English overseas?
recent version of this page can be found at:
Wages Teaching English Abroad
EFL teachers, in many
countries, tend to earn at least what the average
wage-earner in that country makes - and often more.
afforded by a career in TEFL typically exceeds that of
the common woman/man in most developing countries and is
generally comparable in some developed countries.
That said, what
people often really want to know is: Can I save any
money teaching English overseas? And, the answer is,
"Yes, sometimes, and in some countries." Really, it
depends on the country in which you choose to teach -
and your lifestyle.
How much can I save?
EFL Teachers in Korea
and Taiwan, for example, can often save as much as
US$1,000 per month or more. Your lifestyle, of course,
will affect your personal bottom line. TEFL
professionals in the Middle East can sometimes triple
the savings of Korea (but the ME will generally require
advanced degrees and previous experience for better
EFL Teachers in China
report a good lifestyle on their wages - but that they
are unable to save significant money. The same is true
of Thailand and Mexico and many countries in South
America. Their wages earn them a modest but
comfortable living - but savings are difficult to come
So, as you ponder the
decision about teaching English overseas, you'll also
need to consider your financial situation and that will
affect what countries you want to look at for your TEFL
If you have student
loans or other debts, consider only countries where your
likelihood of success is great and the average teacher
is able to comfortably save at least the amount of your
experience is that I started in TEFL with very little in
the way of assets - and over the period from 1992 to
2005 was able to buy several rental properties in the
USA and pay them off. All the while teaching in four
different countries and traveling to many others.
Overall, for me
anyway, an excellent lifestyle combined with an ability
to save. But, it is not all roses - I would prefer to
always work in a country like Thailand - but have had to
make some hard choices and spend some significant time
in countries like Saudi Arabia and Korea - which are not
everyone's cup of tea. But TEFL was a real career
for me and I needed to make sure I had sufficient funds
for retirement (I am now retired).