Which countries have a growing demand for ESL teachers?

To answer this question we will look at five of the most popular countries for teaching English abroad in four different regions. We will also give a brief overview of the region and a breakdown of the average monthly salary you can expect to earn in the equivalent US$ figure. Finally, we will provide a current job posting taken from an online job board to give you an idea of what to expect. Just remember that when evaluating your expected monthly income you need to factor in the local cost of living. What would be considered a high salary in one country might not be enough to live comfortably in another.


Asia is home to the largest markets for TESOL qualified teachers anywhere in the world, with several countries having a very high demand year round. High income countries such as Japan and South Korea are very popular destinations as they offer good salaries alongside fantastic infrastructure and facilities. There are also plenty of great options in China and the Southeast Asia region.

  • Vietnam: Typical salary ranges from $750 - $1,300
  • Thailand: Typical salary ranges from $750 - $1,500
  • China: Typical salary ranges from $1,000 - $3,000
  • South Korea: Typical salary ranges from $2,000 - $3,000
  • Japan: Typical salary ranges from $2,500 - $3,000

Typical job posting

11 schools available across Thailand (kindergarten, primary and high school level)

  • Work visa and work permit are provided
  • Salary starts FROM 32,000 THB/month (native English speakers).

You will teach conversational English (speaking/listening) 5 days a week (Monday-Friday), approx. 20 hours of classes per week + 15 hours of office time. The teaching material/curriculum is provided by the school, you are free to use the lesson plans of your choice. The contract is renewable for another term (with 10,000thb bonus).

A clean private studio accommodation with Wi-Fi, A/C, furnished is pre-arranged for about 4,000thb/month.


There are many countries across Europe where you will find potential job options. However, it is worth remembering that many countries in the west of the continent have much higher requirements in place than those in Central and Eastern Europe. Due to the difficulties in securing legal status for foreign teachers in some countries, many employers often favor EU citizens. The lower cost of living in many Eastern European countries make them particularly attractive in a region where living costs can be very high.

  • Hungary: Typical salary ranges from $600 - $1,000
  • Poland: Typical salary ranges from $600 - $1,000
  • Czech Republic: Typical salary ranges from $750 - $1,300
  • Spain: Typical salary ranges from $1,300 - $2,000
  • Italy: Typical salary ranges from $1,400 - $2,000

Typical job posting

We are members of FECEI (Federation of English Language Teaching Centers in Spain) and TESOL Spain.

Salary and benefits

Social Security: Full National Health Insurance & social security cover.

Contract: Full time contract (19 contact hours minimum) Monday to Thursday.

Salary: Above the National Working Agreement & national average for private language schools.

Gross Salary: 1,300 - 1,400 euros - additional hours optional.

Relocation: Financial assistance (3 nights hotel paid on arrival) and full assistance with finding accommodation and settling in.

Paid Holidays: 2 weeks at Christmas, one week at Easter and any local/national holidays during the academic year.


  • University degree
  • Recognised TESOL qualification
  • Working knowledge of Spanish an advantage
  • Experience working with children and teens a plus

Central and South America

In this region many schools lack the funds to advertise vacant positions internationally, which means that teachers who are already on the ground in their country of choice will have a much better chance of securing a good quality job. What this region lacks in high salaries it generally makes up for by offering unlimited opportunities for adventure.

  • Peru: Typical salary ranges from $400 - $600
  • Argentina: Typical salary ranges from $500 - $1,000
  • Mexico: Typical salary ranges from $500 - $1,000
  • Brazil: Typical salary ranges from $800 - $1,500
  • Costa Rica: Typical salary ranges from $800 - $1,600

Typical job posting

Leading language institute is seeking TEFL/TESOL/CELTA certified native level English speakers for full-time teaching work in Costa Rica. Immediate openings. Competitive pay and bonuses available.

Our ESL teachers teach 30 contact hours per week, Monday – Friday. Class size is strictly limited to 12 learners. Most teachers teach a range of levels from basic to advanced. The majority of our learners are young adults (18-30 years old) and we provide classes specifically for teenagers (12-16 years old) between 4:00p.m. and 5:00p.m. only.


  • You must be a native level English speaker.
  • You must be TEFL, TESOL, or CELTA certified.
  • You must be willing to commit to teaching with us for a minimum of 6 months.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and a “love” for teaching; excellent writing skills, strong team skills.
  • Excellent computer skills.

Middle East

Although this is not the biggest region on this list, it is home to some of the highest paying countries for ESL teachers worldwide. However, while potential salaries are very high, so are the requirements you need to meet in order to apply for them. You also need to be aware of the cultural and social restrictions in place in some countries as these can influence some teacher’s decisions.

  • Turkey: Typical salary ranges from $900 - $1,300
  • Morocco: Typical salary ranges from $1,000 - $2,000
  • Jordan: Typical salary ranges from $1,300 - $2,500
  • Saudi Arabia: Typical salary ranges from $2,000 - $3,000
  • UAE: Typical salary ranges from $2,000 - $4,000

Typical job posting

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

We need an enthusiastic, friendly teacher who is able to teach IELTS and general English to adults for an average of 30 hours per week. Overtime will be paid for any optional additional hours. The successful candidate should be prepared to learn to teach other exams once settled in. There is a senior teacher position for immediate start for the right candidate.

Job Summary

We are primarily looking for an enthusiastic teacher to teach lessons to young learners. There will also be opportunities to teach adults.

Required Education, Skills and Qualifications

  • Relevant work experience
  • Enthusiasm
  • BA or teaching qualification/certificate
  • Flexibility
  • Native level English speaker

Company Profile

A fast-growing institute based in the heart of Dubai. A short walk from Dubai Mall, the classrooms provide excellent views of the Burj Khalifa and Dubai Water Canal.

Job Type: Full-time

Salary: AED11,000.00 (starter) to AED13,000.00/month (US$3,000 - $3,500 per month)


  • Residence visa
  • Health insurance
  • 30 days paid holiday plus public holidays
  • Progression and increases based on performance

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