Top countries to make the most money teaching abroad in 2019 [+ job postings]

teaching english abroad best salary

Teaching abroad can be about so much more than just traveling and escaping the 9-to-5 grind for a year or two.

We all know that money isn’t everything in life. But for so many of us, teaching abroad isn’t just about seeing the world and experiencing life in a new country. Teaching abroad can also be a means for us to achieve our financial goals - anything from saving up for a down payment on a house to clearing our dreaded student loans ‍.

The fact is, whether you’re a licensed teacher weighing up your financial priorities and career goals, or a recent grad college simply wanting to make some extra cash to travel the globe, your teacher salary will more than likely be a critical consideration throughout your job search.

teach abroad salary calculator

The good news is that, depending on where you’re located, salaries for both ESL and certified teachers abroad can be pretty lucrative. That’s why, to help you pick the right teaching destination for you, we’ve put together a list of the countries with the highest average teacher salaries:

Caveat: Teacher salaries will depend on the position, your qualifications and the location you’re teaching in! When researching salaries, remember to take into account the often lower local cost of living in certain regions, especially Asia.

1. Hong Kong - up to $7,400/month

teaching english in hong kong salary

The Hong Kong Education Bureau offers some of the best ESL teaching jobs for licensed English teachers and experienced ESL instructors, hands down.

Outside of the amazing pay, perks on offer for successful candidates include paid vacation, roundtrip airfare and health insurance! It’s worth bearing in mind that as an ESL teacher with the Hong Kong Education Bureau, your salary is partially dependent on your experience level.

While Hong Kong was recently crowned the most expensive city in the world, with some basic budgeting, living comfortably as a teacher in Hong Kong is more than manageable. And don’t worry, you can still save part of your salary and set aside money for travel, too!

Check out the Hong Kong Education Bureau’s vacancies, below:

2. Kazakhstan - up to $5,000 USD/month

teaching english in kazakhstan salary

Often overlooked, Kazakhstan is a country nestled between Europe and Asia that offers some of the best and well-paying teaching positions abroad! Kazakh schools are quickly becoming more advanced and looking to align themselves with a higher-level Western curriculum.

These positions are perfect for licensed and experienced teachers who want to save lots and maintain a high standard of living. Salaries for teaching jobs in Kazakhstan can range from $4,000 - 5,000 USD a month and also include benefits like airfare, health insurance, relocation allowance, and accommodation allowance!

Right now, Nazarbayev Intellectual Schools in Kazakhstan are looking for a bunch of certified teachers across the following subjects:

3. United Arab Emirates (UAE) - up to $4,100 USD/month, tax-free

 uae teaching jobs salary

The United Arab Emirates is a top choice for licensed teachers looking for a high-paying salary overseas. As an example, with a teaching license and three or more years of teaching experience, you can expect a monthly salary range of around $3,100 - 4,100 USD teaching with Emirates National Schools.

Alongside your base salary, teachers also receive an allowance for accommodation, health insurance, your cost of flight covered and ample vacation time. A more urban location such as Abu Dhabi city will be on the pricier side when it comes to accommodation, but as long as you commit to some budgeting you should be able to save with no problem!

Vacancies at Emirates National Schools for the 2019 school year include the following:

Vacancies for the 2019 school year at Abu Dhabi High Schools include the following:

4. Kuwait - up to $3,500 USD/month, tax-free

teaching english in kuwait salary

Desert adventures, shopping excursions, Arabic culture - Kuwait has it all and much, much more! If you’re a licensed teacher with classroom experience, we promise you Kuwait should be at the top of your job search hunt.

A teacher's salary in Kuwait is dependent on the hiring program and level of experience, but average incomes can range from $2,500 - 3,500 USD a month. Teaching jobs in Kuwait commonly come with great benefits as well, including airfare, housing or an accommodation allowance and health insurance.

And as it happens, American Creativity Academy is on the lookout for licensed teachers across a variety of subjects and grade levels, with August 2019 start dates:

5. China - up to $2,500/month

teaching english in china salary

With over 300 million English language students, there’s an insatiable demand for English-speaking teachers in China right now. Although China is still home to more than its fair share of international schools and education companies seeking certified teachers (like Bright Scholar), it also happens to be an especially great destination for experienced ESL teachers, as well as for recent grads regardless of major.


Hiring schools in China that are a part of Teach Away’s Explore Program require only a Bachelor’s degree and TEFL certification and include benefits such as airfare, health insurance and a settling-in allowance. China’s relatively low cost of living makes it more than attainable to not only save a large part of your salary, but also to set aside some money for travel. Curiosity suitably piqued? Check out the Explore ESL jobs posting for all the deets!

teaching jobs abroad