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Vantage TEFL Certification

The Definitive WorldWide TEFL Salary Guide

How your teaching salary weighs up against the local cost of living.

How Well Can I Live?

Here’s one important decision factor made easy: How much will I be paid and how much will it cost me to live? 

Of course actual salaries depend on a number of factors such as individual schools, your teaching experience and qualifications. Similarly, your cost of living depends on personal lifestyle, habits, wants, and needs.

There are two sides to this story. Comparing salaries along with cost of living is important because a high salary does not mean you will have more money at your disposal. You need to know how far your salary will go in a particular country.

Vantage's Ultimate Salary Guide is will give you a good ball park idea of the average TEFL teaching salary and the local cost of living for individual countries worldwide.

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Special Teaching Situations Always Exist—for the Qualified

Remember the 'per country' figures are averages. Special situations exist everywhere that can pay much better than normal salaries. 


Keep in mind too that the higher salaries typically will go to teachers who hold a bachelor's degree and who are TEFL certified. Indeed the extra hundred dollars+ in monthly earnings for TEFL certified teachers means that their TEFL tuition is typically covered within the first year of teaching.

Whether you are looking to start a new career as an English teacher or are looking for a way to make money while traveling the world, researching your potential earnings and potential cost of living is an important step in preparing yourself for the rewarding adventure that is teaching English as a Foreign Language.

TEFL Salaries vs. Cost of Living


Which Countries Pay Teachers the Most?

Here’s a quick short list of the top countries to teach English only in terms of salary from Some very good commentary on the cost of living as well. Their data pretty much complements our own research.


  1. The United Arab Emirates

  2. Japan

  3. Saudi Arabia

  4. Kuwait

  5. Oman

  6. Taiwan

  7. South Korea

  8. China

  9. Vietnam.

Tips for Getting a Higher Teaching Salary

For every country there is, of course, a range of salaries.


Unexperienced and unqualified teachers—particularly those without a TEFL or teaching certification, should expect a salary on the lower end.


Those with experience, a relevant degree, and TEFL certification will be able to make more—regardless of their destination.


To make yourself more competitive, consider taking a TEFL certification course and getting teaching experience. Your observed teaching practices (OTPs)—done in a professional level TEFL program—counts as valid classroom or online teaching experience to present to a future employer.

Don't Settle For Less

Teaching English abroad is a good way to pay off student loans, travel, save money, add to your skill set, and immerse yourself in a new culture.


Remember that the requirements for teaching in different countries are always changing, but with research—a little bit of luck—you can earn both a good salary and have an unforgettable life experience.

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