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July 06, 2005

How Much Can You Earn Teaching ESL?

Many times people new to the industry write in and ask how much they can expect to earn as an ESL teacher. Well...here's my favorite answer again...it depends.

Hello everyone!

As someone who has been on both ends of the spectrum (I've taught in Japan as well as Mexico), I can honestly say this: it's not how much you earn, it's what lifestyle your salary will afford you.

Perhaps a better question would be: How well can I live on the salary offered? Teacher’s salaries in the ESL world vary wildly—depending on many factors. One of the most important is the country in which you will be teaching. For example, a teacher in Asia will certainly make much more money than a teacher in Mexico, but the standard of living may not be all that different.

You first need to ask yourself what it is that you want to get out of the experience. Here are a few questions that should point you in the right direction.

1)Do you want to earn as much money as you can, or do you simply want to enjoy the experience?

If making a lot of money is your goal, then you should probably look at some of the Asian countries, or Saudi Arabia. On the other hand, if experience is what you’re after, you’ll need to sit down and make a list of what you enjoy. For example, would you prefer the historical, romantic atmosphere of Greece, or the friendly, laid-back feel of Mexico?

2)How much do you want to work?

Some countries lend themselves to hectic, fast paced lifestyles while others are more relaxed and don’t offer as many opportunities for extra private classes or overtime at a school. You’ll have to decide on the right pace for you.

By pinpointing what you want to get out of your teaching experience, you will have taken the first step in deciding what type of salary to expect.

In next month's newsletter (out next week!) I have dedicated the entire issue to answering questions such as these. Read it and you'll know everything you ever wanted to (and probably more) about the ESL teaching life.

Until then!


Posted by msimmons at July 6, 2005 05:11 PM

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