What is the highest salary in TEFL?

One of the most difficult parts of calculating salaries in TEFL is accounting for the difference in cost of living. A salary of $1500 a month doesn’t sound like much, but if you’re living in Jakarta or Hua Hin it’ll go much, much further, and you’ll be able to save more than if you were in your home country. The reality is that each country has different costs of living, different salary ranges, and different pros and cons. The best way to find out? Ask and network with other teachers.

The answer to the highest salary likely lands in roles in the Middle East for senior level teachers and academic managers. This is because roles usually include a number of benefits like airfare, housing allowance, bonuses, and tax-free salaries. It’s well-known in the industry that these are very lucrative positions which can command more than $5,000 a month, tax free, at the high end of the scale, or possibly even more. These roles aren’t easy to get though, and they often require significant experience and qualifications, including a diploma-level qualification or Master’s, if not both.

The lowest salaries tend to be in Western Europe, which unfortunately also have high costs of living. South American salaries are also low, but benefit from a very low cost of living, too. Although salaries in Western Europe improve for more senior roles, it’s certainly not anywhere near as easy to generate a large salary and save money in Europe compared to Asia (with the possible exception of Tokyo) and the Middle East.
Another way to get up into the higher echelons salary-wise is to combine different jobs or teach privately. Teaching privately cuts out the middleman, although it’s difficult to set up initially. In terms of hourly pay, this can be very rewarding. The other option is to do examining or teach online, both of which can add decent amounts to your salary. In areas where your English ability is a true asset, there’s also the opportunity to do voiceover work, proofreading, copywriting and editing.