top 12 english teaching locations in the world

Teaching English for Income

As travelers a fantastic job for income to keep you on the road is that of an English Teacher or Tutor. Here are our top 12 locations, stats by Country and the Pros and Cons for each.

If you have not traveled much in your life, my suggestions is go. Go now. Singles, Couples, Families, nothing enriches the soul like traveling through the world we live in. And there is possibly no better way to do this than through the opportunities created from Teaching English overseas.

As a Traveler of any kind these types of opportunities are fantastic ways to generate earnings while you’re abroad - Ranging from 10 hrs a week to full-time, salaries are well within the means of the particular country you are teaching in to keep you living a comfortable lifestyle.

However as a Digital Nomad I wouldn’t be giving you the full facts unless I suggested you look at Berry Berry: Our Online English Tutoring Platform which can act as a sole source of income whilst traveling or augment your current income regardless of where you are in the world.

This list is in no particular order - what makes a good adventure is not the money you can make but the experience - each country has their own unique culture you get to immerse yourself in.

So here it is. Our choice of

Top 12 Places to Teach English on the Planet

  1. Vietnam : Beaches, Rivers, Buddhist pagodas and Mountain Tops,
  2. South Korea : Buddhist temples, age-old traditions and culture,
  3. China : The Oldest Civilisation on Earth,
  4. Japan : A pride in constant renewal and reinvention ,
  5. Taiwan : Rich cultural heritage with a High Tech Economy,
  6. Gulf Arab States : Saudi Arabia, U.A.E., Qatar, Oman, Kuwait, Bahrain,
  7. Nicaragua : Land of Lakes & Volcanoes,
  8. Columbia : Fastest growing economies in Latin America,
  9. Czech Republic : Land of Castles & Beer,
  10. Poland : A Rising Economic Star from Old Europe,
  11. Brazil : A MUST SEE Country. Seriously.,
  12. Spain : Home of Tapas, Flamenco & Lifestyle

* Statistics on English Teachers by Country


Beaches, Rivers, Buddhist pagodas and Mountain Tops

Having just traveled through this country for 3 month we found it extremely tempting to stay for an additional 6 to 12 months as teachers. Getting a teaching gig there is as easy as an application if you are a Native English Speakers, and if you are a University Graduate or TEFL Certified you can expect your skills to be doubly valued.

Vietnam represents a wonderful blend of Chinese Confucianism and Buddhist Khmer cultures of Southeast Asia with a touch of French colonial charm. In many ways the most beautiful country we visited is Southeast Asia. Kilometres of coastline, green and luscious mountains, from the highlands of Sapa and colorful street markets of Ho Chi Minh City to the sprawling Floating Markets of the Mekong Delta River, Vietnam is a feast for the senses and a treasure trove of fantastic cultural and natural offerings and a great job market for teaching English.

It also represents one of the fastest growing job markets in Asia for teaching English abroad. The capital, Ho Chi Minh City, is home to hundreds of language schools and represents the largest job market, however schools across the country hire new English teachers on a regular basis. Check out Vinh Long, Hoi An, Nha Trang, Da Nang, Hanoi & Sapa. Due to good salaries and a low cost of living, most foreign English teachers earn enough to save the equivalent of $500+ USD each month after expenses.

Highlights of teaching English in Vietnam:

  • Low living costs, as backpackers we lived comfortably on $500 a month, less for a permanent residents.
  • Good salaries enable English teachers in Vietnam to save up to $ 700 a month after expenses.
  • A country steeped in history, cultural music, historical war memorials and museums.
  • Smiling families in every village you visit.
  • A nice blend of modern infrastructure within main cities such as Ho Chi Mhin (Saigon) and Hanoi.
  • The beaches of Vietnam are some of the most spectacular in all Southeast Asia.
  • Spectacular views from mountains down to rolling valleys of stepped rice fields.

South Korea

Buddhist temples, age-old traditions and culture

Want to live in an uber-modern country in the heart of Asia that boasts thousands of years of history, high-tech cities and some of the best barbecues on the planet? How about receiving free airfare and free housing? That’s the deal for English Teachers in South Korea. Teaching English in Korea can top $1,000 per month, and after added benefits living costs can be as low as $500 per month. With free furnished housing you are in for an affluent lifestyle.

English Teachers are often reimbursed for their airfare to and from home at the end of a contract, and completion of a 12-month contract will typically receive an extra month’s salary as a bonus.

Those who teach English in Korea can expect to receive 2-4 weeks paid vacation, health insurance and the opportunity to live in some of the most dynamic and cosmopolitan cities in the world like Seoul and Busan. The 170-Hour Online TEFL Certification Class is recommended for those looking to teach English in Korea as schools and recruiters will interview you from your home country and you will receive job placement during the course so you can get going with the interview and job search process.

A prosperous economy and a deep-rooted commitment to education make South Korea a top destination for teaching English abroad, especially those looking to make money. Offering a fantastic combination of high-tech, modern cities with thousands of years of history & culture, Korea offers a great international experience in addition to fantastic travel opportunities throughout Asia.


The Oldest Civilisation on Earth

With an estimated 300 million Chinese learning English, it’s no secret that the world’s most populous nation is also the largest job market in the world for teaching English abroad. In fact, according to conservative estimates, more than 100,000 foreigners teach English in China each year. Not only that, but China is one of the most lucrative job markets for teaching English overseas. Many English teachers receive benefits such as free housing and free airfare and a combination of good salaries and a relatively low cost of living enables many English teachers in China to make enough to save $500 - $1000 a month or even more after expenses.

But teaching English in China is not just about the ease of getting a job or a good salary. Living and teaching English in China provides the opportunity of a lifetime to explore the history and culture of one of the world’s oldest civilizations while also experiencing one of the most dynamic and fast-changing countries in the world. Live in modern, fast-paced cities like Shanghai or Shenzhen offering world-class shopping, fantastic cuisine, exciting nightlife and state-of-the-art modern public transportation. The bottom line is that if you’re looking for work experience in the most important center of business in the world, then China is a place you need to consider.

From the spectacular skylines of Shanghai and 340 kilometre-per-hour bullet trains to the imperial grandeur of the Forbidden City in Bejing and the ancient treasures of Xi’an, China offers a wealth of contrasts between ancient and modern and East and West. And, with 300 million Chinese taking English classes every year, it’s the largest and one of the most lucrative job markets in the world for teaching English abroad. In addition to the opportunity to learn Mandarin, the second most spoken language in the world.

On average, English Teachers make enough money to save $500-$1,500 a month or more after expenses, while receiving free housing and free or reimbursed airfare.


A pride in constant renewal and reinvention

Offering an unparalleled combination of culture, cuisine, history and stunning natural beauty, Japan has long been a top market for qualified English teachers. English Teachers can expect to make enough to save $600-$800 a month after expenses. Japan has some of the best salaries for teaching English overseas.


Rich cultural heritage with a High Tech Economy

Taiwan offers a unique opportunity to experience Chinese culture in a subtropical environment. Combining its rich cultural heritage with a high tech economy and tropical island topography redolent of Jamaica, Taiwan offers a unique experience for those looking to teach English in Asia. Most jobs are concentrated in major cities like Taipei, which is known for its grand museums, soaring skyscrapers, and colorful night markets and food stalls. In addition, as a small island nation location at the same latitude as the Bahamas, Taiwan offers beautiful beaches with activities such as surfing and windsurfing. Meanwhile, the mountainous interior of the island is an outdoor lover’s paradise, ideal for hiking, zip gliding, and cycling. It is also known for the abundance of natural hot springs.

While not as lucrative as South Korea, Taiwan is still a country that offers good pay and benefits for TEFL certified English teachers, and many teachers are able to save the equivalent of $500-$700 USD each month after expenses. In addition to the opportunity to learn Mandarin, the second most spoken language in the world and discover Taiwanese culture.

Gulf Arab States

Saudi Arabia, U.A.E., Qatar, Oman, Kuwait, Bahrain

Arab countries of the Persian Gulf region have invested billions of dollars into their educational systems, particularly English language instruction. As a result, qualified English teachers are offered very attractive pay and benefits packages to come to teach. However, because the number of opportunities is only a fraction of what is found in Asia or Europe, the job market can be competitive. The top countries for making the most money teaching English abroad, however an MA and/or a professional background in education is often required for many positions.

Highlights of teaching English in the Persian Gulf region:

  • Salaries ranging from $2,000 - $5,000 per month (tax-free).
  • Benefits may include free health insurance, furnished housing/housing subsidies, and flights to and from your home country.
  • An opportunity to experience a region rich in culture and history.
  • Enjoy fantastic regional travel opportunities, with access to Europe, Africa & South Asia.


Land of Lakes & Volcanoes

If you seek an authentic Latin American experience in a fast-growing teaching market that remains virtually undiscovered, Nicaragua provides a perfect opportunity. In addition, according to a 2014 Gallup Survey Nicaragua is regarded as the safest country in the region.

Nicaragua may be the best kept secret in Latin America. Like Costa Rica, Nicaragua is a small country in the heart of Latin America that offers alluring beaches, lush topography and a fast-growing job market for teaching English abroad. However, unlike Costa Rica and Panama, Nicaragua remains largely undiscovered by tourists, retirees and cruise ship operators. Those who want to teach English in Nicaragua will typically find jobs in larger cities such as Managua (the capital), Grenada and Leon, two beautiful 500-year-old cities known for their vibrant street life and magnificent colonial architecture. In addition, the cost of living in Nicaragua is super low. Most foreign English teachers rarely pay more than the equivalents of $100-$150 a month in rent and basic necessities like food and transportation often cost five to ten times less than what you might be used to paying in the U.S., Canada or Europe.

Typically, to get hired to teach English in Nicaragua, you should plan on going there to interview in person, and jobs open throughout the year. Private tutoring is also a great way to earn extra income.


Fastest growing economies in Latin America

Columbia represents one of the fastest growing economies in Latin America as well as one of top job markets for teaching English. Cities like Bogota and Medillin have become dynamic centers of commerce and culture, renowned for their colorful markets and fast-paced nightlife. In addition, Colombia offers magnificent beaches, lush rain forests, and rich history and culture.

English teachers will find opportunities in private language schools and the Ministry of Education has also begun to recruit foreign instructors as well. A growing number of schools interview English teachers in advance and it is also possible to find many opportunities locally as well.

Czech Republic

Land of Castles & Beer

If you seek to live in a classic European setting complete with medieval castles, cobblestone streets, picturesque villages and great bars and cafes, then teaching English in the Czech Republic will be your kind of place for teaching English abroad. As an up-and-coming economy in the heart of Europe, Czech Republic is also one of the top job markets for teaching English in Europe even though it is not a large nation.

Czech Republic is a nation where it is easier to get a legal work permit to teach English than it is in some other European nations, and the cost of living is lower than in some Western European nations like France and Germany. In addition, its prime location in the heart of Europe makes it very convenient for travel to countries like Poland, Hungary, Germany and Austria.


A Rising Economic Star from Old Europe

Since since the end of the Cold War a generation ago, Poland has emerged as an economic star among the old Eastern Bloc nations. With a dynamic economy dependent on competition in a global economy, Poland is experiencing a major boom in demand for English teachers. But it’s not just the job market that Poland has to offer. Major cities like Krakow, Gdansk & Warsaw offer English teachers a wealth of fantastic architecture, history & culture.

Qualified citizens can interview and line up a job in advance from their home countries, while EU citizens can often line up an English teaching job locally in Poland. Many English teachers share an apartment with co-workers or other English teachers in Poland.

Some schools in Poland will sponsor a work visa for Americans and other non-European Union citizens (teachers will also need to get a residence permit upon arrival). While some non-EU citizens may work on a tourist visa “under the table”, this is not as common as it is in some other European countries like Spain & Italy.


A MUST SEE Country. Seriously.

As it did during the FIFA World Cup of 2014, the sporting world turned its eyes on Brazil in 2016 as Rio De Janeiro hosted the immensely successful 2016 Summer Olympiad.

With a huge population that is increasingly making the nation a major international economic force, Brazil is now in major demand for English language instruction. This has only increased as Brazil has cemented its international profile while hosting such major events as the World Cup in 2014 and the Summer Olympiad of 2016.


Home of Tapas, Flamenco & Lifestyle

Of all the countries we have visited in Europe, Spain was by far our favourite - wonderful people with a knack for knowing how to enjoy life, delicious cuisines, and a rich history steeped in cultures from many people due to its occupancy of different cultures over the last 2,000 years.

The demand for English teachers in Spain remains among the strongest in Europe. The key for getting a job in Spain is to be on the ground with a TEFL certification and ready to interview during prime hiring seasons: mid-September through mid-October and again in January right after 3 Kings Day, which is January 6. The biggest job market by far is Madrid, which makes it an ideal spot for beginning your job search. Barcelona is also a large job market, and you may want to consider a city like Bilbao, which is not as well-known and therefore is less competitive, but still offers an awesome experience. Other opportunities include Valencia, Granada (personal favourite), Malaga and Seville.

Statistics on English Teachers by Country


The job market for English teachers in East and Southeast Asia is the largest in the world. Most of these nations are highly industrialized and economically strong with large populations, enormous middle classes and an extremely high demand for education. This combination has created the strongest outward recruitment market in the world and hundreds of thousands of jobs paying wages that far exceed the cost of living. The job markets for teaching both adults and young learners (children and adolescents) are both strong as native English speakers are commonly recruited to teach in public schools and many children attend English language school after their public school day finishes. With such high competition for quality teachers, schools charge a considerable amount to their students and provide teachers with such benefits as free airfare, housing allowances, medical insurance, paid vacation and a completion bonus.

Country Av. Living Costs (month) Av. Income (month) Possible Extras
Cambodia $600 - 800 USD $700 - 1000 USD -
China $800 - 1000 USD $1,150 - 2,600 USD Free Housing
Hong Kong $2,300 - 3,000 USD $2,300 - 3,000 USD -
Indonesia $550 - 900 USD $700 - 1,100 USD -
Japan $1,700 - 2,600 USD $2,250 - 2,600 USD Free Housing
Kazakhstan $800 - 1,000 USD $400 - 1,500 USD Free Housing / Flights
Kyrgyzstan $400 - 800 USD $400 - 800 USD Free Housing
Myanmar $750 - 900 USD $1000 - 2000 USD Free Housing
Malaysia $900 - 1,800 USD $1,200 - 2.300 USD -
Singapore $2,800 - 3,500 USD $3,100 - 4,000 -
South Korea $650 - 950 USD $1,800 - 2,000 USD Free Housing / Flights
Taiwan $1,000 - 1,400 USD $1,400 - 2,100 USD -
Thailand $550 - 800 USD $850 - 1,150 USD -
Vietnam $650 - 900 USD $1,100 - 1,700 USD -


The English teaching market in Europe is booming. With the emergence of the European Union (EU) the use of English as a common language for business and education is now essential. The majority of jobs are teaching adults in private language schools, but the market for teaching young learners is emerging. Teachers are paid in the local currency and make a comfortable wage working full time.

Country Av. Living Costs (month) Av. Income (month) Possible Extras
Austria $1,900 - 2,800 USD $1,900 - 2,800 USD -
Belbium $1,400 - 2,000 USD $1,400 - 2,000 USD -
Bulgaria $400 - 700 USD $400 - 700 USD -
Croatia $700 - 1,000 USD $800 - 1,200 USD -
Czech Republic $850 - 1,550 USD $700 - 1,100 USD -
France $1,750 - 2,150 USD $1,050 - 2,150 USD -
Germany $1,100 - 2,150 USD $1,100 - 2,150 USD -
Greece $850 - 1,200 USD $1,150 - 1,200 USD -
Hungary $600 - 850 USD $600 - 850 USD -
Italy $1,250 - 1,500 USD $1,200 - 1,550 USD -
Lithuania $500 -850 USD $500 -850 USD -
Poland $650 - 900 USD $650 - 950 USD -
Portugal $1,150 - 1,550 USD $1,110 - 1,650 USD -
România $300 - 350 USD $300 - 350 USD -
Russia $650 - 1,200 USD $650 - 1,200 USD Free Housing / Return Flights
Slovakia $450 - 750 USD $450 - 750 USD -
Spain $1,250 - 1,650 USD $1,250 - 1,650 USD -
Turkey $500 - 1,000 USD $500 - 1,000 USD Free Housing
Ukraine $300 - 450 USD $300 - 450 USD Free Housing

Latin America

English teachers in Mexico, Central and South America can expect modest wages but given the low cost of living full-time English teachers are able to live comfortably. Most jobs entail teaching adults at private language schools.

Country Av. Living Costs (month) Av. Income (month) Possible Extras
Argentina $800 - 1,100 USD $850 - 1,100 USD -
Bolivia $400 - 600 USD $400 - 600 USD -
Brazil $1,400 - 1,600 USD $1,400 - 1,600 USD -
Chile $900 - 1,200 USD $900 - 1,200 USD -
Columbia $$500 - 1,000 USD $500 - 1,000 USD -
Costa Rica $700 - 900 USD $700 - 900 USD -
Ecuador $500 - 700 USD $500 - 700 USD -
Mexico $600 - 800 USD $600 - 900 USD -
Nicaragua $300 - 600 USD $300 - 600 USD -
Panama $900 - 1,300 USD $900 - 1,300 USD -
Peru $600 - 1,000 USD $600 - 1,000 USD -
Uruguay $1,100 - 1,500 USD $1,100 - 1,500 USD -

Middle East and North Africa

The Middle East incorporates a broad array of job markets for English teachers. Oil rich nations of the Persian Gulf offer some of the most lucrative ESL teaching positions in the world, but job markets are small and competitive, and many jobs require previous experience and advanced credentials. First-time teachers will find more opportunities in countries like Turkey, Egypt, and Morocco, where salaries and benefits are more modest, but the cost of living is low and the experience of living in one of the world’s most historic and culturally rich societies is second to none. The majority of jobs will be found in private schools and language institutes teaching both adults and children.

Country Av. Living Costs (month) Av. Income (month) Possible Extras
Bahrain $700 - 1,050 USD $1,500 - 3,000 USD -
Egypt $200 - 400 USD $250 - 500 USD -
Israel $950 - 1,450 USD $800 - 1,150 USD -
Jordan $650 - 1,000 USD $650 - 1,200 USD -
Kuwait $650 - 1,000 USD $1,500 - 3,200 USD Free Housing
Lebanon $900 - 1,500 USD $900 - 1,500 USD -
Morocco $500 - 1,000 USD $800 - 1,500 USD -
Oman $800 - 1,500 USD $1,600 - 3,000 USD Free Housing
Qatar $1,800 - 2.000 USD $1,600 - 4,000 USD Free Housing
Saudi Arabia $700 - 1,000 USD $1,500 - 3,000 USD Free Housing
Turkey $500 - 1,000 USD $500 - 1,000 USD Free Housing
UAE $800 - 1,000 USD $1,800 - 5,000 USD Free Housing

On a final note

As I started saying at the beginning of this post, if you have not traveled much in your life, my suggestions is go. Go now. There are always reasons not to, but they are rarely insurmountable hurdles…nothing enriches the souls like traveling through the world we live in. It’s a big place. We have a big family. And there is possibly no better way to do this than through the opportunities of Teaching overseas.

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Jordan Rancie

Information Technology Expert, Entrepreneur & Traveller. Top-performing Developer, Architect & Manager, collaborating with highly skilled technical teams to build innovative IT solutions.

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