How Much do You Earn Teaching English Abroad

So you’re interested in the idea of teaching English abroad? You don’t mind hard but rewarding work? You enjoy working with people? You love new cultures? Travel is the fire that lights your imagination? Sounds like a teach abroad adventure might be just what you’re after. But we all know that thank-yous and smiles from adoring students, while always a bonus, don’t pay the bills and certainly aren’t accepted by airlines. So how much money do you earn while teaching in a foreign country?

Teaching English in Thailand – decent pay, great experience

Short answer: Between 25,000 and 40,000 Thai Baht per month

How much is that even? Well that’s about US$715 – US$1150 per month. It might not sound like a lot, but it really is a decent salary considering the low cost of living while teaching English in Thailand.

Buying a quick meal from a street vendor or inexpensive restaurant can easily be less than US$1.50. Rent will set you back between US$200 and US$300 a month, depending on where you’re placed.

If you have a degree you tend to get placed at the higher paying locations. Also the pay will depend on whether you’re in a big city or rural location, big cities pay more but have a higher cost of living.

You’ll not be living large with the salary you get in Thailand but it will be more than enough to live on and will allow you the opportunity to save up some cash to explore what this amazing country has to offer.

At the end of the day though picking Thailand won’t be about making money, it will be about exploring a fascinating and very different culture to yours back home while giving back to the community you live in.

Teaching English in Vietnam – good salary, low cost of living

Short answer: Between US$1000 – US$1700 per month

Why such a big difference? Well with teaching English in Vietnam there are generally two main options. The most popular option pays the highest, that would be the 12 month contract teaching at one of many private language centres across the country.

It comes with end-of-contract bonus pay too making it really attractive.

The other option is known as the Semester Teach option, and offers lower pay as you’re not committing to a full year and rather just about 3 months or so. You still get based in the private language centres but head out daily to teach in local government schools.

It’s a good option if you’re after teaching less privileged Vietnamese children and it will give you a taste of more authentic life in the country.

A big bonus to working in Vietnam is the extremely low cost of living where rent tends to be closer to the US$200 a month mark, especially outside of the big cities and a delicious and nutritious meal from a street market or vendor can cost you less than US$2!

Teaching English in South Korea – great salary and best benefits

Short answer: US$1900 – US$2300 per month

Teaching English in South Korea is probably one of the programs with the biggest range of financial benefits. Sure, you’ll be experiencing a rich and unique culture with a fascinating history while living in a high-tech, fast-paced environment; but what is a big draw card for teaching English here is going to be $$$.

This is why this option is most often picked by applicants with big travel plans or those who have big student debt to pay off.

You’ll get that salary mentioned above plus end-of-contract bonus pay (after 12 months), FREE furnished accommodation, paid leave and your flights to South Korea get reimbursed! All that adds up to some serious cash in your pocket if you live smart!

Teaching English in China – best monthly pay

Shanghai's Skyline at night

The Skyline of Shanghai is has been rapidly developing for years. It’s a popular destination for teachers just starting out because it has the fewest restrictions on experience.

Short answer: 11,000 – 17,000 Chinese Yuan

How much is that? Well that’s between US$1675 for part-time teachers and US$2540 for full-time teachers per month. The pay depends on your exact location but it is by far the best paying program we offer; not only that but it’s FREE to enroll!

Teaching English in China has been around for a long time and it’s still one of the most sought after programs around due to the salary and other benefits like health insurance and end-of-contract bonus pay. It’s also the most urban out of all the programs with placement locations in major cities only, from those like Beijing and Tianjin in the North, Shanghai and Nanjing in the East and Guangzhou and Shenzhen in the more tropical South.

Keen on exploring these options?

Interested in Teaching English Abroad? We’ll send you more info!


About Nick Paul

Nick is the Marketing Manager for Travelbud and has had a long history in the travel industry working in student travel and even a big multinational online travel agency.

He regularly presents at travel conferences and has spent a great deal of time traveling the world from the US to Europe, Africa and most recently South East Asia.

Nick is super passionate about travel and his best travel memories include his recent trip to Vietnam, Thailand and South Korea to meet face-to-face with some of TravelBud’s teachers.

Read more about him and other TravelBud authors.

Filed under  Teacher Talk 

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  1. Carl Mangold

    Good day ,

    I have just completed my degree in Logistics management. What procedures do I need to follow , to become eligible to teach english abroad , and is it possible to start in the middle of a school year.


    • Nick Paul

      Hi Carl, thanks for reaching out! I’m assuming you’re South African here, in which case you should qualify for pretty much all of our programs, especially since you have a degree.

      The procedure varies slightly from program to program. If you’re looking at starting towards the middle of this year you have quite a few options open to you including Thailand (great cultural and travel experience, good for short or long stays), Vietnam (also great cultural experience, pays a bit higher than Thailand offers 1 year contracts) and South Korea (biggest range of financial benefits but requires you to plan a few months in advance to ensure all paperwork is done in time).

      The procedure usually starts with you either submitting an enquiry to our program manager or simply filling out the provisional application form for the program you’re most interested in. He’ll then get in touch with you and give you the opportunity to have a skype/phone info session to answer your questions and guide you though everything. He’ll then liaise with our partners on the ground in the country in question and once they approve your application you’ll pay a deposit for the program to secure your spot and our program manager will then begin assisting you with your paperwork for visas and individual school or government requirements.

      Depending on the program, about 6 weeks prior to departing you pay your remaining program fees and then it’s just up to you to get on that plane and be met by the complimentary airport pickup in the country you’re going to, to begin your adventure.

      Click here if you’re not sure on which program you want to do and want to ask more questions first:

      Or click here if you know which program you want to go on and want to submit your provisional application now (it’s currently free to do so):

      All the best with your application!

      – Nick


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