Top 5 Best Paying TESOL Destinations for New Teachers

Top 5 Best Paying TESOL Destinations for New Teachers

March 2020 update:

This blog was posted in 2019 before the current coronavirus pandemic alert.

We would strongly advise all candidates looking for work around the world to seek advice from the government in your home countries before considering travelling. 

The situation is fluid  so it is vital that you keep informed before accepting any job offers or embarking on travel to a new country.


There are a number of countries that pay really well if you are a qualified TESOL teacher. But if you're new to the profession, which ones would be the best to go for? In this blog we will look at five great places that you can get started paying off that student debt or saving for your next adventure, although one of them isn't where you might think... 

You’ll see we have numbered them one to five, but these aren't in any specific order because packages vary within countries, so pick a place that you like the look of and start watching your bank account grow! (Please note that all quoted salaries are approximate and in USD.)

  1. China

This is the country with the greatest demand for TESOL teachers – we are constantly asked to refer teachers to agencies for China to try to keep up with the increasing demand. However, with this has come increasing salaries for teachers and better working conditions in general, although there are still some parts of China which teachers find challenging. One of the great things about China is that TESOL teachers can earn high salaries and receive a super benefits package. An organisation advertising with us recently was offering Global English trainees $2000-$2800 a month plus a holiday package of two weeks for Chinese New Year, one week for China’s national and one day for other Chinese national holidays. They also included national health insurance, a work permit, resident permit for legal residency and work permission. Some organisations also offer a housing package as well. With demand outstripping supply,  find out more about why teaching English in China is potentially so great.

  1. Korea

This has been the best place for a new TESOL teacher for years, as you can expect to receive up to 4 weeks’ paid holiday, health insurance, accommodation and lots of extras that add up - as well as the stability of working in an established TESOL industry. There are a number of excellent agencies that will help you get started, so it’s perfect for the new teacher.  To give you access to some of the best-paid TEFL jobs, including those in government schools, we offer a specific Teach Korea course which contains 20 hours' teaching practice (extendable to up to 50 hours). Expect to receive up to $2,300 a month when teaching in an independent school, in addition to a generous support package. Find out more about teaching English in Korea here. 

  1. Japan

Japan has a long-established TESOL industry and is a unique experience for any new teacher willing to enjoy being immersed in a fascinating country. Once again, highly competitive salaries are on offer for independent globe-trotters, or if you prefer to go with an agency, then the long-established JET programme and Interac are of great help and support. Global English TESOL candidates have gone on to work for each of these over the past dozen years. If you can, try to find a placement which gives help with housing, as it’s incredibly expensive and rent can eat up to a third of your monthly salary. However, with benefits from $2,000 to $2,5000 per month, support with cultural adaptation and language lessons, agencies are eagerly seeking newly-qualified teachers, so teaching English in Japan is still a great place to start or even continue your TEFL career. 

  1. Taiwan

Most people don’t think of Taiwan for teaching English, but it’s a great location, and teaching salaries have been increasing, in part to try to keep up with the competition for new teachers going to China.  You can easily earn $1,600 to $2,000 per month and there are often generous bonuses offered at the end of a teaching contract. Recently we have seen a job advertised including working visa, health insurance, airport pick up, an initial hotel arranged by the school and partially reimbursed, assistance in finding an apartment, along with ongoing professional development and lots of support with settling in. So it’s a great place to think about if you are considering stepping out on your teaching career. Check out some of the options for Taiwan here

  1. And finally, our big reveal… Your home!

Yes, you don’t even have to set foot outside your front door to earn fantastic money as an English teacher. Recently, the online English teaching rate hit an all-time high with "per hour" wages of up to $30 being offered by Whales English and Palfish. So, assuming you work the average 22 days a month, for 5 hours a day, you would earn up to $3,300 a month from in front of your computer screen or phone. It beats all of the above places. Plus you have the great flexibility of being able to set your own hours and fit your teaching around other commitments, which makes it perfect for those who can’t travel or who aren’t quite ready to jump on a plane yet. With so many advantages, we just had to include it in our list of top places for new TESOL teachers. 

We've trained many people to teach English online and have also released an online teacher training specialist course for those already TEFL-trained and but who want to get into this growing and lucrative area of English teaching.

However, we do realise that it’s not all about the money. So also check out these great TEFL locations for teaching from our trainees which uncover some of the other delights waiting around the world. Wherever you go, we hope you go with a Global English TESOL and enjoy a fantastic teaching adventure.

If you've got a question about teaching English, why not ask one of our TEFL experts?


Where next?

  • Author: William Bradridge
  • Date: 09/08/2019

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Top 5 Best Paying TESOL Destinations for New Teachers