Teach English in Saudi Arabia

Details

Demand

High

Busiest

Jan-Dec

All Year

Currency

SR

Saudi Arabia Riyals (SAR)

Contract

12-24 months

Normally

Taxes

Low

Summary
The demand for teachers is high, but the equally high salaries attract very well-qualified English teachers, so the market is competitive. It should also be noted that, because of cultural differences, it’s almost impossible for women to get teaching work here.
Main TEFL regions
Riyadh, Jeddah, Damman
Types of teaching
Military and petrochemical Institutes: General English, English for Specific Purposes
Saudi secondary schools: General English, English for Younger Learners
Saudi universities: General English, English for Academic/Specific Purposes (EAP/ESP)
In-house company language programs: General English, Business English, ESP
Accommodation
This is usually supplied by your employer
Flight reimbursement
This is common, along with other perks such as free healthcare and a bonus at the end of a long contract.
Salary
SR8,000-SR10,000 per month for a teacher with a comprehensive TEFL qualifications and a couple of years’ experience. If you have an MA in TEFL, you will earn much more.
Taxes
No income tax whatsoever!
Cost of living
The cost of living is relatively expensive in Saudi Arabia, and probably close to most western countries. However, as the culture is so different from the west, people don’t socialize in the usual way (i.e. having a drink!), so you probably won’t spend much money on going out.
Potential to save money
With a well-paid job, you should be able to save a substantial amount of money.
How much TEFL training is recommended?
You should get as much TEFL training as possible. Realistically, Saudi Arabia is not the best place for novice teachers: if you have extensive qualifications and lots of experience you will be very well paid; but by coming here as a fresh-faced recruit you leave yourself open to exploitation from unscrupulous private language institutes.
Common teaching conditions
The low-paid positions in private language institutes involve long hours and lots of red tape. In better schools and universities, you’ll still have the bureaucracy, but the hours will be shorter and you’ll have lots of vacation.
The students tend to be dedicated, but you’ll probably experience the odd bit of cultural conflict when teaching.

Be aware…

Many employers will keep your passport locked in a safe and give you an official copy to use as identification.

This is a strict Muslim country and culture shock can be a real problem: try to visit before you commit yourself to a long contract.