Salary might not be the main reason for someone to go abroad for teaching but there is one certainty: you need to have enough money to set off for a new adventure of a lifetime. You have probably heard about teachers who save up small fortunes overseas while others have to live on a shoe-string budget.

Why do the salaries of teaching abroad can vary so much from place to place? How can you ensure a fair salary when you start teaching in a new country? How can you ask for a promotion if you think it is time? This article will answer all the questions for you.

How much do teachers make abroad?

The answers to this question are limitless! At the top end of the scale, teaching abroad can pay a salary that allows you to save money and have a decent life; on the other hand, at the lower end, many teachers have to live on a limited budget and they have to work for multiple schools to make ends meet. Your salary mainly depends on your teaching destination.

Therefore, it is important to consider your motivations before you choose where to go. Are you looking for a cultural experience, a chance to make money, or a mix of both? If a high salary is a priority for you, you can quickly narrow your search down to destinations that fit the bill, such as the United Arab Emirates or Japan. If you want to experience the cultures and traditions, you will have to accept the average teaching salaries in that area.

It is crucial to consider the potential salary in context. A seemingly low salary might actually stretch further than you think depending on the city’s living expenses.


How do I know if I will make enough money to teach abroad?

Firstly, you need to do some research on the average salary of where you expect to go. It would be easier if you ask directly the school administrators when you have an interview with them (It is possible that you may only know where you will be placed after the job offer has been made). 

Next, you should Compare your potential salary to the cost of living to fully understand how your monthly payments will translate in real terms. Also, take into consideration whether the school provides housing, health insurance, and airfare for their teachers.

Furthermore, you will need to define how “enough money” looks for you. Obviously, you have to pay for essentials but you also want to spare some money for your own interests. 

Going beyond that, you should think about what kind of lifestyle you want to have overseas. What do you see yourself doing on the weekends? Will you take trips to the nearby cities? Will you need to fly home at any point?

Finally, get yourself a list of options and compare so that you can see which destination will fulfill your desire. 

How do I know if I’m getting a fair salary?

Once you’ve worked out whether your salary will be workable in the country you’re going to, it’s time to take a closer look at your contract.

Here are some things to look out for:

  • Will your salary only pay you for classroom teaching hours or does it also cover other tasks such as lesson planning, report writing, watching students at break times, etc.? Checking with your the school administration can help you get an overview of what your weekly responsibilities will be.
  • Do you agree with all the clauses in your contract? Make sure that all the clauses benefit you otherwise you will not receive any privileges. 
  • If you want to supplement your income, take a look at whether your contract allows you to work for competitors, or provide private or online tutoring.
  • How does my contract compare to others? Take a look at the standard salary for teachers in the country where you are working and what kind of benefits teachers are usually given to see the differences and similarities. 

What can I expect to be paid with my education and experience?

This really depends on where you plan to teach. Some organizations have clear pay scales (such as South Korea’s EPIK program) and others do not.

It is obvious that teachers with a qualification such as TEFL or TESOL certificate will receive a higher salary. Teachers with a teaching license or bachelor’s degree in education also have more opportunities in teaching at international schools, where salaries are generally comparable with what you would be earning at home. A master’s degree will even do you better! 

A good first step is researching what the average salary bracket is and place yourself in that bracket based on your teaching background. Then, bring up any experiences and qualifications when you interview with the school administrators and ask them about the pay scale. 



How can I negotiate a raise in my salary?

I don’t think I’m being paid enough. How can I negotiate a raise?

Negotiating salary

This seems to be easy but it is actually a hard task: how do you ask for a higher salary? Should you even try? To put it simply, yes! Not being paid what you are worth is demoralizing and infuriating; however, negotiating a higher salary can be easier than moving to an entirely new school. In fact, some would say it’s worth trying to negotiate your salary, even if you are unsatisfied with it because there is no harm in asking.

Asking questions

Having said that, how you ask is crucial. Some cultures might consider it is rude if you ask for a higher salary before you sign a contract with them. Others expect you to haggle a little over the details of your contract. Whatever your relationship with your school is, you need to be polite, friendly and choose the appropriate moment to bring up the subject under any circumstances. Also, doing some research about how salary negotiations are typically approached in this particular country will help you become more comfortable when asking.

Hiring process

If you try to negotiate a raise during the hiring process, it is best to wait until you have been offered a job. Make sure you know the average salary for teachers in the area to give you an idea of how far to push your negotiations and remember to bring up any experiences or qualifications you have.

Another technique you could try during the hiring process is to seek out other job offers in the same country or city. Letting your current employers know that you are in demand from schools that pay higher wages will push them to pay you more.


If you want to renegotiate after being employed, you need to show your strong performance and prove how you are qualified for a higher salary.

Rather than putting too much pressure on yourself, be patient, and think of the first negotiation as a way to open a conversation. If your first request for a raise is refused, ask what criteria would make them agree to a raise in the future. Then, put a time frame in place so you can go back in 2 to 6 months, with all the criteria they ask for and make your request again.

Beyond money

Another aspect you could consider is negotiating for something other than cold, hard cash. Your school might not be in a position to pay you more but maybe they could increase your benefits by offering extra holiday days, a nicer apartment, or other privileges. Thinking beyond money could result in a win-win negotiation for you and your school.

Working for great schools

Finally, it is obvious that everyone aims to work for schools that prioritize high qualities. Seeking out employers who strongly invest in their school’s value will let the school administrators know that it is worth investing in good teachers.

Choosing Vietnam as a teaching place is a good decision for foreign teachers. Vietnam is not only an easy-to-develop, low-challenging environment, low cost of living but it is also a place with many cultural and traditional aspects to explore.

If you are still wondering about a reliable address to apply for teaching, visit – our website specializes in providing jobs for foreign teachers in schools and prestigious centers in Vietnam! Or send information to email: for the fastest support!


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