Saudi Arabia is a land of contrasts. On one hand, it is an immensely conservative country with strict religious and cultural traditions. But on the other hand, it is also a young, vibrant nation that’s rapidly modernizing. If you’re looking for an exciting and challenging teaching job in the Middle East, Saudi Arabia may be right for you. In this essential guide, we’ll explore what it’s like to teach English in Saudi Arabia and how to get a TEFL job in Saudi Arabia. Keep reading to learn more!
Why is teaching English in Saudi Arabia so good?
There are many reasons why teaching English in Saudi Arabia can be a great experience. First of all, the salaries for ESL teachers in Saudi Arabia are very high and there is no income tax. This means that you can save a lot of money while working in Saudi Arabia. Additionally, the cost of living is relatively low, so your salary will go even further.
Another great perk of teaching English in Saudi Arabia is that most jobs include free housing and medical insurance. Sometimes they will also help your family with relocation costs. This is a huge benefit, as housing and healthcare can be very expensive in Saudi Arabia. And finally, most teaching jobs in Saudi Arabia offer paid vacation days and airfare to and from your home country.
Finally, Saudi Arabia is a fascinating country with a rich culture and history. You’ll have the opportunity to learn about a new way of life and see some amazing sights while teaching English in Saudi Arabia.
So if you’re looking for a well-paid job with great benefits, teaching English in Saudi Arabia is definitely worth considering.
How much do TEFL teachers in Saudi Arabia earn?
As we mentioned above, salaries for ESL teachers in Saudi Arabia are very high. In general, you can expect to earn between $2000 and $4000 USD per month, tax free. Keep in mind, that the cost of living is relatively low in Saudi Arabia, so your salary will go even further than it would in other countries. Additionally, most teaching jobs in Saudi Arabia offer free housing and medical insurance. So your overall costs will be quite low. So you’ll be able to save a huge amount of money while working in Saudi Arabia.
What requirements are needed to get a TEFL job in Saudi Arabia?
There are a few requirements that you’ll need to meet in order to get a job teaching English in Saudi Arabia. First of all, you’ll need to have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university. Plus you’ll need a TEFL certificate, or even a CELTA or DELTA. Additionally, most schools in Saudi Arabia require that their teachers have two years of teaching experience. So if you’re a new teacher, you may have a bit more difficulty finding a job in Saudi Arabia. If you have a Masters degree, or if you’re a native English speaker, you’ll have an even better chance of landing a job in Saudi Arabia.
Another requirement for teaching in Saudi Arabia is that you’ll need to obtain a work visa before you begin working. Your employer will usually help you with this process. Finally, keep in mind that women face some additional restrictions when working in Saudi Arabia. For example, they are not allowed to drive and they must dress modestly in public.
What is the job market like for ESL teachers in Saudi Arabia?
The job market for ESL teachers in Saudi Arabia is very good. There is a high demand for English teachers and qualified candidates should have no trouble finding a job. The market can be competative, so it’s a good idea to start your job search early and be prepared with all of the necessary requirements
There is a lot of money in Saudi Arabia, and English is highly valued so there are a lot of opportunities for those who want to teach English in Saudi Arabia.
Can I get a TEFL job in Saudi Arabia if I have tattoos?
Unfortunately, tattoos are not allowed in Saudi Arabia. So if you have any visible tattoos, you’ll need to cover them up while working. It is also best to cover them up while job hunting, as many employers will not hire candidates with tattoos.
What is the best time of year to look for a TEFL job in Saudi Arabia?
The best time to look for a TEFL job in Saudi Arabia is between May and August. This is when most schools are hiring new teachers for the upcoming academic year. So if you’re looking for a job teaching English in Saudi Arabia, this is the best time to start your job search
What are the common types of TEFL jobs in Saudi Arabia?
There are a few different types of TEFL jobs in Saudi Arabia. The most common type is teaching in a private language school. These schools cater to students of all ages and levels, from young learners to adults. Another option is teaching in a university setting. This is usually reserved for experienced teachers with a Masters degree or higher. Additionally, you could also find work teaching in a government school or an international school, again for all ages from elementary school to senior high school.
There are also a lot of Business English jobs in Saudi Arabia. So if you have experience teaching business English, you’ll have even more job options available to you.
What is the application process like for TEFL jobs in Saudi Arabia?
The application process for TEFL jobs in Saudi Arabia is similar to the process in other countries. First, you’ll need to find a job that interests you and that you’re qualified for. Then you’ll need to submit your CV, or resume, and cover letter. In your cover letter, be sure to mention your qualifications and experience teaching English. You may also need to provide copies of your degree and teaching certificate.
Once you’ve submitted your application, the next step is usually an interview, either in person or via Skype. During the interview, the employer will ask you questions about your experience and qualifications. They may also give you a demo lesson to assess your teaching skills. If they decide to hire you, the next step is usually signing a contract. Then the organising of your relocation and work visa will begin.
What are the most common problems that TEFL teachers face in Saudi Arabia?
The most common problems that TEFL teachers face in Saudi Arabia are usually related to the cultural differences. For example, it’s important to dress modestly in public and to avoid physical contact with members of the opposite sex. Additionally, alcohol is not allowed in Saudi Arabia, so you’ll need to be careful about not drinking in public or bringing alcohol into the country.
Another common problem is that many teachers find the working hours to be very long. Private language schools typically have classes from early morning until late at night, so you may need to be prepared to work long hours.
Additionally, it’s important to be aware of the fact that Saudi Arabia is a male-dominated society. This can be a culture shock for many female teachers, who are not used to being treated as second-class citizens. However, it is possible to adjust and have a successful experience teaching in Saudi Arabia if you’re prepared for the challenges.
What are the most common scams for TEFL jobs in Saudi Arabia?
There are a few different scams that you should be aware of when looking for TEFL jobs in Saudi Arabia. One common scam is job postings that require you to pay a fee in order to apply. Legitimate employers will never ask you to pay a fee to apply for a job.
Another common scam is job offers that seem too good to be true. For example, an employer may offer you a high salary with little to no experience required. Or they may say that you can work fewer hours than is typical. If an offer seems too good to be true, it’s probably a scam.
Finally, you should be cautious of any employer that asks you to send money upfront, before you’ve even had a chance to interview or sign a contract. This is almost always a scam.
Do I need to speak Arabic to get a TEFL job in Saudi Arabia?
No, you don’t need to speak Arabic to get a TEFL job in Saudi Arabia. However, it is helpful if you know some basic Arabic phrases. This will make it easier to adjust to life in Saudi Arabia and to build rapport with your students. Additionally, many of your students may not speak much English, so being able to communicate in their language will be a big help.
There will be a lot of other international teachers and workers in the community where you live and work, so you’ll still be able to socialise and make friends even if you don’t speak Arabic.
What are the working conditions like for TEFL teachers in Saudi Arabia?
The working conditions for TEFL teachers in Saudi Arabia vary depending on the employer. However, most teachers work long hours, often teaching classes from early morning until late at night. Additionally, many teachers find that they have a lot of paperwork and administrative duties to take care of outside of class time.
However, the classrooms are typically well-equipped with up to date technology and resources. And most teachers report that their students are enthusiastic and motivated to learn. The class sizes are usually smaller than in other countries, so you’ll have more one-on-one time with your students.
Overall, the working conditions for TEFL teachers in Saudi Arabia are good especially when considering the salary and benefits.
Best Places to Teach English in Saudi Arabia
There are many different places to teach English in Saudi Arabia. The three most popular cities for teaching jobs are Riyadh, Jeddah, and Dammam. However, there are also opportunities to teach in smaller cities and towns throughout the country.
Riyadh is the capital of Saudi Arabia and the largest city in the country. It’s a modern city with many different things to see and do. Living in Riyadh can be expensive, but there are many job opportunities available. If you enjoy the city life, then Riyadh is a great place to teach English in Saudi Arabia. Riyadh is popular for its numerous shopping malls, which are great places to escape the heat during the summer months.
Jeddah is the second-largest city in Saudi Arabia and is located on the Red Sea. It’s a popular tourist destination, so there are many different job opportunities for English teachers. It is also a more relaxed city than Riyadh, so it’s a great place to live if you’re looking for a slower pace. If you enjoy being near the beach, then Jeddah is the place for you. It is well known for its beautiful coral reefs and diving spots, so if diving is your hobby, you’ll be in paradise. Jeddah is also home to the main airport in Saudi Arabia, so it’s a great place to base yourself if you want to travel around the region.
Dammam is the third-largest city in Saudi Arabia and is located on the Persian Gulf. It’s a major industrial city, so there are many different opportunities for English teachers who want to work in this sector. The salary in Dammam is often higher than in other cities, so it’s a great place to live if you’re looking for a high salary. However, the cost of living can also be expensive.
There are also many different private schools and universities throughout Saudi Arabia that are always in need of English teachers. So no matter where you want to live and work, there will be an opportunity for you to teach English in Saudi Arabia.
How to get a TEFL job in Saudi Arabia
Do your research
Make sure you are comfortable with all the rules and regulations of living in Saudi Arabia, especially if you are female or taking your family to live with you. The best way to research this is by reading blogs from people who have already made the move or joining various Facebook groups. Many people love the life that they can lead in Saudi Arabia but others find it too restrictive or against their morals. You need to make sure that it is the right decision for you before making any commitments.
Get TEFL certified
You absolutely need a TEFL certificate at a minimum to get a job teaching English in Saudi Arabia. Some jobs may require a TEFL degree or another certification such as a DELTA or CELTA. If you have commited yourself to get a TEFL job in Saudi Arabia, taking the time to get DELTA or CELTA certified will only increase your chances of getting hired and may increase your salary and benefits package.
Don’t forget to network!
Even if you don’t know anyone in Saudi Arabia, there are many online groups and forums that can help connect you with others in the same situation as you. Social media sites such as Twitter and LinkedIn also have many ESL teachers who share their knowledge about living and working in Saudi Arabia.
Get your documents in order
You will need to have a valid passport and a visa to live and work in Saudi Arabia. Your employer will usually help you with this process but it is important that you have all the necessary documents before beginning your job search. Make sure you’ve got your degree, transcripts, and any other required documents ready to go so you can apply for jobs as soon as possible.
Check out some job ads to see what is required
Create your resume
TEFL jobs in Saudi Arabia are high calibre so you need to have a resume that makes you stand out from the rest. Your resume should be clear, concise and free of any errors. It should focus on your teaching experience and qualifications as well as any other relevant experience you have.
ESL resumes are a little bit different to many industries as you need to include things like a photo, your nationality, and your visa status. The reason for this is that many schools in Saudi Arabia are looking for a specific type of teacher, so they need to know all of this information upfront.
Make sure you tailor your resume to each job ad that you apply for as well! This will show the employer that you have taken the time to read and understand their requirements and that you are a good fit for the job.
Your resume should be no more than 2 pages long unless you have a lot of experience. In your resume you should include:
- A recent photo of yourself
- Your contact details including your email address and phone number
- Your nationality, visa status, and availability to start work
- A summary of your qualifications and teaching experience
- Any other relevant experience or skills you have
Write a great cover letter
Your cover letter is just as important as your resume when applying for jobs in Saudi Arabia. This is your opportunity to sell yourself to the employer and explain why you are the perfect person for the job
Your cover letter should be well written and free of any errors. You should focus on your qualifications and experience as well as your passion for teaching. Remember to tailor your cover letter to each job ad that you apply for!
Your cover letter should only be one page long and you should avoid using generic phrases such as “I am a hard worker” or “I am a people person”. These phrases don’t tell the employer anything specific about you or why you are a good fit for the job.
Find a good recruitment agency
A great way to find a job in Saudi Arabia is by using a recruitment agency that specializes in finding teaching jobs abroad. They will have all the latest job listings and will be able to match you with the perfect job for your skills and experience.
Make sure you do your research when choosing a recruitment agency as there are many scams out there. Only work with an agency that is reputable and has a good track record. Recruitong agencies can also help with your visa process and often provide other support such as airport pick-up and accommodation.
Start applying for jobs
Once you have your documents in order and your resume and cover letter written, you can start applying for jobs. The best way to find jobs is by using a recruitment agency or job board that specializes in finding ESL jobs.
Some of the most popular job boards for ESL jobs are:
When applying make sure you meet all the requirements of the job listing. Many schools in Saudi Arabia will only consider applications that meet all their requirements so it’s important to read each job listing carefully.
Don’t forget to join some Facebook groups where you might find some jobs being advertised as well. Try searching for “ESL jobs in Saudi Arabia” or “TEFL jobs in Saudi Arabia”.
Apply to multiple schools
Don’t just apply to one school, apply to multiple schools! This will increase your chances of getting a job offer. It will also allow you to compare different offers and choose the best one for you.
Make sure you read all the information about each school before you apply so that you know what to expect. Pay attention to things like the salary, housing allowance, working hours, and vacation days.
It’s also a good idea to research each school online to see what others are saying about them. Try searching for “reviews of XXX school” or “XXX school scam”.
Be prepared for interviews
Once you start getting interview requests, it’s time to prepare! Make sure you read up on common ESL interview questions and practice your answers. It’s also a good idea to have a list of questions prepared to ask the interviewer.
Some common questions you may be asked in an interview are:
- Tell me about your teaching experience
- What methods do you use to teach English?
- How would you deal with a student who is disruptive in class?
- What are your strengths and weaknesses?
- Why do you want to work at our school?
- Do some research on the school and the city
If you’re doing your interview via Skype or Zoom make sure your internet connection is good and that you’re in a quiet place with no distractions. It’s also important to dress professionally for your interview. Practice makes perfect so try to do a mock interview with a friend before your real interview.
Top Tips for Teaching English in Saudi Arabia
Now that you know the process for finding a job teaching English in Saudi Arabia, here are some final tips to help you out:
- It’s important to remember that Saudi Arabia is a Muslim country and you will need to respect their culture and customs. This includes dressing modestly, avoiding public displays of affection, and not drinking alcohol.
- The climate in Saudi Arabia is very hot and humid so be prepared for that! Make sure you pack light, loose-fitting clothing and comfortable shoes.
- There is a lot of bureaucracy in Saudi Arabia so be patient when dealing with things like visas, housing, and work permits. Things can take longer than you expect but eventually, everything will get sorted out.
- If you can speak Arabic that will be a big help but it’s not necessary. Many people in Saudi Arabia speak English so you should be able to get by without speaking Arabic.
- You will probably experience culture shock but that’s normal! Just take your time to adjust and don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it.
- There is a strong expat community in Saudi Arabia so you’ll never feel alone. There are also plenty of things to do in your free time, including exploring the desert, visiting historical sites, and going on beach trips.
Teaching English in Saudi Arabia can be a great way to save money, experience a different culture, and see a part of the world that most people never get to see. Just make sure you do your research before you apply for any job and you’ll be sure to find the perfect position for you!