Finding Work as an English Teacher in Saudi Arabia
The wealthiest country in the Middle East is still the least Western with the most demand for foreign English teachers, and excellently paid positions abound for native English-speakers with TEFL certification in private language schools and universities. Best of all, due to the exceptionally high demand, tertiary degrees are not always necessary for language schools.
Positions should be sought from outside of Saudi Arabia, as you will need sponsorship and assistance with obtaining work permits, entry and exit visas in accordance with the ‘Kalafa System’ that governs foreigners working in Saudi Arabia. Although Saudi Arabia is not nearly as relaxed towards foreigners as other Middle Eastern countries – you will need to be prepared to live according to strict Islamic law – it’s well worth looking at teaching there if you have plenty of experience (and ideally, though not necessarily) other degrees besides your TEFL certificate: salaries and packages are the best in the world, and the cost of living a little lower in many areas than in other more commercialised Middle Eastern countries so you can earn plenty and save plenty!
Teaching English in Private Language Schools
There are many private language schools and centres in Saudi Arabia, particularly in and around Riyadh and Jeddah. It’s easier to get a job through one of these schools if you have an existing tertiary degree in addition to TEFL certification and at least 1 – 3yrs experience teaching English as a foreign language, but more and more positions are becoming available for native English-speakers who only have a TEFL certificate. However experience teaching English as foreign language will still open up the job board and offer opportunities for higher-end rates of pay.
Teaching English in Universities
There is a high demand for TEFL graduates in Universities in all areas of Saudi Arabia who can teach at suitably high University levels. An existing degree and plenty of proven experience is always required for this level however, in addition to proof of high-level teaching skills.
Teaching English in International Schools
There many International Schools in Saudi Arabia catering for the expat community as well as locals, but most International Schools will require candidates to be licensed teachers. There’s little demand for teachers with only TEFL certificates in these schools.
Private English Tutoring for Children, Adults and Business Executives
It’s against the law for private individuals and families to hire private tutors in Saudi Arabia, although this law originally applies to Saudi teachers, but people still do it. It may not be worth taking the risk. You could be arrested, as could your client.
|7,500 – 16,000 SAR
|Fully paid for or reimbursed
|20 – 25 teaching hours per week
|Usually included or allowance given
|All year round
|Length of Contract
|12 to 24 months
|TEFL and Bachelor’s degree
Saudi Arabia is the largest country in the world without a river
In Saudi Arabia, a litre of potable water is more expensive than a litre of oil
Saudi Arabia is the birthplace of Islam and home to the religion’s holiest shrines, Mecca and Medina
Construction on Saudi Arabia’s Kingdom Tower began in 2014. The new, tallest building in the world will stand 3,280 feet (1 km) high