Teach English in or near: Riyadh, Jeddah


Saudi Arabia offers some of the highest paid English teaching positions and some of the best overall packages, inclusive of excellent accommodation. Nevertheless, it’s not for everyone, particularly women. There are strict codes of conduct pertaining to both men and women, but particularly to the latter, in all areas of the richest and strictest country on the Persian Gulf. Don’t be put off though…

There is little to enjoy as far as Western entertainment goes, but if you are happy to respect local customs, you are welcomed as a foreigner – to enjoy traditional Saudi cuisine and shop till you drop. You will have no problem spending your excellent salary in the souks (traditional markets) and in huge shopping malls. Saudi Arabia also offers spectacular desert landscapes, mountains, coastlines and you can take 4×4 tours to explore this vast land. The Red Sea coastline also offers water-sports and excellent diving.

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.

Monthly Salary7,500 – 16,000 SAR
AirfareFully paid for or reimbursed
Working Hours20 – 25 teaching hours per week
AccommodationUsually included or allowance given
Hiring SeasonAll year round
Length of Contract12 to 24 months
RequirementsTEFL 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