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How Much Do TESOL Certified Teachers Make?

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As a TESOL certified teacher, you will enjoy a wide variety of job options that include teaching children, college student or adults in the United States or abroad. TESOL stands for Teachers of English for Speakers of Other Languages, and your students will broaden their horizons and enjoy greater opportunities in business and education as their language skills expand. The salary for TESOL teachers varies by location and age group they are teaching.

Language Schools

According to the University of California, English teachers at language schools in the United States generally earn between $15 and $20 per hour. If you teach private classes, you may earn between $20 and $25 per hour. A full-time teaching schedule at most language schools is only 25 to 28 hours per week, but many schools offer benefits in addition to hourly pay.

ESL Adult Education

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, English as a Second Language teachers in the United States teaching adults earn a median annual wage of $52,130 or $25.06 per hour as of May 2012. This category also includes teachers working with youth who are out of school. Some of these teachers may work in traditional schools and may need additional qualifications such as a state teaching certificate.

Other Industries

ESL teachers are employed by schools, government agencies or social organizations. Teachers in elementary school or secondary schools earn a median wage of $27.06 per hour as of May 2012, according to the BLS. The median wage for teachers working at social or civic organizations is slightly lower at $26.85 per hour. ESL teachers for state government agencies enjoy the highest wages, earning median pay of $29.12 per hour.

Teaching Overseas

Many people decide to get a job teaching English overseas. The salary for these jobs varies greatly, but most jobs will pay enough to cover your living expenses and in some cases even allow you to save money. You will be paid in the local currency, so while you may receive a good salary, it may not seem like a lot when you convert the money to U.S. dollars. Depending on the budget of the school and its need for teachers, you may also receive accommodations, health insurance and even airfare.


Maureen Malone started writing in 2008. She writes articles for business promotion and informational articles on various websites. Malone has a Bachelor of Science in technical management with an emphasis in biology from DeVry University.

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