Median pay for ESL Teachers in the United States is around $40K annually. This group's pay is mainly influenced by geography, followed by tenure and the particular employer. Health benefits are not claimed by all — just over two-fifths lack any form of coverage — but a little more than half have medical insurance, and over a third have dental, too. Most ESL Teachers survey respondents are women (75 percent). Work is enjoyable for ESL Teachers, who typically claim high levels of job satisfaction. The information for this rundown comes from respondents who completed PayScale's salary questionnaire.
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$24,721 - $60,953
$25K
$40K
$61K
MEDIAN: $40,184
10%
50%
90%

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$12.49 - $40.43
$12
$20
$40
MEDIAN: $20
10%
50%
90%

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$24K$48K$72K
Salary
$24,721 - $60,953  
   
Bonus
$425.00 - $3,500  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$25,418 - $69,586  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jan 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 499
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$14$28$42
Hourly Rate
$12.49 - $40.43  
   
Hourly Tips
$4.50  
Overtime
$15.60 - $32.50  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$28K$56K$84K
Bonus
$425.00 - $3,500  
   
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$25,418 - $69,586  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jan 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 310

Find Out Exactly What You Should Be Paid

United States (change)

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Job Description for English as a Second Language (ESL) Teacher

An ESL (English as a Second Language) teacher’s primary function is to teach English to students who are not native speakers. They help students to understand common customs and expectations within American culture In addition, depending on a student's English-language skills and the teacher's institution, the ESL teacher’s job may extend into helping students understand their coursework in other subjects (such as math and science) or even teaching those subjects directly.

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English as a Second Language (ESL) Teacher Tasks

  • Teach individuals who are not native English speakers to speak, read, write, and comprehend English.
  • Utilize rote pronunciation, quizzes, textbooks, videos, and multimedia education to solidify skills.
  • Develop curriculums to suit both individuals who need overall education or education in specific skills.

Common Career Paths for English as a Second Language (ESL) Teacher


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ESL Teachers who transition into an Academic Director role may receive large pay increases as the latter position pays an average $59K per year. Going from ESL Teacher to Elementary School Teacher is the transition that occurs most often in this field, and the average paycheck for Elementary School Teachers is $40K. Many others choose to work as High School Teachers, where pay is typically $44K.

English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) Teacher Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for English as a Second Language (ESL) Teacher


Pay by Experience Level for English as a Second Language (ESL) Teacher

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.


For ESL Teachers, more experience in the field does not usually mean bigger paychecks. In this position, someone who has worked for fewer than five years can expect a median salary of $39K. The median for people with five to 10 years of experience is only a little bit higher at $41K. On average, ESL Teachers make $45K following one to two decades on the job. Veterans who have worked for more than two decades do tend to make the most in the end; the median pay for this group is $53K.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $40,961

Larger city markers indicate a job is popular in that location.

For ESL Teachers, San Francisco provides a pay rate that is 31 percent greater than the national average. ESL Teachers can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Houston (+22 percent), San Antonio (+19 percent), Austin (+16 percent), and Denver (+8 percent). Falling short of the national average by 15 percent, the area with the worst salaries is Chicago. Two other places where employers offer below-median salaries are Miami (15 percent less) and Honolulu (12 percent less).

English as a Second Language (ESL) Teacher Reviews

Q: What is it like working as an English as a Second Language (ESL) Teacher?

English as a Second Language (ESL) Teacher in Louisville:
"Rewarding."
Pros: Working with a diverse group of students allows me to learn something new each day. The job allows for flexibility and creativity within the curriculum.
Cons: The job is not full time and offers little to no chance of being full time in the future.

English as a Second Language (ESL) Teacher in Seoul:
"Hard Work."
Pros: Kids can be sweet. Teaching is often rewarding. Sometimes it can be fun. Sometimes makes you feel young. Housing paid for.
Cons: Long hours. Exhausting. Frustrating. A lot of extra work. Often feel unappreciated. Bad kids can drive you crazy. Feels like a dead-end job. Salary is low. Crappy apartment.

English as a Second Language (ESL) Teacher in Medfield:
Pros:
Cons: I work at a private ESL school. I should have asked to see the curriculum before taking the job. If I had done that, I would have known that the curriculum was a very rough outline with no lesson plans. I should have asked to see the teacher resource room. Turns out: it's a stack of movies. I should have gotten more information about the exams. I am being paid one hour per class for producing and grading the exams. That means a lot of mandatory unpaid hours. There are cameras in every classroom. It is very big brother. There is a lot of reporting and very little guidance. The owners just want to see a profit: I've never met them.

Related Job Salaries

Key Stats for English as a Second Language (ESL) Teacher

Gender

Female
75 %
Male
25 %

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 55 votes.
Less than 1 year
6%
1-4 years
36%
5-9 years
28%
10-19 years
20%
20 years or more
10%
Location:
Years in Fields/Career:
United States (change)

Experience Affects English as a Second Language (ESL) Teacher Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 29%


National Average
$41,000



Skills That Affect English as a Second Language (ESL) Teacher Salaries

Japanese Language
up arrow 14%


English Language
0%

National Average
$41,000

Teaching
up arrow 12%

French Language
up arrow 13%

Chinese, Mandarin Language
up arrow 25%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 55 votes.

Gender

Female
75 %
Male
25 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
6%
1-4 years
36%
5-9 years
28%
10-19 years
20%
20 years or more
10%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 55%
dental benefits
Dental: 36%
vision benefits
Vision: 25%
dental benefits
None: 44%
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