English as a Second Language (ESL) Teacher Salary

The average ESL Teacher in the United States earns approximately $40K per year. Compensation for this group is mainly affected by location, but years of experience and the individual firm are influential factors as well. Men are in the minority of survey respondents, with female ESL Teachers making up 75 percent. Most ESL Teachers like their work and job satisfaction is high. Some workers in this field — more than two-fifths — are not awarded benefits. Medical coverage is reported by slightly more than half and dental plans are enjoyed by more than a third. The numbers in this rundown were provided by PayScale's salary survey participants.
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$25,105 - $60,456
$25K
$40K
$60K
MEDIAN: $40,341
10%
50%
90%

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$13.03 - $40.94
$13
$20
$41
MEDIAN: $20.32
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
$25,105 - $60,456  
   
Bonus
$538 - $4,122  
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).
)
$26,055 - $69,706  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 25 Mar 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 478
© PayScale, Inc. @ www.payscale.com
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
$13.03 - $40.94  
   
Hourly Tips
$4.50  
Overtime
$14.54 - $31.09  
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
$538 - $4,122  
   
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).
)
$26,055 - $69,706  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 25 Mar 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 294
© PayScale, Inc. @ www.payscale.com

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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While ESL Teachers do not often become Academic Directors, the job pays $59K per year on average. More often than not, an Elementary School Teacher role is the next step for ESL Teachers moving up in the field. Pay for Elementary School Teachers is usually $40K. Many ESL Teachers choose to take on a High School Teacher role instead, where salaries are 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.


ESL Teachers do not generally earn higher incomes from more experience in the field. Someone who has worked for fewer than five years earns around $39K on average. Individuals with five to 10 years of experience don't get much more, though; the average income in this group is $40K. ESL Teachers who work for 10 to 20 years in their occupation tend to earn about $45K. As ESL Teachers reach more than two decades on the job, compensation remains commensurate with experience; the average pay in this group is $52K.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $41,091

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

With a pay rate for ESL Teachers that is 32 percent greater than the national average, San Francisco offers a comfortable salary for those in this profession. ESL Teachers will also find cushy salaries in Houston (+22 percent), San Antonio (+19 percent), Austin (+15 percent), and Irvine (+7 percent). ESL Teachers in Chicago take home the lowest salaries, earning a whopping 22 percent less than the national average. Employers pay around 15 percent less in Miami and 12 percent less in Honolulu, below-median salaries for those in this field.

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 54 votes.
Less than 1 year
6%
1-4 years
36%
5-9 years
27%
10-19 years
21%
20 years or more
10%
Location:
Years in Fields/Career:
United States (change)

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

▲28%

▲11%

National Average
$41,000

▼1%

▼4%

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

Japanese Language
▲14%


English Language
▼0%

National Average
$41,000

French Language
▼13%

Teaching
▼13%

Chinese, Mandarin Language
▼17%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 54 votes.

Gender

Female
75 %
Male
25 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
6%
1-4 years
36%
5-9 years
27%
10-19 years
21%
20 years or more
10%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 53%
dental benefits
Dental: 36%
vision benefits
Vision: 25%
dental benefits
None: 45%
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