English as a Second Language (ESL) Teacher Salary

Median pay for ESL Teachers in the United States lies in the neighborhood of $41K per year. Geography is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by experience level and the individual firm. Job satisfaction for ESL Teachers is high. Men are in the minority of survey respondents, with female ESL Teachers making up 77 percent. Health benefits are not claimed by all — more than two-fifths lack any form of coverage — but a little more than half have medical insurance, and more than a third have dental, too. Participants in PayScale's salary questionnaire provided the particulars of this report.
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$25,286 - $61,840
$25K
$41K
$62K
MEDIAN: $40,658
10%
50%
90%

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$13.09 - $41.19
$13
$20
$41
MEDIAN: $20.34
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
$25,286 - $61,840  
   
Bonus
$546 - $5,135  
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).
)
$26,249 - $71,149  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 4 May 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 488
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
$13.09 - $41.19  
   
Hourly Tips
$4.50  
Overtime
$14.68 - $29.87  
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
$546 - $5,135  
   
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).
)
$26,249 - $71,149  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 4 May 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 307

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. Given that the median pay is $40K, it may be surprising to find that an Elementary School Teacher is the most common role for ESL Teachers to subsequently assume on their way up the ladder. Transitioning into a High School Teacher role — which pays $44K — is also typical for ESL Teachers, though less common by comparison.

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

Pay by Experience for an English as a Second Language (ESL) Teacher has a positive trend. An entry-level English as a Second Language (ESL) Teacher with less than 5 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $39,000 based on 416 salaries provided by anonymous users. Average total compensation includes tips, bonus, and overtime pay. An English as a Second Language (ESL) Teacher with mid-career experience which includes employees with 5 to 10 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $40,000 based on 272 salaries. An experienced English as a Second Language (ESL) Teacher which includes employees with 10 to 20 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $45,000 based on 184 salaries. An English as a Second Language (ESL) Teacher with late-career experience which includes employees with greater than 20 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $52,000 based on 74 salaries.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $41,363

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

Home to some of the best pay for ESL Teachers, San Francisco offers exceptional salaries, 31 percent above the national average. ESL Teachers will also find cushy salaries in Houston (+21 percent), San Antonio (+18 percent), Austin (+14 percent), and Irvine (+6 percent). Place of residence plays a huge part in an ESL Teacher's salary, with Chicago ESL Teachers earning salaries that are 22 percent less than the national average. Two other places where employers offer below-median salaries are Miami (15 percent less) and Honolulu (13 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
77 %
Male
23 %

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 62 votes.
Less than 1 year
6%
1-4 years
36%
5-9 years
28%
10-19 years
20%
20 years or more
10%
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Location:
Years in Fields/Career:
United States (change)

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

▲27%

▲10%

National Average
$41,000

▼2%

▼5%

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

Japanese Language
▲13%

English Language
▼0%


National Average
$41,000

French Language
▼14%

Teaching
▼14%

Chinese, Mandarin Language
▼17%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 62 votes.

Gender

Female
77 %
Male
23 %

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: 54%
dental benefits
Dental: 36%
vision benefits
Vision: 25%
no benefits
None: 45%
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