English as a Second Language (ESL) Teacher Salary (United States)

Pay for ESL Teachers in the United States lies in the neighborhood of $41,404 annually. Pay generally spreads from $27,492 to $74,369 per year. Geographic location is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by experience level. Health benefits are not claimed by all—45 percent lack any form of coverage—but more than half have medical insurance, and around one third have dental, too. Female ESL Teachers are more common than men; more than half (68 percent) of ESL Teachers are women. For the most part, ESL Teachers enjoy their work and report high levels of job satisfaction. Figures cited in this summary are based on replies to PayScale's salary questionnaire.
English as a Second Language (ESL) Teacher Salary (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$25,088 - $62,007
(Median)
25K
34K
40K
50K
62K
MEDIAN: $40,389
10%
25%
50%
75%
90%
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English as a Second Language (ESL) Teacher Salary (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$13.74 - $43.02
(Median)
14
29
43
MEDIAN: $20
10%
75%
90%
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National Salary Data

 (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$25K$50K$75K
Salary
$25,088 - $62,007  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $3,076  
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).
)
$27,492 - $74,369  
PayScale
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 3 Sep 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 271
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$15$30$45
Hourly Rate
$13.74 - $43.02  
   
Overtime
$0.00 - $36.00  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$30K$60K$90K
Bonus
$0.00 - $3,076  
   
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).
)
$27,492 - $74,369  
PayScale
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 3 Sep 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 225
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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.
Read More...
English as a Second Language (ESL) Teacher Tasks
  • Develop curriculums to suit both individuals who need overall education or education in specific skills.
  • Utilize rote pronunciation, quizzes, textbooks, videos, and multimedia education to solidify skills.
  • Teach individuals who are not native English speakers to speak, read, write, and comprehend English.

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

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For ESL Teachers, career progression may result in somewhat stagnant compensation. Typically, a High School Teacher, an upper-level role, will earn an amount similar to those further down the career ladder. ESL Teachers most often move into positions as Elementary School Teachers or Non-Profit Program Coordinators, where they typically take pay cuts of $2,086 or $5,550 per year.

English as a Second Language (ESL) Teacher Job Listings

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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 many ESL Teachers, experience and pay seem to be weakly connected; experience does not necessarily lead to more money. At career start, salaries are typically $39K, which grow to $42K after five to 10 years. Salary comes to $48K after 10 to 20 years. Salary increase slows as ESL Teachers pass 20 years in their field, with average salaries hovering around $51K. Experienced employees who have 10-20 years of experience make up about one in five of the workforce; inexperienced individuals who have been working for less than one year comprise less than five percent, and senior people with more than 20 years under their belt fill out the remaining 11 percent. More than half of respondents report having between one and nine years of experience in this field.

Pay Difference By Location

San Antonio
up arrow 21%
New York
up arrow 17%
Los Angeles
up arrow 10%
National Average
$41,000
Boston
up arrow 1%
San Diego
up arrow 2%
San Francisco
up arrow 2%
Seattle
up arrow 5%
Washington
up arrow 8%
Denver
up arrow 15%
Larger circles over a city indicate a job is popular in that location.
For those looking to make money, ESL Teachers in San Antonio enjoy an exceptional pay rate, 21 percent above the national average. ESL Teachers will also find cushy salaries in New York (+17 percent) and Los Angeles (+10 percent). Denver is the lowest-paying area, 15 percent south of the national average. Two other places where employers offer below-median salaries are Washington (-8 percent) and Seattle (-5 percent).

English as a Second Language (ESL) Teacher Reviews

What is it like working as an English as a Second Language (ESL) Teacher?
English as a Second Language (ESL) Teacher in Fort Worth:
"Work Conditions."
Pros: The ability to teach, encourage and educate adults in a supportive environment.
Cons: The lack of input and influence over course curriculum, choice of classes taught and class levels, changes regarding class structure such as how often and length of time classes meet.
English as a Second Language (ESL) Teacher in Medfield:
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

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

Late-Career
up arrow 24%
Experienced
up arrow 16%
Mid-Career
up arrow 1%
National Average
$41,000

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

National Average
$41,000
English Language
up arrow 1%

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied Image
Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5 based on 104 votes.

Gender

Female
68%
female alumni
 
Male
32%
male alumni

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
4%
1-4 years
43%
5-9 years
23%
10-19 years
19%
20 years or more
11%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 55% dental benefits Dental: 35%
vision benefits Vision: 24% employee benefits None: 45%
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