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Saudi Arabia is the largest country in the Middle East. The country is rich in both history and wealth, which is derived from its vast petroleum economy. Saudi Arabia also happens to be one of the most lucrative job markets for qualified English teachers.

China Quick Facts

Header ColumnData Column
Education RequirementsBachelor Degree Required
TEFL CertificationTEFL Certification Required
Citizenship RequirementsUSA, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland
Typical Contract Length12 - 24 months
Peak Hiring SeasonsYear-round
Hiring ProcessOnline video interviews before arriving to Saudi Arabia
Visa RequirementsWork Visa required before entering Saudi Arabia
Typical StudentsChildren, Business Professionals
Average Monthly Salary$1,800 - $3,200
Average Monthly Cost of Living$700 - $1,200
Types of JobsPrivate Language Schools, International Schools, Vocational Colleges, Private Tutoring
Teaching Hours Per Week20 - 25 hours
Other BenefitsHousing and Flight Reimbursement usually provided

China Quick Facts

1. Saudi Arabia is the Largest Country and Economy in the Middle East

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Saudi Arabia is the only country in the Middle East to be a member of the G20, and the largest economy in the region. Its economy is predominantly based on its petroleum revenue. The Kingdom has taken steps to diversify the economy by developing its banking and finance sector, as well as its travel and tourism industry. Saudi Arabia’s workforce is largely comprised of expat workers who come to the Kingdom to earn higher wages.

2. Travel and Tourism is a Growing Industry in Saudi Arabia

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Although Saudi Arabia is still a very strict and religiously conservative country, recent efforts to open up the country to grow its tourism industry signals a desire to welcome more people to the Kingdom. Saudi Arabia is home to two of Islam’s holiest cities: Mecca and Medina. While it’s not so easy to visit sacred sites, there are still plenty of places to visit and things to do. The ruins of Al Ula, the turquoise waters and coral reefs around the Red Sea Project, and the Edge of the World are definitely worth a visit.

3. ESL Teachers in Saudi Arabia Earn Excellent Tax-Free Incomes and Benefits

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Saudi Arabia is not the easiest place to live due to strict laws and restrictions. Although recent changes have eased restrictions somewhat, the Kingdom is still a very conservative and restrictive country, so ESL teachers considering a move to Saudi Arabia should be prepared to make significant lifestyle changes. Living and working in Saudi Arabia isn’t for everyone, but for those who are prepared to make a go of it, the experience can be financially rewarding. Salaries and benefits for ESL teachers in Saudi Arabia are among the best, and they are tax-free.

China Quick Facts

China Quick Facts

China Quick Facts

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Saudi Arabia is a popular destination for qualified and experienced ESL teachers who are motivated by the high, tax-free salaries available here. ESL teachers are amongst a large population of expats working in the Kingdom. Both male and female teachers are in demand, as schools are segregated by gender.

Because of the high salaries and benefits, the ESL job market in Saudi Arabia is competitive. To be hired as an ESL teacher in Saudi Arabia, teachers must be citizens of recognized native English speaking countries, hold a university degree and a TEFL certification or CELTA. Schools also have a preference for ESL teachers who have at least two years of classroom experience. Candidates with degrees in English also will have an advantage with prospective employers.

Opportunities to teach English in Saudi Arabia include teaching in private language schools, international schools, and vocational colleges. Certified teachers can earn salaries as high as $4,000 per month, tax-free, working in international schools. University teaching positions are also available, and can be both academically and financially rewarding. Teachers will need at least a masters degree to teach at a university.

Schools in Saudi Arabia typically offer housing and flight reimbursement as additional benefits.

Other Considerations

The business week in Saudi Arabia runs Sunday to Thursday, and weekends on Fridays and Saturdays. As an Islamic country, Saudi Arabia is a strict, conservative society. Teachers considering moving to the Kingdom should keep this in mind, and be prepared to adapt. As always, teachers should be both mindful and respectful of the customs of the land.

As there are many expats in Saudi Arabia, there are excellent opportunities for ESL teachers to connect with business professionals, expats in the petroleum industry, and U.S. military personnel. Besides opportunities to network with other expats, ESL teachers in Saudi Arabia may find opportunities for private tutoring.

Saudi Arabia’s terrain is mostly desert, and temperatures during the summer get as high as 45 degrees Celsius. The official religion of Saudi Arabia is Islam, and the population is predominantly Sunni Muslim. Other religions cannot be publicly practiced in Saudi Arabia.

China Quick Facts

Saudi Arabia is the largest country in the Middle East, and is a developed country offering modern amenities in its urban centers. However, holy sites such as the cities of Mecca and Medina are off-limits to non-Muslims. This should not pose a concern to ESL teachers intending to teach in the Kingdom. Most jobs will be in the cities of Riyadh, Jeddah, and Dammam.

Teach English in Riyadh

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Riyadh is Saudi Arabia’s capital and financial hub. The Arabic word translates to The Gardens. The city is decorated with commercial buildings and skyscrapers, and the population is diverse, due to the large number of expats working in the Kingdom. Interesting attractions include Al Murabba PalaceNational MuseumAd Diriya, and The Sky Bridge at Kingdom Center.

Teach English in Jeddah

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Jeddah is the largest city in Makkah Province, and the second largest city in Saudi Arabia. Jeddah is located in Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea coastal plain, and is the country’s commercial center. Due to the city’s proximity to the Red Sea, the cuisine here has a lot of seafood. Besides being a commercial center, Jeddah is also one of the leading cities in the region for innovation, science and engineering.

Jeddah has long stretches of sandy beaches and pleasant walkways. The Jeddah Corniche is an attraction you will enjoy, with play parks, fountains, and water sports on the beach. The Sun sets against a backdrop of the Red Sea, with stunning views you can take in while bike riding or taking a stroll along the Corniche.

Teach English in Dammam

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Dammam is the largest city in the Eastern Province, and the sixth largest in Saudi Arabia. Dammam is served by the King Fahd International Airport, which is the largest airport in the world in terms of land area, and the King Abdul Aziz Sea Port is the largest port on the Persian Gulf. Things to see and do in Dammam include the Othaim Mall, Marjam Island, and King Fahd Park.

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