Teacher Salary In Dubai

If you’re looking to teach in Dubai, you may be wondering how much teachers make there.

The answer is: it depends.

A few factors are going to affect how much money a teacher makes in Dubai. The first is the type of school they work at, and the second is their experience level.

In general, private schools pay more than government schools, but this isn’t always true—there are some private schools that pay less than government schools.

Similarly, there are some teachers who have been teaching for decades who make less money than newer teachers with less experience.

What is the average teaching in Dubai salary?

If you stay up at night wondering “How much do teachers get paid in Dubai?”, prepare yourself for a good night’s sleep. Teaching English in Dubai is one of the top paying jobs in the UAE. Salaries for teachers in Dubai usually range from $2,800 to $3,500, depending on experience and the type of school. Bring on the dirhams!

Some schools also offer teachers competitive benefits packages, including health insurance, roundtrip airfare for an annual visit home, and a local apartment rental. Be sure to look for these things in your contract, and get anything promised to you down in writing before you arrive.

The good news: Teachers’ salaries in Dubai are tax-free! So what you earn stays in your pocket (until you spend it on all the epic things there are to do in Dubai, of course). #cha-ching

The less good news: The cost of living in Dubai is up there with other notoriously expensive international cities. Rent and groceries are particularly expensive, not to mention nightlife and other recreation options. Salaries should be enough to cover expenses, but there’s not likely to be much left over in the way of savings unless you’re a careful budgeter.

What are the requirements for teaching in UAE?

There are a wide range of schools in Dubai with differing requirements for their teaching staff. To get their foot in the door at Dubai’s best schools – where salaries and benefits packages are the most impressive – teachers will need: a Master’s degree in a relevant field, a teaching certification, and at least three years of experience. Other midrange schools accept teachers with Bachelor’s degrees, experience requirements varying by position.

If you’re looking for your first teaching job, Dubai may be a tough sell, but there are private families looking for tutors and non-profit schools looking for teaching interns and volunteers. These may not be your dream jobs, but are all great ways to get your teaching career off the ground while enjoying the Dubai lifestyle.

Note: Teaching English in Dubai falls into two camps: the top schools usually follow American or British curriculum, and these schools want teachers with training from the source. In other words, the best American schools in Dubai prefer to hire North American native speakers with teaching certifications from a reputable American or Canadian institution. Likewise, schools that follow British curriculum restrict hires to teachers with certifications from the UK (think CELTA instead of TOEFL, if you’re angling for ESL jobs in Dubai at a British school).

Can you teach English in Dubai without a degree?

Yes, if you’ll willing to jump through a few extra hoops. Most English teaching opportunities in Dubai are limited to certified teachers, because to obtain a work permit, the UAE Ministry of Education requires teachers to be “properly qualified”, which most interpret to mean “have a teaching certification”. However, this does not need to be a full degree. Consider getting your TEFL, TESOL, or CELTA certification before applying to teach English in Dubai. It will pay for itself in your teaching salary in Dubai over a few short months. (Psst…some providers, like International TEFL Academy, will train you *and* help you find a job!)

If you don’t have a degree and getting certified isn’t in the cards, there are still ESL jobs in Dubai for you, especially if you are a native English speaker. So if you don’t have a wall full of framed certifications, it is still worth throwing your resume in the ring. Be aware that salaries are based on experience and qualifications, however; so not having a degree will cost you (literally). 

How Much Can You Earn Teaching ESL in the U.A.E.?

Depending on whether you’re working at a language school, vocational school/college, private international school, or public school, you can expect to earn between $2,400-$5,500 per month as a teacher in the U.A.E. Salaries tend to be tax free, and teachers often get additional benefits, like insurance and housing on top of this salary.

Where you teach will depend on your qualifications. For teachers with a background in ESL teaching, there are opportunities at language schools or vocational colleges. Licensed teachers can look into openings at private or international schools, as well as within the public school system. With the increase in vocational colleges and high schools, teachers with other types of experience may be able to find employment teaching courses such as business, aviation, or technical drawing.

Below are more specific details on how much you can earn as an ESL teacher in the U.A.E.

Language Schools: $3,300-$5,500 per month

The average pay for ESL teachers at a language school in the UAE is around 12,300-20,400 AED per month ($3,300-$5,500). Salaries are set by the institution and will differ from school to school, based on the teacher’s experience and qualifications.

Additional benefits can include housing allowances, while flights and bonuses will vary based on the school.

Though not as common as in other countries, language schools in the U.A.E. are a possibility for TEFL certified teachers. You will see well-known language school chains represented in the Emirates, as well as local language schools and chains of schools unique to the Gulf Region.

  • Types of students: Adult students working to improve their English; Younger students taking after-school classes to improve their English.
  • Qualifications to teach: A Bachelor’s degree; TEFL Certification; Teaching experience.
  • Working hours: Work schedules will depend on your students. Adult classes tend to be in the evenings and on weekends, whereas you may see younger students during the day or in the afternoon.

Keep in mind that with the constant influx of expatriates and businesses from abroad investing in the UAE, qualified English language teachers are in high demand as English remains the “second language” of the Emirates.

Vocational Schools and Colleges: $3,000-$4,000 per month

The average pay for ESL teachers at vocational schools and colleges in the UAE is around 11,000-15,000 AED per month ($3,000-$4,000). New teachers with at least 2-3 years of experience will usually start at 11,000 dirhams ($3,000) per month.

Additional benefits typically include flights, health insurance, and a housing allowance as well as education and visa support for dependents; Flights to your home country for the summer break; Contract completion bonus of one month’s salary per year worked.

The U.A.E.’s economy is intertwined with resource development projects. In the past, the workforce running these projects has largely been from abroad. With the “emiratization,” or hiring of more Emirati citizens, of many management and higher level industry positions, the need for educated local students increases every year.

The vocational schools and colleges provide the skills and education necessary for students to take on these roles. This also provides placements for specialized teachers from abroad that might not otherwise have had the opportunity to teach overseas. For example, Aviation, Engineering, and Autocad instructors are in high demand.

  • Types of students: High School or college level students; Students learning a vocation or a trade; Students studying applied sciences, business, tourism, or marketing; Students at the high school level taking an assortment of standard courses, as well as specialized vocational training.
  • Qualifications to teach: A Bachelor’s degree; TEFL Certification; Practical experience working with students in trades and vocations; Knowledge of the applied sciences and business; A government issued teaching license is not always necessary, although a strong foundation of work and teaching experience usually is.
  • Working hours: Vocational schools are government regulated and have set salary and benefits, vacation days and working hours; School days usually start at around 7:30 am and finish for the day at 2:30 pm, Thursday through Sunday; Most teachers will have tutorials, professional development or meetings in the afternoons; Contracts are 2 – 3 years in length; 8 weeks of vacation throughout the year, including approximately 6 weeks in July and August.

Keep in mind that with the movement to include more locals in the massive oil and gas industry, vocational training colleges and schools are expanding their need for teachers every school year. Teachers with a background in Aviation, Physics, and Engineering are especially in high demand.

Private International Schools: $2,400-$4,000 per month

What is the Average Salary for Teaching Abroad in the UAE?: Private Schools

The average teacher salary in U.A.E. international schools is 9,000-15,000 AED per month ($2,400-$4,000). Teachers will usually make slightly less than their counterparts working in the public schools.

Additional benefits usually include shared accommodation — generally a two or three bedroom apartment shared with another teacher, flights, health insurance, and visa assistance for teachers traveling from overseas. Visa, travel, and accommodation allowances for dependents and family members are usually not provided, so this is a better fit for teachers moving abroad on their own.

With so many people of different nationalities living in the U.A.E., the range of international and private schools is reflective of the diversity of the population.

Curriculum and language of instruction will vary, however, tuition fees and the expectations placed on students are generally high. Private or international schools can also be a bit more flexible in regards to experience, and teachers may have the opportunity to teach courses outside of their certified teaching designation.

  • Types of students: Children of expatriates, who are often enrolled in schools that use their home country’s curriculum (e.g. an Australian International School). A student must often hold the passport of another country for enrollment.
  • Qualifications to teach: A teaching license; TEFL Certification; 1-2 years of teaching experience; bachelor’s degree, though first consideration is given to certified teachers with higher academic degrees and more years of experience.
  • Working hours: Thursday through Sunday from 7:30am to around 1:30pm. Teachers may also be involved in extracurricular activities — such as sponsoring a club or sports team. Outside of school hours, teachers may be required to participate in meetings with parents, extra support for students, professional development, or staff meetings. Contracts are often more flexible, and 1 year commitments may be available.

Keep in mind that this is a great opportunity for teachers looking to get their foot in the door and gain some experience in the region. Private and international schools in the U.A.E. may be accredited through the board of education of another country, or the international baccalaureate (IB) program, and students are taught in English or a language other than Arabic. To find jobs working here, recruiters like Footprints Recruiting can help.

Public Schools: $3,300-$5,500 per month

ESL teachers at public schools in the UAE can expect to earn around 12,300-20,400 AED per month ($3,300-$5,500). The salary scale is determined based on the teacher’s level of education and their years of certified teaching experience; public schools are not able to include teaching experience outside of licensed, classroom teaching experience.

Additional benefits often include accommodation appropriate for the size of the teacher’s family; Flights for up to 4 family members every year, including summer break; Health insurance for teacher and family; End of contract bonus equivalent to a month’s salary per years worked.

The public school system — run by the Abu Dhabi Education Council (or ADEC) — is still undergoing a massive overhaul. The recruitment of teachers from abroad to assist local public school teachers in carrying out the aims of the education reform project has become one of the largest recruitment initiatives in the region. With over 300 schools across Abu Dhabi, there are a lot of openings, and a lot of variables in regards to placement location, school environment and student profile.

  • Types of students: Local Emirati students from Kindergarten up to grade 12.
  • Qualifications to teach: A Bachelor’s degree; TEFL Certification; A teaching license; Several years of classroom experience in the appropriate level — i.e., only a certified middle school science teacher could teach middle school science.
  • Working hours: Schools are open Sunday through Thursday from around 7:00/7:30am to 1:30/2:30pm. Teachers may have meetings, tutorials, or professional development activities outside of school hours. Contracts are 2 years in length, with the option to renew if mutually agreeable between teacher and administration

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