Living abroad and exploring foreign lands while getting paid to teach English is the dream for many. While some teachers choose where to travel based on which countries they want to see, others take into consideration the nations where they can make the most money. Because let’s face it: not all ESL jobs were created equal.

In some countries, ESL teachers can expect to make upwards of $5,000 a month, while in others, the average salary doesn’t amount to half of that. Keep reading to find out what 15 countries pay ESL teachers well, and what countries aren’t worth the flight.

20 You Must Be Experienced To Earn A High Salary In The United Arab Emirates

You can make a lot of money teaching ESL in the United Arab Emirates. According to Go Overseas, the highest-paid ESL jobs can be found in the UAE, where you can make between $3,500 and $5,500 per month. But most establishments require you to have several years of teaching experience.

19 China Has A Low Cost Of Living For ESL Teachers

China is one of the best places to teach English abroad if you’re looking to save lots of money. While the wages aren’t the highest, at between $1,500 and $2,000 per month, the cost of living tends to be quite low and there are many jobs available.

18 Enjoy The Tropics And The Possibility To Earn A Lot In Indonesia

There is a lot of potential to earn some serious money teaching English in Indonesia. According to Go Abroad, the standard salary will allow you to live quite comfortably while you enjoy the stunning tropical surroundings across 13,000 islands.

17 There’s Culture Shock And High Salaries In Saudi Arabia

The wages for ESL teachers in Saudi Arabia can be quite high, at around $3,000 - $4,000 a month. It’s a good option for those looking to make a lot of money while teaching, but be warned that most people find there’s quite a culture shock in this Islamic country.

16 You Can Earn Big Money In Qatar

Another Middle Eastern country where you’ll be able to earn quite a bit of money as an ESL teacher is Qatar, where the salaries vary from $2,000 to $4,000 according to One World 365. While you can earn a lot of money, you have to have a few years of teaching experience or a Master’s degree to be considered.

15 The Wages In Japan Can Be Great But Vary Greatly

The wages for ESL teachers in Japan begin at around $2,200 and are capped at around $5,000. Your experience and certifications as a teacher will determine how much you are paid, and the job market in Japan can be quite competitive.

14 High Salaries And Housing Await In South Korea

The salaries in South Korea for ESL teachers are quite similar to those in Japan. South Korea also has a lower cost of living than Japan and many establishments will offer you housing and at least partial flight reimbursement.

13 There’s A Lot Of Potential To Earn In Kazakhstan

Few countries in Europe pay a lot for ESL teachers, but one of the higher-paying nations in Kazakhstan. Certified teachers can get high salaries and many perks, while ESL teachers can earn enough to save a decent amount of money every month.

12 Teachers In Oman Are Rewarded Well

Another Arabic country that you might consider teaching in is Oman, which is one of the most developed nations in the Middle East. You can expect to make anywhere from $2,000 to $3,500 per month, with the cost of living being around $700 per month.

11 You Don’t Need A Lot Of Experience To Start Earning In Vietnam

Those interested in teaching in Asia might like to apply for an ESL job in Vietnam, where you can make between $1,000 and $2,000 teaching a month. The jobs are quite accessible, the cost of living is cheap, and the scenery is beautiful.

10 Kuwait Has A High Number Of International Schools

There are many jobs available for English teachers in Kuwait because there are several international schools operating in the country. You can earn between $2,600 and $4,000 a month in Kuwait—and keep in mind that money will be tax-free!

9 It’s Easy To Save Money As An ESL Teacher In Turkey

One of the reasons why Turkey is so popular as a destination for teachers who want to teach ESL abroad is that it has a low cost of living. It is easy to save in a country like Turkey, even when you consider all the unique attractions that you’ll want to see.

8 Malaysia Offers High-Paying ESL Jobs

The upside to teaching abroad in Malaysia is that the salaries are often quite high. But the downside is that teaching jobs can be difficult to obtain, with many teachers having to wait until they’ve arrived in the country to look for a job.

7 It’s Easy To Save Money Teaching ESL In Taiwan

The salaries for ESL teachers in Taiwan begin at $2,000 and can rise up to about $2,400. While some salaries in Asia are higher, saving money in Taiwan is easy because there’s a low cost of living and a wide variety of jobs available.

6 The United States: The Salary Can Be Pretty Good Right At Home

If you can’t afford to travel abroad but still want to teach ESL, there are opportunities available in the United States. According to Go Overseas, ESL teachers in the USA make between $40,000 and $75,000 a year, with higher salaries going to those who have earned Master’s degrees.

And these are the 5 countries that are not even worth the flight...

5 Mexico

Like many countries in Central and South America, Mexico does not offer the highest salaries for ESL teachers. It can be a good country to consider if you’re just looking for experience on your resume, as many establishments take under-qualified people.

4 Brazil

Similarly, Brazil does not typically offer ESL teachers high salaries. There is so much to see in the country that it’s definitely worth including on your bucket list, but the truth is there are plenty of other countries where you can earn more money teaching.

3 Greece

Greece is one of the lower-paying countries in Europe when it comes to ESL teachers. Reviews on ESL Base reveal that the salaries are quite low and barely cover the cost of living. It is also tough to land teaching jobs in Greece.

2 Croatia

With stunning cities like Dubrovnik to offer, Croatia might sound like the ideal country to teach abroad in. But again, the salaries for ESL teachers in this coastal country aren’t typically high. Croatia may be the perfect country to visit on your travels, but it’s not the place to apply for teaching jobs if you’re looking to make a lot of money.

1 Argentina

Another country that’s really not worth the flight if your sole purpose is to make money through ESL teaching is Argentina. The average salary here is between $600 and $1,200 a month, while there are many other countries that offer more than double that.