ESL Teacher

Help non-English speakers learn to communicate in English.

Quick Stats


Salary Range
$18,000 – $70,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do ESL Teachers do?

ESL stands for English as a Second Language, and as an ESL Teacher, you help non-English speaking people learn to talk the talk. In many ways, an ESL Teacher is both the Teacher and the student. Often, you travel to a foreign country and learn about their culture and language while teaching students your own native tongue – English. Traveling the world, seeing the sights, and helping people communicate are among the many job perks of an ESL Teacher.

To teach English, you need to master it yourself. Once hired for a new job, you’ll create lesson plans to help students understand vocabulary, grammar, and proper pronunciation skills without feeling bored to death. Each workday, you’ll teach your students and quiz them over the lessons they’ve learned. Many times you’ll play Tutor to children struggling to grasp specific concepts. Nothing quite matches the feeling of pride at an Ah ha! moment when a child finally gets it.

Though numerous countries need English Teachers, those that speak Spanish or one of the Asian languages are most likely to hire you. For their students to be bilingual – speak two languages fluently – gives them a distinct advantage in the job market.

Along the way, you’ll pick up new words in their language and learn about a foreign culture. It’s a breathtaking experience to explore and see the wonders of the world while helping out others in the process.

Should I be an ESL Teacher?

You should have a master's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Trustworthy: You are known for your personal integrity and honesty.
  • Logical Thinker: You take a step-by-step approach to analyze information and solve problems.
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.

  • Also known as: English as a Second Language Teacher, ESE Teacher, Special Education Preschool Teacher, Teacher, Private See More

    How to become an ESL Teacher

    We recommend at least a Master's degree. Start by getting your Bachelor's. Check out these schools offering ESL Teacher-related education!
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