Job Prospects for Masters in TESOL Graduates

With the ongoing intense competition for teaching jobs in the United States, many teachers are broadening their search to the international level. The desire to learn English, particularly American English, is still prevalent in other countries. Candidates with a graduate-level degree in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) have an edge over other English teachers.

Job Outlook for MATESOL Graduates

Where there is a strong demand for education, the need arises for an adequate supply of qualified teachers. The demand to learn US English is widespread, particularly in the sphere of international business. While some international programs will accept teachers with a Bachelor’s degree, the highest-paying jobs are generally left to those with graduate-level degrees from an accredited TESOL program.

Still, some MA-TESOL graduates prefer to teach within the United States, rather than abroad. Such teachers are still likely to find a job due to the large number of foreign students who choose to learn English while living in the United States. Some colleges and universities offer English as a Second Language (ESL) programs to international students, and MA-TESOL graduates are the preferred candidates for such jobs. Private language schools frequently have job openings, as well.

Five Great Careers for Graduates

  1. English as a Second Language Instructor – Teaching jobs are available at nearly every age level from pre-school to post-collegiate. An instructor’s salary depends on numerous factors, especially the level at which a graduate is teaching and his or her teaching experience. A full-time TESOL instructor generally earns anywhere from $20,000 – $50,000, but the salary greatly varies by country.
  2. ESL Program Director or Coordinator – An ESL program director is responsible for the management of the entire program, which includes administrative duties and overseeing employees. Minimum qualifications for such a position almost always include a master’s degree in TESOL and experience with ESL programs. The average starting salary is $40,000 – $60,000.
  3. Academic Adviser – Advisers provide guidance to international students. While an adviser’s main duty is to help students plan their curriculum around their educational goals, they may also assist international students with non-academic tasks, such as finding an affordable place to live. On average, advisers earn approximately $40,000 annually.
  4. Textbook or Materials Writer/Editor – TESOL graduates may opt to write textbooks or other teaching materials, rather than teach. A career as a technical writer almost always requires exemplary writing skills. Writers can expect to earn $50,000 – $70,000.
  5. Private Tutor – Tutors usually get paid by the hour and often determine their own wages. The standard rate is around $20/hour. Some tutors work face-to-face while others work via the internet.

Five Best Countries for a TESOL Teacher to Work

Five of the best countries with sufficient job openings and good salaries for MA-TESOL graduates are

  • China,
  • Japan,
  • South Korea,
  • UAE,
  • Taiwan.

Useful Websites and Associations

A few helpful websites pertaining to TESOL are (TESOL International Association),‎, and‎.

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