Teaching Abroad Direct
Being a teacher abroad can be exciting, rewarding, and challenging – all at the same time! There are many popular places that teachers choose to live and work in, such as Asia, the U.S., and many European countries.
Known for its soaring skyscrapers, lavish lifestyle, and extravagance, Dubai is becoming a popular destination for teachers because of its tax-free salary, luxurious lifestyle, and thriving international community. But how much do teachers in Dubai earn? In this article, we take a look at the pay structure, benefits, and perks of becoming a teacher in Dubai.
Dubai has become a lucrative option for teachers looking to teach abroad. What you earn as a teacher depends on your experience. Higher-paying schools will tend to ask for more experience when hiring teachers, but this is reflected in your pay. The average annual wage for a teacher in Dubai varies from AED 100,000 (£22,000) at the bottom end of the scale, up to AED 200,000 (£44,000). Salaries are tax-free, which means you get to keep everything you earn.
The average teacher in Dubai will also get plenty of benefits and perks alongside their salary. For instance, many schools provide free accommodation to teachers, or they provide an accommodation allowance, which includes covering the teacher's family and/or partner if applicable. Some accommodation will even come fully furnished.
Schools also pay for teachers’ flights to and from their home country every year, including flights for dependents. This will vary however depending on the school's budget and costs. Many schools also offer a 'relocation allowance' between £300-500 to pay for visas and associated paperwork.
Almost all schools in Dubai offer teachers bonuses for performance, end-of-contract bonuses, or waived school fees for a teacher's children if they wish for them to attend the same school. Many perks and bonuses will however depend on your experience as a professional and the strength of your position in the job market in relation to other candidates.
The average English teacher salary in Dubai is AED 8,500 per month (around £1,860 per month). The highest average salary of an English Teacher in Dubai is AED 17,500 (around £3,835 per month), and the lowest salary is AED 2,500 (around £547). Don't forget, however, that unlike other countries, in Dubai you don't pay income tax, which helps ease the number of outgoings from your monthly pay.
Teachers of English as a foreign language in Dubai may earn slightly more than this, depending on the school and level of experience.
The average annual salary for a primary school teacher in Dubai is AED 180,000 (£39,450). The salary you earn will always depend on the school you teach at – in terms of its reputation, budget, whether it's private or public, etc. Better primary schools will pay between AED 132,000 – 223,000 (£29,000 – £49,000), if you have good qualifications and experience.
The average salary for a secondary school teacher in Dubai is AED 42,000 per month (around £9,200). The average additional cash compensation for a secondary school teacher in Dubai is around AED 30,000, (£6,500). Experience level and professional qualifications are the most important factors in determining secondary school salaries.
The more experience you have, the higher the wage you can command. For instance, someone with an experience level of between 2-5 years will earn around AED 8,690, (£1,900) – which is more than someone with less than two years of experience (they would earn AED 6,650 – around £1,457).
The average science teacher in Dubai earns a salary of around AED 9,500 per month (£2,082), going up to AED 17,500 (£3,835), based on the subject taught, industry, job location, and candidate skills and experience. Compared to other cities across the UAE, Dubai offers the highest-paying salaries for science teachers. The highest possible salary of a science teacher is AED 17,500 per month (£3,385), and the lowest is AED 5,000 (£1,095).
Teachers in Dubai can earn competitive salaries, often higher than what they might earn in their home countries. When it comes to UK-based teachers looking to make the move, there isn't much difference in terms of the figures offered on paper.
For instance, an average teacher salary in the UK is between £28,000 – £38,000. This is compared to a teacher in Dubai, who can earn between £22,000 – £44,000. The exact salary a teacher receives in Dubai can vary significantly based on several factors, including their qualifications, years of experience, the type of school they work for (public or private), and the subject they teach.
However, when you work in Dubai you don't have to pay income tax, which means that even if you are a teacher just starting out on a lower salary, you will have more money in your pocket if you teach in Dubai when compared to other countries that impose income tax.
Generally speaking, teachers in private international schools in Dubai tend to receive higher salaries than those in public schools. International schools often offer attractive packages to entice qualified and experienced educators from around the world. These packages don't just offer a base salary but also benefits such as accommodation, health insurance, transportation allowances, and annual flights to their home country.
Note that the cost of living in Dubai can be high, just like the UK. Therefore salaries may vary widely between schools. Some teachers may find that their higher salaries are offset by the higher costs of living, especially if they choose to live in more expensive and desirable areas of Dubai.
Just as in many other countries, teachers can earn more if they take on greater leadership responsibilities within their school or educational institution. Higher roles in schools such as department heads, coordinators, vice principals, or principals typically come with higher salaries and additional benefits. For instance, a vice principal in Dubai would earn an average of AED 22,338 per month (£4,895).
In addition to higher salaries, teachers in leadership positions may also receive other benefits such as housing allowances, transportation allowances, and enhanced health insurance. Competition can be fierce for educational leadership roles in Dubai, as many teachers aspire to advance their careers and take on greater responsibilities.
In short – yes! A teacher's salary will depend on whether the school they teach at is either private or public. If you want to teach abroad, you'll have to compare the different packages on offer, as each will have its own positives and negatives. For instance, some schools may offer a higher salary, but a lower accommodation allowance, or vice versa. What is important to one teacher in terms of benefits may not be a priority for another.
There is also a difference between for-profit and not-for-profit schools. A ‘for-profit’ school will give back to shareholders any profit it gets as a result of income from school fees. Non-profit schools spread income across the school, and as a result, not-for-profit teachers can expect to earn more (between an extra AED 15,000 to 20,000 per month). They may also find that they have a more generous accommodation allowance, too.