One of the most important questions to answer as you think about obtaining your master’s degree in TESOL is: What is the salary potential for this exciting field? Spending two or three years getting another degree may not be worth it if the salary potential is not high enough. Generally speaking, TESOL will offer you a well-paid and rewarding career. The actual salary potential will depend on where you end up working – whether at a secondary or post-secondary institution.
When thinking about the salary potential of your TESOL master’s keep these points in your mind:
- Demand for excellent ESL/TESOL teachers is increasing in the US. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) states that the employment opportunities for TESOL teachers is going to increase by 14% by the year 2018. Generally, the number of students whose first language is not English is increasing substantially each year. This is causing the demand for good TESOL teachers to increase as well. Because you will be more in demand, you can expect higher salaries and even signing bonuses in some cases.
- You will have a great amount of choice and flexibility on where you want to teach, and to whom. Many elementary and high schools need good TESOL teachers, and you may choose to teach both younger and older children, as well as special education students as well. Or, you can choose to teach older students and go into adult education for your TESOL career.
- Another possibility with your master’s degree in education is to teach TESOL part time as a way to supplement your regular teaching salary. This can be a particularly lucrative option, as you often will not have your regular teaching job in the summer.
The exact salary you will earn as a TESOL teacher will depend based upon how many years of experience you have, in addition to your master’s degree. Generally, you can expect to earn at the higher end of the salary range for these TESOL teaching positions:
- Elementary: $52,200
- Middle school: $52,500
- High school: $54,000
If you choose to teach TESOL in adult education, you can expect to earn up to around $60,000 per year if you have a master’s and work full time. You also could expect to earn around $25-$30,000 per year on a part time basis. Also, if you get a TESOL job at a university, you could expect to earn as much as $72,000 per year. TESOL teachers at universities earn the following salaries for different positions:
- TESOL professor: $97,000
- TESOL associate professor: $69,000
- TESOL assistant professor: $57,000
- TESOL lecturer: $48,000