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Countries that offer the highest salaries - top 3?
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sunrader



Joined: 12 Dec 2005
Posts: 91

PostPosted: Sun Aug 12, 2012 3:34 am    Post subject: Good deal. Reply with quote

One of the best deals for Americans who have higher qualifications, imo, is the English Language Fellow program. You live for a year in a country that (usually) is cheap to live in with all expenses paid and, if you manage well, you save the entire stipend back home.
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 4310
Location: Terra firma

PostPosted: Sun Aug 12, 2012 7:56 pm    Post subject: Not exactly a good deal Reply with quote

sunrader wrote:
One of the best deals for Americans who have higher qualifications, imo, is the English Language Fellow program. You live for a year in a country that (usually) is cheap to live in with all expenses paid and, if you manage well, you save the entire stipend back home.

Although the projects and experience can be interesting and resume enhancing, the ELF program is not the best in terms of raking in the money. It depends on the target country's cost of living index in addition to out-of-pocket expenses like Internet, phone, cable/satellite TV, etc., Fellows would be responsible for. Moreover, Georgetown University and the Center for Intercultural Education and Development report that stipend ($25,000 for Fellows; $35,000 for Senior Fellows) to the IRS via IRS Form 1099, so that money is taxable.
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sunrader



Joined: 12 Dec 2005
Posts: 91

PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2012 2:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

NS is right. Obviously, "best" is relative, and there are always "ifs," as in "if you manage well" and "if you stay two years" and "if you don't go back to the U.S. for more than a month, you will not pay federal taxes on the time you are out of the country for most of the year."

It seems to me that when you compare jobs, you have to compare the whole package - housing, food, utilities, transportation, internet for work, insurance, etc. All of that is paid.

By the way, isn't pretty much all income "taxable"? Whether it's reported or not is a different question.
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tttompatz



Joined: 06 Mar 2010
Posts: 1951
Location: Talibon, Bohol, Philippines

PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2012 4:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

sunrader wrote:
NS is right. Obviously, "best" is relative, and there are always "ifs," as in "if you manage well" and "if you stay two years" and "if you don't go back to the U.S. for more than a month, you will not pay federal taxes on the time you are out of the country for most of the year."

It seems to me that when you compare jobs, you have to compare the whole package - housing, food, utilities, transportation, internet for work, insurance, etc. All of that is paid.

By the way, isn't pretty much all income "taxable"? Whether it's reported or not is a different question.


Within limits and subject to some base requirements, for US citizens, all income is taxable BUT there is a large exemption for off-shore earned (wages paid by an offshore employer while you are working off-shore) income (about US$90k per year).

Wages paid in the US by a US employer (reported on a 1099) however are NOT subject to that tax exemption and are taxable at your US tax rate.

.
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uh huh



Joined: 14 Oct 2011
Posts: 92
Location: United States

PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2012 10:26 am    Post subject: Countries Reply with quote

ELFs are not paid as employees; that allows the exemption. There is the insanity factor of the program to be considered...
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scintillatestar



Joined: 19 Oct 2009
Posts: 73
Location: New York, NY

PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2012 12:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't think you need a masters to teach in Saudi Arabia. Most of the posts I see just require a B.A + TEFL cert + 1-2 years experience. Some offer more pay or waive the teaching requirement for MA holders.
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 4310
Location: Terra firma

PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2012 3:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

scintillatestar wrote:
I don't think you need a masters to teach in Saudi Arabia. Most of the posts I see just require a B.A + TEFL cert + 1-2 years experience. Some offer more pay or waive the teaching requirement for MA holders.

Clarification is needed. Those job ads stating the above requirements are for positions with dodgy contracting companies and not for the better, direct-hire teaching spots that require more solid qualifications. Big difference. The majority of these sketchy recruiters/contracting companies are only interested in quickly getting a warm body into Saudi Arabia in order to replace teachers who left---those who got tired of being yanked around and treated like day laborers. It's like a constant revolving door: teachers come in as others leave.
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rayman



Joined: 24 May 2003
Posts: 423

PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2012 11:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

With a PGCE, there's about 100 countries where you can earn a salary package of US$70 000+ per year. It's more about the school you choose, rather than the country itself. There's currently a blog discussion here on this topic:

http://internationalschoolsreviewdiscuss.wordpress.com/2012/08/02/schools-w-high-savings-potential/
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naturegirl321



Joined: 04 May 2003
Posts: 8998
Location: home sweet home

PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2012 11:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

rayman wrote:
With a PGCE, there's about 100 countries where you can earn a salary package of US$70 000+ per year. It's more about the school you choose, rather than the country itself. There's currently a blog discussion here on this topic:

http://internationalschoolsreviewdiscuss.wordpress.com/2012/08/02/schools-w-high-savings-potential/


Ther'es this too, http://andrewhallam.com/2012/05/why-international-teaching-isnt-a-lucrative-gig/
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rayman



Joined: 24 May 2003
Posts: 423

PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2012 11:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm one of the teacher's he mentions in the first paragraph that thinks it's a load of drivel. He's basically making a blanket statement, claiming international school teachers don't purchase property, make any contributions to a retirement fund or other investments. Those that don't, admittedly, will end up in the predicament he describes. But to say that happens to all, or even the majority of teachers is ridiculous.

Furthermore, you'll find most international school teachers wouldn't want to retire in their own country, but instead, one much cheaper and with a higher quality of life. Thus less money is required to support their retirement.

Yes, teaching isn't a lucrative gig. It never was and never will be. But if you happen to enjoy it, teaching at a top international school is about as lucrative as teaching gets.
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timothypfox



Joined: 20 Feb 2008
Posts: 371

PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2012 7:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think a very important trade off is a relaxed and comfortable life versus "a go get 'em life."

Most of the schools in international school review you need actual teaching certification from an English speaking country. This means preparing and being accountable for results on standardized testing, and also (if they are a US school) complying with the onerously annoying "standards" movement and excessive peer review and observation.

There are less stressful routes, and indeed some of international schools may by their very mandate be less stressful to work for - but these are the exception rather than the rule.

It is important to also factor in the cost of living. For example, a smaller salary can still go a long way in a rural area.
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tttompatz



Joined: 06 Mar 2010
Posts: 1951
Location: Talibon, Bohol, Philippines

PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2012 7:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

timothypfox wrote:
It is important to also factor in the cost of living. For example, a smaller salary can still go a long way in a rural area.


It is a BIG thing to factor in....

I earn $40k per year in Thailand on a single salary and it certainly allows a very comfortable lifestyle (3 bedroom/2 bath house all the mod cons, all the necessary creature comforts, long vacations (200 instructional days per year), domestic and international travel AND still allows for savings in excess of US$20k per year.

You won't find many teachers in the States who can say the same.

As to buying property... we own a house on Vancouver Island in Canada and 5 hectares of land with a 4 bedroom house (custom built) in the Philippines.

I also have a pension that I will qualify for in my later years.

Teaching may not be the most lucrative profession but it does allow a decent standard of living, the possibility to own property and provide for your future. It is firmly planted in what was once called the "middle class".

.
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Teacher in Rome



Joined: 09 Jul 2003
Posts: 1216

PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2012 8:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Teaching may not be the most lucrative profession but it does allow a decent standard of living, the possibility to own property and provide for your future. It is firmly planted in what was once called the "middle class".


Absolutely.

I'm not in the fortunate position that you are, ttompatz, but the reasons why this is are also (if you permit me) the same reasons that you - and others - are successful.

- being serious about qualifications
I have a DELTA but no MA. This precludes me from lucrative Gulf gigs, for example.

- specialising where the money is
(Not sure if this applies to you, ttompatz) Generally the money is in international education, not straightforward ELT schools. But this means studying and specialising in kids and teens in your home country, rather than the more enjoyable (for me) teaching adults.

- choosing your destination wisely
Much as Europe is lovely, it's not going to provide you with much bang for your buck. And most of it is currently in economic crisis, meaning that life is precarious for all - not just foreign teachers. Look out for taxes / social security contributions. In Italy as a freelancer, you'll pay out 25% of your gross to soc sec / NI. That's mandatory, and that's before they hammer you with taxes.

- staying the course
You don't make a base for yourself if you chop and change, move country, or try other things. I've done all these, so don't have much $$ to show for it.

I've done moderately well out of teaching - even if I've not been much of a career teacher. I would probably have done far better if I'd been more focussed on having a career, rather than on having fun.

For the OP - and for all the other contributors, I think the important point is not just which location, but how best to pull together all the factors above.
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haleynicole14



Joined: 20 Feb 2012
Posts: 173
Location: US

PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2012 4:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Living like a king" like others say is really relative. For example I lived in China and made a pretty small salary compared to others (4000 RMB), but I had a great apartment and could eat out whenever and wherever I wanted. I've never been able to do that in my life, and that was a luxury for me. But if I had had a thing for designer clothes and electronics, the money wouldn't have gotten me far at all. Cheap products in China are really cheap, but nicer ones are really expensive. That being said, I would be surprised to see China on anyone's top money making countries list, because 4000 RMB was worth about $600 at the time.
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Matt_22



Joined: 26 Feb 2006
Posts: 193

PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2012 5:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

rayman wrote:
With a PGCE, there's about 100 countries where you can earn a salary package of US$70 000+ per year. It's more about the school you choose, rather than the country itself. There's currently a blog discussion here on this topic:

http://internationalschoolsreviewdiscuss.wordpress.com/2012/08/02/schools-w-high-savings-potential/


International school teaching can be very highly paid, but there are definitely not 100 countries where you can earn 70k+ per year. There are quite a few, yes, but many of those countries have a cost of living that changes the equation significantly (for example Switzerland and Japan).

The biggest drawback by far is lack of access to tax-advantaged retirement accounts, teacher pensions, social security, and medicare. Teachers in the US are able to make pre-tax contributions as well, which is another thing that international school teachers can't do. Even though teachers overseas are excluded from US income tax, one thing that is commonly overlooked is that they are still paying income tax - just to the country they are working in. It's not as if they aren't being "taxed".

Also, take for instance a teacher where I'm from in the US, who receives a defined benefit plan at final average salary x (0.0175 x years worked). If this person finishes a 40 year career at a salary of 70k, their pension alone will be worth 49k per year (cost of living adjusted for life). FWIW, to match that with ones own retirement account (assuming an aggressive 4% withdrawal rate) one would need a nest egg of 1.225 million. That's how much that pension is worth!

Social security is probably not the best "bang for you buck" with regard to returns, but it is another mandatory program that should add 10k+/year or so (cost of living adjusted as well) of retirement income, and access to medicare is nothing to sneeze at. That already puts a career teacher at over 60k/year of retirement income (valued at 1.5 million dollars) without even considering 401k/IRA accounts.

I'm sure it happens, but I doubt too many international teachers are going to come close to those numbers. There are excellent reasons to teach overseas and at international schools, but retirement shouldn't be one of the main ones.
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