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ESL Teacher Careers

English as a second language (ESL) teachers tutor non-native speakers and help them to read, speak and understand English. As an ESL teacher, you are responsible for creating lessons and lecture materials that have been simplified to aid the learning of the students.

Sometimes you are required to play the role of guardians and mentors by helping your students to settle into the new environment and to familiarize themselves with the new culture around them. You would usually perform all the normal functions of a teacher, like preparing course materials and evaluating progress. You might be required to function in a virtual setting or small physical groups. In either setting, you have to make the learning environment as comfortable as possible and be proficient in the use of your technological teaching aids.

Most states require that ESL teachers must have at least a bachelor's degree in ESL, TESOL, or a related field like linguistics. Some teachers take it further by earning a master's degree. Good organizational skills, excellent communication and presentation skills, and leadership skills are only a few of the most required skills for ESL teachers. ESL teachers make an average of $23 per hour and $48,422 per year.

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being an esl teacher. For example, did you know that they make an average of $23.23 an hour? That's $48,320 a year!

Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 3% and produce 53,100 job opportunities across the U.S.

What Does an ESL Teacher Do

There are certain skills that many esl teachers have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed physical stamina, communication skills and patience.

When it comes to the most important skills required to be an esl teacher, we found that a lot of resumes listed 24.1% of esl teachers included classroom management, while 14.7% of resumes included language arts, and 11.0% of resumes included professional development. Hard skills like these are helpful to have when it comes to performing essential job responsibilities.

When it comes to searching for a job, many search for a key term or phrase. Instead, it might be more helpful to search by industry, as you might be missing jobs that you never thought about in industries that you didn't even think offered positions related to the esl teacher job title. But what industry to start with? Most esl teachers actually find jobs in the education and non profits industries.

How To Become an ESL Teacher

If you're interested in becoming an esl teacher, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 47.2% of esl teachers have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 35.2% of esl teachers have master's degrees. Even though most esl teachers have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become an esl teacher. When we researched the most common majors for an esl teacher, we found that they most commonly earn bachelor's degree degrees or master's degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on esl teacher resumes include associate degree degrees or doctoral degree degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become an esl teacher. In fact, many esl teacher jobs require experience in a role such as teacher. Meanwhile, many esl teachers also have previous career experience in roles such as substitute teacher or internship.

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Average Salary
$48,320
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
3%
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
33,648
Job Openings

ESL Teacher Career Paths

Top Careers Before ESL Teacher

Teacher
31.0 %

Top Careers After ESL Teacher

Teacher
29.3 %

What is the right job for my career path?

Tell us your goals and we'll match you with the rights job to get there.

Average Salary for an ESL Teacher

ESL Teachers in America make an average salary of $48,320 per year or $23 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $61,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $37,000 per year.
Average Salary
$48,320

Best Paying Cities

City
ascdesc
Average Salarydesc
San Francisco, CA
Salary Range54k - 91k$71k$70,770
Washington, DC
Salary Range50k - 74k$61k$61,422
New York, NY
Salary Range46k - 72k$58k$58,185
Boston, MA
Salary Range44k - 69k$55k$55,356
Bothell, WA
Salary Range44k - 65k$54k$53,933
Hamilton, NJ
Salary Range42k - 67k$54k$53,673
$26k
$91k

Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyascdescCompanyascdescStart DateascdescSalaryascdesc
Summer Learning Academy-ESL Teacher (Summer 2021)
Summer Learning Academy-ESL Teacher (Summer 2021)
Boston Public Schools
Boston Public Schools
03/16/2021
03/16/2021
$83,48003/16/2021
$83,480
ESL Teacher-Adult School (Temporary)
ESL Teacher-Adult School (Temporary)
Culver City Unified School District
Culver City Unified School District
01/21/2021
01/21/2021
$102,88901/21/2021
$102,889
Adult ED Teacher: Esl-Citizenship
Adult ED Teacher: Esl-Citizenship
Gonzales Unified School District
Gonzales Unified School District
01/16/2021
01/16/2021
$87,23701/16/2021
$87,237
ESL Teacher (Immediate Start)
ESL Teacher (Immediate Start)
Uncommon Schools
Uncommon Schools
11/24/2020
11/24/2020
$83,48011/24/2020
$83,480
ESL Teacher
ESL Teacher
Grand Rapids Public Schools
Grand Rapids Public Schools
11/03/2020
11/03/2020
$40,00011/03/2020
$40,000
See More Recent Salaries

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ESL Teacher Resumes

Designing and figuring out what to include on your resume can be tough, not to mention time-consuming. That's why we put together a guide that is designed to help you craft the perfect resume for becoming an ESL Teacher. If you're needing extra inspiration, take a look through our selection of templates that are specific to your job.

Learn How To Write an ESL Teacher Resume

At Zippia, we went through countless ESL Teacher resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

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ESL Teacher Demographics

Gender

female

64.2 %

male

30.1 %

unknown

5.7 %

Ethnicity

White

74.1 %

Hispanic or Latino

11.2 %

Black or African American

9.4 %

Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

46.8 %

French

10.7 %

Chinese

7.2 %
See More Demographics

ESL Teacher Education

Majors

English
18.4 %
Education
10.0 %

Degrees

Bachelors

63.4 %

Masters

17.9 %

Certificate

10.2 %

Top Colleges for ESL Teachers

1. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,584
Enrollment
10,764

2. Harvard University

Cambridge, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$50,420
Enrollment
7,582

3. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL • Private

In-State Tuition
$54,568
Enrollment
8,451

4. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Chapel Hill, NC • Public

In-State Tuition
$8,987
Enrollment
18,946

5. New York University

New York, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,828
Enrollment
26,339

6. Boston University

Boston, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$53,948
Enrollment
17,238

7. University of Washington

Seattle, WA • Public

In-State Tuition
$11,207
Enrollment
30,905

8. Columbia University in the City of New York

New York, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$59,430
Enrollment
8,216

9. Brown University

Providence, RI • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,466
Enrollment
6,752

10. Stanford University

Stanford, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,354
Enrollment
7,083
See More Education Info
Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Top Skills For an ESL Teacher

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 24.1% of esl teachers listed classroom management on their resume, but soft skills such as physical stamina and communication skills are important as well.

  • Classroom Management, 24.1%
  • Language Arts, 14.7%
  • Professional Development, 11.0%
  • Student Learning, 6.1%
  • Grammar, 5.2%
  • Other Skills, 38.9%
  • See All ESL Teacher Skills

Best States For an ESL Teacher

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as an esl teacher. The best states for people in this position are California, Alaska, Oregon, and Connecticut. Esl teachers make the most in California with an average salary of $68,972. Whereas in Alaska and Oregon, they would average $61,948 and $60,688, respectively. While esl teachers would only make an average of $57,934 in Connecticut, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. Connecticut

Total ESL Teacher Jobs:
500
Highest 10% Earn:
$88,000
Location Quotient:
1.86
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. California

Total ESL Teacher Jobs:
2,050
Highest 10% Earn:
$111,000
Location Quotient:
0.86
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. District of Columbia

Total ESL Teacher Jobs:
159
Highest 10% Earn:
$89,000
Location Quotient:
1.17
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
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Top ESL Teacher Employers

We've made finding a great employer to work for easy by doing the hard work for you. We looked into employers that employ esl teachers and discovered their number of esl teacher opportunities and average salary. Through our research, we concluded that ESL Federal Credit Union was the best, especially with an average salary of $45,343. Guilford County Schools follows up with an average salary of $49,661, and then comes Los Angeles Unified School District with an average of $52,793. In addition, we know most people would rather work from home. So instead of having to change careers, we identified the best employers for remote work as an esl teacher. The employers include Morristown High School, Yiyienglish, and Therapy Source

1. ESL Federal Credit Union
4.3
Avg. Salary: 
$45,343
ESL Teachers Hired: 
247+
2. Guilford County Schools
4.5
Avg. Salary: 
$49,661
ESL Teachers Hired: 
61+
3. Los Angeles Unified School District
4.6
Avg. Salary: 
$52,793
ESL Teachers Hired: 
25+
4. EF Education First
4.1
Avg. Salary: 
$44,345
ESL Teachers Hired: 
22+
5. American School
3.8
Avg. Salary: 
$50,314
ESL Teachers Hired: 
22+
6. Catholic Charities USA
4.1
Avg. Salary: 
$41,945
ESL Teachers Hired: 
18+

ESL Teacher Videos