Qatar’s global influence is disproportionate to its size – this small country shouldn’t be written off as an attractive TEFL location despite its 5,000 square mile size. In terms of income, the country has the third-highest GDP (PPP) per capita in the world. A predominantly Islamic country, the language is Arabic but English is widely spoken, especially since recent reforms, which have seen English become the medium of instruction in state schools. As such, state schools are one of the best places for experienced TEFL teachers to find work. However, while it might seem that Qatar is a very modern country, there is also a great respect for traditions and the heritage of the country. With a wide mix of ethnic groups (with majorities being Arab, Pakistani, Indian and Iranian) there are sure to be many different customs and traditions observed in the local community. If you teach at an international school, your students will predominantly be the children of expats, contributing to a cosmopolitan mix of cultures. If you like working in a mixed environment with a variety of mother tongues, cultures and personalities, Qatar could be a great place for you to find your next teaching role.

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Key Facts

  • Popular locations for TEFL jobs: Doha
  • Average salary for EFL teachers: The basic monthly salary for full-time positions is likely to be in the region of 6,000 to 16,300 Qatari Rial (£1,190 – £3,230 / $1,650 – $4,500) per month.
  • TEFL qualification requirements: A 120-hour TEFL qualification will be required for most positions
  • Prerequisite university degree: Required for most positions
  • Term times: September – June
  • Currency: Qatari Rial
  • Language: Arabic
  • Teaching programmes: State Schools, Post-Secondary Education Centres, Business English, Corporate Gigs, Private Language Schools, International Schools, Freelance tutoring, Summer Schools
  • Age restrictions: None
  • Previous teaching experience: Required for most positions

Students in Qatar can be reluctant to speak freely in English as they’re worried about making mistakes in front of their peers. The best way to encourage fluent conversation is to promote a comfortable environment for the students and impress upon them the importance of making mistakes in order to grow and move forward. Also, take care not to draw attention to individual mistakes the students make – it would be better to do a class correction at the end of an activity rather than point out an error right after the student says it. In a classroom of mixed cultures (such as at an International School) make sure the local Qatari students don’t get overshadowed by students from other locations who speak English at a first language, or who are more confident in their L2 verbal skills.

The quality of your work life will depend greatly on the school you end up in. Regulations aren’t so tight in Qatar as other Middle Eastern countries, so don’t take it for granted that a school will be highly professional even if they pay a big salary. However, this more relaxed approach does mean that it will be easier for less experienced or qualified teachers to have a shot at some of the best paying jobs in international schools, which wouldn’t be open to them in other destinations. Freelance tutoring is a great way to make some extra money teaching TEFL, but don’t risk doing it without a work permit – you risk deportation or even jail time by working illegally.

Requirements for teaching English in Qatar

Country Avg. monthly salary Degree required Start of term Teaching experience Housing & flights included Suitable for non-native English speakers Age restrictions
Teach in Qatar £1,200 - £2,800
($1,500 - $3,500)
Yes September Yes Yes No None

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Living Costs

Qatar is the most expensive country in the middle east. A booming economy in Qatar means that the cost of living is high, and expats will particularly find this the case when it comes to finding affordable housing. As such, when choosing your TEFL job in Qatar, don’t just consider the wages on offer, but look carefully at the benefits package. A job that includes free, furnished accommodation would be a perfect position to save you the hassle of finding (and paying for!) an apartment. Another tip is to look for a role that includes a travel allowance – Qatar has poor public transport, and most expats take taxis, drive or have a driver, so if your school can cover this, it’ll be a weight off your mind.

  • Accommodation: £1,282 – £1,992 / $1,783 – $2,769
  • Utilities: £111 / $155
  • Health insurance: Cost of typical visit to a GP: £40 / $56
  • Monthly transport pass: £75 / $104
  • Basic dinner out for two: £45 / $63
  • Cappuccino in expat area: £4.87 / $7
  • A beer in a pub: £10 / $13
  • 1 litre of milk: £1.66 / $2.30
  • 2 litres of Coca-Cola: £1.04 / $1.44

(living costs sourced from Expatistan)

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