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Home / Teach English in Qatar the Complete Guide for TEFL Teachers | Reviewed May 2022

Tefl Jobs In Qatar

If you are looking for an up-and-coming location to call home, you may want to consider teaching English in Qatar. It is a very wealthy country, thanks to the massive oil industry that it is famous for. A huge draw for a lot of people is the fact that you do not pay tax on your earnings. This is a massive incentive for a lot of people who take the opportunity to save money for the future – although you need to balance this with the fact it is not a cheap place to live.

It is not the easiest place to get working, the application process is notoriously vigorous, and they are always looking for candidates who want to stay for several years. If you only intend to teach English in Qatar for a few months, you may struggle to find a position as this is not what they want. However, in return for your commitment, the remuneration packages are some of the best around.

The good news is that if you have the right qualifications and are prepared to commit to a contract of a few years, you will find there are many vacancies on offer. If you are looking for a dream TEFL destination, then teaching English in Qatar may just be the answer. It has a low crime rate, the government are organised and stable, and the economy just keeps on growing. Living there is a fantastic opportunity for anyone seeking a new adventure.

Job types

Private International Schools

Private international schools service those families that have also moved into Qatar for work and are fee-paying schools, so the parents expect a high standard of education. They have a semi-regulated status, and teaching methods may differ slightly from what you are used to. The positive side of these schools is they tend to offer very comprehensive benefits packages for their teachers.

English language schools

Language schools tend to have the most diverse student base as they offer lessons to both adults and children. In addition, as the economy grows, more companies are looking to have staff with good English skills, so if you enjoy teaching business English in Qatar, then a language school could be for you. The benefits are not as good as private schools but the working day tends to be shorter, and you have the opportunity to work evenings and weekends if you prefer.

Private language lessons

There are options to teach private lessons as an English teacher in Qatar but to comply with the visa requirements; you need to be sponsored and have an employer. This means that working freelance is not an option. You can be deported or imprisoned if you are not working within the visa rules, so it is not worth the risk.

Finding a job

There are plenty of opportunities for English teachers in Qatar, but you will find that the standard of applicants is high, and you will always be up against many other people. The best chance of finding work means being a native English speaker. It also helps if you can bring experience to the table with classroom time under your belt. It can take around three months to get a position, and the visa process can be frustratingly slow, so make sure you apply well in advance.

Qualifications

All roles teaching English in Qatar require you to have a bachelor’s degree or higher. In addition, you should also have your TEFL certification and be a native English-speaking country citizen.

Visa Requirements for English Teachers in Qatar

The visa system for anyone looking to work in Qatar is long, taking around three months to complete. It is a Kafala system, meaning that to apply for a visa, you need to have employer sponsorship. The good news is that they will be set up to do the paperwork on your behalf and usually pay the application fee. You will need to supply them with the documentation they need, which includes your degree, marriage certificate and other legal things. In addition, you need to have an HIV test and hold or get a clear criminal background check.

Once you have been granted a work visa, you must be clear on the exit visa rules. Every time you leave the country, you have to have permission from your sponsor. This is an older rule and will cease to apply for some people but check with your employer; do not assume it doesn’t apply to you.

Need to know

Salaries and benefits for English teachers in Qatar are generous and often include housing costs or nominated accommodation, airfares, paid vacations and health insurance. The salary can be in the region of $1,600-$4000/€1590-€3800 each month, depending on the type of role and your experience. With such incredible benefits, most people find plenty of scope to save money working as English teachers in Qatar.

Doha

The most popular place to teach English in Qatar is Doha. This is a lovely relaxed area that many people enjoy. It doesn’t have a loud, rowdy social scene as alcohol is banned unless you are at home or dining in a hotel, and even then, it requires permission. This is an ideal location for English teachers in Qatar relocation the whole family. Your job may even include an education allowance towards costs at one of the private international schools for your children.

Al Rayyan

Al Rayyan is an excellent destination if you love being near the beach. It is a stunning place to live and work as an English teacher in Qatar, with lots of modern amenities but still plenty of culturally significant historical locations.

Al Khor

This is a busier location, and you will find there is plenty to do and lots of parks that have been designed to make you feel like you have left the city far behind even though you are right in the middle of it still.

Culture and Living in Qatar

Overall, Qatar is a very safe place to live and work, but you should ensure you learn about the customs and culture and behave accordingly. It is a very hot country, and the temperatures are almost always around 100F, but you will find most places have air conditioning, so work at least will be comfortable. In the winter, there is a small respite when it drops to 80F, which is actually perfect beach weather.

Public transport is someone lacking, so it is easier to have a car. There is no underground, and buses are pretty sparse. Again you may find transport costs are part of your salary package so do check.

Classroom & work culture

Most schools are modern and have excellent resources for teachers to use, but you are expected to work hard as an English teacher in Qatar. It’s an early start, with most classes starting around 6.30 am, but in return, the school day is generally over by 2 pm. You will typically have a classroom assistant to help you or even a Class Mother who sorts admin activities and more. As well as learning English, children are required to learn Arabic, and if you don’t have this skill, an Arabic teacher will assist with this portion of the lessons.

Culture & etiquette tips

Earlier, we mentioned culture and fitting in, and as an English teacher in Qatar, there is quite a lot you need to be aware of, as ‘rule breakers’ are frowned upon. Timekeeping is seen as a prerequisite; you need to get where you need to be on time. Early is an even better thing to aim for; if you are late, you will be deemed rude. It is essential to be respectful of local customs even if you don’t like them; this means dressing conservatively and keeping your legs covered for both men and women whenever you are out in public. Be sure to respect Ramadan; this is when Muslims fast in daylight hours, so you can’t eat in front of them. Never take snaps on your phone without asking anyone around if they mind, especially if you are in someone else’s home or a religious building.

 

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LIVING COSTS

Qatar is an expensive place to live, which is one of the reasons you should be looking for an employer who provides accommodation costs as this will make life a lot easier. The catch-22 is that the main cities offer the best opportunities but are the most expensive to live in. However, if you are happy with a short commute and live outside the city, you will save a lot of money. Where accommodation is offered by an employer, it tends to be free use of a furnished apartment, meaning you don’t have to worry about buying furniture either. Public transport is lacking, and there is no metro.

If you need to use the bus, it will cost you around $55/€53 a month. Food is expensive because most things do get important, so you can expect to set aside around 20% of your earnings each month for food shopping. Eating out is pretty similar to most places; you can find budget eateries or spend a fortune in a high-end establishment.

There is plenty to see and do, the sailing clubs are popular, and there is a lot of gym, yoga, pilates, and other keep fit classes on offer. Qatar is a great shopping mecca, and you will also find a lot of cinemas showing international releases in English. If you are looking to have a quiet drink, you have to go to a hotel bar, and it is very expensive, with even a single beer costing $13/€12.

In order to provide the most accurate cost of living figures, we use numbeo.com, the world’s largest cost of living database, updated regularly.

  • Food: $220/€215 per grocery trip
  • Transportation: $55/ €53 month (monthly transit pass)
  • Entertainment (movies, bars/clubs, etc.): $194/€190 per night out
  • Housing: $1,854/€1780month (one bedroom in the city centre)

Tefl Jobs In Qatar: KEY POINTS

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AVERAGE SALARY

$500–$800

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EDUCATION NEEDED

Bachelors degree

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TEFL CERTIFICATE NEEDED

120-hour TEFL qualification

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MAIN JOB TYPES

Public & private schools

KEY FACTS

  • Popular locations for TEFL jobs: Doha, Al Khor, Al Rayyan and Al Khobar
  • English teacher salaries in Qatar: The salary can be in the region of $1,600-$4000/€1590/€3800 each month, depending on the type of role and your experience.
  • TEFL qualification requirements: At least a 120-hour TEFL qualification
  • Prerequisite university degree: A degree is required to teach in Qatar
  • Currency: Qatari Riyal
  • Language: Arabic is the official language of Qatar, but English is widely spoken, as are a number of other Asian and European languages
  • Teaching programmes: Teaching adults or children in private language schools, international schools, vocational colleges, and universities
  • Age restrictions: Maximum 65
  • Previous teaching experience: is required for the higher-paid roles.

English teachers in Qatar should expect to have a long week, the average being 44 hours. This does include time to plan lessons and prepare, but if you happen to work at a language school, you will find most of the hours are contact teaching time. You will also come across other language teachers in Qatar from other countries as English is just one of many languages in high demand. It is possible to work as an English teacher in Qatar without having any Arabic skills, but of course, learning the basics of the language will make your life a lot easier, especially if you work outside of Doha, where fewer people speak English. If you do learn Arabic, it will be for outside of work; the whole point of you being there as an English teacher is that you only use English to immerse the students.

Facts about Teach English in Qatar the Complete Guide for TEFL Teachers | Reviewed May 2022

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LANGUAGE

Arabic

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POPULATION

28.8 million

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TEFL TEACHER DEMAND

High

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CURRENCY

Qatari Riyal

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CAPITAL

Doha

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OUR QATAR TEFL RATING

3.5/5

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Tefl Jobs In Qatar: FAQS

Q:

How much can I earn as an English teacher in Qatar?

As an English teacher in Qatar, you can expect to earn in the region of $1,600-$4000/€1590-€3800 each month, depending on the type of role and your experience. Your salary will be tax-free, but many other costs in the country are taxed.

The living costs in Qatar are expensive but on a par with many other large cities like London, New York and Paris. However, the good thing is that most jobs provide accommodation taking your largest expense off the table.

No, all roles teaching English in Qatar require applicants to have a bachelor’s degree and a TEFL certification. It is also favourable to be a citizen of an English-speaking country.

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