ESL Instructor: Average Salary of an ESL Instructor

Published Sep 02, 2009

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English as a Second Language (ESL) instructors teach adults to read, write and speak English. The average salary of an ESL instructor is approximately $43,000 per year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS),

ESL Instructor Career Summary

English as a Second Language (ESL) instructors, also called teachers of English to speakers of other languages (TESOL), lead classes for adult immigrants and other non-English speakers. ESL instructors help students, typically 16 and older, learn to read, write and speak English. Usually, ESL instructors don't speak the same language as their students, so they must be strong communicators to work through the language barrier.

Beginning-level ESL instructors introduce students, usually from a variety of backgrounds, to a new language. Upper-level instructors help students develop advanced conversation and writing skills.

ESL instructors usually need a minimum of a bachelor's degree, although some programs prefer instructors with master's degrees. Master's degree and graduate certificate programs in adult education are available at colleges and universities across the country. ESL instructors should take classes in advanced grammar and linguistics, as well as courses on teaching a new language. Depending on the employer and teaching environment, some ESL instructors are required to have teacher's certification from their state's board of education.

ESL Instructor Career Outlook and Salary Information

The median annual salary for adult education teachers, including ESL instructors, was $43,910 in May 2006, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Additionally, teachers who are employed by the government or public school systems typically receive standard benefits, such as health insurance and paid time off.

Employment for adult education teachers was expected to grow 14% between 2006 and 2016, according to the BLS. Growth was expected to be especially significant for ESL instructors, as a result of immigration to the U.S. Most job opportunities for ESL instructors are forecast in states with high immigrant populations, including Texas, New York, Florida and California.

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