With one of the most progressive school systems in the region, Jordan is becoming a hot destination for educators looking to teach internationally. In fact, Jordanian schools rank among the best in the Arab world and Jordan is striving to become a fully bilingual country. Along with the fact that almost one-third of its population is under the age of 15, this means there's a high demand for teachers like you.
When you are not in the classroom you can take advantage of Jordan’s lively cities, welcoming culture, unparalleled landscape, and storied history. This country is an unbeatable opportunity for an educator looking to work in the Middle East!
There are many international schools throughout Jordan that follow the American, British, or Canadian curricula. Most of these schools are located in the country’s major cities. All offer classes in English, which means there are ample opportunities for qualified English-speaking teachers.
At an international school, you can find the opportunity to teach English as well as many other subjects, such as writing, computer science, math, art, science, and elementary education. Many of these schools include both a primary school and a secondary school under one roof.
The demand for skilled English tutors is high in Jordan. The government is aiming to create a bilingual society within the next generation. Therefore they are encouraging native English speakers to come and fill the many open tutoring positions.
There are several programs that place native English speakers with individuals or families to teach them English several hours a day. As such, this is a great opportunity to immerse yourself in Jordanian culture. Having a certification such as a TEFL or CELTA is almost always necessary to participate in one of these programs.
With the ongoing humanitarian crises in the Middle East, Jordan has taken in nearly 1.5 million refugees from neighboring countries. By volunteering as an educator with one of many NGOs operating in the country, you can work to help refugee children not miss out on any more of their education than they already have.
When to Apply for Jobs in Jordan
The hiring season for most Jordanian schools is at the end of August or the beginning of September. It might still be possible to find a job at other times throughout the year, as positions do open up unexpectedly from time to time. It's best to arrive early in order to scout around in person for the right school for you.
How to Apply for Jobs in Jordan
While some schools and programs may hold phone interviews, most prefer applicants to interview in person. For this reason, it’s best to head to Jordan at some point during the summer so you can search for potential opportunities on the ground and line up your interviews in advance.
If you do not yet have a work permit, allow up to a month between your interviews and the start of employment to get all your work papers in order.
Once hired, you will likely undergo a probationary period. It is up to you to negotiate this with your employer, although three months is standard. During this period, either you or the school can terminate your employment without penalty.
Average Salary of Teaching Jobs in Jordan
Teaching jobs in Jordan don’t pay quite as well as they do in other countries in the region. However, the relatively low cost of living makes up for a lower salary. A tutoring gig or a job at a school will typically earn you between $600 and $1,500 per month. Some of the posher private international schools offer more competitive salaries for highly qualified teachers that can be as high as $3,000 per month.
In order to land a teaching job in Jordan it’s best to already have some teaching experience -- at least two years of experience is recommended to be a top candidate. Most employers will prefer that you have a Bachelor's or Master's degree in education, but this isn’t always necessary. However, it is highly recommended that you at least hold a degree in the subject you plan to teach.
A TEFL or CELTA is a requirement to teach in just about any of Jordan's international schools. It is not necessarily required for tutoring, but it will give you a leg up on the competition.
Popular Destination to Teach in Jordan
Amman, Jordan’s capital and major business center, has the most opportunities for teachers. It's a thriving city of almost 10 million inhabitants. As such, it is also home to many international schools and eager English learners. During your time off you can visit its hip clubs, thriving markets, and ancient Roman ruins. It also makes a great base for exploring other parts of the country. The neighboring city of Az-Zarqa is another popular (and more laid-back) destination for international teachers.
Irbid is an increasingly popular destination for teachers as well. Very much a university town, Irbid is considered more youthful and progressive than Amman. In recent years, this city has also become home to many Syrian refugees who have built settlements on Irbid’s outskirts.
Visas & Sponsorship
You will need a work permit in order to be employed in Jordan. This process starts once you are hired by a school, which will typically apply for a permit from the Ministry of Labor on your behalf. These permits are valid for one year, with the option to extend for an additional year. Prior to that, you can be in the country on a 30-day tourist visa.
Teacher Work Culture in Jordan
Jordan is one of the most progressive countries in the Middle East. It is generally very welcoming of foreigners and you will find a large and supportive expat community in most cities.
Keep in mind that Jordan is a predominantly Muslim nation and you should be mindful of its customs. Dress conservatively at all times. In fact, it is expected that you dress quite formally in any professional setting. When in doubt, take your cues from the locals.
Classroom Etiquette in Jordan
Students in Jordan are known for being polite and respectful towards their teachers. Students are expected to show a high degree of formality in the classroom and little tolerance is shown for troublemakers. In all likelihood, you will never encounter a student texting under their desk or showing up tardy as this would be seen as a direct insult to you, the teacher.
Health & Safety
Overall, Jordan is a very safe country. Jordanians take pride in making sure their guests feel safe and welcomed. That said, using common sense when out at night or in unfamiliar areas is always a good idea. Police checkpoints are not uncommon, but these should not deter you from feeling safe as they are more preventative measures than in response to actual security concerns.
Jordan boasts some of the best hospitals in the region. Health services are affordable and easy to navigate. Well-stocked pharmacies can be found in most places. No vaccines are required for travel to Jordan, although the CDC recommends you get inoculated against typhoid and hepatitis A.