Why Get a Master's in TESOL?

Students in classroom studying Masters in TESOL
Students in classroom studying Masters in TESOL

For enthusiasts of the English language, an online Master of Arts degree in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) from Spring Arbor University can be the gateway to a dynamic career in various locations across the country or around the globe. If you are considering graduate study and are curious about the benefits of achieving an online Masters in TESOL, this article can help inform you about the available career paths, salary benefits and international reach associated with achieving the credential.

TESOL Essential for ESL and EFL Education

TESOL graduate degrees are designed primarily to prepare students for careers in teaching English as a Second Language (ESL) in primary and secondary schools, or for roles in teaching English as a Foreign Language (EFL) in international schools. Professionals in these two areas are in consistent demand. In addition to high demand for EFL instructors in various countries around the world, the National Center for Language Statistics reported that as of 2015 nearly 10 percent of students in the United States were considered English Language Learners (ELL). With the number of these ELL students on the rise, the demand for ESL teachers is sure to stay strong. This is great news for those enrolled in TESOL master’s degree programs as it means there is steady job potential.

A Plethora of Career Paths

One of the most exciting aspects of pursuing an online Masters in TESOL is that it paves the way for a wide variety of professional opportunities. Many graduates use the credential to seek jobs as ESL or EFL teachers, but TESOL master’s degree recipients can also use their finely-honed skill sets to develop curriculum, build course content and write or edit textbooks or other publications in the TESOL field. Others with a more entrepreneurial mindset might use their TESOL education as the foundation to establish a tutoring business or become a founding academic director for a different independently-run TESOL-oriented organization.

International Reach

For those with wanderlust, one of the biggest benefits of completing an online Masters in TESOL is that it opens you up to EFL teaching possibilities abroad. While demand varies by country, you can easily pursue teaching posts around the world and expand your horizons by working with a variety of populations. This might also give you an excuse to learn that foreign language you’ve always wanted to master. While fluency in the primary language of your ESL students is not required, having some knowledge of it can be beneficial.

Salary Potential with a TESOL Master’s Degree

in addition to loving the work they do, graduates with a TESOL master’s degree can earn a substantial salary. Payscale.com reports that English as a Second Language (ESL) teachers can earn up to $62,000 per year. For those who advance to the role of Academic Director, Payscale.com reports a maximum annual salary more than $92,000. Salary isn’t everything, but knowing that your dream job comes with a good salary can be great encouragement to pursue your TESOL master’s degree.

Tap into your full potential with the online Masters in TESOL program at Spring Arbor University. Ranked #14 in the Best Online College for ESL Teaching Degrees, Spring Arbor University’s online Masters in TESOL prepares students with the skills necessary to succeed in the field with the ultimate convenience of online learning. Specialized tracks in K-12  as well as Adolescent and Adult Education allow students to further refine their skills to prepare to serve the student population. Pursue an online Masters in TESOL with Spring Arbor University and you’ll be on track for an exciting career anywhere it might take you, even if it is halfway around the world.


“Average Academic Director Salary.” Payscale.com. Accessed 24

January 2019 from: https://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=Academic_Director/Salary

“Average English as a Second Language (ESL) Teacher Salary.” Payscale.com. Accessed 24

January 2019 from: https://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=English_as_a_Second_Language_(ESL)_Teacher/Salary

“Frequently Asked Questions About Careers in TESOL.” TESOL. Accessed 24 January 2019 from:


“English Language Learners by State.” National Center for Education Statistics, April 2018.

Accessed 24 January 2019 from: https://nces.ed.gov/programs/coe/indicator_cgf.asp

“Tips for Choosing a TESOL Master’s Program.” TESOL. Accessed 24 January 2019 from: