Thursday, June 24, 2010

What you need to get to Saudi Arabia/Madinah

Bism Illah wa as salaamu alaykum.

To live and work professionally in Saudi Arabia, the best chance of getting work is to aim for the teaching profession or nursing.

I don't have experience about nursing, but I do know that a Bachelors Degree in nursing is the best way to get a decent job. Bear in mind, however, that there are people from many countries that will come here with the same qualifications for lower salaries. Therefore, someone from the USA, UK, or Canada may struggle to find a decent paying position in nursing because qualified nurses from the Philippines, India, and similar countries will come for a much lower salary.

As for the teaching angle, at minimum, a Bachelors Degree in a given subject is needed. One of the biggest areas where jobs are most available is teaching English as a Second Language (ESL). There is such a big demand that not only do the universities hire directly, there are companies that hire teachers and them supply them on contract to the universities as well. To teach ESL at a university as a direct hire, at present, one needs a Bachelors Degree and a TEFL, TESOL, CELTA, or DELTA Certificate with at least one year teaching experience. The more longer the  teaching experience you have, the better your pay scale.

To get a position that is more secure and better paid, a Masters Degree and more experience is preferred. However, there is a good chance that the MA will have to be in ESL or Linguistics in the future to ensure you are retained.

Contract companies that hire people and then provide them to different universities and institutions often have lower requirements. They sometimes take people with less than a BA, as long as they have an Associates Degree and good TEFL experience. This is an option well worth exploring.

To teach a different subject in a university, one must have either a Masters or a Doctorate in their subject/field. It is easy to see what qualifications are required for each position as they are listed on the job vacancy notice.

To teach in Madinah, one needs to look at Taibah University. Simply go to the website, click on the job opportunities and see the large variety of jobs available. To teach in Jeddah, go to the King Abdul Aziz University website. Basically search for the university in the area you would like to live, and be flexible because if you get a job in Taif, it is only 45 minutes away from Makkah.

One cannot just come and visit and try to find a job. It is possible to job hunt while on an Umrah trip, but the procedure is such that you will be hired from your country of residence and all visas and travel protocol and procedures must be done from there through the Saudi Embassy. Your employer will be bringing you into the country to work.

Okay, that is the beginning of this subject. I hope to post some other blogs, which are very helpful for people trying to live and work in Saudi Arabia, inshaa'Allah.

Barak Allahu feek!


  1. jazakkallah khar sister

    very helpful

    will look forward to your future posts inshallah

  2. Asalamu alaykum...jazakiallah khair for making this blog. it's very helpful. i've almost read through it entirely!
    My husband is looking for a position in Saudi Arabia and ideally we'd like to be situated in Madinah. He's received some offers from Riyadh, but it's father away from Makkah and Madinah.
    Your husband probably knows if there are any vacant positions with teaching English as a second language @ Taibah. Are there any available for the new school year of 2011/12?

  3. Wa alaykum as salaam wa Rahmat Allah wa Barakatuh Umm Abdullah.

    Wa iyaaki, my sister.

    Taibah does do some direct hiring, but that is for candidates with a Master's degree as they are trying to get accreditation. For those who don't meet the criteria, SBC - Saudi British Centre, hires on contract basis and then places candidates in the University...but it may be anywhere in the Kingdom, not necessarily Madinah.

    Do not apply to Taibah directly if you do not have a Master's degree. It will kill your chances of getting a job at SBC. Taibah is criteria specific and if you don't qualify, the don't look kindly upon it if you them apply through SBC. If you don't meet the criteria, go through SBC first.

    If he does have a Masters, you can can go onto the Click on the English tab and then look to the right hand lower corner and click on Academic Job Openings.

    Also, remember that if your husband gets an offer in Jeddah or Taif or similar you will be in easy driving distance of both Makkah and Madinah. There are positions available in Taif right now.

    Tawakkal 'ala Allah and barak Allah feeki.

  4. As salamu alaikum,

    I taught out in Riyadh for different employers but am presently back in the UK. I intend to return to KSA with better qualifications. Namely, BA Arabic and English Language and a Masters in TESOL or Linguistics. As far as the package for Taibah University is concerned, how much if any is paid towards the children's education allowance and importantly how many children are paid for by the university?

  5. Wa alaykum as salaam wa Rahmat Allah wa Barakatuh brother Muhammad.

    A BA in English and MA in TESOL or Linguistics is truly the golden ticket to employment in Taibah University, so may Allah give you success in your studies - ameen.

    As for children, Taibah currently pays 25,000 riyal a year towards children's education at a known school here in Saudi Arabia. This money can be split amongst as many children as you like, depending on how much their annual school fees are. For example, if you have four children and two have fees of 8,000 riyal, and two have fees of 12,000 riyal, then the 25,000 riyal allowance from Taibah will only cover two of them. However, there are still some schools that only charge about 6,000 - 8,000 per year, which means 3 or 4 children can be covered by the same amount.

    Taibah gives employees 4 tickets per year, so if you have more than two children,you have to pay for their tickets.

    I hope that helps. Barak Allahu feek.

  6. Assalam alaykum sis you blog is amazing! mashaa'Allah!

    Do you know if the universitys of Saudi (Taybah or others) look down upon an MA TESOL from a less prestigous university in the UK?

    Would you advise someone with a BA in English to stick it out in UK and try and complete a Masters before coming, because the benefits will be much superior in Saudi (as a whole not just Taibah)? Or just come along with a BA.?

    Jazaki'llah khyaran wa barak Allah feeki!

    Abu Yusef

  7. Assalam O Alaikum!
    I am an MD, ( internist) here in US and my wife is also studying for her med boards, we plan to move to the Madina Munawarra once she's done with her residency IN SHA Allah , do you have any idea about job aspects in madina? We really really wish to move to the city of the prophet SAW in sha Allah, and congratulations to you to be able to reside in the most beautiful place on earth , residents of madina are the envy of the universe, MA sha Allah, Subhan Allah! :-)

  8. Assalam Alaikum,

    I have BTEC LEVEL 5 HND qualification from Dubai and a TOEFL certificate. I am going for Umrah this month and also to search for a potential job in Makkah and Madina. Can you tell me if there are any chances in this qualification ? And is it a must to know arabic fluently or it works out anyway?

    1. Wa alaikum as salaam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh.

      Please re-read the post for your answer.

  9. Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

    We just came back from Saudi Arabia and did 'Umrah Alhamdullillah! May Allah accept it from us and from all muslimeen! Allahumma Ameen!

    My husband and I are now very willing to go back, especially to Madinah.

    I have been teaching ESL for the past 8 years in Canada. My previous 15-year teaching experience is related to TEFL in a monolingual setting at a language university overseas.

    Searching for ESL jobs, I see many universities in Saudi Arabia, including Taibah, giving preference to those who hold a BA or MA from an Anglophonic university.

    I studied at a language university in Moscow, Russia for 5 years with a Degree in Linguistics, which I guess would be In sha Allah equal to BA. I was also hoping that my incomplete PH.D course for 3 years (3 exams plus an incomplete thesis) might be of some benefit.

    Does anyone know whether or not with this experience and credentials I could try and apply directly to Taibah, or is it better to go through an agency?

    I would appreciate any advice.

    Jazakum Allahu khayran.

    1. Wa alaikum as salaam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh. Please send a copy of your passport, CV, and degrees to: tuelcrecruitment

      I'm the Head of Recruitment, and will give you an official answer. Barak Allahu feek.


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