Oklahoma ESL Endorsement Salary Bonus Incentives

For many decades Native American tongues were the most common languages other than English spoken in the central plains state of Oklahoma. Today Spanish is by far the most heard second language. The Hispanic population in the state almost doubled from 179,000 in 2001 to 332,000 in 2011.

Today, the most common languages other than English are (in descending order):

  • Spanish or Spanish Creole
  • Native American languages
  • German
  • Vietnamese
  • French
  • Chinese

Other languages spoken by less than one percent of the population include Korean, Tagalog, Japanese and African languages.

*Capella University offers an online Master’s program in English Language Learning and Teaching designed to help educators advance their career in supporting diverse student populations. While it does not satisfy licensure requirements, the program can help you build the skills to use instructional strategies, emerging trends, and best practices to effectively teach English Language Learners and help students adapt to new cultural environments.

*The USC Rossier School of Education offers its Master of Arts in Teaching - Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (MAT-TESOL) program online, allowing current and aspiring educators to earn a master’s degree from a top-ranked university and specialize in teaching English to non-native speakers - from anywhere in the world.

An article in Tulsa World noted that there is currently a strong push in Oklahoma public schools to keep Native American languages alive and nine different languages (Cherokee, Cheyenne, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Comanche, Kiowa, Osage, Pawnee and Ponca) are currently being taught in about 34 schools across the state.

The state average teacher salary in Oklahoma is $44,343. Education beyond a bachelor’s degree increases annual earnings. Average starting salaries for different educational levels are:

  • Bachelor’s degree – $31,600
  • Master’s degree – $32,800
  • Ph D. – $34,000

After 25 years:

  • Bachelor’s degree – $42,325
  • Master’s degree – $43,950
  • Ph D – $46,000

Salaries also differ by location. Beginning salaries in the three largest cities are:

Oklahoma City

  • Bachelor’s degree – $32,925
  • Bachelor’s plus 15 credits – $33,225
  • Master’s degree – $35,475


  • Bachelor’s degree – $32,900
  • Master’s degree – $33,956


  • Bachelor’s degree – $31,882
  • Master’s degree – $32,998

It is noted that Oklahoma City offers a financial incentive for 15 semester hours of credit beyond a bachelor’s degree, which applies to ESL certifications.

The table below provides 2013 Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) salary information for Adult, Basic and Secondary Education and Literacy Teachers (Adult ESL teachers are included in this category).

Area name
Annual Median Salary
Lawton OK
Oklahoma City OK
Tulsa OK
Northeastern Oklahoma nonmetropolitan area
Southeastern Oklahoma nonmetropolitan area