With its tropical climate, beautiful beaches, rich history, and wonderful food, Vietnam has something to offer everyone. Allied with a low cost of living, it's the perfect destination for those wanting to teach English abroad and experience a once-in-a-lifetime adventure. Sound appealing? Read on to learn how to teach English in Japan.
There are numerous places where you can find a job teaching English in Vietnam. Demand for foreign teachers is growing and there are some great opportunities for you to find your perfect teaching job abroad. Let's take a look at the options:
Of the different jobs teaching English in Vietnam, working at public schools is the most popular. Work hours run from 8 am to 4 pm Monday to Friday and you get a 3-hour lunch break! This allows for plenty of free time and you'll also get paid holidays. Term time runs from August to June and you don't need to do much admin outside of the classroom. The only thing to be aware of is that class sizes can be large, up to 60 students per class! If you're teaching 15 classes a week this could mean you'll teach approaching 1,000 students. So, you need to be prepared for this if you want to go for public school teaching jobs in Vietnam.
You’ll find numerous private language schools in the big cities and popular tourist spots of Vietnam. These places often heavily rely on tourists, so the locals are quite eager to learn English so that they can communicate with their customers.
Private language schools usually require you to work from the afternoon to the late evening and class sizes are significantly smaller than in public schools.
Your chances of finding such ESL teaching jobs in Ho Chi Minh City or Hanoi are quite high. Most private language schools in the area only require that you are a native English speaker and have obtained a TEFL qualification. You'll need to complete a TEFL course to get this if you haven't already done so.
What’s great about teaching English at a private language school in Vietnam is that it provides support, a reliable source of income, and plenty of opportunities for personal development. Schools usually offer their teachers training and workshops.
Just like in any other country, English teaching jobs at international schools are highly coveted. These institutions offer the highest salaries. If you want to get a teaching position at an international school, most of them are located in the big cities like Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City, or the surrounding residential suburbs.
When applying for English teaching jobs in one of Vietnam’s international schools, you need to have a bachelor’s degree, preferably one related to education. You should also have a few years of previous teaching experience. Expectations are greater than at a public school, and you'll be expected to assign homework and grade tasks. Naturally, this means longer hours and greater responsibility. However, you are compensated for it.
You can also work as a private tutor if you want to teach English. Vietnam has a high demand for English language instruction so you will easily find work. This could involve offering private tutoring lessons to a family looking for an English for their children, or a businessman that wants to improve their English communication skills for work. The main advantage of this set-up is that you have complete control over your work schedule. However, it doesn’t always provide stability.
Note that even if you offer private tutoring, you’d still need a visa and a work permit.
The salary of English teachers in Vietnam varies greatly depending on the location, the teacher’s qualifications, and the type of institution. On average though, teachers can expect to earn between $1,000 to $2,000 every month.
Public schools: You can earn anywhere between $1,200 to $2,000 a month. Schools tend to offer higher pay to TEFL certificate holders who are native speakers and possess a bachelor's degree or diploma for a four-year college course. A TEFL teacher who has some classroom experience can usually ask for more towards the upper end of the range depending upon the location. Your pay should also increase each year that you re-sign your contract.
Private schools: As for private language centers, most offer around $1,000 to $1,800 a month. Again, if you have a TEFL certificate and teaching experience, you may be able to negotiate for a slightly higher salary.
International schools: With greater responsibility comes greater rewards. Depending upon your teaching experience, qualifications, and the school itself, you can make anywhere between $2,000 to $5,000 a month.
Private tutoring: Many ESL teachers and TEFL teachers offer private tutoring for some extra income. In Vietnam, the price you can charge for English lessons ranges from $10 to $25 per hour. The rate will depend on your experience and the kind of clients you acquire. The more teaching experience you have the higher the rate you can charge. Having a TEFL certification and a good marketing strategy can boost your earning capacity.
If you get a job in Vietnam teaching English you may also get certain benefits from your employer. These are more common at international schools and could include:
Contract completion allowances (these are for teachers who completed their 12-month contract and wish to renew)
Assistance and reimbursement of expenses for visa and work permit applications
Depending on the teaching position and hiring institution, Vietnamese employers will have different requirements. Below are the standard ones:
A TEFL certification is needed if you want to get a good job and teach abroad in Vietnam. This is especially true if you are not a native English speaker.
You can enroll in an online TEFL course and get your certification easily. There are plenty of TEFL academies that allow their students to study part-time, earn their TEFL certification, and teach abroad. You can check out some of the best online TEFL courses here.
A bachelor’s degree in any field or major is required to qualify for a teaching job in any school in Vietnam. This is because you need it to obtain a work permit and get your visa.
If you don't have a bachelor's degree, you may still be able to get a work permit if you can prove 5 years of previous teaching experience. And, if all else fails you could go for a volunteer program.
As with other countries in Southeast Asia, you will find that there are schools that take on teachers without a visa and work permit and pay cash in hand. If you decide to go this route you do so at your own risk and could be banned from the country if you get caught. That's why you should always try to obtain your work permit and visa.
You'll need a work permit and visa to legally teach English in Vietnam. These are usually sponsored by your school or employer and they'll help you organize the documents you need. This includes:
Certified bachelor’s degree
Certified teaching certificate (TEFL certification)
Certified copy of passport
Full clean criminal background check
Full clean health check (carried out in Vietnam)
Certified IELTS/TOEFL certificate (for non-native English teachers)
Any documents required from the school (which they will supply)
The most important thing when you plan on teaching abroad is to have a valid passport. If you come from a native English-speaking country like the US, the UK, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and South Africa, you will find securing an English teaching job in Vietnam quite easy.
If your home country is not on this list, the application is going to be a little more difficult. However, if you still want to teach abroad in Vietnam it's not impossible. Provided you have a teacher’s license, a TEFL certificate, and actual in-classroom teaching experience, you will still have an advantage over other applicants.
You must go through a criminal background check. Once you’ve passed this, the issuing agency will provide you with a certificate of a clean criminal record. Make a copy of this. Expect your employer to ask for the original when you go through the hiring process.
Ideally, you should have your visa ready before your move to Vietnam. However, Vietnam is known to be lax when it comes to allowing foreigners to work there without an actual work visa.
You can enter Vietnam with a three-month tourist visa. It isn't legal to work using only a tourist visa, but you can use your time there to find and apply for an English teaching job. You can also opt to apply for a Multiple Entry Business Visa if you already have an employment offer.
Once you sign a contract, your employer will usually help you with the paperwork and should also help you secure a work permit. In some cases, the employer also covers the visa expense.
Vietnam is a pretty diverse country. Some cities are highly urbanized while others remain quite rural. So, it naturally follows that the salaries and costs of living in these cities vary greatly.
Besides the cost of living, you should also factor in your interests when it comes to choosing where in Vietnam you’d like to teach. Let's take a look at some of the options:
Ho Chi Minh City is Vietnam’s largest city and home to more than eight million people. English teaching jobs abound in this place. It is also the location of the famous Bến Thành Market where you can find and trade amazing treasures.
As the second-largest city in the country and its capital to boot, Hanoi is definitely a place you should consider if you want to find English teaching jobs. Located in the north of Vietnam it experiences all four seasons and is the country's cultural capital. History buffs can visit the Temple of Literature during their days off or you can immerse yourself in history and explore the popular night market for specialties like bamboo and silk.
Da Nang is a coastal city located in Central Vietnam that boasts a lively expat community. Its sandy beaches, relaxed lifestyle, international airport, and proximity to Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi make it a popular destination. There are fewer English teaching jobs here than in the big cities, but it is a great option if you're after the beach life.
Love looking at ancient buildings or checking out artifacts? Then you might want to consider an English teaching job in historical Hue and its Imperial City. You can also explore the Forbidden Purple City and other shrines and palaces in the area.
Hội An means a “peaceful meeting place” and it's true to its name. This well-preserved trading port is a place that evokes tranquility and history. If you want to feel like you’ve been transported back in time during your break from school, then Hoi An is the top destination for you.
Teaching English here will allow you to celebrate the Lantern Full Moon Festival where locals and guests exchange lanterns, flowers, and candles.
If you want to enjoy a simple life amidst rice fields and a picture-perfect rural canal, then you should consider teaching English in Can Tho. Besides its rice fields, this place is also known for its rice paper. You can collect these beautifully crafted products at the Rai Rang floating market. You’ll have something to give as gifts to friends and loved ones or keep for yourself, to remember Can Tho when you go home.
Do you love being in the water? If you are passionate about water-related activities like scuba diving, sailing, and water sports, then it is best to look for teaching jobs in Nha Trang. This well-known coastal city is a popular destination for visitors who wish to island-hop or go on a cruise. You can easily go to one of the many pristine beaches in this area during your time off.
There are two good ways to find a job teaching English in Vietnam without actually being in the country. The first way is to search online and the other is to take a TEFL course from a TEFL course provider that offers job placement assistance.
Join forums for teaching English abroad in Vietnam. Most of the time, teachers post job openings in the company where they work. You can also check TEFL job boards or search through job websites based in Vietnam.
If you don’t have your TEFL certification, you can look for academies that offer job placements teaching English abroad after you finish the course. These academies have contacts in private schools and public schools and can help you apply.
Due to the high demand for English teachers in Vietnam, language schools hire all year round so you can apply any time. For international schools and public schools, the first semester of the school year starts around August. You should apply a few months before that to give you sufficient time to process your application. Start looking for job postings between June and August.
If you are applying for a teaching position at any of the private language schools or any other school in Vietnam, you’ll need to submit your application, including your CV, resume, and cover letter, to the company. Contact the hiring manager and ask whether you should send the application via email or post.
If you pass the initial assessment, you will likely be contacted for an interview. Make sure to prepare your documents like your passport and any other personal records you need. You will also need to pass a criminal background check in your home country. If you have a TEFL certificate, take a copy of that too.
Once you receive and accept the hiring school’s offer, you will need to start processing your non-immigrant B visa to secure your work permit.
You will need either a tourist visa or a multiple-entry business visa to legally enter Vietnam. If you're entering on a work visa, your employer needs to fill out the pre-authorization application on your behalf. This will be submitted to the Vietnamese immigration department.
You will receive a notification letter from the Vietnamese consulate once the application gets approved. This means the consulate will issue you a visa. When you get that, you will then need to apply for your work permit.
Prepare all the necessary supporting documents and submit them to the Labor Department in Vietnam. You and your Vietnamese employer will need to sign the employment contract upon your application’s approval. The entire process takes 15 to 30 days.
Being hired as an English teacher in Vietnam is exciting. To prepare for your new adventure, it is prudent to research the culture and way of living of your new coworkers and students. Here are some important things to know to make your teaching experience in Vietnam better:
Vietnamese students have high respect for their elders. You can expect your students to treat you with respect and professionalism. Generally, your students will not answer or ask questions unless you prompt them.
Teachers are required to wear semi-formal attire in the classroom. This means women should wear knee-length (or longer) dresses or skirts. Dress pants are also allowed. You can pair these with a blouse with small sleeves or longer. Most schools require their teachers to wear closed shoes but some allow the women to wear sandals.
As for the men, dress pants paired with a polo shirt are the prescribed clothes. Ties are optional.
Just like in Thailand, haggling is a norm in Vietnamese markets. Improve your negotiating skills because some stall owners can quote triple a product’s actual cost!
Vietnamese, no matter which region they're from, are generally early risers. Markets and other places can even be open by 7 a.m. Establishments also close early except in a few large places like Danang Hanoi, or Ho Chi Minh. If you reside in a smaller province in Vietnam, expect shops to start closing at around 9 p.m.
The cost of living in Vietnam is quite cheap, so it's an ideal place to start a new adventure. However, prices in Hanoi are different when compared to Ho Chi Ming or any of the other cities, so it can depend upon location. Your expenses will also differ from others based on your lifestyle.
Some ESL teachers claim that they can live comfortably in Vietnam with a $300 monthly budget. While this may be too conservative, it is not impossible to save up and treat yourself from time to time on a monthly English teacher's salary of about $1,000. This is because the cost of living in this country is quite low.
Plus, if you follow cost-saving tips like preparing your coffee and meals at home rather than eating out, or riding a bike instead of taking a bus, you can whittle down your expenses a bit more.
The cost of rent in Vietnam ranges from $200 to $1000 USD. This depends mostly on the location. A shared apartment in Hanoi will set you back about $250 to $350 a month. You also have to factor in utilities. The electricity bill, for instance, for a shared apartment with a washing machine and an air conditioning unit comes to $50 per month.
If you enjoy cooking at home, the price of your meals can range from $1 to $3. You can save further by going meatless. Some teachers advise that you cook your meals in big portions and freeze the leftovers. This will save you a few dollars a month.
The price for eating out varies but can be extremely affordable. If you buy your food from a side street vendor, which you can usually find in residential areas, you’d spend around $1 to $2 per meal. If you want to eat at a casual restaurant, be ready to spend around $4. You’ll find that it is more expensive to eat the same type of food in touristy areas.
English teachers in Vietnam often save on transportation by riding their own bikes or motorbikes. You can choose to invest and buy a decent motorbike for about $250 so you’ll be able to freely move around. Gas costs $1 per liter.
A common form of public transportation in Vietnam is the motorbike taxi. If you don’t want to buy your own, you can have a driver bring you where you need to go. The minimum cost is $0.50 per journey.
Vietnam is a fascinating country with many different places to visit, from big cities to beautiful beachside towns.
Food lovers all over the world seek out authentic Vietnamese dishes and the best thing is when you go to Vietnam, the Vietnamese cuisine is affordable. You can eat your fill of the popular banh mi, spring rolls, sticky rice, and pho noodle soup for less than $10.
If you’re someone who can't survive without caffeine in your system, you will also love this country. Vietnam is the 2nd largest exporter of coffee in the world. You can try out regular black coffee or be more adventurous and try out coffee mixed with egg yolk, coconut milk, or yogurt. You won’t need to go out of your way to find your next caffeine fix because there are coffee shops on nearly every street.
So, if you dream of teaching abroad in a country with great food, friendly people, and tons of scenic places to visit, you should consider teaching English in Vietnam.
Here are answers to some of the most commonly asked questions regarding teaching English in Vietnam:
The salary of an English teacher working in Vietnam ranges on average from $1,200 to $2,000 a month. That’s about $18 to $25 per hour for a 20-hour in-class work week.
Conservatively, for a new English teacher with zero to little teaching experience, one can make about $1,000. This amount is just enough to cover living expenses and a few of life's other luxuries.
Yes. Although the requirements for teaching English in Vietnam vary from institution to institution, most of the schools will only ask for an applicant to have a bachelor’s degree and a 120-hour TEFL certificate.
Yes. Vіеtnаm іѕ оnе оf thе Asian соuntrіеѕ wіth thе hіghеѕt dеmаnd fоr Еnglіѕh tеасhеrѕ. Locals strive to learn how to speak English to attract more tourists and businesses from other countries.
To teach English in Vietnam, you must have a work visa. To gain that, you need a bachelor’s degree (any major will do) and will need to pass a criminal background check. You'll also need to hold a TEFL certificate. Previous teaching experience can help you find a good-paying job but it is not a requirement.
Native speakers come to Vietnam to teach English not because of the high salary or the prestige. They come to Vietnam for the wonderful simple life, the amazing food, the songs and dances, the exciting nightlife, and more. So, yes, teaching English in Vietnam is worth it! It's a great way to earn some money and enjoy all the amazing things that this country has to offer.