How to Become an English Language Teacher in Vietnam | English Teacher Guide (2023)

How to Become an English Language Teacher in Vietnam | English Teacher Guide (1)

Vietnam may not be the first choice for ESL teachers wanting to work abroad, but it might just be what you’re looking for in a country!

Vietnam is a magnificent and beautiful country that is currently in a critical stage of its economic development. The demand for qualified ESL teachers has never been higher, so there are endless opportunities to find employment here!

Vietnam uses the Dong (VND) as its currency.($1 = 23,445 VND)

Requirements to Teach ESL in Vietnam

  • Be an English native speaker and hold a passport from Australia, the US, UK, Canada, New Zealand, Ireland, or South Africa.
  • Have a bachelor’s degree.
  • Have a 120-hour TESOL or TEFL certification
  • Criminal background and health check
  • An invitation letter from your employer

How to apply for an ESL Teaching Job in Vietnam

Arrange before you arrive

You can arrange to have a job waiting for you before you arrive in Vietnam. Your employer will help you with obtaining your working visa and possibly provide pick up at the airport.

Here are some excellent places to start looking for ESL teaching jobs in Vietnam:

Jobhunt after you arrive

You can come to Vietnam on a tourist visa and try to search for work, which will allow you to see your workplace before employment and get a feel for the job. Once you have been successful in obtaining a position, your employee will help you obtain a working visa.

If you decide to find a job once you’re in the country, make sure you have at least three months’ worth of savings in case you can’t find work as soon as you would like. It’s always smart to have an emergency fund.If you want to learn everything, there is to know about teaching ESL in Vietnam and even get an internationally accredited TEFL certification, then check This ESL company is the go-to place to become an outstanding ESL Teacher in Vietnam, and they’ll give you everything you need to be prepared.

Where to find an ESL Teaching Job in Vietnam

ESL teachers are paid per hour in Vietnam. Living costs in Vietnam are low compared to other countries in Southeast Asia. Depending on your lifestyle, you could save a large amount of your salary each month.

ESL teachers usually work from 15 to 30 hours a week, with most working around 20 to 25 hours.

(Video) Teach English in Vietnam: The Ultimate Guide

Keep in mind that your salary depends on many factors. First time ESL teachers are likely to earn less than those who have had two or more years of experience. Different types of schools will offer a certain amount of work hours. Always negotiate a decent amount of hours with your employer so you can receive a good salary.

You will typically find the best opportunities for work inHanoiandHo Chi Minh City (Saigon).

When signing a contract with a school, make sure you check if your salary is paid before or after taxes.Taxes are quite high in Vietnam, so this will have a significant impact on your earnings and savings.

Private Language Centers

$17 – $21.5 per hour / $1400 – $1800 per month

When looking for an ESL job in Vietnam, you’ll mainly come across language schools. These private for-profit centers are everywhere, so it’s easy to find a teaching position.

Full-time ESL teaching positions at a language school will be based on one-year contracts. A typical schedule is around 20 hours of teaching week plus admin work.

Part-time positions are also a popular option for ESL teachers, and you may work at multiple language centers if you take this route.

When applying for a position in a language school, they will require you to perform a 30-minute demo lesson. Always inquire about whether you’ll be paid for this and be careful of any potential scams.

Once hired, you will be put through a week-long training program to get adjusted to being an ESL teacher in Vietnam. After training, your teaching contract begins, and you will teach classes of up to 15 school-aged students.

Because language schools act as a supplement to the public education system in Vietnam, you will work on weekends and in the evenings after school hours. Most of your free time will be during the day!

(Video) Becoming an English Language teacher: what you need to know

Finding a position in a language school requires no prior experience, so its a popular option for freshly certified ESL teachers and first-time travelers!

Public Schools

$17 – $20 per hour / $1500 per month

Working in a public school as an ESL teacher is not as common as a private language center.

You will be on a standard schedule of Monday to Friday and work for around 20 to 25 hours per week.

Many ESL teachers use recruitment agencies to find work in public schools. It is imperative that you take caution when using a recruiting agent, as many of them are illegally run, and scams are common.

Another method of working in a public school is by being an employee of an ESL company that has a partnership with a school. The company will place you in a school to teach.

Classes usually have more students in public schools than in language centers, and all of your students will be young children to teenagers.

Private Schools

$20 per hour / $1500 – $2000 per month

Teachers with a few years of experience under their belts may have a chance to be hired at a private school.

Private schools tend to pay more than other schools or language centers and have smaller class sizes.

The hiring period for private schools is usually around September during the hot, rainy season.

(Video) Top 10 Reasons To Teach English in Vietnam (in 2023)


$20 – $25 per hour / $1000 – $1500 per month

University ESL jobs have few teaching hours with a large amount of time off and holidays. The downside to this is that the salary is quite low compared to teaching jobs in other schools.

It’s not common for ex-pat ESL teachers to work in universities in Vietnam. Having a master’s degree alongside aTEFL certificationis generally a requirement to work in tertiary education.

Private Tutoring

$15 – $35 per hour

Tutoring on a tourist visa is illegal, so be sure you have the appropriate work visa before you consider this option.

Private English tutoring can a great way to earn some extra income on the side. You’ll be able to set your hours and rates on any day of the week, giving you a lot of freedom.

Finding a consistent stream of students may be complicated; however, so be sure to consider any challenges you may face when becoming a private ESL tutor. Building your reputation as an excellent private tutor and advertising yourself is essential if you want to be successful with this gig.

When to apply for work in Vietnam

Vietnam’s most famous holiday is Tet (Vietnamese Lunar New Year). It is celebrated around the end of January to early February. Schools will be closed during this time, so you won’t be able to apply for a teaching position.

The best time to apply for a job at either a private language school or a public school would be from July to early January.

Work Benefits for ESL Teachers in Vietnam

Benefits depend on your employer. On a full-time contract, you should at least receive health care, paid holidays, and some end of year bonuses.

Some schools may reimburse you for your airfare cost and offer to find you an apartment.

(Video) HOW TO TEACH ENGLISH ABROAD | Become an ESL Teacher

Be sure to check over all the benefits that you are eligible to receive before signing a contract with an employer and try to negotiate to get the best possible outcome for yourself.

Can you Teach in Vietnam without a Degree?

Having a degree is a requirement set by the government. You need to have obtained at least a four-year bachelor’s degree in any field to be eligible for the work visa that allows you to teach in Vietnam. Therefore you cannot teach in Vietnam legally without a degree.

What’s it like to teach ESL in Vietnam?

Vietnam is a country that is going through many changes. Due to the government’s initiative to improve English education around the country, the number of ESL opportunities has skyrocketed.

Vietnamese students are known to be very friendly and well behaved. It’s most likely you’ll make good friends with your students, which will allow you to learn more about Vietnam’s rich culture and society.

You will have to plan and write your lesson plans in Vietnam. ESL teachers do this during office hours. Be sure to plan, draft, and complete your lesson plans during this time so that you’re always prepared for the next lesson and have enough free time before and after work.

When living in Vietnam, you will probably be needing a motorbike, so it’s good to learn how to ride one. Traveling around the country is quite easy, so you’ll get to explore and see many new exciting places.

The cost of living in Vietnam is low, usually around $700 a month. You may be able to save about 60-70% of your monthly salary, depending on your lifestyle.

Despite Vietnam not being the first place that ESL teachers may think about working in, it’s a great option. You will experience life like you never have before in this incredible country.

How to Become an English Language Teacher in Vietnam | English Teacher Guide (2)

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What qualifications do I need to teach English in Vietnam? ›

To gain a work visa to teach English in Vietnam, an applicant must be a native English speaker with a bachelor's degree. A criminal background check is also required. A TEFL certificate or work experience is not mandatory to receive a visa but may be needed to qualify for more competitive jobs.

How to teach English as a foreign language in Vietnam? ›

As we've mentioned above, to legally teach English in Vietnam you'll need a work visa/permit. These are sponsored by your school or employer, who will usually help you to organise all the documents you'll need. These will include: Certified bachelor's degree.

Is there a demand for English teachers in Vietnam? ›

There are hundreds of schools to choose from, and with its prominence in Southeast Asia, English teachers are in high demand. For those looking to discover all that this Southeast Asian country has to offer, teaching here may be the perfect way to immerse in the enchanting nation.

Is it hard to get an English teaching job in Vietnam? ›

English teaching jobs are plentiful in Vietnam, but it is also a popular destination to teach abroad in Southeast Asia. For that reason, there is a lot of competition and any new teacher should look to get a TEFL certification to stand out above the rest.

Can I teach English in Vietnam without a degree? ›

So long as you can satisfy the loophole clause that asks for experience in place of a degree to get a Vietnamese working permit, there's no job that's out of bounds. That's in theory.

How much does a TEFL earn in Vietnam? ›

What is the Average English Teacher's Salary in Vietnam? English teachers in Vietnam should expect to make between $1,100 USD to $1,500 USD per month if they work for an English language school.

Can I teach in Vietnam without TEFL? ›

The simple answer is yes. A TEFL certificate is not a requirement to teach in Vietnam. Some schools post it in their job posts and might give preference to teachers that have one, but you don't need one to work legally in Vietnam.

How many hours do English teachers work in Vietnam? ›

Public Schools for teaching English in Vietnam

Teachers work Monday-Friday (some schools also run on Saturday) between 20-25 hours per week.

Which country pays best for English teachers? ›

Generally speaking, the highest paid TEFL jobs can be found in these countries:
  • UAE. Average salaries: US$3,500 – 5,000 per month. ...
  • Japan. Average salaries: US$2,000 – 4,000 per month. ...
  • Saudi Arabia. Average salaries: US$3,000 – 4,000 per month. ...
  • Hong Kong. ...
  • Kuwait. ...
  • Oman. ...
  • South Korea. ...
  • Taiwan.


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