Vietnam is often considered one of the best places to teach English abroad, and it's not just because of its warm tropical climate and fantastic food! English is in high demand throughout this Southeast Asian country, which means there are plenty of different job opportunities available year-round.
Not to mention, ESL teachers in Vietnam typically enjoy a comfortable quality of life thanks to the relatively high teaching salaries and low cost of living. So, if you've ever wondered how to make moves to Asia, this guide shares all you need to know to start teaching English in Vietnam.
Snapshot of Teaching English in Vietnam
Avg. Salary: $1,200-$2,000/month
Teaching Hours: 20-30
Duration of contract: 6-12 months
Peak hiring season: Year-round for language centers, Spring for public schools
School term: September to May
Visa requirements: Work permit, business visa or temporary residence card
Why teach English in Vietnam?
Teaching English in Vietnam comes with a long list of benefits. ESL teachers not only enjoy an outstanding work-life balance, but also plenty of choice in where to teach in Vietnam as well as the type of position.
Vietnam is also a popular destination with a large and diverse expat community, making it very easy to meet fellow teachers. Couple that with the gorgeous landscape made up of beaches and mountains, and you have a picture-perfect place to gain valuable professional experience.
Read More: Is Teaching Abroad Alone Safe for Women?
What are the requirements to teach English in Vietnam?
To be competitive as an applicant, aspiring ESL teachers will need to meet these strict job requirements:
- Be a native-English speaker
- Have a bachelor’s degree in any field
- Have a reputable TEFL certificate
- Hold proof of a clean criminal background
To be the most competitive applicant in Vietnam, you'll need to have at least a 120-hour TEFL certificate from a reputable provider. International schools require teachers to have a teaching license and/or a Master's degree in education.
How much can you earn teaching in Vietnam?
How much you can earn teaching English in Vietnam depends on your professional experience, the type of job, and where you teach. But on average, English teachers in Vietnam earn between $1,200 - $2,000+ per month.
Public school teacher salaries are lower, whereas international school teachers can earn upwards of $2,000 or more per month.
Cost of Living in Vietnam
The cost of living in Vietnam is quite reasonable and typically ranges between 11.5 million - 22.8 million VND per month ($500-$1,000). However, your cost of living depends significantly on the type of lifestyle you choose for yourself. It's very easy to live a frugal or lavish life as an English teacher in Vietnam.
For example, eating local Vietnamese can be as cheap as $1 per meal, whereas a western dish can cost you $10 per meal. Additionally, you can save by renting a bedroom in a shared flat, which ranges between $150-$350 per month. A centrally-located apartment in the big cities can cost about $400-$700 per month.
Thanks to the high salaries and low living costs, Vietnam is considered one of the best countries to teach English and save money. Teachers can save up to $600 per month teaching English in Vietnam!
Types of Teaching Jobs in Vietnam
ESL teachers can find jobs in public schools, private language centers, and even international schools in Vietnam.
1. Public Schools
Many first-time English teachers in Vietnam opt to start teaching in public schools. Public school teachers work during regular school hours and typically are responsible for teaching just a few classes per day. Class sizes are usually larger, and technological resources can be lacking.
However, lesson planning can be a little more fun as English teachers are responsible for teaching subjects like math and science in addition to English. An average public school teacher's salary is 28 million-42 million VND ($1,200-$1,800) per month.
To get a job teaching at a public school, you must apply with a private organization. EMG Vietnam and Compass Education are two reputable agencies that connect teachers with open positions in public schools.
2. Language Centers
Teaching at a private language center is another fantastic opportunity. These centers operate after school, providing English tutoring services to students of various ages. Teachers are expected to work nights and weekends. But there are many centers around the country, which means high job availability.
Language center salaries tend to be slightly higher than public schools, and teachers on average receive 28 million-47 million VND ($1,200-$2,000) per month. However, some language centers take advantage of teachers. Therefore, it's crucial to read reviews from previous teachers before accepting a new position.
3. International Schools
Those who have a degree in education and a teaching license are eligible to apply to teach at international schools in Vietnam. These positions pay the best and typically provide fantastic benefits like rent stipends and flight reimbursement.
On average, you can earn between 47 million-70 million VND ($2,000-$3,000) per month at an international school in Vietnam. These positions come with more responsibility as you're the lead teacher of a class and responsible for the bulk of lesson planning and classroom management.
Where to Find TEFL Jobs in Vietnam
You have options when it comes to finding Vietnam teaching jobs.
Vietnam ESL Job Boards
One of the most common ways to find a job in Vietnam is online job boards. Vietnam Teaching Jobs is one of the best, and advertises many new language center openings daily.
If you’re seeking a job teaching at an international school in Vietnam, some of the top agencies that assist with placements include Search Associates, International Schools Services, and SeekTeachers.
Vietnam Facebook Groups
Facebook is another place to find job openings in Vietnam, primarily for language centers. Some of the best groups to find ESL teaching jobs in Vietnam include; ESL Teaching in Vietnam, English Teaching Jobs in Vietnam (The Original), and Hanoi Massive.
There are also Facebook groups dedicated to specific cities that offer a wealth of information. For example, if you have a question about how reputable a prospective school is, where to find an English-friendly doctor or virtually anything else, it's probably been answered there. Two popular Facebook groups include the Expats & Locals In Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi Expats.
Directly on a Hiring School’s Website
Going directly to Vietnam’s most popular schools is another fantastic way to find current job openings. School chains like Language Link and Apollo English are two popular places to teach English in Vietnam.
However, there are many job opportunities across the nation, and this comprehensive list shares even more English language schools in Vietnam. And sometimes, finding great ESL teaching jobs in Vietnam is as simple as a Google search!
Best Places to Teach English in Vietnam
Unfortunately, popular tourist destinations like Ha Long Bay have little to offer aspiring ESL teachers. Most job opportunities can be found in Vietnam's largest city centers.
Here are some of the best cities to teach English in Vietnam.
Ho Chi Minh City, or Saigon, is a sprawling metropolis known for its massive expat community and as one of the best places to find a job teaching English in Vietnam. Compared to Hanoi, it's a much busier and more dynamic city.
Hanoi is Vietnam's other best place to find an ESL job, and the city is noted for its various green spaces and lakes. It's considered Ho Chi Minh's sleepy sister because of its lack of nightlife, thanks to a 10:30 pm curfew.
Da Nang is the largest city in central Vietnam that offers a more relaxed and less-crowded atmosphere on the coast. However, it's still an excellent place to find a teaching job and is a favorite destination for those seeking a slower pace of life.
What’s it like to teach English in Vietnam?
Before you make the leap to begin your exciting adventure teaching English in Vietnam, check out these helpful guides to learn a bit more about it:
- Why You Should Teach English in Vietnam by CIEE TEFL
- Saigon vs. Hanoi | Which City is the Best for You? by Untold Wanderlust
- 25 Interesting Facts about Vietnam by Swedish Nomad
- Moving to Vietnam Checklist for Packing by Move to Vietnam
- Motorbike Safety in Vietnam by So the Adventure Begins
Which TEFL certificate is best for teaching in Vietnam?
One of the most important requirements of securing a job teaching in Vietnam is to have a TEFL certificate with at least 120-hours. Choosing a course with a TEFL practicum, or in-class teaching component, is also important. A practicum provides you with professional experience in the classroom, something that can give your resume a huge boost.
CIEE TEFL’s 150-Hour TEFL Certification
CIEE TEFL is an internationally recognized and trusted TEFL provider with a proven track record of helping graduates successfully secure English teaching jobs around the world.
CIEE TEFL's flagship 150-hour certification provides comprehensive training to ensure aspiring ESL teachers succeed in the classroom. Plus, all coursework is done online and the course only takes three months to complete. The CIEE TEFL 150-hour course includes:
- 130 hours of ACCET accredited coursework
- 20 hour TEFL practicum
- Instruction by highly qualified TEFL tutors
- Lifetime job search assistance