How much can I earn teaching English in Singapore?

If you are looking for an exotic, modern and exciting destination for teaching English abroad, Singapore could fit the bill. This island city-state in Southeast Asia certainly has plenty to offer, from a tropical climate and fantastic local cuisine to world-class shopping and a fascinating blend of world culture. Singapore is also famous for its rapid development that has taken it from a relative backwater to one of the world’s wealthiest nations in just a single generation.

What are TEFL salaries in Singapore?

Teacher’s salaries in Singapore are relatively high in comparison to its regional neighbors. Depending on your qualifications and level of experience you can typically earn between $2,700 and $3,500 USD per month. Most jobs will involve around 20 to 25 teaching hours per week, plus additional preparation time. It is worth noting that most employers expect their teachers to hold a university degree and a TEFL certification, while previous classroom experience is also an advantage, but not necessarily essential.

Who are the main employers of English language teachers in Singapore?

Although English is an official language and is used in government, business and in mainstream schools, there is still a strong demand for EFL teachers due to the large number of non-English speaking foreign workers in the country. Non-local native English speakers are also sought after by schools to expose students to foreigners and to learn new methods and perspectives. The top paying jobs can be found in international Schools, although competition for these positions is very high and you will need a university degree in English Language or Literature as well as a post-graduate diploma in education. Public schools also offer good packages that include a good salary, return flights and a housing allowance. Competition for these jobs is also stiff so you should contact the Ministry of Education and speak to individual schools directly to increase your chances.

Private language schools offer the most numerous positions and the requirements are less stringent than other options. These positions don’t generally provide benefits such as flights or housing and the pay is less generous than public or international schools. However, they do offer the opportunity to gain valuable classroom experience which should help you climb the career ladder in the future. Many teachers also supplement their income, or work full-time, giving private lessons to individual students outside of the normal school environment.

What is the recruitment process for English teachers in Singapore?

As demand for teachers is high, jobs are available at anytime of the year. Many employers prefer to conduct the recruitment process well in advance so you should look online at job boards and forums for the latest openings. Interviews are often carried out via phone or Skype, although language centers don’t always advertise so being on the ground in Singapore will open up other opportunities in that area. Most employers in all types of schools expect their teachers to be native English speakers with a TEFL/TESOL certification and a bachelor’s degree. Most international and government schools require you to sign a two-year contract

What is the cost of living for English teachers in Singapore?

Although the average salary for a teacher in Singapore is higher than many other countries in the region, so is the cost of living. Housing is particularly pricey so jobs that offer free housing or a housing allowance are a real bonus. If you choose to live a flamboyant lifestyle you will struggle to save any of your income, but by taking a few sensible measures it is certainly possible to save at least $500 a month. Eating at local street restaurants rather than those aimed at tourists will save you a packet and you will get to enjoy more authentic food for only a few dollars. Public transport is very efficient, so there is no need to have your own vehicle. The average cost of living in Singapore is around $2100 - $2500 USD per month.