The government of Vietnam has made a big effort to improve English proficiency levels amongst its citizens in recent years, leading to a steady increase in job opportunities for TEFL qualified teachers across the country. It is also an increasingly popular option as the relaxed way of life is more appealing to many teachers when compared to the frantic pace of other countries in the region such as South Korea, China, and Japan. All in all, Vietnam looks set to be one of the fastest growing markets for teaching English abroad for some time to come.
How much can I expect to earn while teaching English in Vietnam?
If you are new to teaching English abroad you can expect to earn somewhere around $1,000 per month in Vietnam, while teachers with some experience and/or high level qualifications could potentially earn up to $2,000 per month. If you land a job that pays an hourly rate rather than a fixed salary, it could vary anywhere from $15 and $30, depending on the employer and your level of experience. The two biggest cities in Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi, are where the majority of jobs are located. However, there are other options for anyone who wants to stay away from the hustle and bustle of city living.
What type of employer will I work for while teaching English in Vietnam?
Most foreign teachers working in Vietnam are employed by private language schools. This type of position usually includes a one-year contract that comes with an official work permit, paid holidays, health insurance, and even a completion bonus in some cases. If you do not want to be tied to a full-time job with one employer, there are always plenty of part-time positions available, although these usually pay cash in hand and come with no contract or any of the usual benefits. It is common practice for teachers to work part time in multiple schools as a way of maximising their income while maintaining some level of flexibility and freedom.
Full-time contracts typically require you to spend around 20 hours a week in the classroom, with another 10 hours reserved for lesson planning, administration work, and any other duties necessary. If you work on a part time basis you should expect to teach for around 3 to 5 hours per week for each employer. As classes in private schools need to suit the schedule of the students who are likely to have jobs or other full-time study, lessons often take place during the evenings and on the weekends.
What other employment options are there for TEFL teachers in Vietnam?
Another popular option for many teachers in Vietnam is to set up as a private tutor as the demand is strong in many areas and you are able to decide on your own working hours. Some teachers do a few extra hours per week of private lessons to top up their main income, while others are able to make it a full-time job once they have found enough regular students. Teachers who have plenty of experience and a high level of qualifications might also have the option of jobs in international schools. The rewards on offer for this type of position are very high, although this type of job is thin on the ground and every position that comes up will have strong competition in most cases.
How does the cost of living affect TEFL teachers in Vietnam?
Despite the average salary in Vietnam being significantly less than some other countries in Asia, the relatively low cost of living means it is possible to live comfortably and even save a little each month. A good-quality room in a shared house can be found for around $150 to $250 per month. Eating out certainly won’t break the bank either as a simple meal in a local restaurant will only set you back around $2 per person. The monthly expenditure for a TEFL qualified teacher in Vietnam will ultimately depend on many things such as the accommodation you choose and how much time you spend in western style bars and restaurants, but on average it should fall somewhere between $500 and $700 per month.