Updated : 26/10/2020
Looking to get an English teaching job in Vietnam?
Well, that’s great, because Vietnam is one of the easiest countries in the world to get a job in. No wonder why there’s a buzzing and rapidly increasing expats community here. The main interest for some might be how low cheap the living cost is, compared to the wages one can earn. On top of that, Vietnam is a country blessed with beautiful landscapes, from scenic rock formations to pristine beaches and perfectly complemented by its unique food and culture.
Get an English teaching job in Vietnam!
Your best bet to work in Vietnam is to teach English as a huge majority of foreigners do.
What do you need to teach English?
Most countries in Asia require potential applicants to have a bachelor’s degree and/or to be a native English speaker, but this isn’t necessary for Vietnam. After spending 3 months in Hanoi, I had the chance to meet Brazilians, Nigerians, Egyptians, Filipinos, or Russians having an English teaching job in Vietnam. More than once, some teachers I met admitted they didn’t even have a degree.
As a native speaker, you can expect an hourly wage starting from 20$ an hour, which is high compared to the living cost. It can increase depending on your diploma(s), certification(s), nationality, and experience. Hanoi is known for having higher wages than the rest of the country. That’s a great place to find a teaching job in Vietnam.
If you’re not a native speaker, it is still possible to find a job, especially if you’re ready to commit for at least 6 months. Sadly, your skin color will definitely have an impact on how easy it will be for you to find a job and your rate. Lower quality schools will value white teachers a lot because they think that’s what the parents want for their kids.
Bonus point if you have blue eyes and blond hair, as it is very uncommon here and valued. Officially for marketing purposes.
Massive demand for English teachers
Urban Vietnamese usually start to learn English in kindergarten, up until adulthood. It’s really ingrained in their culture to go to tutorial centers and cram schools. They also learn English in public and private schools. Therefore teachers are able to choose between wide ranges of age, types of school, and schedule. Most tutorial centers are going to be open late during the weekdays and all day at the weekend. On the other hand, public and private schools will be open from Monday to Friday during the daytime.
Most foreigners are working in Hanoi, Saigon, or other popular beach destinations such as Nha Trang. It’d be very easy for you to find a job in smaller cities or in the countryside, as they are always looking for long-term teachers. The hourly wage will surely be lower though. You can also have the opportunity to volunteer in mountain villages. They’d be very happy to have you!
You should be wary of any company asking you for payment before starting your English teaching job.
Why getting an English teaching job in Vietnam?
Living in a foreign country and being able to make a living sounds like an attractive option to many travelers. Vietnam is a good base to explore the surrounding countries with cheap and quick flights to a dozen countries. Saigon and Hanoi are well-connected airports.
Taiwan is just a couple of hours away, perfect to hike the highest mountain in East Asia at 4.000 meters!
Most schools in Vietnam ask teachers to work around 25 hours per week, which is significantly less than in some neighboring countries. It leaves plenty of time to pursue other interests or projects.
For weather-sensitive people, Vietnam is also a good all-year-round option if you can stand the high humidity level during the summer months. Don’t expect snow or frost here.
But what makes getting an English teaching job in Vietnam so popular is also the living cost, insanely cheap on this side of the world. You can eat out for a dollar or two, renting an apartment in Hanoi for 300-400US$ per month.
As mentioned before, salaries are disproportionately high compared to the living cost, and that’s enough to attract many foreigners.
A very relaxed policy visa should also be mentioned as one of the factors attracting people.
How cheap is Vietnam?
Imagine a place where one hour of work equals about 50 pints of beer and you’ll understand why so many foreigners are living here.
Not every foreigner likes to drink beers though, and getting an English teaching job in Vietnam can be a great way to save money. More than once, I met travelers working here in order to prepare a long journey in Asia or around the world.
You can rent a room in Hanoi starting from 150US$ and an apartment from 300US$. These numbers are per month, and it can easily be lower outside of the capital. 20 kilometers away from Hanoi, you can find a two-bedroom apartment for about 300$. It will be even cheaper in the countryside.
How to deal with the visa?
Many foreigners are teaching with a 3-month tourist visa. Therefore, they need to exit every 3 months, sometimes coming back on the same day. It’s called a visa-run, and this is a popular activity.
They get back in the country with a new 3-month visa, but you need to repeat this step every 3 months. Most people in Hanoi would fly to Bangkok and come back to Vietnam within the same day, whereas teachers in Saigon usually fly to Kuala Lumpur or take a bus to the Cambodian border.
This is how foreigners manage to stay for a longer period of time. There’s no problem with the Vietnamese immigration to let people back the same day or to let teachers work on a tourist visa. It is also possible to extend your visa with a tourist agency, but not indefinitely.
Be aware: Teaching on a tourist visa is technically illegal, and some schools might take advantage of the situation.
Better schools will be able to provide you a working visa if you fit their requirements, even after you arrive in Vietnam.
Where to look for an English teaching job in Vietnam?
The sure bet to get an English teaching job in Vietnam is on Facebook, that’s where a lot of stuff is happening in Vietnam, from renting accommodation to finding friends. Most employers ask for a resume, photocopy of your passport, your diploma, and other credentials, and to finish they also ask for a police background check. Sometimes they might ask for a video or a photo of you.
I gathered a bunch of Facebook groups in order to help your research, not only limited to English teaching job in Vietnam :
Teaching in Vietnam
Teaching in Hanoi
Teaching in Saigon /
Ho Chi Minh City
All kinds of jobs
Contact the school
Apart from Facebook, you can also send your resume directly to the school through their website. Here I gathered several schools in Hanoi that you can look up :
- Apollo English
- Language Link
- KinderWorld (if you want to teach in a Kindergarten)
- Aten (Website in Vietnamese but they have 12 schools around Vietnam)
There are many more schools in Hanoi but I listed the ones with an easy English interface. You can consult a complete list here :
What if I don’t want to commit long-term?
You can try your luck here Hanoi Cover Teachers/Classes. This is a group where you can find classes at the last moment in Hanoi, sometimes even the same day. If you’re good they’ll usually call you again.
And you? Do you want to get an English teaching job in Vietnam? Share your thoughts with us by commenting below!