Teaching English in Singapore

Singapore Overview

If you’re looking for a life in the tropics complete with Western comforts then Singapore is the place to be. An efficient transport network and first-class infrastructure make it one of the most popular destinations in the region for those seeking an orderly and secure place in which to live. Teachers’ salaries in Singapore are often very attractive indeed but accommodation costs can be high. English is the national language but although most inhabitants are fluent there are still plenty of opportunities for experienced and highly-qualified teachers.

Type of Institution Typical salary (USD/month) Typical hours Typical annual leave
Language centres and kindergartens 1,500 – 3,500 (DOS) Various but often 6 days a week 2-4 weeks plus national holidays
British Council 3,000 – 4,000 Various shifts including evenings and weekends 7 weeks plus national holidays
International schools and universities 3,500 upwards 8am – 4pm Monday to Friday plus some weekend work 10 weeks plus national holidays

Main places for jobs

Throughout the island.

Typical requirements

Degree, TEFL certificate preferred, 1-2 yrs exp preferred.

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1. If you only have a year or two of experience as an English teacher and do not possess an MA or PGCE you will almost certainly only be able to find work in kindergartens and private language centres.

2. When renting accommodation, make sure you negotiate a diplomatic clause in your contract so that if your work contract ends early or you have to move overseas you are not liable to pay the rent for the rest of the rental agreement.

3. Experienced teachers are advised to find out about opportunities to teach at the British Council. Previous IELTS examiners and those holding a DELTA certificate are more likely to be successful.

Red tape

All teaching staff have to be registered with the Ministry of Education. This means you need to be in possession of original educational certificates and degree transcripts. An employment pass is issued by Immigration once the Ministry of Education has registered you. The whole process takes a few weeks but you will normally be issued with a temporary visa in the meantime. It is normal to enter Singapore on a 1-month Visitor’s Pass which you receive on arrival.

Cost of living

Accommodation prices range from moderate to high – there are very few bargains in Singapore. Food and transport costs are reasonably-priced. Alcohol is expensive.

Tax and salary information

The famously low level of Income tax is paid on an annual basis and it is the employee’s responsibility. This means you need to budget and make sure you save enough over the year so you can pay off the bill when it arrives. It also means you need to fill in a tax return form.


Excellent infrastructure – daily tasks can be accomplished easily Those without much experience will have difficulty finding a sufficient salary
Moderately-priced and efficient transport system Strict rules regarding who can teach in public schools and universities
Lots of opportunity for professional development The small size of the country may make you feel claustrophobic after a while. Big Brother is watching you!

Directory of Recommended Schools, Language Centres and Recruitment Agencies

Would you like your school, language centre or recruitment agency to be listed here? Please contact us.

Qualified English teachers please register with World of TEFL and we will contact you with relevant vacancies as they come in. This is a free service for teachers.

1 Comment

  1. drbhandari says:

    Hello Sir ..
    I am a Consultant Physician from India.
    I am being offered a job in Singapore under the Employment Pass..& planning to shift to Singapore.
    My wife is a Teacher/Manager here in India in an IELTS/TOEFL in India.
    Can she get a good job in Singapore.? & what should be her expected Salary.
    Can she apply online on some websites or institutes.?

    Waiting for your kind reply ..in this concern…

    Hoping the best for you..

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