Teaching English in the Philippines

Philippines Overview

The Philippines is a collection of beautiful tropical islands where living costs are low. The only trouble is, the local people generally speak such excellent English that there is little demand for native English teachers. However, the growing Korean population in the Philippines seek tuition at language centres and if you have a relevant MA or PGCE (or equivalent) then you may find work at a university or International School.

Type of Institution Typical salary (USD/month) Typical hours Typical annual leave
Language centres 800 – 1,500 (DOS) Various but often 6 days a week 2 weeks plus national holidays
International schools and universities 2,500 upwards 8am – 4pm Monday to Friday plus some weekend work 10 weeks plus national holidays

Main places for jobs

Manila, Baguio, Cebu.

Typical requirements

Masters Degree, TEFL certificate, 2-3 yrs exp.

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1. An MA TESOL or Linguistics degree will greatly improves your chances of a decent salary. Inexperienced teachers are advised to get some experience elsewhere first!

2. Be very wary of working illegally without the correct permits.

3. If you are adamant about teaching and living in the Philippines you may wish to consider teaching online via Skype, for example.

Red tape

Unless you are working at a university or International School it’s best to arrive in the Philippines on a tourist visa and then ask your employer to arrange a work permit. There are tight restrictions on this (unless you happen to be married to a local).

Cost of living

Food, drink and transport are all cheap but accommodation prices vary dramatically depending on on your budget and location.

Tax and salary information

Your employer is normally responsible for arranging the payment of your income tax. Salary will usually be paid on a monthly basis.


The people of the Philippines speak excellent English so there is no language barrier and it is easy to make friends Difficult to find a job unless you have a relevant Masters Degree
Low living costs in most areas The work permit restrictions are very tight indeed
Should you happen to be married to a citizen of the Philippines then you can start a language school of your own Teaching Koreans at language centres or private colleges is generally poorly-paid

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. drutter says:

    My ex-wife is Filipino, as well as my daughter being mixed American/Filipino; therefore, I am very interested in finding work in one of the International schools or universities in the Philippines.
    I graduated with the Spring 2014 class at the University of Hawaii, Hilo. I hold a Bachelors of Arts in English,Concentration-Writing, and a TESL certificate.
    Any assistance, or advise, you can provide me with on getting started would be greatly appreciated.
    Mr.Daniel Rutter

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