Teaching English in Vietnam

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Vietnam Overview

Vietnam is one of the best places in Asia for teaching English. An interesting culture, stunning natural scenery and huge demand for English tuition make it one of the most popular destinations. Most jobs are in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon) and it is worth reading up on the different characteristics of the two cities in order to be able to focus on vacancies in your preferred location. Salaries are perhaps the best in the Mekong region and there is a lively expat scene in both main cities.

Type of Institution Typical salary (USD/month) Typical hours Typical annual leave
Language centres and kindergartens 1,200 – 2,000 Various but often including weekend and evenings 2 weeks plus national holidays
International schools 1,800 upwards 8am – 4pm Monday to Friday plus some weekend work 8 weeks plus national holidays

Main places for jobs

Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Haiphong.

Typical requirements

Degree, TEFL certificate, 1-2 yrs exp.

The University of Toronto TEFL Online - Internationally Recognized

Tips

1. Experienced teachers without a degree can obtain a work permit if they can demonstrate that they have worked for 5-7 years as a teacher.

2. If you don’t get enough hours from your employer, consider working for a second school or language centre. This is quite common. The British Council employs part-time staff on an excellent hourly rate.

3. The New Hanoian is a good place to find out more about Vietnam and meet people who already teach there.

Red tape

Normally teacher arrive on a tourist visa and then convert it into a business visa with the help of their employer. Unlike neighbouring countries, you do not have to leave Vietnam and return on the new visa. However, a work permit also requires a health check and a criminal records check from your country of origin. If possible, obtain a criminal records check before arriving in Vietnam because it costs more and takes longer if you try to get one once you have arrived. The work permit is valid for 3 years and allows you annual business visas sponsored by your employer.

Cost of living

Transport, food and accommodation are all quite cheap in Vietnam but bear in mind that you will probably be charged more for many goods because you are a foreigner.

Tax and salary information

Salary tax should be taken care of by your employer. Normally you should expect to receive your salary on a monthly basis.

Summary

Lots of jobs available The process of becoming a teacher in Vietnam not only requires the usual certificates and experience. You also need a health check and a police check from your country of origin
Good pay when compared to neighbouring countries As a foreigner you will be charged a higher price for many goods and services
The local food is delicious and cheap! Some people complain of an unfriendliness towards foreigners – particularly in North Vietnam

Directory of Recommended Schools, Language Centres and Recruitment Agencies

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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.

22 Comments

  1. Scott Sheppard says:

    I’ve been teaching in Viet Nam for just over 3 years now (arrived February 2010). All this time has been in Ha Noi so I can only talk about it, but I do know that Sai Gon is better for Westerners because the people are friendly and there is less hatred in regard to the War (in the North you are automatically regarded as an American, and treated pretty badly sometimes). I have some advice about Viet Nam for those who are considering it as an option:

    (1) Salaries are about right for the ones you mention.

    (2) There is no-one I know who works for a Language Centre that gets 2 weeks holidays plus the national public holidays. Most get around 7 days on average, unless you are really good at negotiating.

    Private/International Schools range anywhere from 3 weeks to 6 weeks holiday.

    (3) Teaching hours at schools (Private/International) are generally 7.30 – 4.30 or 8.00 – 5.00. Plus they will make you work for special functions (some nights or weekends) and you don’t get paid any extra for it

    (4) Work permits have recently changed are only for a maximum of 2 years now. The schools have to do all the application for you as the Government won’t accept foreigners doing it. The schools also have to pay all the costs, required by law, but most will get you to pay for it and then reimburse you after 12 months. This is to cover them because so many people bail out after 6 months and the schools get caught out paying for everything. When you have your work permit, the school will then apply for the Temporary Residents Card. This is valid for the length of your work permit, and means you don’t need a visa to stay in the country (or leave and come back). There is no such thing as a Business Visa for a teacher.

    (5) No matter where you work they will try and rip you off on your Contract and work expectations. My advice is to know what you want to work for (money wise),and any other thing that you want, and don’t settle for anything less. There are that many places chasing teachers that you will eventually get what you want. Of course the more experienced you are, the more you can expect/ask for. If you are just starting out then you may have to accept less but the experience that you gain will help in your next application. Arrive with enough money to bankroll you for 3 months and you should be fine.

    (6) Also be aware that there are actually very few true International Schools in Viet Nam. A lot use the term “International” as it gives them a leg up to charge more money for their services. If a school runs on a split system of Western curriculum and MOET/DOET (Ministry/Department Of Education and Training) then they aren’t an International School. Even the big ones like “Singapore International School/Kinderworld International Kindergarten” are not recognised/authorised International Schools. Check carefully before you sign with any school.

    (7) I would still highly recommend Viet Nam as a first port of call for any TESOL newbies to gain experience. They say if you can do 12 months here then you can work anywhere. And who knows, it might just surprise you and it will become your long-term home 🙂

    • Hi john – thank yo for your informative post.

      Can you give me some advice please. I finish my TEFL Celta course in Febraury 2014 and want to get started now on what to do. Can I apply for jobs without my certificate and do I need a CRC check now from here (UK)?

      I have a degree in Business Studies will this affect my chances of getting a good position?

      Also would I be better going through and agent/recruiter for my first TEFL job?

      The School I am taking my course is really pushing UAE. But with the cost of living and the adverture I want is in Korea.

      Any advice would be great.

      I look forward to hearing from you.
      Kind Regards
      T.

  2. Mike Sweeney says:

    I am currently teaching in Shandong Province, China, at a top private middle school. But when my contract ends next summer.
    I would like to re-locate and maybe teach in Vietnam if there are any suitable job opportunities.
    Kind rewgards
    Mike Sweeney

  3. teacher8476 says:

    We’re foreign languages center from Hanoi – Vietnam. We’re looking for a full-time English teacher. Who ready to work in Vietnam and passion teaching. We offer salary of 25-27 million VND (1000 to 1200 usd per month) for maximun 25 working hours per week (The actual working hours might differed) and Monday is the day-off. The teacher must have experience teaching ESL and be able to handle a wide range of students from 10-year-old to adults. So, if you’re interested in our offered position, please contact us teacher8476@yahoo.com

  4. Joseph says:

    hi,

    I am in Vietnam and had an unexpected job interview today at a language center in a medium sized city in Central Vietnam. I don’t have any teaching certificates and hardly any experience in teaching English. I’m not a native speaker but speak English fluently. I have a BA in psychology.

    They offered me no more than 13usd per 90 minutes. Scanning the internet this seems ridiculously low as I understand the average hourly rate is around 20usd.

    They were very eager to hire me (for 6 days per week, 90 minutes per day). No wonder, with such an hourly rate, hehe. Anyway, I’m thinking about asking 20usd per hour. And after negotiating ask at least 16usd per hour.

    Does that sound right or am I still aiming too low?

    Thanks!

  5. Jacob says:

    I’ve been teaching in VN for almost 2 years and most of what Scott says is in line with my experiences. I taught for 8 months at a language center in Quy Nhon (central coast, Binh Dinh province) and all the teachers were on hourly wages ranging from $10USD to $14USD/hour. They were typical VN management–very cheap and wanted you to do additional chores for no pay. For the past 1+ years I’ve been teaching at a private university in Da Nang–intially hourly and now on set monthly salary of around 25-million VND before taxes, etc. for up to 24 classroom hours a week.

    Joseph — I’d be amazed if you could get even $16USD/hr outside of HCMC or Ha Noi. Whatever you do, get it in writing (and even then don’t trust it). They will promise you anything but then start to renege almost immediately. It’s just the way it is here.

    Jacob

    • I’m going to open an english center in central Highlands of Vietnam (Dakmil town near Buon Ma Thuot city). I’m looking for an native english teacher.
      Position: ESL/Class teacher
      ESL/Class Teacher requirement:
      Monthly Salary: 1200$ for the probation period 2 months. after the probation probation depend on your ability your salary will be 1500-2000$/month + Overtime pay
      Working hours: 6 days/week. From monday- saturday
      Places of work: Daknong province
      Job Details: Teaching English to students of different age groups. (Pre-schoolers to young adults).
      Create and conduct games, outdoor activities and summer camp for students (when required).

      Long Holidays / Annual leave: Paid national holidays and sick leaves
      Completion Bonus: Yes
      Misc.: Free accommodation
      Free transportation to and from school

    • jamie says:

      hello my good man…

      what was the name of the school in quy nhon? I am looking to get a job there. -jamie

    • PJ says:

      Hey Jacob,

      Would it be possible to get in contact with you to discuss Quy Nhon?

  6. Ernest Appiah says:

    Dear sir, I am a qualified teacher with a university teaching Certificate, a Diploma, all from the University of Ghana.I also hold a Level 4 150 Hour TESOL with a pass B1 Standard from Intesol. I have eight years of English language, social studies, mathematics and integrated science teaching experience.

    I wish to extend my teaching expertise Abroad-Vietnam, and hereby write to seek a vacancy in any of your primary or middle schools. In fact, i really hope i can make my best mark if i am employed. Counting on your cooperation.

    Kindest regards,
    Ernest Appiah.
    00233244910522 / 00233508244108

  7. Chinh says:

    Group of 15 people of us living in Ha noi capital, Viet nam, want to improve our skill English speaking, need to hire a English teacher.
    Time: Saturday or Sunday. 2 hours a day.
    Location: Ba Dinh Province, Ha noi capital.
    Start: Sooner as well as
    Salary: Normal 15USD/ hour
    We have location with all requirment for teaching.
    May be payment after finish teaching per day
    More information, let email to me
    mobile: 0912334589

    • Alexander says:

      I saw your ad for an English Language Teacher. I am a Native American and I lived in the Thanu Xuan area in Hanoi but I returned to the U.S. for personal business. I plan to return to the Hanoi city and teach English.

      I would like to make contact with you and stay in contact if you are still in need of a Teacher when I return to Hanoi.

      I have a Bachelor degree from a University in Oregon, U.S.A. and I have a TESOL/TEFL/English as a second language certificate from Oxfordseminars.

      I have taught 3rd grade 4th grade 5th grade in a public school Hanoi. I taught some University pronunciation classes, volunteered and taught teachers and nurses English at peace Village, and I have privately tutored students from 1 to 1 students per session.

      I have taught many subjects but teaching English as a second language is where I need more experience, and I am very flexible to acquire that experience.

      Please let me know if we can communicate and if you want more information about me.

      Thank you for your consideration,

      Alexander

  8. I’m going to open an english center in central Highlands of Vietnam (Dakmil town near Buon Ma Thuot city). I’m looking for an native english teacher.
    Position: ESL/Class teacher
    ESL/Class Teacher requirement:
    Monthly Salary: 1200$ for the probation period 2 months. after the probation probation depend on your ability your salary will be 1500-2000$/month + Overtime pay
    Working hours: 6 days/week. From monday- saturday
    Places of work: Daknong province
    Job Details: Teaching English to students of different age groups. (Pre-schoolers to young adults).
    Create and conduct games, outdoor activities and summer camp for students (when required).

    Long Holidays / Annual leave: Paid national holidays and sick leaves
    Completion Bonus: Yes
    Misc.: Free accommodation
    Free transportation to and from school

  9. ken says:

    I am currently in hanoi vuetnam.if you need an English teacher,you can email me ASAP at ekeneenwere@yahoo.com

  10. axelaxelaxelaxel says:

    Hello,

    me and my girlfriend are teaching in a training centre in Chengdu (China), but are considering leaving this place.
    We have 2 years experience, of which a year of being Head Teachers in our respective campuses. We have degrees and TEFLs.

    One problem: I look native, but I am not and my girlfriend doesn’t look native (but she is, asian background)

    Please get in touch if we could be right for your school/training centre.
    Preferably central Vietnam (around Danang)

    We could start after TET holidays.

    Thank you!

    axelpolimanti@gmail.com

  11. Boris says:

    Dear Friends, I am trained English Teacher, bilingual Russian and with native UK level , have earned my degree in UK , BA hones in English Language Studies, for all levels, including the TEFL.
    I would like to teach in Vietnam, and please do contact me via e mail,
    i hope to contribute to your school. I am available after 16th this month,December.

    best regards
    boris

  12. Recruitment: Home-based Online English Teacher in Vietnam

    TOPICA EDTECH GROUP (topica.edu.vn) is the leading online training organization in Southeast Asia, with thousands of students studying in various programs including TOPICA UNI, TOPICA NATIVE, TOPICA MILLION, etc.
    If you:
    – Enjoy teaching but don’t like a fixed schedule
    – Enjoy teaching but don’t like long commuting
    – Want to experience the modern e-learning trend adopted by Harvard
    Then let’s go ONLINE and teach!

    Currently, TOPICA EDTECH GROUP is in need of 20 English teachers for TOPICA NATIVE – our online English program for working people.

    Position: Online English teacher
    Work location: Home-based.
    Vacancies: 20.
    Class hours: self-picked from 16 slots/day (8AM – 11PM)

    Responsibilities:
    – Teach conversational English skills for adults following provided lesson plans.
    – Correct grammar and pronunciation mistakes for students.
    – Give assessments at the end of class.
    – Be punctual with high sense of responsibility.

    Benefits:
    – Attractive monthly income, based on number of teaching sessions;
    – No limitation in registered teaching hours every week.
    – Work home-based and self-manage working schedule weekly;
    – Full package of training is provided for free;

    Requirements:
    – Be a Native English speaker.
    – Be confident in communication, no lisp or stuttering.
    – Has stable Internet connection (for home-based)
    – Preferably College graduate (TESOL/CELTA/TEFL is a plus!)

    Application Process:
    Interested applicants please send a CV (including a passport photo and your current location) to the following email addresses: native.teacher@topica.edu.vn
    The subject is as follow: Application for Online English Teacher_Name (E.g: Application for Online English Teacher_Janet Johnson).
    Early submissions are preferable.

    For any concerns, please contact: 0912 417 497 (Ms. Ruby)

  13. Tim Kelly says:

    Hey there,
    Vandora Technology just launched a new application named Enkulu which provides English learners instant access to native English speakers over video call. Now we are looking for English tutor to join our community.
    – You will get paid for every minute talking with students (Pay rate: $7 per hour)
    – Work on your own schedule and the amount of time is totally up to you.
    – Connect with people all around the world and learn about their cultures and also you can learn their languages.
    – You only need a computer with stable internet connection to be able to teach
    – It’s a plus if you have teaching certification or previous teaching experience.

    Apply on our website: http://vandoratech.com/enkulu/tutor
    Send me an email: chung@vandoratech.com

    Cheers!

  14. blogprotest says:

    Working in Vietnam can be a new experience that’s both fun and interesting. However, getting to Vietnam can be challenging especially if your country does not have a Vietnam Embassy and you have to find the nearest Embassy for Vietnam from your surrounding countries.

    However, there is a new service that has been introduced by the ministry of immigration in Vietnam. This service allows you entry into Vietnam by air and then you get your visa from there. You only need a six months old passport and two most recent passport photos of you. more interesting is the fact that this service is free and very fast. In less than 48 hours you will be in Vietnam. You can then get your visa from the Visa on arrival office at the airport upon your arrival.

    If you plan to work in Vietnam, make your visa application process quite simple, affordable and fast. Checkout http://www.visa-vietnam.org website which is one such websites that enable you the quick access to Vietnam for a visa. This service is legalized and facilitated by the immigration department of Vietnam.. and meant for you..

  15. Hanh Pham says:

    I really wish to learn English with foreigners, and I wish to establish groups to train each other, such as Vietnamese will teach Vietnamese for foreigners and vice versa 🙂

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