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How much can I earn teaching English in Vietnam?
- Due to a government backed scheme to improve English language proficiency across the country, Vietnam has seen a boom in ESL teaching jobs in recent years. As well as having plenty of teaching positions, Vietnam also offers a great mix of cosmopolitan cities, laidback beach resorts, and lush tropical countryside. The relaxed way of life is another reason why an increasing number of teachers are deciding to move here, particularly those who are used to working in other Asian countries with a more strict approach to life and work such as South Korea, China, and Japan. With so much in its favour it is no surprise that Vietnam is currently one of the fastest growing destinations in the world for teaching English abroad.
- The average salary for ESL teachers in Vietnam is around $1,000 USD per month for a first time teacher. Those with more experience and qualifications can expect to bring in up to $2,000 USD per month, depending on the employer. Other teachers choose to work on a freelance basis which means they are paid an hourly rate rather than a steady salary. In these positions pay rates range from $15 to $30 USD per hour. The vast majority of available jobs are located in the two big cities of Ho Chi Minh and Hanoi, although you will find options in other towns and cities throughout the country.
- Most ESL teachers working in Vietnam are employed by private language centers, either on a full-time or part-time basis. Full-time positions usually include a one-year contract with regular hours, health insurance, holiday pay, help securing a work permit, and sometimes an end of contract bonus. In contrast, part-time positions generally pay cash in hand and offer little in the way of extra benefits. Despite this, part-time teaching jobs are still popular as they provide greater flexibility in terms of working hours. It is also common practice for teachers to have part-time contracts with several different language centers at one time.
- Language centers can be found in every city, particularly in Ho Chi Minh and Hanoi where you will find a huge number of potential employers. A typical full-time contract involves around 20 teaching hours a week plus ten hours planning and administration time. Part-time positions are usually for three or four hours teaching per week. Many language centers run their classes during the evenings and weekends so you might need to consider this if you like to have a busy social life.
- If you would prefer to set your own working hours then you could consider working as a private tutor. It is common for teachers working in language centers to top up their salary by teaching private clients in their spare time, and many decide to go full-time once they have found enough students. One other option for ESL teaching in Vietnam is international schools; however, these are small in number and will normally require teaching experience and qualifications.
- Although the average salary for foreign teachers in Vietnam is lower than in some other Asian countries, the cost of living is very low so you can expect to live a comfortable lifestyle and still save a considerable amount of your salary every month. A room in a good quality shared house costs between $150 and $250 USD per month, while local food is extremely cheap averaging around $2 per meal. Your monthly outgoings will largely depend on the type of accommodation you choose, how much you travel, and how often you eat and drink at western style bars and restaurants, but a figure of $500 to $700 USD per month would be typical.