In recent years Cambodia has emerged as a popular destination for teaching English abroad. The capital Phnom Penh has plenty of great opportunities year-round, while other cities including Siem Reap, Battambang, and Sihanoukville also offer a significant number of teaching positions. A major attraction for some teachers is that, unlike many other countries in the region, there is no requirement to possess a 4-year degree. Whether you are a newly qualified TEFL graduate looking to gain classroom experience, or an experienced teacher looking to get off the beaten track, Cambodia is well worth considering.
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The figure you can expect to earn while teaching English in Cambodia will vary depending on your previous classroom experience and the type of employer. As a rough guide, a teacher with no previous experience should be able to earn around $1,000 to $1,200 per month, or receive an hourly rate of $10 to $12. Most positions do not include any extra benefits such as airfares, housing, health insurance, or paid holidays. However, experienced teachers who land a job in an international school can expect a significantly higher salary and a full range of benefits.
Although government run public schools do not normally employ foreign workers, there are a significant number of privately run schools that do look to employ English language teachers. These are mainly located in large cities and include primary, middle, and high schools. Typical working hours are 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m., and 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Another major employer of foreign teachers in Cambodia is the large number of private language academies that are spread throughout the country. These offer after-school English lessons to children of all ages, as well as adults looking to study in their free time. Working hours are typically from 5:00 p.m. onwards, and may include weekends.
A small number of jobs can sometimes be found advertised across various online job boards, however, the majority of employers in Cambodia prefer to hire teachers who are already in the country. This approach means you can meet the employer and negotiate your salary before committing to the post.
While the average teacher's salary is low by western standards, so is the local cost of living. A comfortable apartment typically costs in the region of $200 to $300 per month, with around $70 required to cover utility bills. Eating out and other entertainment is also very inexpensive by international standards. The low cost of living means that most teachers are able to live a comfortable lifestyle whilst living and working in Cambodia.