Teaching Salaries in Asia

TEFL teachers in search of cultural enrichment, adventure and rewarding experiences tend to head toAsia. But what do you need to get there? We’ve got the low-down on degrees, average salaries, demand and what you should do when you get there. Are you ready for this?  Take a look at all of these, plus teaching salaries in Asia:

Teaching in China!

Do I need a degree? No you don’t – and this extends from getting a job to taking part on the China internship, so don’t think you can’t teach abroad without a degree!

How Much Money Will I Earn? Expect to earn around £1,200/$1,900 a month, so you may be surprised by how much it is.  And as if that wasn’t already good enough, the cost of living in China is very low with many employers including accommodation in your contract, so your wage basically goes completely on food and fun.

Demand? Massive.  China is one the biggest TEFL markets, with many parents sending their children to English lessons as young as one. Teaching English to young learners is extremely popular!

Must-see? Great Wall? Nah. Been there. Done That. Got the photo. We’re fully aware of the astronomical size of China but if you’re ever in the area, the Harbin Ice Festival will blow your mind. Maybe take a jumper though, it’s -30 degrees.

Teaching in Japan

Do I need a degree? Yes, short and sweet. You will not be able to teach in Japan without a degree, as competition is HUGE and so they can afford to take the best of the best when it comes to English teachers.

How much money will I earn? At £1,835/$3,000 on average a month, Japan remains one of the best paid TEFL destinations. Pay will depend on experience, but I guess when it comes to schools, they would see it as they get what they pay for.   Is it ridiculously expensive to live in Japan? Yes and No. A lot of your wage will go on rent, but in terms of cost of living, residing in the likes of Tokyo will be similar to London, New York, Sydney etc. Choose to live somewhere more rural and expect to see a drop in prices.

Demand? Everyone wants to go to Japan (did you SEE the wages?!), and for this reason, demand for TEFL teachers in Japan isn’t as high as it once was as employers can afford to be picky with whom they employ. TEFL employers in Japan prefer teachers with experience and a recognised, accredited TEFL course. The other option is to take part in the JET (Japan Exchange & Teaching) program.

Must-see? Kyoto, Tokyo, Mount Fuji, Osaka, Takayama, the cultural sites of Japan are limitless.  Don’t make us pick just one.

Teaching in South Korea

Do I need a degree? Yes

How much money will I earn?Around £1,580/$2,500, so quite a lot!

Demand? Landing a job in South Korea is pretty straight-forward: there are plenty of hagwans (private schools) across the country, like any school/contract, make sure to do your research before accepting any teaching job. Alternatively, government-run programs like South Korea’s EPIK program is another good place to start.

Teaching in Vietnam

Do I need a degree? Yes. The Vietnamese government announced changes to the requirements for foreigners working in Vietnam. From May 31st 2013, a visa and work permit will only be issued to teachers who hold a degree (and a TEFL certificate).

How Much Money Will I Earn? £1,200/$,900, but if you consider it in terms of Vietnamese Dong, you’ll be a millionaire!

Demand? Various sectors including kindergartens, universities, state schools, language schools, one-to-one, business English. Take your pick.

Must-see? Mekong Delta floating markets. This is far from your average market – take a step back and marvel at the wonder of the local food trade, on a river.

Teaching in Thailand

Do I Need a Degree? Yes.

How much money will I earn? £660/$1,080 on average a month which may not sound like a lot, but you need to remember just how cheap everything is over there.

Demand? There is a demand for English teachers all over Thailand, meaning that you can choose which area you’d like to teach.

Must-see? It might be a little cliché and extremely touristy but you can’t go to Thailand and not do a cookery course: time to whip up a mean Pad Thai!

Teaching in Indonesia

Do I need a degree? Yes and No. It really depends on if you;re already in country or not. It’s fairly easy to find a job in Indonesia without a degree is you’re already there!

How much money will I earn? 10 – 15 million Rupiah, which while at £690/$1,100 a month may not sound quite so impressive, cost of living is low here.

Demand? You could be teaching young children, kids or if you live in a major city like Jakarta; you could be teaching business English to professionals – the opportunities are quite literally endless!

Must-see? Diver?  Then you’ll need to visit Raja Ampat, home to 1,309 fish species, 537 coral species and 699 mollusk species.

Teaching in Taiwan

Do I need a degree? To put it simply: yes

How much money will I earn? £1,835/$3,000 – Taiwan is like a hidden secret, not many TEFL teachers think about teaching there,  but those who do reap all the benefits!

Demand? Taiwan is definitely an up-and-coming TEFL destination, and so finding a TEFL job shouldn’t be too tricky. The hiring process runs all year round. Most TEFL jobs are found in the larger cities of Taipei, Kaohsiung, Taichung, Taoyuan, and Tainan.

Must-see? It’s got to be Taipei. What might once have been your average polluted city has had a drastic makeover in recent years. Explore remnants of Japanese legacy, taste Taiwanese delicacies in one of many fantastic night markets or go chill out at Beitou hot springs, ahhhh perfect.

Teaching in India

Do I need a degree? In theory no, but if you want to go for the more competitive positions with higher wages, or teaching business English then it’s ideal to have one.

How much money will I earn? There are over 1.1 BILLION people in India and it is known for its broad collection of cultures, languages, religions and class. Earning money as a TEFL teacher therefore varies from place to place and employer to employer dramatically. In poorer areas you’ll find that most employers will not be able to afford to pay you, meaning that it is not uncommon for many teaching positions to be voluntary. Teachers remain a much respected member of society, and in richer areas paid positions can be found but are competitive. Expect to earn around 47,000 INR per month.

Demand? The English language within most of Indian society is used for boosting employability, international mobility and accessing information (as 75% of the world’s information is stored in English) The demand for English teachers is definitely there it is just a case of doing some research. Voluntary positions are definitely in high supply, look for local adverts to find work this way. Finding TEFL jobs online from home can be hard to come by so are perhaps better found on the ground. The main demand comes from businesses in big cities such as Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore.

Must-see? Visit the Golden Temple in Amritsar, a lot of history too.

Teaching in Malaysia

Do I need a degree? Yes technically but some people do work on a tourist visa (this is illegal and if caught, things could get ugly!).

Demand? The level of English in Malaysia is very high, especially as Malaysian English is a known second language there. Employers therefore expect the best from their teachers. It’s not abnormal for employers to therefore request a few years’ experience. Many destinations often claim they want ‘native English speakers’ sometimes this is due to visa requirements but most of the time all that employers are looking for is fluency, this is the case for TEFL jobs in Malaysia. The main demand for English is in its capital, Kuala Lumpur.

How much money will I earn? You can expect to earn anything from 3,000-8,000 MYR a month and this will grow depending on experience. It’s not too uncommon for salaries to reach up to 15,000 MYR a month (do the conversion – seriously, if you’re an experienced teacher looking to head abroad – go, go, go!).

Must-see? Want to make everyone green with envy back home? Then you’ll need to head to the Perhentian islands, jaw-droppingly/booking-a-flight-despite-my-overdraft good.

Don’t see the country you’re interested in?  Take a look at our country guides to find the perfect place for you!


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    I have a slight limp when i walk. Can this weigh nrgrtivly against my application.

    • Elle Pollicott

      Hi Bernard, not at all. If you have any other questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us on +44 871 423 9941 and our expert advisers will be happy to speak with you

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