Discover an extraordinary country steeped in history and boasting some of the most surreal landscapes in the world - right in the heart of Southeast Asia.
Vietnam is a TEFLer’s paradise. With its buzzing, chaotic cities paired with magical, lantern-lit alleyways and endless idyllic beaches, it offers a unique experience for even the most seasoned of travellers.
If you choose to take a TEFL job in Vietnam, you’ll soon lose yourself in its captivating culture and awe-inspiring architecture – plus, you’ll benefit from a consistent demand for English teachers that stretches country-wide. Combine all of this with some of the friendliest locals you’ll come across and tons of tasty dishes to top it all off and you’ve got the ideal TEFL destination.
If you aren’t ready for a full-time TEFL job in Vietnam, but want a taster, you’re in luck! Our popular Vietnam Internship departs multiple times a year and includes everything from your TEFL training to accommodation included. See if it’s for you here!
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£1,000-£1,600 per month
Cost of living
TEFL certificate needed
120 hours +
Main job types
Private language schools & public schools
Not ready for a full-time TEFL job? Download our free TEFL Internships guide
As you might already know, the cost of living across Southeast Asia is very low – and Vietnam is no different. Your largest expense will be accommodation (as with any country) and in the capital city, Hanoi, you’ll pay around £200-£400 a month for a one-bedroom apartment or even as little as £100 if you rent a room in a shared house. If you’re lucky, you might even land a job with a large language centre who cover your accommodation costs but unfortunately, this is quite rare.
At around £2 for a meal at an inexpensive restaurant, eating out is often cheaper than staying in, and a (delicious) coffee or bottle of local beer will be about £1. The bus is only 20p and groceries are just as cheap if you shop at a local market or a Vietnamese supermarket. Even if you fancy treating yourself on your days off, you can get a traditional massage for just £6 or a cinema ticket for as little as £3. In short, you should definitely be able to pocket some savings for your future travels.
To teach English in Vietnam, visa requirements state that you need to hold a bachelor’s degree and an accredited TEFL certificate showing that you’ve completed at least 120 hours of training – basically, the more training hours you have, the more employable you become. For non-degree holders, it’s possible to find a TEFL job in Vietnam but it’ll be illegitimate, under-the-table type work which we wouldn’t recommend.
If English is your first language, you’ll probably find it much easier and faster to find a TEFL job than if you’re not a native speaker, but that’s not to say those that are non-native speakers won’t find work. There are still plenty of jobs to go around and in fact, there are many non-native English speakers teaching in Vietnam at the moment.
How much you earn will depend on how much teaching experience you have and the type of job you get – most jobs in Vietnam will pay you an hourly rate instead of a monthly salary. For example, if you work for a language centre, you’ll earn around £15-£18 per hour which is a good salary if you take into account the low cost of living in Vietnam. You’ll be paid this for your teaching hours but not for the time you spend planning your lessons so remember to bear that in mind when you’re comparing salaries.
Some larger centres might offer a higher salary but they’ll also come with higher expectations like they may ask for a CELTA qualification or some previous teaching experience. If you’d like to get some teaching experience behind you, we recommend our Paid Vietnam TEFL Internship which allows you to get that all-important classroom practice with full support from our dedicated in-country team throughout.
Public school teaching, on the other hand, will pay about £12-£16 an hour or you could be offered a monthly salary instead. Plus, you’re more likely to get a completion bonus with public school jobs (if you sign a 12-month contract) than with a language centre role.
There are two main types of TEFL jobs in Vietnam: public schools and private language centres. The majority of teaching work will come from private language centres as there are hundreds of them across the country, with more opening all the time. Here, you’ll be teaching students aged 3-16 years old which tends to involve plenty of games, songs and flashcards for the youngsters and workbooks and activities for your teenage students.
Alternatively, you could find a teaching job in a public school as there are plenty to choose from. You’ll be teaching students of a similar age to private language centre students but your class sizes will be considerably larger. Also, private centres will expect you to be able to work more unsociable hours to fit around the students’ schedules so much of your teaching time will be on weekday evenings and at the weekend.
By a landslide, the best way to apply for TEFL jobs in Vietnam is via online TEFL jobs boards such as LoveTEFL Jobs. This is where most jobs will be advertised – in both public and private schools – and it’s the easiest way to get your application across to employers. The process normally starts with uploading your application with your CV, having a Skype or phone interview and then a potential job offer (hopefully).
You can also use Facebook groups or expat forums to apply for work at language centres as these platforms are free for them to use and you can ask other teachers about their experiences at specific centres. Or you can always buy a plane ticket and look for teaching jobs when you arrive in Vietnam, face-to-face. This has proven to be quite an effective method as there are plenty of language centres who’ll be looking for teachers who can start immediately.
As you might expect, you’ll be teaching larger classes in public schools of around 40 to a maximum of 60 students in one class, whereas, private language centre classes will range from about 10-20 students.
This, combined with the working hours, is the main difference between public school and private centre work. At a private language centre, you’ll generally work between 5-10pm on weekdays and either morning, afternoons or evenings on weekends. As the weekend is the busiest time for English classes, most language centre teachers will work both Saturdays and Sundays but you’ll get time off during the week and most of the day to fill before work starts at 5pm.
Public schools will require you to work relatively normal hours in comparison – Monday to Friday from early morning to late afternoon. You’ll generally teach for about 20-25 hours per week with more time being taken up with planning lessons and creating/finding resources.
In Vietnam, public schools have a winter break in December for three weeks and a summer break from the middle of June for five weeks, plus a couple of shorter breaks for Tet (the Vietnamese New Year celebration in February) and Reunification Day in October. It’s likely that you wouldn’t get paid for the summer break but lots of public schools will offer summer camp work if you want to keep your salary up throughout those five weeks.
As private language centres don’t follow term times, they run all year round so you probably wouldn’t get any paid holidays but you can always shift swap with other teachers or take unpaid holidays. There are pros and cons to both.
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