Find Your Dream TEFL Job

Quick Facts

  • Degree Required

    Bachelor’s Degree

  • Salary

    $1,250-2,000/month

  • Visa

    Work Visa in advance

  • Age

    21-60

  • Contract

    12 months

  • Cost of Living

    $700+/month

  • Typical Students

    Children

  • Interview

    Phone / Video call / In person

What Kind of Teaching Jobs Are There In Vietnam?

The main types of English teaching jobs in Vietnam are at private language centres and public schools. Private language centres usually provide extracurricular English lessons to school children. Some are independent businesses whereas others are national chains with branches across the country. Public schools are run by the state and attended by most children in the country.

Teaching in Vietnam at private language centres

There are hundreds of private language centres across Vietnam, with more popping up by the minute. Students can be anywhere from 3 years old to 16 years old. Teaching the younger students usually involves lots of games, songs and using flashcards whereas teaching teenagers usually revolves around workbooks with some flexibility for activities. There are some English language centres for adults and university students, but there are considerably less job openings.

Finding a job

The easiest way to find work at a language centre is by looking at online jobs boards, expat forums and Facebook groups. You can easily apply by filling out an online application form or by emailing the employer. The next step is usually an interview via video call and then a job offer if you’re successful.

Looking for work on the ground is another great way to find a teaching job in Vietnam, as there are often centres looking for teachers at short notice. And if you’re ready to work immediately, you’re in with a good chance of getting a job! Searching for work in the country also allows you to interview in person and get a feeling for the centre yourself.

When to apply

Hiring for language centres is year-round with a slight peak in August – before the new term, and in June – before summer camps start.

Teaching hours & Class sizes

Most language centres operate in the evenings and at weekends, and teachers usually work 12-20 hours per week. Some teachers take on teaching jobs at two centres if they can’t get enough hours at just one centre.

On a weekday, you’ll generally work between the hours of 5pm and 10pm. On weekends, you could be teaching in the morning, afternoon or evening. Most teachers at private language centres work on both Saturday and Sunday – being the busiest days of the week – and between two and four evenings during the week. But during the week you have the full day to enjoy!

Class sizes in private language centres tend to be much smaller than in public schools. Most centres have 10-20 students in a class, though some centres will try to squeeze in up to 20 students. You may also be asked to do one-on-one tutoring occasionally.

Salary & Bonuses

The standard pay for a teacher at a private language centre in Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City is $19-23 per hour. In other cities, the hourly wage may be considerably lower but still more than enough to live comfortably. You’ll be paid for each hour you teach, not the hours you spend preparing for lessons.

Larger language centres, may have a higher hourly wage, but they also have higher requirements for teachers. For example, you may be required to have a CELTA qualification or previous teaching experience.

A few of the large national or international language centres also offer completion bonuses, accommodation and flight reimbursement. However, most language centres in Vietnam don’t offer these benefits.

Vacation

You generally won’t get paid vacation at a private language centre. However, many centres will allow you to take days off if you give notice or find another teacher to cover your classes.

Pros

  • Generous hourly pay
  • Daytimes free to explore
  • The opportunity to create fun, hands-on lessons
  • Smaller classes than public schools

Cons

  • Some centres may not sponsor your working visa
  • Hourly pay rather than a regular salary

Teaching in Vietnam at public schools

There are fewer jobs in Vietnam for foreigners at public schools than private language centres, but there are still plenty of opportunities. The main differences between working at a public school and a language centre are the class sizes and working hours. You can expect to have much larger classes, but you also won’t have any weekend or evening work.

Finding a job

Just like searching for work at a private language centre, you can find most work advertised online on jobs boards, expat forums and Vietnam Facebook groups. You can apply online or in person, followed by a video call interview for the former and a face-to-face interview for the latter.

When to apply

The new school year starts in mid-August and ends in mid-June, so hiring peaks in July for the start of term and in May for summer camps. However, there’s such a high demand for English teachers that you can find work at public schools year-round.

Teaching hours & Class sizes

You’ll work between Monday and Friday during the day. Depending on your contract with the school, you may work all week as a full-time English teacher, or you may just work a few hours as a visiting English teacher. A full-time English teacher usually works 20-25 hours per week, not including lesson planning time.

Class sizes are much larger in public schools than at a private language centre or an international school. You’ll likely have 40-50 students in a single class, but you could have at many as 60 students. This makes it much harder to plan activities and games, so you’ll be more likely to follow workbooks, run verbal drills and ask students to do tasks at their desks.

Salary & Bonuses

The hourly wage at a public school is usually $15-20 per hour. In some cases, you may be offered a monthly salary instead of an hourly wage.

If you sign up for a full-time contract for an entire school year, you may also be offered a completion bonus. If you sign up for a shorter contract or you work part-time, it’s unlikely you’ll be offered a completion bonus.

Vacation

Public schools in Vietnam have a three-week winter break from December to January and a five-week summer break from mid-June to mid-August. There are also shorter breaks in February – for the Vietnamese New Year celebration of Tet, April – for Reunification Day, and October – for the end of the first term. If you’d prefer to keep working through the summer, employers usually offer teachers work at a summer camp over the summer.

Pros

  • Office hours – no weekend or evening work
  • Potential for a regular salary
  • Help from a teaching assistant

Cons

  • Very large classes
  • Lower hourly wage than private language centres

Other types of teaching work in Vietnam

International schools are fee-charging institutions with a high level of education and students from all over the world. Jobs at international schools are one of the most sought-after teaching positions in Vietnam and competition for these positions is high. Jobs at international schools offer both the daytime hours of public schools and small classes of private language centres as well as high salaries. In fact, you can earn $2,900-4,000 per month working at an international school. However, you may be expected to have a teaching license from your home country.

Working at a university in Vietnam is another type of TEFL work that offers great benefits but has lots of competition. Private tutoring is a more achievable option for most English teachers – it offers an opportunity to earn some extra cash on top of your usual wage. You may even be able to turn private tutoring into a full-time job over time.

Am I eligible to teach in Vietnam?

To teach English in Vietnam, you need a degree and a TEFL certificate. Native-level English speakers are also highly preferred by employers.

Some employers will offer work to candidates without a degree or a TEFL certificate, but this will always be under the table, i.e. working illegally on a tourist visa.

How can I get a visa?

To work legally in Vietnam, you’ll need a work visa sponsored by your employer. Public schools and large, language centre chains will usually sponsor your visa and help you with the process.

However, lots of language centres will not sponsor your visa and prefer to pay teachers under the table – this is especially true of small privately-owned companies. Though, some small centres may accept sponsoring your visa if you’ll pay for the costs of the visa and application yourself.

Where can I teach English in Vietnam?

The most popular locations to teach English in Vietnam are Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon). Both cities have lots of jobs in private language centres, less jobs at public schools, and only a handful of positions at international schools and universities.

There are opportunities to teach English in Danang, Nha Trang and other parts of the country but it’s much harder to find work.

What are the challenges of teaching English in Vietnam?

With a rising need to speak English, there are a number of English language centres popping up around the country. This means there are lots of teaching opportunities, but it also means that there are lots of opportunists opening schools with the primary focus of making money – not teaching students. So, although there are lots of amazing teaching opportunities in Vietnam, there are also some dubious ones that you’ll need watch out for too.

If you’re keen to learn the local language, Vietnamese can be quite a challenge. The language is monosyllabic – meaning each word is usually only one syllable, and it also tonal – meaning you need to use a different pitch of voice for different words. The good news is that the Vietnamese alphabet is based on the Roman alphabet, so it’s easy to read.

Cost of living in Vietnam

A meal at a simple family-run restaurant costs no more than $2.50, a coffee or a beer costs roughly $1.50, and a one-way ticket on public bus costs about 25¢. A ticket to the cinema is about $4 and a massage can cost as little as $7. Groceries are a reasonable price, especially if you’re willing to do some bargaining at local markets. Though it often works out cheaper to eat at local eateries than it does to cook at home. In major cities, English teachers in Vietnam can usually afford entertainment and eating out regularly.

About Vietnam

Vietnam offers both a shocking assault on the senses – traffic, action and noise – as well as a view of some of the world’s most stunningly surreal landscapes – such as Ha Long Bay’s karsts and Sapa’s rice terraces. It is also home to compelling, turbulent history, delicious and healthy food, and fascinating, diverse culture.

Vietnamese culture

Much of Vietnamese culture focuses on the family unit. Although some families are beginning to live in smaller units, many houses are home to three generations. And almost every home has a shrine to their ancestors who have passed away – with regular offerings made to their spirits.

Respecting elders also plays a key part in local culture, with different pronouns used for people of different ages. Learning the different pronouns and using them correctly when greeting colleagues or friends is a great way to start showing your interest in the Vietnamese culture.

The Vietnamese have lots of age-old traditions and customs, as well as lots of superstitions! Bargaining is a part of daily life, there are lots of lucky and unlucky actions, and rules of etiquette are entirely different to those in the West. Learning about the culture can be both fascinating and fun, and Vietnamese people are usually happy to answer your questions.

Vietnamese cuisine

Vietnamese food uses lots of fish sauce and soy sauce, and is usually served with noodles, rice or soup. Fresh herbs and vegetables play a big part in most dishes, and a selection of bird’s eye chilies, lime, coriander, mint and chili sauce can usually be found on every table.

Popular dishes include pho – the famous Vietnamese soup, bun cha – barbecued meatballs with rice noodles, banh mi – a classic Vietnamese sandwich stuffed with your choice of filling as well as coriander, cucumber and carrot, banh cuon – steamed rice cakes filled with minced pork and wood ear mushrooms, and com bin dan – rice with a large choice of accompaniments. Lesser-known dishes include hu tieu – a pho-style soup with sliced pork and cao lau – a thick noodle dish served with pork and fried dough, unique to Hoi An.

Vietnamese cuisine is known to be one of the healthiest in the world. The best restaurants and eateries in the country usually only serve one or two dishes, perfecting the recipes over generations.

Accommodation in Vietnam

Your biggest expense living in Vietnam will be accommodation – but even that is very reasonable! A one-bedroom apartment in Hanoi costs $250-500 per month whereas a room in a house share can be as little as £100 per month. Ho Chi Minh is slightly more expensive, coming in at $400-650 per month for a one-bedroom apartment and a minimum of $200 for a room in a house share.

Accommodation won’t be provided or covered as part of most English teaching jobs in Vietnam. Though, some large language centre chains or public schools may provide accommodation.

Weather in Vietnam

Vietnam has a tropical climate with high temperatures and regular monsoons in summer and mild, dry winters.

Vietnam’s capital, Hanoi, has two distinct seasons: mild winters and stifling hot summers. From May to September, Hanoi is hot and humid with an average temperature of between 28°C and 29°C and sudden downpours of heavy rain. From December to February, the temperature drops to between 17°C and 18°C and there’s little rain. Spring and Autumn are brief, with either increasing or decreasing rainfall and temperatures.

Ho Chi Minh City, in the south, is much warmer than the north and has fairly constant weather year-round. The average temperature ranges from 27°C to 30°C, being at its coolest in December and at its hottest in April. Rainfall suddenly increases in May and doesn’t begin to decrease until November. Though overall, the city does receive slightly less rain than Hanoi.

Please note: The information in this guide is accurate as of the time of writing. However, the laws and requirements to teach abroad can often change. Make sure to check the latest advice from the local authority of the country you plan to work in.

More destinations

   How are we doing? Give us feedback on our site!

Subscribe to our newsletter

Stay in the TEFL jobs loop