How cool would it be to live and teach English in Vietnam? The cost of living is cheap, the people are nice, the pay is relatively good and the entire country is endowed with a majestic landscape which includes some of the best beaches in the world, luscious green mountains and mystic rivers. Vietnam is a country of traditional life in the villages and bustling modernity in the cities of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. On top of that, Vietnam continues to have one of the fastest growing economies in the world. It is no wonder that there are plenty of English teaching opportunities throughout the country. I’ve met quite a few teachers that taught in Vietnam and each of them had great things to say.

How much can I make if I teach English in Vietnam?

Vietnam offers the best paying English teaching positions in Southeast asia. One can expect to make a minimum of $1000 per month, but most teachers average $1200 to $2000 per month. There are even reports of more experienced instructors making $2500 per month.  Keep in mind that the cost of living in Vietnam is cheap, so $2000 a month affords one the opportunity to live comfortably and save each month.

Where can I teach English in Vietnam?

Similar to the rest of Asia, private language institutes provide the majority of jobs in Vietnam. There are a multitude of private language schools throughout the large metropolitan areas of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City that hire throughout the year. Because of the amount of schools and demand for English instruction, there never seems to be a shortage of teaching positions. Expect class sizes in private language schools to be no more than 10 students per class and a range from children to working professionals. As the ESL industry has become more competitive and developed in Vietnam, many schools now offer bonuses and incentives for the better teachers.

Many teachers also find positions at universities as Vietnamese university students are required to learn English and most are eager to learn in order to improve their job prospects. It is also possible to teach English at public middle and high schools throughout the country. Expect class sizes to be large in public schools. Like in all countries, a benefit of teaching English at a university or a public school is the generous paid vacation time. To generally teach anywhere in Vietnam, you will need at least a B.A. and in many cases a TESOL, TEFL or Celta certificate. You will also need a work visa, which should be taken care of and sponspored by the school that hires you. It is possible to fly into Vietnam on a tourist visa and upgrade to a work visa after finding an institution to sponsor one.

What is the cost of living in Vietnam?

The cost of living is dirt cheap when compared to the large cities of the United States. If you can live frugally on $2000 per month in the United States, then you can live comfortably on $1200 a month in Vietnam. A decent meal in a regular restaurant cost about $2 to $4, a plate of street food between $1 to$2 and a beer at a bar is no more than $1. A one bedroom apartment in the city center of Hanoi or Ho Chin Minh City costs between $350 to $500 per month. The same flat will costs around $250 per month in the suburbs or countryside. One can probably live on about $1000 a month in Vietnam and save at least $600 or $700 per month.

If you are looking for adventure, majestic scenery and the ability to live comfortably, then I would highly recommend teaching English in Vietnam.

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James taught English for four years in Japan and traveled throughout Asia and South America. These days, he spends most of his time building Wordpress sites, blogging and teaching others the nuances of digital marketing.


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