What Do I Need To Teach In Vietnam

Vietnam is a stunning location, and although it may not be your first thought when it comes to teaching English as a foreign language in a new country, it is certainly worth looking into. The cities in Vietnam are vibrant and full of life, and in contrast, you can escape the hustle and bustle and head into the gorgeous countryside and see stunning vistas. They also have a reputation for some of the most delicious locally cooked foods. Of course, when you are living and working in a new country, it is always worth living like a local and delving into the culture so you will have plenty of chances to taste all the gorgeous dishes on offer. In this blog we will address the question of “what do you need to teach in Vietnam?”

Working In Vietnam

Found in Southeast Asia, Vietnam is home to Ha, Long Bay, a UNESCO world heritage site, and the most famous cities are probably the capital of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. Before you head out to Vietnam, you must ensure that you have obtained your criminal records check, which must be precise. Most positions will be looking for a bachelor’s degree; of course, an accredited TEFL certification goes a long way to securing work. You will stand out from other candidates if you demonstrate that you have been studying relevant fields or can bring experience.

If you are unsure whether Vietnam is the country for you, then why not consider heading there on a tourist Visa? If you enjoy life there and manage to secure work, converting the initial tourist Visa into an official working Visa is possible. This is how a lot of people go about achieving their legal status in the country. It could be an excellent choice for a gap year as Vietnam also has volunteer opportunities. One of the reasons why the government is so popular is because it enjoys temperate weather all year round, and the locals are amiable and happy to welcome outsiders into their social circles.

TEFL Job vs Internship - TEFL Institute

Qualifications to Teach English in Vietnam

It used to be that teaching in Vietnam was just a case of turning up. However, due to the boom in the TEFL industry, employers are now looking for more. They used to employ people who had a degree and were native English speakers, but now, more often than not, they require candidates to have a 120-hour TEFL qualification. We talk a lot in our other blogs about the importance of ensuring that your qualification is accredited and regulated by a recognised external body.

We know that some companies offer very cheap courses through discount sites like Groupon, and sadly, these are generally not accredited. The standard of education will not be high enough. This is one of the reasons we encourage people to avoid these courses as, unfortunately, when you take that qualification out into the world, you will soon find that it is not worth the paper it’s written on. This can be incredibly disheartening, so getting yourself on an accredited course from the beginning, such as the ones we offer, is better.

If you are a native English speaker, the certification, a bachelor’s degree in any subject, and a clean background check will put you in good stead for finding work. As previously mentioned, any experience that is relevant from your past will help push you up the candidate list. If you are not a native English speaker, you still stand a chance if you can meet all the criteria already mentioned and demonstrate that you have English proficiency to the required standard by supplying an IELTS or similar certification.

No Degree?

What if you meet all of the other requirements but do not have a degree? Well, it’s not all over just yet. There is a possibility that you can land yourself a teaching job in Vietnam without a bachelor’s degree. When you apply for your work permit, you are asked to provide evidence of your degree, but obviously, in this case. If you don’t have it, demonstrating five years plus of teaching experience that can be documented may well get you a Visa. If it doesn’t work for you, you could start your career teaching English in a foreign language as a volunteer English teacher in Vietnam. The qualifications for these rules are not as stringent. The pay is non-existent, but generally, they provide accommodation, food and potentially a small amount of spending money.

No Experience

Candidates with a bachelor’s degree but cannot demonstrate teaching experience should not worry either. It’s fair to say that the top-paying jobs will likely go to people with experience, but there are also some excellent opportunities at a slightly lower level for new teachers. This can be especially true if you demonstrate your TEFL certification at level five or have undertaken other enhanced training.

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Vietnam lantern festival

What Do Teachers in Vietnam Get Paid?

Of course, as with every country, pay varies, depending on the specific role that you have been employed for. However, the average salary is around $1500 each month. If you hit the top recruitment targets, for example, with classroom experience, previous experience, teaching abroad, and other skills, you may well find you were offered nearer $2000 a month. 

Generally, most English teacher opportunities in Vietnam can be found in language and public schools. As you may have read from other blogs on our site, language schools are an attractive choice because they are literally in every country around the world. However, classes are aimed at people who cannot attend during the day because, for example, they are adult learners who work during the week. So, this means you will be working evenings and weekends. Some people who teach English as a foreign language in new countries love this lifestyle because it gives them days to explore the unique local area. 

Public school pay varies, but generally, teachers earn around $17-$20 per hour, equating to $1900-$2200 monthly. This is a much more traditional 9-to-5 working day, and you will often find that once the students have gone home, you must stay and plan lessons and carry out admin duties. Like most places, public schools are free to attend for local children. You might receive a comprehensive lesson plan where you need to ensure that you cover specific subjects during a term.

Which Option to go?

The other option Is to work as a private tutor. It would be best if you were confident in organising your schedule and dealing with earnings, including meeting any tax rules in the country. Private tutors can charge anywhere from twenty to one hundred dollars an hour; however, the upper end is much rarer. Some English teachers in Vietnam strike a balance by working at a language school and topping up their income by tutoring in their spare time. However, you do need to ensure that if you go down this route, you get permission from your employer to work on the side. Sometimes, private tutors work under the table, which is not recommended, but private tutoring may not be covered by a work Visa.

Teaching in Vietnam by Location 


The capital city of Hanoi is a popular choice for English teachers, and they have a wealth of language schools. You will find opportunities to teach children and adults of all ages in private and public schools. As mentioned, you enhance the likelihood of securing one of the more prestigious and higher-paying roles by bringing more qualifications to the table.

Ho Chi Minh City 

Ho Chi Minh City is found in the south of Vietnam and is quite contemporary compared to the capital. You will find some unique rooftop bars, and if city living suits you, you could also find yourself renting one of the modern apartments. Roles in Ho Chi Minh City tend to offer a lower hourly rate than those in Hanoi. You will make the same amount of money because Ho Chi Minh City tends to have longer working hours than Hanoi.

Da Nang

Teaching English and Vietnam does not have to be about city living. Da Nang is a coastal town that is much quieter than the main cities. Naturally, this does mean that you will find fewer opportunities on offer and generally, the vacancies will be in language schools. Most learners attending language schools will be young children and teenagers. You will find fewer adults in this setup.

Vietnamese lit lanterns at night

Life in Vietnam 

One of the keys to transitioning into a new country is learning about life before you go, embracing local living and respecting customs and traditions. Considering Vietnam as a very safe place to live, it’s essential to note that, like all places, pickpockets will attempt to take advantage. Therefore, make sure to keep your possessions close to you at all times. The primary consideration is moving around the area alone at night, primarily if you work at a language school and finish later in the evening. However, taxi scams are notorious in Vietnam, so although it’s safer than walking alone in the dark, ensure you utilize apps like Grab. These apps feature reputable providers, offering a more secure option.

Cost of Living

There are lots of places offering cost-of-living information. Generally, the salary provided in any country will be on par with meeting basic living needs. The good news is that you can find accommodation for as little as $250 a month, and if you eat like a local, you could keep your food budget to well within $150 a month. The cheapest accommodation usually comes from renting a room and sharing your accommodation with others. Depending on where you work, you may even find that the employer offers shared living accommodation with other teachers in the same position. If you need a private property, you must budget between 350 and $500 a month. Ho Chi Minh City is the most expensive rental market.

Getting Around

You will soon discover that most people get around on a motorcycle. There are plenty of motorcycle rental shops, and generally, it’s about $50 a month to rent a vehicle of your own—a full tank of fuel costs around $2. You will need an international driving permit, so get this before you leave for Vietnam. If you don’t like the idea of riding a motorbike, then taxis are the best second option.Walking the streets is safe during the day, but extra caution is necessary after dark.

Food and Drink

Anywhere that considers itself a tourist destination will inflate prices in high-street restaurants. However, if you eat like a local and head to market stores rather than shopping in supermarkets, you can save yourself a lot of money. Cafes are much cheaper than you might imagine, with coffee costing as little as $2. If you would like a beer in the office at the end of the day, you will find these available for under a dollar. If you want to participate in some tourist tours while you are new to the area, wait for the off-season, as prices will drop. They will also be quieter and a lot less crowded.

The Bottom Line

Vietnam is an excellent city for those looking to teach English in a foreign country. People widely speak English, so it doesn’t matter if you don’t speak Vietnamese. However, it’s respectful to learn basic greetings and phrases used daily.

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To learn more about Exciting Opportunities to Teach English in Vietnam, Visit our main page “Teach English in Vietnam” where you will get all the information in the Proper Way.

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