Teach and Travel

Teach English In Vietnam

Teach English In Vietnam

Why Teach English In Vietnam?

Vietnam has evolved into one of Asia’s most popular ESL job markets. English teachers can enjoy tropical beaches and earn a respectable income while exploring the many natural wonders this country has to offer.


Teach English In Vietnam: Fact Sheet

Header ColumnData Column
Education RequirementsBachelor Degree
TEFL Certification120-hour TEFL Certification Required by Most Schools
Citizenship RequirementsUSA, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, South Africa Preferred
Typical Contract Length12 months
Peak Hiring SeasonsYear-round
Hiring ProcessOnline audio/video interviews, face-to-face interviews in Vietnam
Visa RequirementsWork visa in advance or tourist visa which can be converted to work visa
Typical StudentsChildren, Business Professionals
Average Monthly Salary$800 - $1,500
Average Monthly Cost of Living$500 - $750
Types of JobsPublic Schools, Private Schools/Hagwons, Universities, International Schools
Teaching Hours Per Week20 - 30 hours

Top 5 Reasons to Teach English In Vietnam

1. Vietnam is one of the fastest developing countries in Asia

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Vietnam’s economy began emerging onto the global scene in the late 1990s, and has cemented itself as one of Southeast Asia’s fastest growing economies since the turn of the millennium. Vietnam has two major cities: Ho Chi Minh (formerly Saigon), the financial and business capital of the country, and Hanoi, the official capital and administrative center for the government. Vietnam has seen development in other areas of the country as well, thanks to visionary planning. A smart city near Hanoi is expected to be completed by 2028. The Vietnamese government has recognized that to grow its economy, the population needs to be highly-educated and competitive. There’s still some ways to go, but in the two major cities, you can enjoy an urban lifestyle and experience the rapid growth taking place in the country.

2. Vietnamese are friendly and ambitious

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Southeast Asia has long been famous for its friendly, hospitable cultures, and the people of Vietnam share these characteristics. In Vietnam, you’ll be routinely greeted with warmth and kindness, and discover that Vietnamese are more than willing to help foreigners. While you do need to be careful of scams and petty theft, realize that these can be largely avoided by being in and around the right people and environments. What’s more, Vietnamese are proud of their culture, they are characterized by a strong worth ethic and ambition, as well as to contribute to the growth of their country. As an English teacher in Vietnam, you are an important part of their success. The National Foreign Languages Project (NFLP) is focused on improving English proficiency among Vietnamese citizens. 

3. Living in Vietnam is fun - and inexpensive

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The cost of living is incredibly low in Vietnam. You can enjoy a comfortable lifestyle in Ho Chi Minh City or Hanoi for in and around $1,200 per month today, and save a chunk of your teaching income. Outside of these cities, the cost of living drops considerably, where you can live comfortably live within $800 to $1,100 per month, depending on the location. And while Vietnam is an inexpensive place to live, it’s an interesting one, too. In the big cities, you can enjoy excellent dining, street food, cafés, bars, and clubs. Or you can take a stroll along walking streets and rivers. Ride share is available on-demand, and it’s cheap. Step outside and you’ll be immersed in more traditional settings where you can enjoy the beautiful rice paddies, mountains, coastlines, and rustic towns and villages.

4. Vietnamese food - and coffee - is awesome

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Vietnam’s national dish is Phở, a broth consisting of noodles, meat, spring onions, oil, bean sprouts, basil, and lime. It’s pretty hard not to find Phở anywhere in Vietnam. But there’s so much more to Vietnamese food than Phở, which you will discover when living in Vietnam. Most Vietnamese dishes consist of meat and fresh vegetables, and are typically served with rice or noodles. Owing to its French colonial history, Vietnamese-style baguettes and sandwiches are popular around the country, too. Bánh mì is a short baguette that is thin and crispy on the outside, and soft on the inside. It is often eaten on its own as a staple food in Vietnam, too. For coffee lovers, there’s Vietnamese style coffee, or cà phê sữa đá. It comes in both hot and iced varieties. Either way, if you need your daily caffeine hit, you’ll get it.

5. Vietnam has beautiful, scenic beaches - and more

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Vietnam’s eastern border is entirely coastal, which means there are more than enough beaches for one to enjoy in this exotic country. In fact, Vietnam’s shoreline runs 2000 miles long, so the shores are long stretches of sand decorated with palm trees. Let’s not forget to mention the crystal clear waters, ideal for beach lovers who want to get their fill of water sports, biking, or hiking.

One of the most famous beaches in Vietnam is Long Beach in Phu Quo, Vietnam’s largest island. Not far away is Star Beach, also on Phu Quo, where one can take in the blue waters, and relax on white, powdery sands. Nha Trang is a coastal city along the south-central coast of Vietnam, and is a popular spot with tourists owing to its turquoise waters and cool city vibe. Yet, there’s much more than can be said.

Requirements to Teach English In Vietnam

Recommended TEFL Certification to Teach English In Vietnam

The TEFL Academy

168 Hour Level 5 Online TEFL Certification
Accredited by Qualifi UK and DEAC U.S.A.

Opportunities to Teach English In Vietnam

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Vietnam has increasingly gained popularity as a destination to teach English abroad. There is a significant demand for foreign English teachers as a result of a government initiative to improve the English language proficiency of Vietnamese citizens. As well, Vietnam’s climate makes it a very attractive destination. In Vietnam, the climate in the north is subtropical, whereas in the central and southern regions, the climate is tropical. Finally, teaching English in Vietnam is a decent option for ESL teachers who want to save money. Salaries for ESL teachers are decent when comparing with the relatively low cost of living, allowing for teachers to live a comfortable lifestyle and save a portion of their income.

A university degree is required to teach English in Vietnam, and you will need to show your original degree and/or transcripts as evidence. It’s also strongly recommended for you to have a minimum 120-hour TEFL certification. While it is not currently an official requirement by the Ministry of Labor, most reputable schools in Vietnam will require teachers they hire to have a 120-hour TEFL certification. Many employers will also be looking for your TEFL certification to include at least 6 hours of teaching practice, if you have less than one year of teaching experience.

You will also need to submit an original criminal record check from your country of citizenship, indicating that you have no criminal history. You will also need to complete a medical examination to confirm you have no outstanding health conditions.

ESL teachers will find job opportunities in these types of schools:

  • Language schools
  • Private schools
  • Universities
  • International Schools

Language Schools

Language schools offer among the best opportunities to teach English in Vietnam, and they tend to hire throughout the year. Many cities and towns throughout Vietnam have language schools, and there is a steady need for ESL teachers at these schools. They are also arguably the easiest teaching jobs to get in the country. If you are a first-time teacher, you will be able to get hired at a language school more easily than in other schools.

It’s important to choose a reputable language school that is prepared to arrange your visa and work permit. It’s typically better to choose a more well-known institute to work for than smaller schools that can potentially be problematic due to a lack of resources, poor cash flow, late salary payments, etc. Working for a language school with a solid reputation means you will earn a decent salary, receive benefits such as medical insurance, relocation allowance, and paid holidays. Reputable language schools also provide teacher training during the year.

Because language schools mainly provide evening and weekend classes, you can naturally expect your work schedule to include evenings and/or weekends. There are also opportunities for teachers to teach overtime hours, usually at a higher pay rate.


Private Schools

Private schools in Vietnam are a popular option for ESL teachers. However, jobs at private schools are more competitive due to the higher salaries and benefits typically offered. Teachers with higher qualifications and experience are strongly preferred.

Because private schools mainly cater to upper-income and expatriate families, class sizes will be smaller and classroom facilities will often be better. The work is often seasonal due to semester breaks, when schools are closed.

If you are an experienced ESL teacher, or a subject teacher with strong academic credentials and relevant experience, you should consider applying to teach at private schools in Vietnam, as these positions will be more lucrative. When applying for teaching positions at private schools, make sure to check the best time to apply for each school.


University positions in Vietnam can offer higher pay, but will often require a teacher to have some years of teaching experience and an advanced or specialized degree in English. Teaching opportunities are also available to foreign teachers who have qualification in other subjects. University teaching positions are not as common as language schools or private schools.

International Schools

A number of international schools operate in Vietnam, mostly offering internationally focused curriculum based on the International Baccalaureate (IB). Jobs at international schools offer excellent salaries benefits, and often provide a housing allowance.

International School teaching positions in Vietnam are arguably the most coveted, as they pay the best. However, you will need to be a licensed teacher in your home country and have some teaching experience.

Typical Salaries to Teach English In Vietnam

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Salaries for ESL teachers in Vietnam vary by the type of school, the location, and the number of contract teaching hours. Most teaching jobs in Vietnam require between 20 – 30 teaching hours, including lesson preparation time. Some schools, particularly language schools, pay per hour worked rather than a fixed salary.

School TypesMonthly Salary (VND)Monthly Salary (USD)
Language Schools28,000,000$1,200
Private Schools32,500,000$1,400
International Schools58,000,000$2,500

Benefits offered to ESL teachers tends to vary by the type of school you work for, as well as whether you are a full-time or part-time employed teacher. Benefits can include the following:

  • Medical insurance
  • Paid vacation days
  • Housing allowance (in exceptional cases)

Although benefits for ESL teachers are usually minimal, the cost of living in Vietnam is relatively low, and teachers have the potential to save money.

Other Benefits

Benefits offered to ESL teachers tends to vary by the type of school you work for, as well as whether you are a full-time or part-time employed teacher. Benefits can include the following:

  • Medical insurance
  • Paid vacation days
  • Housing allowance (in exceptional cases)

Although benefits for ESL teachers are usually minimal, the cost of living in Vietnam is relatively low, and teachers have the propensity to  

Popular Cities to Teach English In Vietnam

Vietnam has two major cities: Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi. It also has up and coming cities along its long coastline, one of them being Da Nang.

Teach English in Ho Chi Minh City

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Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) is Vietnam’s most populous city and commercial center. This high-energy city is leading the country’s development and emergence on the world stage. Many visitors fall in love with HCMC’s vibe as well as its charm.

HCMC is a blend of old and new, where you can enjoy a bowl of phở, Vietnam’s national dish, in an street restaurant, or enjoy fine dining in one of HCMC’s chic restaurants.

The city’s skyline is changing, with a growing number of skyscrapers, residential complexes, and shopping malls.

Off the beaten path, you’ll see the remnants of HCMC’s years gone by, from old colonial buildings to temples.

This gem of a city once known as Saigon, is the pulse of Vietnam, reflecting the rapid growth of the country and the region.

Teach English in Hanoi

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Hanoi is located on the banks of the Red River, and is the capital of Vietnam. Hanoi has a long, colorful history, which is reflected by its colonial buildings, ancient pagodas, and museums. Hanoi has a multi-cultural vibe, owing to its French colonial past, and Chinese and Russian influences that add to the city’s multicultural vibe. In Hanoi, you’ll find incredible local and international cuisine, an exciting nightlife, and local trades and crafts.

The beautiful and iconic Ha Long Bay is a short distance from Hanoi’s city center. Also not far from the city are verdant parks and mountains, a taste of more traditional Vietnamese life.

If you prefer a subtropical climate, Hanoi is an excellent choice of city to live and work in.

Teach English in Da Nang

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What makes Da Nang an ideal choice for many ESL teachers is that it’s situated half way between Ho Chi Minh City in the south, and Hanoi in the north, on Vietnam’s long stretch of coastline. Here you can enjoy Da Nang’s palm-fringed beaches, crystal-clear waters, and white sands.

Da Nang is up and coming, and in this sense, has an interesting vibe with people enjoying water sports and activities during weekends and holidays.


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