A detailed summer of the rules, requirements, and regulations in place for foreigners seeking employment as an English teacher in Vietnam.
Whether simply passing by or seeking employment within the Vietnamese education industry, foreigners visiting vivacious Vietnam are sure to notice the many, many students running about in their colorful, school uniforms. With more than 95 million people in Vietnam, schools are plentiful. They offer foreigners significant employment opportunities as English Teachers within the education industry from kindergarten all the way through to adults.
Whether looking to teach in Vietnam for a short period of time or permanently relocate, native English speakers are in high demand. It is not uncommon for foreign teachers to walk into a school and walk out with a job. The following is a useful guide focused upon the processes that surrounds becoming a successful teacher in Vietnam.
TYPES OF ENGLISH TEACHERS
Depending on your lifestyle – Vietnam offers both full-time and part-time opportunities – based on the work/life balance you want.
Alternative employment opportunities include:
- a private tutor (both for students and adults)
- a workshop teacher (guiding and teaching adults conversational skills, generally for the specific purpose of international business communication)
- an English counselor during youth summer camps
- an English teacher at an after-school English club/center
- and many more…
Job listings tend to be quite specific. Prior to CV and qualification submission, make sure you meet the most common requirements below.
Native English Speaker
Applicants must be a “Native English Speaker”. English is the applicant’s primary spoken language derived from a country whereby English is the nation’s official language. Although there are employers and recruitment agencies that do consider non-native English speakers, job listings will undoubtedly express a preference of applicants who derive from the UK, Australia, United States of America and New Zealand.
English Teaching Certificate
You can obtain a variety of teaching certificates either online or through a class or workshop. The most basic teaching qualification required to teach in Vietnam is a TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) certificate. Those courses range from 40 hours of training through to 140 hours. Qualifications such as TESOL (Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages) or CELTA (Certificate of English Language Teaching to Adults) are required to apply for a teaching role. It is indicative that the role is much more intensive and likely to provide a higher salary.
English teachers in Vietnam must be 18 years old or above for employment.
Experience is preferred but is not mandatory across all roles.
For teachers who are looking to gain teaching experience in Vietnam, there are a variety of volunteer roles available throughout Vietnam. You can find such roles via websites such as Global Volunteers and Projects Abroad. Through providers such as Workaway, teachers are also able to seek volunteer teaching positions in exchange for accommodation and food.
Most teaching roles in Vietnam do not specify a specific gender during the application process. However, it is common amongst job listings for Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten classes that the school requires a female English teacher in Vietnam.
Visas and the Law
Teachers must apply for a working visa as per the Vietnam Labor Law. Once an applicant has been selected, the school will offer support in providing the appropriate documentation to the government to legalize the work contract. Note: It is illegal to work in Vietnam with a tourist visa. It may result in deportation and/or entry ban into Vietnam.
Supporting documents recruiters request include a teaching certificate, a Curriculum Vitae (CV) and a copy of the applicant’s passport and working visa. On occasion, the recruiter may also ask for photos of the teacher (a head shot and/or body shot).
As odd as it seems, Facebook is the primary source for all those looking to become an English teacher in Vietnam to seek exposure and employment in Vietnam. Facebook groups such as Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) ESL Teaching Jobs and English Teaching Jobs in Vietnam post job listings regularly throughout the day. The groups target expatriates both currently or looking to live and work in Vietnam.
Foreign teachers seeking employment from outside Vietnam are easily able to apply for jobs online via a variety of reputable platforms such as Vietnam Teaching Jobs and Vietnam Works. Such websites offer detailed job listings months in advance of employment and are most suitable to those who aren’t urgently seeking work and looking to secure a job prior to arriving in Vietnam.
There are a variety of recruitment agencies in Vietnam that assist teachers seeking work such as Compass Education in Ho Chi Minh City. Obtaining employment via an agency supports teachers with matters such as the negotiation of contracts and salaries. Under the circumstance that a candidate is successful, the agency will charge a percentage cut from the pay (generally 3-4 USD/hr) for the duration of the contract.
BECOME A SUCCESSFUL ENGLISH TEACHER IN VIETNAM TODAY
If you’re a native English speaker who wants to explore Vietnam’s rich culture, exchange ideas, grow alongside others all while working – why not consider becoming an English teacher in Vietnam? The work experience collected, adventures to be had and friends to be made as an English teacher in Vietnam are well worth it.