As Vietnam continues to develop, many job opportunities are emerging for expats. While teaching English is very popular, it’s not the only option available.
It used to be a destination, back in the 1990s, for only the most adventurous types of travelers and frontier businessmen looking for hot new opportunities. It then became a hot spot for English teaching in the mid-2000s, thanks to the relatively high salaries, relaxed working hours and quality of life. These days, there are a lot more foreigners living in the country, working a whole range of jobs in Vietnam.
A quick browse through vietnamworks.com – arguably Vietnam’s most comprehensive jobs site – reveals a huge range of potential positions.
English doesn’t need to be your first language either. There are jobs for everything from mixologists to software engineers, hospitality managers to corporate lawyers. The opportunities for expats are extensive.
The type of job you can land just depends largely on your own individual skill set. For example: you’re probably not going to get a gig as a five-star chef if you’re not a good cook.
Not to worry, though. There are a handful of sectors that attract and hire expats. These jobs in Vietnam are, for good reasons or not, easier to access because you are foreign.
Here are some of them:
1. Advertising and marketing
Vietnam’s GDP has been growing at an impressive 6% to 7% recently, and this expansion into a fully-fledged market economy brings increased activity for marketing companies.
Many companies are looking for international creative talent to join their ranks. They need designers, art directors, video specialists, illustrators and copywriters.
If you count any of these capabilities in your skill set, there is a good chance you’ll be able to find a role to suit you in Vietnam.
Check out the Creatives and Freelancers Facebook group for jobs and chances to network!
Art Director/Copywriter/Graphic Designer average salaries: $1,200 to $2,400 USD per month
OK, it’s not a surprise that this one made it on our list, but it’s still a very viable option for many expats in search of employment.
That being said, there are many different types of teaching jobs.
Some can be part-time, relaxed gigs at English institutes or as a private tutor in far-flung provinces, where it’s common for a western appearance to be all you need to get a curriculum book and a salary to have conversations with people.
In cities, however, most English institutes will require at least a TEFL or TESOL certificate – and most likely a more advanced CELTA or DELTA – from the teachers they hire.
If you don’t want to be only teaching English, a job in one of Vietnam’s private schools will also require advanced certifications or degrees in teaching.
One of the biggest and most respected chains of schools is ILA, which offers training programs and guaranteed employment for new teachers.
Average salaries and rates: Private Institute, $15 to $25 USD per hour/Full-time private school, $1,800 to $3,000 USD per month
3. Digital Nomads
The need for websites and apps is increasing on a daily basis. Any experience building digital products to international standards means you will likely have little trouble finding work in Vietnam. It could be as a freelancer or maybe as an in-house employee. There are many digital media companies operating out of Saigon.
You might want to check out the digital scene in Danang as well. Vietnam’s third city is becoming something of a hub for remote digital workers.
4. Acting and modelling
Being non-Asian in Vietnam is still a novelty to many locals. As a result, even if people in your home country consider you average-looking, there is a good chance you can land a job in acting and modelling. A western look is a special look here.
One reputable ad agency that regularly looks for foreign actors for their ads is 116 Pictures. If you think you are up for it, get in touch with them and register your details on their casting directory.
Average salaries and rates: $20 to $60 USD per hour
So there you go. There are plenty of jobs in Vietnam. And as you search for something that suits you, rest assured that living off pho every day may not be luxurious, but it’s definitely delicious and cheap!