ESL Jobs in Vietnam (4 Popular Types)

a local and a foreigner conversing by the lake

Table of Contents

ESL Jobs in Vietnam

As Vietnam continues to open up, with booming tourism and manufacturing sectors and with increasing numbers of students looking to complete their studies abroad, the demand for teachers of English as a Second Language keeps growing. Additionally, ESL jobs in Vietnam come in a variety of different flavours: both schools and language centres here hire foreign teachers to supplement the English education their students are already receiving by focussing on fluency and pronunciation, and the number of opportunities available here is staggering.

Teaching ESL in Vietnam can be a really rewarding experience, too. Students tend to be intelligent and attentive, the wages are good and the cost of living is still low, and the country itself is absolutely gorgeous. If you decide to come here to teach, the type of job you get when you arrive will play a big part in determining how good an experience you have. This article’s all about giving you a sort of general overview of the main types of ESL job available here so that you can choose the one that’s right for you.

Language Centres

Language centres are where local parents send their children to supplement the education they’re already receiving at school. You’ll see them all over the major cities and they can be great places to get started since they’re ubiquitous and open all year round, unlike public and international schools which close for Summer.

Actually, even if you decide to teach at a public school you’ll almost certainly still be employed by one of these centres since many of the larger ones supply public schools with ESL teachers as well as conduct classes of their own. If you’d like to find out more about the process of getting a job here you can check out our guide on how to find an ESL job in Vietnam. It goes into a fair bit of detail, listing the best practices as well as a few common pitfalls.

Ellie and her standard-sized language centre class
Ellie and her standard-sized language centre class

General Info

Pros and Cons

Public Schools

One of the other best ESL jobs in Vietnam is being a teacher at a public school. Teaching at a public school can be great because it gives you the opportunity to really participate in the local culture. You’ll be working closely with Vietnamese teachers and will likely be invited to participate in school ceremonies on occasions like New Year and International Women’s Day, which are taken quite seriously here and are always great fun.

This type of work is more formal than language centre work, though, with longer hours and fewer days off. And class sizes tend to be very large, usually around 40 students. At the same time, the increased number of hours means you’ll be making more money!

a typical Vietnamese high school
a typical Vietnamese high school

General Info

Pros and Cons

Private Lessons

Many teachers here supplement their income by organising private lessons. Some do this by themselves while others, perhaps the majority, work with local colleagues they met, say, at their day jobs.

The advantage of working with a local is that he or she can can help you liase with your students’ parents to get things like a location (usually a small rented classroom), a set of materials and a schedule organised and agreed upon. Naturally, this is less necessary if your students are older and already speak some English, and teachers in this situation tend to run their lessons out of coffee shops or their apartments.

a local and a foreigner conversing by the lake
a local and a foreigner conversing by the lake

General Info

Pros and Cons

Online Teaching

This type of English teaching work has been around for a while, but really exploded when a lot of ESL teachers found themselves out of work during the lockdown that happened in response to 2020’s Wuhan Coronavirus outbreak. All you need is a laptop, a mic and a stable internet connection and you can be teaching students from all around the world (but mainly China) in no time. This type of work is popular among the digital nomad types who value being able to move around at their leisure.

coconut coffee in a pretty Hanoi cafe
coconut coffee in a pretty Hanoi cafe

General Info

Pros and Cons

Other Types of Teaching Work

So, these are the main types of English teaching work you can find here in Vietnam but there are others which, for one reason or another, are a little less popular.

International Schools

Some international schools hire ESL teachers to help their students improve their fluency and pronunciation, and these kind of jobs are similar to high school work except the level of the students tends to be higher and the facilities tend to be better.

Most international schools will also hire foreign teachers to teach subjects like English and Maths but most of the time they’re looking for professional teachers, requiring qualifications identical to those required by schools back in the West.

Universities

ESL teaching jobs in Vietnam are less common at universities than at schools and language centres but they do exist. Like international schools, universities employ a mix of qualified lecturers and supplementary ESL teachers.

Summer Schools

The Summer break here in Vietnam is quite long and many parents, perhaps the majority, keep their children in education during this time. Some go for private tutors, others opt for Summer schools which are essentially intensive courses at language centres. This can be a good option for school teachers who’d like to make some extra cash over the Summer break.

Vietnamese pencil case - peach bum creature
Vietnamese pencil case - peach bum creature

Get on over Here!

 You now know the different places that you are likely to find work and you can se which of these is most likely to suit you and your situation. This now means you are probably ready to make the leap and get over here. 

Finding flights and getting a tourist visa are easy enough to do. However, do the the current COVID restrictions, you may find that you need to quarantine for 2 weeks. This is changing quite often and is something you will need to look into. 

You can easily switch your visa to a work permit and the school you work for will help you to do that. Then, you will be working legally and should find that you can earn enough to recoup the costs of getting over here. 

Come on over. 

Truc Bach Lake
Truc Bach Lake

Quick Connect

BMW 1250 GS

Engine Type

air-liquid cooled, twin cylinder, DOHC, boxer engine

Displacement

1255 cc

Bore X Stroke

102.5 mm x 76 mm

Ignition

FI

Fuel System

fuel injection

Compression Ratio

12.5:1

Starter

electric

Gearbox

6-speed

Front Suspension

BMW Motorrad Telelever; stanchion diameter 37 mm

Rear Suspension

single-sided swing arm with BMW Motorrad Paralever

Front Brakes

dual disc brake, floating brake discs, diameter 305 mm, 4-piston radial calipers

Rear Brakes

single disc brake, diameter 276 mm, double-piston floating caliper

Front Tyres

120/70 R19

Rear Tyres

170/60 R17

Wheelbase

1514 mm

Seat Height

850 mm

Ground Clearance

790 mm

Kerb Weight

249 kg

Fuel Capacity

20 litres

Dimensions

2207 mm (L) x 952.5mm (W) x 1430 mm (H)

Honda XR 150 motorcycle rental

Engine Type

air cooled, OHC, single cylinder

Displacement

149 cc

Bore X Stroke

57.3 mm x 57.8 mm

Ignition

CDI

Fuel System

20 mm piston valve carburettor

Compression Ratio

9.5:1

Starter

electric with kick starter backup

Gearbox

5-speed

Front Suspension

telescopic fork, 180 mm axle travel

Rear Suspension

single shock swing arm, 150 mm axle travel

Front Brakes

dual piston caliper, 240 mm disc

Rear Brakes

mechanical drum

Front Tyres

90/90 19

Rear Tyres

110/90 17

Wheelbase

1362 mm

Seat Height

825 mm

Ground Clearance

243 mm

Kerb Weight

129 kg

Fuel Capacity

12 litres

Dimensions

2091 mm (L) x 811 mm (W) x 1125 mm (H)

Honda CB 500X motorcycle rental

Engine Type

liquid cooled parallel-twin four stroke

Displacement

470 cc

Bore X Stroke

67 mm x 66.8 mm

Ignition

PGMI – FI

Fuel System

fuel injection

Compression Ratio

10.7:1

Starter

electric

Gearbox

6-speed

Front Suspension

41 mm SFF-BP USD Forks

Rear Suspension

Prolink Mono with 5 stage pre load adjuster

Front Brakes

dual 296 mm discs with 4 piston calipers; ABS

Rear Brakes

240 mm disc; ABS

Front Tyres

110/80R19M/C (59H)

Rear Tyres

160/60R17M/C

Wheelbase

1445 mm

Seat Height

830 mm

Ground Clearance

180 mm

Kerb Weight

199 kg

Fuel Capacity

17.7 litres

Dimensions

2,155 mm (L) x 830 mm (W) x 1,410 mm (H)

Honda CRF 300 motorcycle rental

Engine Type

single cylinder, DOHC, liquid cooled

Displacement

286 cc

Bore X Stroke

76 mm x 63 mm

Ignition

Full Transistor Digital

Fuel System

PGM-FI electronic fuel injection

Compression Ratio

10.7:1

Starter

electric

Gearbox

5-speed

Front Suspension

43 mm telescopic upside down

Rear Suspension

Prolink Mono with 5 stage pre load adjuster

Front Brakes

256 mm disc, 2 piston caliper

Rear Brakes

220 mm disc, single piston caliper

Front Tyres

80/100 21

Rear Tyres

120/80 18

Wheelbase

1455 mm

Seat Height

880 mm

Ground Clearance

285 mm

Kerb Weight

142 kg

Fuel Capacity

7.8 litres

Dimensions

2230 mm (L) x 820 mm (W) x 1200 mm (H)

Tourist

One-Way

Expat

Pricing

N/A

N/A

Damage Waiver

$0/day

N/A

N/A

Security Deposit

N/A

N/A

Required Docs

passport

N/A

N/A

Mileage Limit

unlimited

N/A

N/A

Touring

N/A

N/A