Vietnam has proven to be a popular market for English teachers seeking an off-the-beaten-path experience due to its low cost of living, delicious cuisine, and natural reserves with over 1,800 miles of coastline, mountain ranges, and pristine forests! If you are considering teaching English in Vietnam, you will need to ensure you meet the following qualifications.
What Qualifications Do You Need to Become an English Teacher in Vietnam?
To teach English in Vietnam, you will need TEFL certification and a bachelor's degree. Native English speakers are preferred. A criminal background check may also be required. The average salary for an English teacher in Vietnam is about $1,100 - $1,500 USD per month.
Requirements for Teaching English in Vietnam
Now let's look at the following requirements to teach English in Vietnam in detail:
Hold a TEFL certification
Have a Bachelor's degree in any field/major
Be a native-English speaker from the U.S., U.K., Ireland, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, or South Africa (preferred)
Meet the age requirement
Own a valid passport and visa
Pass a clean criminal background check
Complete a health check
Let's expand on each of these Vietnam ESL teaching requirements and qualifications below:
1. Hold a TEFL Certification
A TEFL (Teach English as a Foreign Language) certification is required to teach English in Vietnam. Getting TEFL certified will provide you with the relevant training and qualifications you need to get hired by a reputable school in Vietnam and should leave you feeling confident in your abilities to provide ESL lessons to your students.
Which TEFL Course is Right for Me?
Most English teaching job interviews in Vietnam are conducted on the ground, in person. Therefore it is common for students to take one of our two TEFL courses in Vietnam:
Taking one of these two courses means you are already in Vietnam and can begin interviewing during your TEFL training, or immediately at course completion.
Another popular option is our 170-Hour Online TEFL Course which you can take online from home. This course is part-time, which means you can still work and save some extra money in anticipation of your departure to Vietnam, whenever that may be.
2. Have a Bachelor's Degree in Any Field/Major
Can You Teach English in Vietnam Without a Degree?
A Bachelor's degree is required to teach English in Vietnam. Your Bachelor's degree does not need to be in education, it can be in any field (Marketing, Psychology, Arts, etc). Any four-year diploma or bachelor's degree from an accredited university will satisfy this requirement (or three years if you studied in the UK, Australia, or New Zealand).
Prior Teaching Experience
While prior teaching experience can help you stand out on your resume, you do not need it to teach English in Vietnam. Your TEFL certification training will provide you with the relevant qualifications you need to get hired by a school in Vietnam.
Any reputable TEFL certification course should include a mandatory practicum component to help gain firsthand experience practice teaching with real non-native English speakers. This will prepare you for the classroom and leave you feeling confident in your ability to deliver well-structured ESL lessons to your students. This practice teaching can count as teaching experience and should be highlighted on your resume.
3. Be a native-English Speaker from the U.S., U.K., Ireland, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, or South Africa (Preferred)
Native-English speakers from the U.S., U.K., Ireland, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, or South Africa are highly preferred. If you are a qualified non-native English speaker, you can be considered for ESL teaching jobs in Vietnam. You must be fluent in English and speak at a native level.
4. Meet the Age Requirement
In some countries, a teacher's age can be a factor in the hiring process. In certain teaching markets, especially in Asia where it is common to teach English to young learners, schools will typically look for younger teachers (21-35), and abide by certain age restrictions for hiring and qualifying for work visa sponsorship.
Vietnam is one of many countries in Asia that maintains an official retirement age of 55 for females and 60 for males. Because of this, schools will look to avoid sponsoring work visas for teachers nearing or at this age range due to retirement rules.
Read more: Will I Face Age Restrictions Teaching English Abroad in Asia?
5. Own a Valid Passport and Visa
TEFL teachers applying for jobs in Vietnam should expect to have the following documents available to process their work visa:
Visa Requirements for Teaching English in Vietnam
You are able to enter Vietnam on a tourist visa which is typically valid between 15-30 days (but if needed, this can be extended upon arrival in Vietnam). Once you have secured a teaching job in Vietnam and signed a contract with a school, your employer will help you convert your tourist visa into a work visa/permit - this is needed to legally teach English there.
You will need to leave Vietnam to pick up your visa in a neighboring country such as Cambodia. If you are able to secure a job in advance of being in Vietnam, you can also process your visa in your home country. The visa duration is one year (from the signing of your teaching contract).
6. Pass a Clean Criminal Background Check
A clean criminal background check must be provided to obtain your Vietnamese work visa.
7. Complete a Health Check
Once you have secured employment in Vietnam, your employer will set up a health check for you to ensure you are in good health. This is typically an up-front payment of $25 that your employer should reimburse you for and will require two passport-sized photos.