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How Much Can I Save and Earn as an English Teacher in Vietnam?
Written by: Christie Koness
Last Updated: July 19, 2021
Vietnam is an excellent choice for teaching English overseas if you are not only hoping to have a very authentic teaching experience, but earn a good salary and put some cash away! While you may not make quite as much as South Korea or China or find a job with as many benefits, Vietnam still comes in pretty close as a top destination where even first-time English teachers can make and save great money.
The average monthly income in Vietnam is approximately $1,500 USD (typical for most teachers who work for one language school). Some teachers have reported making upwards towards of $2,000 USD a month; however, this will depend on your credentials (minimum BA degree, TEFL certification, and native English speaker), school you are working for, and city you are teaching in (some schools in rural areas have been known to pay more to attract more and higher quality ESL teachers). Some schools will also offer their teachers certain benefits that help cut down their monthly costs such as housing allowance, contract bonuses, or even financial assistance with the work permit.
Cost of Living
The average cost of living per month for an average English teacher is approximately $850 USD per month. Some teachers have even reported that their cost of living was less than $850 and a few teachers who live in more luxury accommodations spend more towards $1,000 USD or more per month. Overall, this can depend on what city you live in and how much you choose to spend on certain expenses. However, an English teacher can expect to spend around the following based on what our current alumni have experienced:
- Rent: $200-$250/person
- Utilities: $30
- Food: $110-$300
- Social Activities: $100
- Transportation: $20-$50
- Travel: $200
- Phone: $10
So as you can see, a high salary plus a low cost of living equals a high savings potential! Many teachers in Vietnam generally save around $500 USD or more a month. To earn even more money, some teachers will take on private students looking to learn English or will even teach English online a few hours a week to pad their pockets.
Some other good ways to save even MORE money while living in Vietnam are:
1. Eat and drink like a local
a. This means finding local markets to grocery shop & avoiding western style super markets that cater to expats
b. Eat at local restaurants - banh mi, pho, etc.
2. Bargain when you’re shopping
3. Buy a motorbike
4. Rent a local apartment and share with another teacher, expat or local.
Christie has just returned home from taking a year off and traveling the world with her husband. She has also worked as a volunteer English teacher and has spent substantial time traveling and studying in Spain. Christie has nearly a decade of experience working in the field of TEFL and she has been with ITA for over 6 years on the Student Affairs Team, where she helps hundreds of students each year find English teaching jobs across the globe.
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