Everything you need to know to get a job teaching English in Singapore.


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About Teaching English in Singapore

English teachers will need to have a bachelor's degree and an accredited TEFL certification in order to teach English abroad in Singapore. The TEFL job market in Singapore is highly competitive, and employers such as international schools and government will require you to sign at least a two-year contract.

Having risen from a backwater fishing village to become a world economic power in little more than a century, Singapore represents one of the greatest national transformations of all time. While the glossy shopping malls and towering office buildings are impressive, the defining characteristic of Singapore is its strikingly cosmopolitan culture.

A true melting pot, Singapore is both financially and culturally rich. The city is home to Chinese, Malays, Indians, and Europeans, along with their languages and religions, with more than 40% of its residents holding passports from other countries. 

English teachers in Singapore ESL teacher in Singapore with her students

As a city-state with a small population where English is an official language, the job market for English teachers in Singapore is smaller and more competitive than in most other Asian nations. That said, there certainly are opportunities, especially for native English speakers with a TEFL certification and some teaching experience. Interviews are typically conducted well in advance, both over the phone and via video chat or e-mail. 

As Singapore is a prosperous nation that invests heavily in education, good salaries afford ESL teachers in Singapore a comfortable lifestyle. English language schools typically offer around 20 to 25 hours of work per week, leaving plenty of time for you to take advantage of your location and explore.

How to Teach English in Singapore: Requirements

TEFL Certification Singapore

A TEFL certification is required to teach English in Singapore. You do not need prior teaching experience, but earning your TEFL certification will provide you with the training and qualification you do need to get hired. 

Teachers typically interview in advance from their home country. Therefore, it is most common for students to take one of our TEFL course options listed below.

Native English-Speaking Proficiency

To teach English in Singapore, you must be a native English speaker. Citizenship from the USA, Canada, UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa is required.

Degree Requirements for Teaching in Singapore

English teachers in Singapore need a bachelor's degree to teach English in Singapore. Please note, your bachelor's degree does not need to be in education, it can be in any field.

How to Become an English Teacher in Singapore

TEFL Jobs in Singapore

The most common ESL jobs in Singapore consist of:

  • Teaching children or adults in private language schools.
  • Teaching children in international schools.
  • Teach Business English to adults in a corporate environment.
  • Teaching English Online.

Finding English teaching Jobs in Singapore: Hiring & Visa

English teachers in Singapore can expect to find jobs year-round. Interviews for teaching jobs are done in advance from your home country and occasionally face-to-face upon arrival.

Teachers typically teach on a work permit, also knows as an "Employment Pass." Your employer will assist you with this process. 

Teaching in Singapore: Hours

Schools in Singapore offer approximately 20 to 30 hours of classroom work per week plus additional hours for prep time. This allows for plenty of time to travel and explore. 

Teaching Singaporean Students

It is most common that your students will be children or adult business professionals. 

Teaching English in Singapore Salary & Cost of Living

Start-up Costs

Start-up costs will range from $5,500 - $6,800 USD. These are expenses you will incur from your arrival in Singapore until you receive your first paycheck and may include things like rent, apartment supplies, transport, groceries, getting your new local cell phone number set up, etc. 

TEFL Singapore Salary

A solid hourly wage enables teachers the opportunity to live a comfortable lifestyle while in Singapore. Teachers can expect to make $2,750 - $3,550 USD per month.

Cost of Living & Savings

The cost of living typically ranges between $2,750-$3,400 USD per month. Teachers can also teach English online or private tutor to boost their income and saving potential. 


What Does Teaching in Singapore Look Like?

Watch ITA alumna Kelsey Ax show us a day in her life living and teaching English in Singapore.

Want more? We've got you covered! Visit our Video Library to watch day-in-the-life videos from our alumni and get a glimpse into what your life as a teacher in Singapore could look like!


Teaching English in Singapore FAQs

What qualifications do I need to be a teacher in Singapore?

To teach English in Singapore, make sure you understand what is required:


  • A four-year college degree.

  • A TEFL certification.

  • Native English speaker with citizenship from the U.S., U.K., Ireland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand or South Africa.
  • Understanding of the types of English teaching jobs that are available.

  • Savings for start-up costs.

How much do English teachers make in Singapore?

English Teachers in Singapore can expect to make $2,750 - $3,550 USD per month. Singapore is not a cheap place to live, but a solid hourly wage enables teachers the opportunity to live a comfortable lifestyle.

What type of visa do I need to teach English in Singapore?

Teachers in Singapore most commonly teach on a work permit known as an 'Employment Pass." You can't obtain an Employment Pass until you have a job and then your school will sponsor the visa and assist you with the paperwork process. 

If you get your job in Singapore in person, you may need to leave the country to process your Employment Pass. 

There are many documents that you'll need to submit to your employer in order to apply for your Employment Pass. These documents include:

  • Original university degree.
  • Official university transcripts.
  • Original TEFL/TESOL certificate.
  • Contract from your school in Singapore.

Are English teachers needed in Singapore?

There is a high demand for English teachers in Singapore. You can find jobs teaching English in Singapore across many international schools, private language schools as well as in private tutoring. Additionally, a growing number of ESL teachers choose to teach English online from Singapore.

Recommended TEFL Courses for Teaching English in Singapore

Online TEFL Course

What's included 👇

  • 170-Hour Online Certification
  • 11 Weeks Part-Time
  • OFQUAL Level 5 Accreditation from TQUK
  • Live Office Hours with Your Instructor & Peer-Participation with Classmates
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  • 20-Hours Live Practice Teaching

Intensive Online TEFL Course

What's included 👇

  • 4 Weeks Full-Time (40+ hours per week) - required class time typically 6-8 hours daily
  • OFQUAL Level 5 Accreditation from TQUK
  • Live Office Hours with Your Instructor & Peer-Participation with Classmates
  • Lifetime Job Search Guidance
  • 10-Hours Live Practice Teaching (Virtual) built into the course

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Reviews From ITA Students Who Now Do TEFL in Singapore

Christopher Hamrick

Teaches English in Singapore

Christopher Hamrick

The culture is so blended, which I love. There are people living, working and raising families here from all over the world. The diversity really gives Singapore a great energy that I haven't experienced before.

Kelsey Ax

Teaches English in Singapore

Kelsey Ax

It gave me a sense of awareness in the classroom. I often had to teach young learners, and I took the additional Young Learners and Business English Module with ITA which I found helpful because it gave more information on the various types of classrooms you could teach and how you should treat each of them differently.

Brittany Schultz

Teaches English in Singapore

Brittany Schultz

Our standard of living is very high in Singapore. We live in a lovely apartment, and we don't have to worry about money. We get to travel regularly and have already made good friends. Singapore is also a very safe place to live, which adds tremendously to our quality of life.