Asia TEFL Job Markets


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The job market for English teachers in East and Southeast Asia is the largest in the world. Most of these nations are highly industrialized and economically strong with large populations, enormous middle classes and a high demand for education. There are hundreds of thousands of jobs in public and private language schools.

The following information represents typical experiences for teachers but of course varies. Always carefully review contract details for any position and don’t be afraid to ask for clarification.

Cambodia

  • Degree Requirements: BA/BS preferred, not required
  • Typical Contract Length: 6 & 12 months
  • Peak Hiring Season: Year-round
  • Interview Procedure: Face-to-face
  • Visa: Tourist visa convert to work visa
  • Typical Students: Business professionals, children
  • Housing: Not included
  • Reimbursed Airfare No
  • Est. Start-Up Costs (USD and local currency): $1,000 - $1,500 (3,995,000 - 5,992,500 KHR)
  • Avg. Monthly Living Costs (USD and local currency): $500 - $1,000 (1,997,500 - 3,995,000 KHR)
  • Avg. Monthly Salary (USD and local currency): $700 - $1,000 (2,796,500 - 3,995,000 KHR)
  • Can save $200 - 500 per month

China

  • Degree Requirements: BA/BS required
  • Typical Contract Length: 6 & 12 months
  • Peak Hiring Season: Year-round
  • Interview Procedure: Phone/Skype in advance & face-to-face
  • Visa: Work visa or tourist visa convert to work visa
  • Typical Students: Business professionals, children
  • Housing: Free or subsidy provided
  • Reimbursed Airfare: Yes
  • Est. Start-Up Costs (USD and local currency): $1,000 - 2,000 (6,700 - 13,400 RMB)
  • Avg. Monthly Living Costs (USD and local currency): $650 - $1,100 (4,350 - 7,350 RMB)
  • Avg. Monthly Salary (USD and local currency): $1,250 - $2,850 (8.400 - 19,100 RMB)
  • Can save $600 - 1,750 per month

Hong Kong

  • Degree Requirements: BA/BS required
  • Typical Contract Length: 12 months
  • Peak Hiring Season: Year-round
  • Interview Procedure: Phone/Skype in advance
  • Visa: Work visa
  • Typical Students: Business professionals, children
  • Housing: Not included
  • Reimbursed Airfare: Sometimes
  • Est. Start-Up Costs (USD and local currency): $2,000 - 3,000 (15,700 - 23,250 HKD)
  • Avg. Monthly Living Costs (USD and local currency): $2,300 - 5,000 (18,000 - 39,000 HKD)
  • Avg. Monthly Salary (USD and local currency): $2,300 - 3,000 (18,000 - 23,250 HKD)
  • Can save $400 - 600 per month

Indonesia

  • Degree Requirements: BA/BS required
  • Typical Contract Length: 12 months
  • Peak Hiring Season: Year-round
  • Interview Procedure: Phone/Skype in advance
  • Visa: Work visa
  • Typical Students: Business professionals, children
  • Housing: Not included
  • Reimbursed Airfare: Sometimes
  • Est. Start-Up Costs (USD and local currency): $700 - 1,100 (9,790,050 - 15,384,350 IDR)
  • Avg. Monthly Living Costs (USD and local currency): $550 - 850 (7,330,000 - 12,000,000 IDR)
  • Avg. Monthly Salary (USD and local currency): $650 - 1,050 (9,300,000 - 14,700,000 IDR)
  • Can save $100 - 500 per month
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Japan

  • Degree Requirements: BA/BS required
  • Typical Contract Length: 12 months
  • Peak Hiring Season: Year-round
  • Interview Procedure: In the U.S., 3-6 months in advance
  • Visa: Work visa
  • Typical Students: Business professionals, children
  • Housing: Some free housing or subsidy
  • Reimbursed Airfare: No
  • Est. Start-Up Costs (USD and local currency): $2,600 - 4,200 (280,080 – 468,000 JPY)
  • Avg. Monthly Living Costs (USD and local currency): $800 - 2,000 (88,650 - 221,650 JPY)
  • Avg. Monthly Salary (USD and local currency): $1,500 - 2,500 (166,250 - 277,050 JPY)
  • Can save $600 - 700 per month

Kazakhstan

  • Degree Requirements: BA/BS preferred, not required
  • Typical Contract Length: 12 months
  • Peak Hiring Season: Year-round
  • Interview Procedure: Phone/Skype in advance
  • Visa: Work visa
  • Typical Students: Business professionals, children
  • Housing: Some free housing
  • Reimbursed Airfare: Sometimes return flight
  • Est. Start-Up Costs (USD and local currency): $800 - 1,000 (301,050 – 376,300 KZT)
  • Avg. Monthly Living Costs (USD and local currency): $700 - 850 (253,000 – 316,000 KZT)
  • Avg. Monthly Salary (USD and local currency): $350 - 1,250 (126,000 - 474,000 KZT)
  • Can save up to $550 per month

Krygzstan

  • Degree Requirements: BA/BS preferred, not required
  • Typical Contract Length: 6 & 12 months
  • Peak Hiring Season: Year-round
  • Interview Procedure: Phone/Skype in advance, sometimes face-to-face
  • Visa: Work visa
  • Typical Students: Business professionals, children
  • Housing: Some free housing
  • Reimbursed Airfare: No
  • Est. Start-Up Costs (USD and local currency): $800 - 1,000 (54,000 – 68,000 KGS)
  • Avg. Monthly Living Costs (USD and local currency): $400 - 800 (27,000 – 54,000 KGS)
  • Avg. Monthly Salary (USD and local currency): $400 - 800 (27,000 – 54,000 KGS)
  • Can save up to $400 per month

Laos

  • Degree Requirements: BA/BS preferred, not required
  • Typical Contract Length: 6 & 12 months
  • Peak Hiring Season: Year-round
  • Interview Procedure: Face-to-face in Laos
  • Visa: Tourist or Work visa
  • Typical Students: Business professionals, children
  • Housing: No
  • Reimbursed Airfare: No
  • Est. Start-Up Costs (USD and local currency): $1,000 - 1,500 (8,360,000 – 12,540,000 LAK)
  • Avg. Monthly Living Costs (USD and local currency): $500 - 1,000 (4,180,000 – 8,360,000 LAK)
  • Avg. Monthly Salary (USD and local currency): $500 - 1,000 (4,180,000 – 8,360,000 LAK)
  • Can save up to $500 per month

Malaysia

  • Degree Requirements: BA/BS required, Master’s preferred
  • Typical Contract Length: 12 months
  • Peak Hiring Season: Year-round
  • Interview Procedure: Phone/Skype in advance
  • Visa: Work visa
  • Typical Students: Business professionals, children
  • Housing: Not included
  • Reimbursed Airfare: No
  • Est. Start-Up Costs (USD and local currency): $1,350 - 2,700 (5,300 – 10,550 MRY)
  • Avg. Monthly Living Costs (USD and local currency): $900 - 1,800 (3,650 – 7,000 MRY)
  • Avg. Monthly Salary (USD and local currency): $1,200 - 2,300 (4,700 - 9,000 MRY)
  • Can save $300 - $1,400 per month

Myanmar

  • Degree Requirements: BA/BS required
  • Typical Contract Length: 12 months
  • Peak Hiring Season: Year-round, May-Sept
  • Interview Procedure: Phone/Skype in advance, sometimes face-to-face
  • Visa: Work visa
  • Typical Students: Business professionals, children
  • Housing: Not included
  • Reimbursed Airfare: No
  • Est. Start-Up Costs (USD and local currency): $1,100 - 2,000 (1,676,500 – 3,048,200 MMK)
  • Avg. Monthly Living Costs (USD and local currency): $650 - 800 (1,027,400 – 1,232,900 MMK)
  • Avg. Monthly Salary (USD and local currency): $900 - 1,800 (1,371,200 - 2,739,700 MMK)
  • Can save $250 - $800 per month

Singapore

  • Degree Requirements: BA/BS required
  • Typical Contract Length: 12 months
  • Peak Hiring Season: Year-round
  • Interview Procedure: Phone/Skype in advance
  • Visa: Work visa
  • Typical Students: Business professionals, children
  • Housing: Not included
  • Reimbursed Airfare No
  • Est. Start-Up Costs (USD and local currency): $5,500 - 6,800 (7,450 - 9,200 SGD)
  • Avg. Monthly Living Costs (USD and local currency): $2,750 - 3,400 (3,700 - 4,600 SGD)
  • Avg. Monthly Salary (USD and local currency): $2,750 - 3,550 (3,700 – 4,800 SGD)
  • Can save up to $800 per month

South Korea

  • Degree Requirements: BA/BS required
  • Typical Contract Length: 12 months
  • Peak Hiring Season: Year-round
  • Interview Procedure: Phone/Skype in advance
  • Visa: Work visa
  • Typical Students: Business professionals, children
  • Housing: Free or subsidy provided
  • Reimbursed Airfare: One-way or round trip
  • Est. Start-Up Costs (USD and local currency): $1,000 - 2,000 (1,122,850 - 2,245,650 KRW)
  • Avg. Monthly Living Costs (USD and local currency): $650 - 900 (730,600 - 1,010,500 KRW)
  • Avg. Monthly Salary (USD and local currency): $1,850 - 2,500 (2,100,000 - 2,807,000 KRW)
  • Can save $1,200 - $1,600 per month

Taiwan

  • Degree Requirements: BA/BS required, some AA accepted
  • Typical Contract Length: 12 months
  • Peak Hiring Season: After Lunar (Chinese) New Year & July - August
  • Interview Procedure: Phone/Skype in advance
  • Visa: Work visa
  • Typical Students: Business professionals, children
  • Housing: Not included
  • Reimbursed Airfare: No
  • Est. Start-Up Costs (USD and local currency): $1,000 - 1,400 (32,300 – 45,200 TWD)
  • Avg. Monthly Living Costs (USD and local currency): $500 - 1,500 (15,400 - 46,150 TWD)
  • Avg. Monthly Salary (USD and local currency): $1,000 - 2,000 (30,800 - 61,500 TWD)
  • Can save up to $500 per month

Thailand

  • Degree Requirements: BA/BS required
  • Typical Contract Length: 5 to 12 months
  • Peak Hiring Season: February - April & August - October; year-round
  • Interview Procedure: Mostly face-to-face; some phone/Skype in advance
  • Visa: Work visa
  • Typical Students: Business professionals, children
  • Housing: Not included
  • Reimbursed Airfare No
  • Est. Start-Up Costs (USD and local currency): $1,000 - 1,500 (31,350 – 47,000 THB)
  • Avg. Monthly Living Costs (USD and local currency): $500 - 800 (15,700 – 25,100 THB)
  • Avg. Monthly Salary (USD and local currency): $950 - 1,500 (30,000 – 47,000 THB)
  • Can save $450 - 700 per month

Vietnam

  • Degree Requirements: BA/BS required
  • Typical Contract Length: 12 months
  • Peak Hiring Season: Year-round
  • Interview Procedure: Mostly face-to-face; rarely phone/Skype in advance
  • Visa: Tourist visa convert to work visa or work visa
  • Typical Students: Business professionals, children
  • Housing: Not included
  • Reimbursed Airfare: No
  • Est. Start-Up Costs (USD and local currency): $1,050 - 1,350 (23,347,315 – 30,000,000 VND)
  • Avg. Monthly Living Costs (USD and local currency): $500 - 900 (11,605,000 – 20,889,000 VND)
  • Avg. Monthly Salary (USD and local currency): $1,100 - 1,500 (25,049,500 - 35,000,000 VND)
  • Can save up to $600 per month

NOTE:

For the most up-to-date exchange rates check out xe.com.

Start-up costs are estimates in a country for housing, food and expenses until receiving your first paycheck, which is typically 30 days after start of contract.