Asia Uncovered: The Best Places For Teaching Jobs In Asia

Jan 7 2024

You know what they say, the world is your oyster…with a TEFL certificate.

Okay, so maybe we’re taking liberties but we’re not wrong, are we? Having a TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) qualification is your ticket to living, earning, and adventuring abroad. The question is, where do you want to go?

Let’s talk about some of the most popular TEFL options: the best places for teaching jobs in Asia.

Is there a demand for English teachers in Asia?

Why Asia? Quite simply because there are a TON of teaching jobs in Asia, just waiting for you to find them. All you need to do is decide where you want to go!

Are you looking for a stress-free, fun-filled teaching experience? Would you prefer to teach somewhere remote and unexplored? Do you want to work hard and earn wads of cash? Asia has something for everyone when it comes to English teaching jobs and lifestyles.

So let’s look at the different options:

Teaching English in Taiwan

Taiwan must be one of the friendliest Asian countries - if not the world. The most mountainous island on earth, Taiwan offers fabulous food, outrageous outdoor adventures and an abundance of teaching jobs. Taipei, Kaohsiung and Taichung are the cities with the most TEFL jobs on offer, but they all provide competitive salaries. Coupled with the low cost of living in Taiwan, your chances of saving while working here are high.

In Taiwan you can teach in public or private schools, buxibans (cram schools), universities, or as a private tutor. Salaries range from $1,500 - $3,000.

Teaching English in South Korea

South Korea is a popular TEFL teaching destination, not only for its generous salaries and packages but also for its rich cultural experience. From K-pop to kimchi, beaches to bulgogi, South Korea has experiences (and jobs!) for all kinds of TEFL teachers.

In South Korea, you can work in public schools, hagwons (private language schools), universities or privately. Many teachers come to South Korea through a government-sponsored program such as EPIK. Salaries range from $1,700 - $3,200.

Teaching English in Thailand

Who doesn’t want to work in a country called the Land of Smiles? Thailand has tropical beaches, world-famous cuisine, a happy-go-lucky lifestyle - and the most eager students you’ll ever meet.

In Thailand, you can find jobs as a TEFL teacher in public schools, universities and language schools, but the better salaries are found in the private and international schools. Salaries range from $800 to $3,000 a month, but bear in mind the cost of living is much lower than in the US or UK so even the lower salaries offer a good lifestyle.

Teaching English in China

Teaching English in China is at an all-time high at the moment. There are jobs for days for qualified TEFL teachers. Plus, these teaching jobs come with great salaries, and sometimes accommodation and flight allowances too. But teaching in China is not all about the money. It’s an adventure of epic proportions.

Teachers in China teach in public or private schools, universities or language centres. To teach in China you need a Bachelor’s degree and a TEFL certificate. Qualified teachers earn between $1,200 and $5,000 a month.

Teaching English in Vietnam

Are beautiful beaches, talkative students and friendly locals your vibe? Then you should go and teach in Vietnam. With exquisite natural beauty, Vietnam is able to offer a laidback lifestyle as well as plentiful TEFL jobs with more-than-adequate salaries.

TEFL teachers in Vietnam work mostly in language schools, but there are jobs to be found in public schools, international schools and universities too. Salaries range from $1,000 to $2,000, which is enough to live a life of luxury in Vietnam.

Teaching English in Cambodia

For the adventurous among us, teaching in Cambodia is a one-of-a-kind experience. TEFL teachers flock to Cambodia not for the generous salaries or attractive packages but for the adventure of living in one of the most interesting countries in the world.

TEFL teachers in Cambodia teach in public or private schools, language centres or universities. Salaries range from $800 to $2,000 - but remember that the cost of living is low. However, Cambodia is always on the lookout for volunteer teachers if you’re looking for something special to put on your CV.

Teaching English in Japan

Teaching in Japan is a dream for many TEFL teachers - but it can be a reality! Majestic and mysterious, Japan offers lucrative teaching opportunities, a fascinating culture and a totally different way of life.

You can find any and every kind of TEFL job in Japan though most teachers start their Japanese teaching careers through a programme like JET, or at an eikaiwa, or conversation school. Teachers in Japan earn well, from $1,800 up to $4,500.

How to teach English in Asia

The way to find teaching jobs in Asia depends on the country. For South Korea, Japan, China, Thailand and Taiwan, it’s common to look for a job online, apply and hammer out a contract of employment before even sorting out your visa and flight details.

For Vietnam and Cambodia it is still possible to book a flight and enter the country on a tourist visa. Once in the country, you can look for jobs online to secure interviews close by, or you can pound the pavements until the right door opens for you.

Can I teach in Asia without a degree?

Teaching English in Asia without a degree is not as simple as it used to be. China, Japan, Taiwan, South Korea and even Thailand require a degree for a working visa. Cambodia is one country which generally doesn’t, but many jobs here are voluntary.

What programs allow you to teach English in Asia?

For Japan and South Korea, there are a number of teaching programmes you can apply to for teaching jobs. These programmes are popular because they offer a wide range of support. In general, flight costs and accommodation are included in the job package. Assistance with your visa application is also usually provided.

Popular programmes to teach English in Asia include:

  • EPIK
  • SMOE
  • JET

How much do you get paid teaching English in Asia?

Teaching salaries in Asia vary from country to country. It’s important to consider the salary packages as well as the cost of living when comparing TEFL salaries, as these factors have a big impact on your net salary and your saving power.

The beauty of Asia is that you can pick and choose the country that suits you. Whether you want to chill out on beaches, work hard and save cash, or do a bit of both, you can do all this and more in Asia.

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