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Hourly wage vs Monthly wage

 
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Durian Tango



Joined: 05 Nov 2010
Posts: 65
Location: HCMC

PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2013 3:28 am    Post subject: Hourly wage vs Monthly wage Reply with quote

During my research on pay/salary in Vietnam, it seems that hourly wages are quoted far more often than monthly salaries. I'm used to seeing monthly salaries as the norm for schools to advertise and teachers to talk about. Can anyone explain why it's like this in Vietnam? Do the majority of schools pay on an hourly basis, rather than a monthly basis? If so, any reason why?

Thanks in advance.
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skarper



Joined: 12 Oct 2006
Posts: 313

PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2013 6:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some of the chains quote a monthly salary which covers hours taught, prep, admin, and assorted hoop jumping and dancing on the end of your white monkey chain....

Actually - not really all that bad here compared to other places.

Smaller places and chains looking for casual fill in teachers will quote an hourly rate. $20 is quite high for these places. 16-18 might be more typical. They just don't need to offer more to find a willing newby.

I think some people here prefer to work for a lower wage schools and students expect less effort/skill and in the end it actually works out at better pay. You can get 20-25 USD an hour for teaching IELTS but frankly I wouldn't want the hassle/marking workload.

I also dislike the idea of facilitating the brain drain that sends the better VN students overseas at great cost and for often a very low value for money experience. But I digress.

Don't sweat the hourly/monthly thing. I think monthly is less common now in part because the bottom has fallen out of the industry and all the schools are less profitable and trying to cut costs. Hourly gives them flexibility.
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VietCanada



Joined: 30 Nov 2010
Posts: 295

PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2013 11:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hourly wages are what's wrong with this place if you want to make money.

For example- Last Monday I left my place at 6:30 am. I finished my work and arrived home at 8:20 pm. I was payed for five and a half hours. 14 hours from when I first left my house until I finally got to call it a day and crack open a cold one. Thanks to hourly wages I'll have to work weekends as well if I want to get to 30 hours a week which is what you do in Korea for example. But in Korea your work is compressed into 6 or 8 hours typically for a salary.

Yeah I had a pretty long lunch (my travel time is shorter than most) but a very short dinner hour. Hourly wages for contact hours are the worst. The admin work, preparing and grading tests, preparing report cards, lesson prep or planning are all unpaid work if you are the sucker that agrees to that.

If you do manage to get a salary here you can expect enough admin work for a 12 hour workday plus a half dozen or more on the weekend. All for just a bit more than McDonald's wages.

Hourly wages are a sucker's game. Never work for hourly wages in this business. Go for salary and refuse admin work unless the salary is about $1000 a week. Admin duties on hourly wages should be about $30 a contact hour.

Hourly wages will nickel and dime you to death. Avoid them at all costs.
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skarper



Joined: 12 Oct 2006
Posts: 313

PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2013 11:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I actually prefer hourly wages to salary because the flexibility cuts both ways.

As other threads explain, Vietnam will not be much good for the EFL teacher who is trying to make money fast. It is best if you don't need a fixed income and can pick and choose.

I'd NEVER do another 14 hour split shift day - which is the norm when you teach adults in Korea for example. [actually a 16 hour split shift is typical there - I know this cos I did it for over 2 years and eventually it ruins your health both physical and mental.]

If you're happy teaching kids in the white monkey circus that is what the Korean hogwan market so often is then Korea really is a great place to be. Pop over to that board and see how happy and content those guys are....

I prefer it here.
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Durian Tango



Joined: 05 Nov 2010
Posts: 65
Location: HCMC

PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2013 2:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd think the security that comes from a steady paycheck at a school that guarantees a certain number of hours would trump having to run around town and put together enough jobs and classes to pay the bills. That being said, there are different ways of going about this depending on what you are looking for in life: flexibility vs stability.

Are most schools offering a guaranteed number of hours to where the teacher can expect to get a paycheck of the same size month (give or take a bit) or everything is seasonal/depends on demands and teachers are subject to the whims of the market and their employer?
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skarper



Joined: 12 Oct 2006
Posts: 313

PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2013 4:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Guaranteed paychecks? Right next ot the flying pigs in aisle twelve and three quarters mate...

I think one of the things that has more or less disappeared now in Vietnam is guaranteed hours. People get enticed into moving to a certain city and when they arrive 'enrollments are down' and your 20 hours a week turns into 12 with maybe more after blah blah...

This is why you need a degree of financial independence or you risk getting stung. This goes for everywhere really but very much so here.

A downside with a guaranteed hours gig is that they will own you body and soul and could try to send you to another area to do a two week special course teaching god knows what to heaven knows how many with scant resources and nothing to do in your downtime. This will play havoc with your social life and any on the side private work you've got going will be disrupted.

This can be quite extreme, but is often just sending you across town to another location for 1-2 days a week - but is still a pain. I prefer to work hourly then I can be 'busy' if they try to offer me something I just don't want to do.

Beware compromising too much for a monthly salary because -

1) you might never collect it
2) you will lose a lot of freedom

If you do have very specific earning targets (because you have debts to pay or whatever) then Vietnam is NOT the place and I'd suggest Korea for those starting out and the middle east for those with proper qualifications.

Korea is not what it once was money wise but I gather the working conditions have improved a little. With caution and a look well before you leap attitude it can give you an income in the region of USD25-30K a year much of which you can save. It's hard work and a bit of a grind but for 2-3 years is doable. And you don't need anything except a BA/BS degree, a native speaker passport and a clean criminal record check...

EDIT - just to clarify my hot and cold attitude to Korea...I was there for quite a while and it was a useful experience with a few fond memories. But I am far happier here and wouldn't go back unless I had no other choice. Sometimes I can sound very negative about Korea but if you need to make some money and can handle the stress for a while then it is probably the best option for people starting out. There are some out and out scoundrels running hogwans who will lie cheat and steal but they are not the majority. The people who get caught out are usually the ones who ignore the advice on the Korea job discussion board.
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Durian Tango



Joined: 05 Nov 2010
Posts: 65
Location: HCMC

PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2013 7:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmmm, the regular paycheck gig is not sounding so promising. Surely there are some schools that hire teachers full time though and give a regular paycheck?

I'd assumed someone like ILA would have this business model. I haven't visited them yet, but they seem to have a pretty good reputation and to be a reputable employer. I have gathered this only from my search online though. Any experience you've had with them?

Personally, I would prefer to just get a job with one school, work with them regularly and go home without all the bouncing around. I don't need a big paycheck, but a regular one without me having to deal with all the logistics of taping together a bunch of smaller jobs is preferable.
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VietCanada



Joined: 30 Nov 2010
Posts: 295

PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2013 8:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't get this 'regular paycheck' concept at all. There are two ways one gets paid here. A fixed monthly salary or hourly wages. Hourly wages suck. You'll be running around all the time looking for hours. A fixed salary is preferred of course. A fixed salary means you get paid the same amount of money every single month regardless of how much work you do.

Regular paycheck? Does this mean you work the same hours every single month? Sounds like a sucker ploy for people who don't understand what a salary is. That never happens in Vietnam. There are no such thing as regular hours here.
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VietCanada



Joined: 30 Nov 2010
Posts: 295

PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2013 8:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

skarper wrote:
I actually prefer hourly wages to salary because the flexibility cuts both ways.

As other threads explain, Vietnam will not be much good for the EFL teacher who is trying to make money fast. It is best if you don't need a fixed income and can pick and choose.

I'd NEVER do another 14 hour split shift day - which is the norm when you teach adults in Korea for example. [actually a 16 hour split shift is typical there - I know this cos I did it for over 2 years and eventually it ruins your health both physical and mental.]

If you're happy teaching kids in the white monkey circus that is what the Korean hogwan market so often is then Korea really is a great place to be. Pop over to that board and see how happy and content those guys are....

I prefer it here.


I worked 5 years in Korea and never had my work day so stretched as it is here. If you choose to work at a school with a 3-9pm sched as well as a working illegally at a company at 6 or 6:30 in the morning then that is on you. just look at the job boards. Virtually every job in Korea is 6 to 9 hours a day. The reality is that you'll teach 6 hours or fewer and are free to what you will with your free time.

The reality in Vietnam is that you will be on the go for 12+ hours a day just to teach 4-5 hours a day. The precise opposite of Korea.
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skarper



Joined: 12 Oct 2006
Posts: 313

PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2013 9:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

All the jobs teaching adults start at 630am usually until 830 or noon then you come back in the evening and work 6 (or 8pm) until 10pm. I don't think that's changed.

If you work with kids (and can avoid the kindergarten age group) you are looking at 3-9pm and it's a very moderate workday.

We are drifting into talking about Korea and may fall foul of the mods.

I won't revisit this issue on this thread, as I've said all I have to say.

The bigger schools do pay monthly at a standard rate and it's what some people want. They are I hear doing this less though. I don't know everything though so maybe this was an isolated incidence.

I wouldn't want a full time gig with one school though some much prefer it. They are not easy to get anyway.

You will almost certainly have to start with hours and build up your network of contacts.
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VietCanada



Joined: 30 Nov 2010
Posts: 295

PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2013 11:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

skarper wrote:
All the jobs teaching adults start at 630am usually until 830 or noon then you come back in the evening and work 6 (or 8pm) until 10pm. I don't think that's changed.

If you work with kids (and can avoid the kindergarten age group) you are looking at 3-9pm and it's a very moderate workday.

We are drifting into talking about Korea and may fall foul of the mods.

I won't revisit this issue on this thread, as I've said all I have to say.

The bigger schools do pay monthly at a standard rate and it's what some people want. They are I hear doing this less though. I don't know everything though so maybe this was an isolated incidence.

I wouldn't want a full time gig with one school though some much prefer it. They are not easy to get anyway.

You will almost certainly have to start with hours and build up your network of contacts.


I've heard of two schools changing over to hourly wages from salary. There's no money here. Public schools are picking up efforts to teach English and improve the quality of their teaching. Perhaps there is financial pressure on the faux international schools.
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I'm With Stupid



Joined: 03 Sep 2010
Posts: 367

PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 7:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Durian Tango wrote:
Hmmm, the regular paycheck gig is not sounding so promising. Surely there are some schools that hire teachers full time though and give a regular paycheck?

I'd assumed someone like ILA would have this business model. I haven't visited them yet, but they seem to have a pretty good reputation and to be a reputable employer. I have gathered this only from my search online though. Any experience you've had with them?

Personally, I would prefer to just get a job with one school, work with them regularly and go home without all the bouncing around. I don't need a big paycheck, but a regular one without me having to deal with all the logistics of taping together a bunch of smaller jobs is preferable.

Yeah I believe ILA, Apollo and VUS will all be able to offer you full time work with a guaranteed minimum salary (and with the exception of Apollo, all at a single school). Basically, you get a salary for the number of hours you're contracted to, and get paid overtime on anything you work beyond that at an hourly rate. If you work under your contracted hours for a month, you still get your minimum hours, but if you get to the end of your 12 month contract and you still haven't worked your contracted hours, then you'll take a hit on the final salary (but you'll probably get some sort of completion bonus).

In all of these schools, the hourly rate quoted is teaching hours only. None of them will pay you for prep time. RMIT, on the other hand operate more of a traditional salary, where you're expected to work so many hours a week, whether you have classes or not and will get a flat salary.

Just to give you something to work with though, a full time salary at ILA expects you to teach at least 73 hours. To multiply that with the hourly rate you've been quoted and remove about 15% in tax, and you've got the minimum you can expect in your bank account every month (although in reality, you'll probably end up with more most months).
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