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LettersAthruZ



Joined: 25 Apr 2010
Posts: 458
Location: North Viet Nam

PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2012 10:58 am    Post subject: Interesting article Reply with quote

http://busyteacher.org/4791-top-5-countries-with-best-esl-salaries.html



Judging by Viet Nam's new arrival into this top five list (overtaking Thailand), I'd have to estimate that this came out in early 2011, based on the fact that hyper-inflation here had not really begun to eat away at English instructor salaries until around mid 2011! And, with the influx of people fleeing the economic situation in Europa and The States who are coming here to teach English (driving up supply and, thusly, driving down wages, salaries and fees), I highly doubt that Viet Nam will continue to be on this list at the end of 2012.
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skarper



Joined: 12 Oct 2006
Posts: 326

PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2012 11:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's a pretty spurious article all round....

But - I have worked in 3 of those 5 and Vietnam beats Korea and Japan hands down... Korea has higher rates of pay than Japan but having everything tied to one employer who may just decide to fire you can make for some pretty negative experiences.

Here you can try employers out for a few weeks and see if they meet your criteria. Not so in Korea.

Japan was good about 15 years ago but times have changed a lot. When I was there wages had stagnated to the point where even if you got the full rate (and weren't conned into taking something below par) it was barely subsistence level. Forget saving anything. High start up costs with non-refundable deposits for housing (or expensive Gaijin house arrangements) and the fact that most schools will pay you 7 weeks in arrears can be a nuisance.

It is easy to look at how things were here 5 years back and think only here has deteriorated - but it's worse everywhere - and will remain so.

Many many problems with Dubai and similar places too - plus Arab Spring disruptions that threaten to spread. What if there's a war in Iran for example?
There are reasons Arab petrocracies pay so well....
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kurtz



Joined: 12 Mar 2008
Posts: 403
Location: Off the beaten path

PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2012 12:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What Letterz calls interesting, I call arbitrary. Considering the entire gamut of teaching contexts; is it at all possible to have a top 5 when aforementioned contexts aren't considered? The qualifications required for several Arab nations are considerably higher than the "ability to show most bodily functions are working" which are the usual necessary requirements to work in Asia. Go to any bia hoi in Hanoi and you'll find some "teachers" scrounging around for some hours; can the salary paid to these fine, upstanding members of the ESL profession be compared to folks with an MA who are qualified in the Gulf States?

The article is complete hogwash.
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I'm With Stupid



Joined: 03 Sep 2010
Posts: 383

PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2012 8:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

And of course the main question isn't how much you get paid, but how much you have in the bank once all of your living costs have been met. I'd guess that most full-time teachers in Vietnam will actually have a lot more spare cash than their fellow teachers in Japan, for example. And yeah, there are different requirements, but you can still get paid pretty well with just a CELTA in the Gulf. I know someone who was offered $4k a month plus living costs for Saudi straight off the CELTA. But yeah, comparing countries where all you need to be is a native speaker with a pulse to ones where they require qualifications is a bit ridiculous. If you're going to do that, you might as well declare Luxembourg as the highest paying teaching destination, despite the fact that there's next to no chance of any of us getting a job there.
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LettersAthruZ



Joined: 25 Apr 2010
Posts: 458
Location: North Viet Nam

PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2012 5:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, Skarper, the flexibility of teaching here if a truly overlooked benefit! I can't imagine doing what I do in Japan or Korea, hence, why I never considered either of them.

Excellent point, Kurtz.....I shoulda used "amusing" as opposed to "interesting" - the entire website's forum is pretty much hogwash (trival fluff items such as - "8 types that you are most likely to share your ESL living accommodations with"), however it DID state (under the listing for Dubai) that - "The ESL setting in Dubai is quite competitive, and teachers are paid according to experience. Most teachers who work in Dubai generally come with years of experience and have worked at other countries, especially throughout the Middle East."

With Stupid - I have heard that ESL instructors salaries vs. cost of living in Japan is now so disproportionate that it isn't even funny.

Agreed, however, that it should have listed the top five ESL average salaries by country for qualified, experienced ESL Instructors and a separate category for the top five ESL average salaries by country for those straight off the boat who could easily fill in as an extra on the set of "The Walking Dead"
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vabeckele



Joined: 19 Nov 2010
Posts: 439

PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2012 3:52 pm    Post subject: Zombie Reply with quote

The walking dead?
After 2 years here I think I qualify. Where do I sign up?
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Tigerstyleone



Joined: 26 Mar 2010
Posts: 181

PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2012 1:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That article was written by an internet marketer. There were some paid links and banner advertisements linked to the article to sell TESOL, CELTA courses back in 2011. Don't waste your time reading such rubbish. Paradise.Paradise.
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VietCanada



Joined: 30 Nov 2010
Posts: 326

PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2012 4:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Korea pays a salary of more than $2000 a month at a single school, gives you a furnished apartment within walking distance of the school, health care, return airfare, taxes and utilities take maybe 10% of your gross.

Vietnam pays hourly, no holiday pay (lots of holidays, some are two weeks or more), find your own place ($200 a month and up), pay for transport to school(s), no benefits whatsoever, 20-25% tax rate, utilities extra, have to work am, pm, evenings and weekends to earn a Korean like or better salary (at least two or three different schools).

Korea- work permit good for duration of contract issued before arrival. Paid for contact hours. BA, BSC good enough quals.

Vietnam- work permits are rare, have to leave and re-enter country every three months at some expense (airfare, hotel, food, documents). Often expected to prepare and grade tests and other teaching duties for free. Apparently this is the way it works in the USA. I'm Canadian- don't know, don't care. Need a a cert. of some kind in addition to Bachelors- CELTA, TESOL, TEFL at pretty high prices in country.

Both countries require a CBC for a work permit. Both countries have opportunities to work outside legal requirements- you just make more $ in Korea.

There is no reality where Vietnam is a first choice option, certainly its not a fifth or even top ten choice for those wishing to make money. In Vietnam just as you finally found work at two or three schools to make ends meet or save a penny they have a non-paid holiday.

IMHO one of the top 10 worst places in the industry. Backpacking teens make it all possible and feed the delusion of the school operators.
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I'm With Stupid



Joined: 03 Sep 2010
Posts: 383

PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2012 6:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There's so much wrong with that post, I don't know where to begin. But let's just say it sounds like you got screwed. Pretty much any full-time job comes with paid holidays (and they're not exactly hard to come by) and if you're paying 25% tax, you're doing something wrong. I've also never had to leave the country to renew a visa or work permit. I do know quite a few people who've been screwed out of the supposed benefits offered in Korea though, including such "benefits" as their entire final month's salary. I'd far prefer the money up front to promises of nice benefits and bonuses at the end of a contract that the company have the power to terminate at any minute. I also quite like choosing where I live, and luckily in Vietnam, the guest houses are so cheap that you can live in one while you're looking and not be out of pocket.
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TimkinMS



Joined: 18 Oct 2005
Posts: 84

PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2012 4:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with Viet Canada.

VietCanada's points are true for the far majority of teachers in VN.

Sure, some teachers are on full-time contracts, at the few decent schools there are.

Two things lacking in Vietnam are security and having insurance/holiday etc.

I will add, ability to save.

I know some teachers that save something but they have to work 7 days per week doing morning, afternoon, and evening shifts at 3 different schools.

After about the age of 28, it's probably better to get out of the EFL industry and return to home-country if you want to have stability and save for old age.
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bobpen



Joined: 04 Mar 2011
Posts: 89

PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2012 9:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I also will have to ring in on at least a few of the things VietCanada said. Vietnam is more often filled with inconveniences and obstacles than positive notes and "good deals". Vietnam requires more of a cautionary tone of thinking.

One user above said that most schools pay for holidays -- I've never met any teacher ever that wasn't on hourly pay, and that means only the hours you are in a classroom. Maybe at a few of the "high-end" schools do, but I'd honestly be willing to bet there are real drawbacks to working in a setting where you are paid more -- ownership over you, group-think, etc, perhaps.

Guesthouses. First living in a guesthouse may not be ideal for some/many. You've got the mom and dad sitting in the front room watching you walk between them and their TV set every time, not good if you prefer a bit of "western" style independence. If you should have a grievance with anyone from the maid to the neighbors, then mom and dad will usually side with them. Nightly police reports about your residence, etc. Gates usually close around 10pm, so either make it a habit to get home right after work or risk waking up several people to let you in. Other silly things like, no cooking in room, or "no bring lady to room without express permission from manager." (and police registration).

BTW where are these "cheap" guesthouses? Most I've seen are asking for 5 to 6 million a month now, to start. Many seem to start at "$10 a day" (anything cheaper and they look pretty bad, smell like mildew, etc) and they don't offer discounts for a month (i.e. 10 x 30days = 300). Even if they do offer cheaper, let's not forget that USD today costs more than a few years back. I was paying 2.2 million for a basic, OK room. That very room is now about double. Salaries, on the other hand, have hardly even gone up and there's rumors that short term teachers are working for less.
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skarper



Joined: 12 Oct 2006
Posts: 326

PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2012 11:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK - ANYBODY who can get a full time contract with WP here can get a job in Korea - one of the better jobs I mean. Probably a university job if they put a few years in.

Many of the teachers working 2-3 jobs on backbacker wages probably wouldn't do well in Korea. They'd be the ones on Dave's complaining cos their hogwan owner is screwing them over hours, pay, changing their schedule and not telling them etc etc.

What I and many dislike about Korea is having all your eggs in one basket. If you fall out with your employer you lose job, home, visa and possibly any outstanding pay... here you just lose the job and possibly some money. Again - the ability to work part time or at a few schools while finding your feet is a bonus here. Also - you don't need a work permit here - though it's nice to get one if you can.

Many plusses here. Money is equal or better given the cost of living too.

The people are mostly nicer here too - at least in DaNang.
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kurtz



Joined: 12 Mar 2008
Posts: 403
Location: Off the beaten path

PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2012 12:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Things were getting harder when I left Korea. I doubt I would get a job there now as I'm not a 23-year old American female. I might scrape in and get a C grade uni job in some hick town, you have to live in Korea; nuff said.

If anyone has any insights into other Asian countries, that would be great.

I've heard/read it's tough getting into the EFL market in Japan, pay seems to be quite low in Thailand and you have to teach juvenile "let's play a game" Thais; Cambodia, LOL!, Myanmar seem to pay not much, not sure about Malaysia and Indo. Lifestyle in Taiwan seems to suit, but it appears you have to teach kids and do the mill thing.

Let's be honest here; there aren't many jobs in Vietnam that can build any kind of future for yourself.
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VietCanada



Joined: 30 Nov 2010
Posts: 326

PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2012 3:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm With Stupid wrote:
There's so much wrong with that post, I don't know where to begin. But let's just say it sounds like you got screwed. Pretty much any full-time job comes with paid holidays (and they're not exactly hard to come by) and if you're paying 25% tax, you're doing something wrong. I've also never had to leave the country to renew a visa or work permit. I do know quite a few people who've been screwed out of the supposed benefits offered in Korea though, including such "benefits" as their entire final month's salary. I'd far prefer the money up front to promises of nice benefits and bonuses at the end of a contract that the company have the power to terminate at any minute. I also quite like choosing where I live, and luckily in Vietnam, the guest houses are so cheap that you can live in one while you're looking and not be out of pocket.


I wasn't talking about myself. I've worked in both countries about an equal amount of time. My comments are based on what I've read (here primarily), personal experience, other experiences from people I've met, associates, friends and word of mouth from same. 12 years.

I've always negotiated net pay. I've had a full time contract here (with 50% holiday pay) and I've done language mills and part time work at full time schools.

I don't know everything but there is no reality that VN beats out Korea for a holder of a bachelors degree. VN does allow for a more independent lifestyle but I've never been beat for money in either country yet. All said and done Korean hogwans treat teachers with much more respect than most schools here in my experience and in the manner I've accumulated info that gives me my opinion.

As for money Korea wins hands down. 13 payments of at least $2000. Return airfare and paid housing, medical coverage. 21st century lifestyle with much more options in prices, food choices, everything. All the junk food you want, international restaurant chains and supermarket chains. All for a bachelors with no experience. No scrounging for hours. If you can't negotiate and get along with your Korean owner/operator/manager then why would one have the skills necessary to get along with the VN equivalent? A salaried position and you are only on site for contact time. No administrative work, certainly not for free unless you opt for those few new positions that are taking a shot at requiring it in exchange for fewer contact hours and a bit higher pay.

Most of the problems in Korea arise because of kids moving from their parent's basement or college dorm to living in a foreign country doing a job they have absolutely no experience or qualifications for.

Most of the problems here from are the lack of steady work/pay keeping up with rampant inflation/ unpaid holidays like TET especially and Xmas somewhat/lack of work in the summer because public schools close and institutes have low enrollment for summer courses.

There just isn't any money here. The customers have no money. Koreans have money. There's more money there.

The country you choose can be a lifestyle choice. But if its about money VN isn't in the conversation for a holder of a bachelors degree, You can't work legally here with that alone.

There are really only two cities with any work here but in Korea the whole country seems to be available. I could write a book about this with my little bit of experience.
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kurtz



Joined: 12 Mar 2008
Posts: 403
Location: Off the beaten path

PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2012 5:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

^ My my, we've had a big serving of kimchi today, haven't we? Apparently it cures aids too, how's that for 21st century living?
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