The What, The Where, and The How of Working in Vietnam

Vietnam is an up and coming contender in the expat job market. With one of the lowest unemployment rates out of all developing nations, foreigners are turning to Vietnam for new business opportunities. The country’s 94% literacy rate, multi-toned language, and cultural specialties such as snake wine (which can reportedly cure any ailment) provide something to entice every expat. So how will you break in to Vietnam’s job market? Where should you start? Here, we break down the “what”, “where”, and the “how” of living and working abroad in Vietnam.

The “What”

So what type of job should you be looking for? To start, Vietnam is one of the world’s best countries for ESL teachers, as it falls within the top ten highest-paid ESL teacher salaries. You can earn an estimated $1,000-$2,000 per month: quite a lot when you consider that renting an apartment in the center of any major city will cost you no more than $400 a month. With fair salaries and a low cost of living, you’ll be living quite the plush life whether teaching ESL or a different field of work.

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The “Where”

The next big question: where in Vietnam should you go to get the most out of your experience? Expats genearlly agree that Ho Chi Minh is the city to go for working and living in Vietnam. Here, you’ll find Vietnam’s financial metropolis, delicious (and cheap!) cuisine, and a buzzing expat community. In addition, salaries in Ho Chi Minh tend to be higher than those in, say, Hanoi, so just that alone may convince you to settle down in the city.

Ho Chi Minh City at Dusk

The “How”

You know the job you want, and you know where you should settle down: now it’s time to think about how to secure that coveted job. Begin with Google: search for expat job listings and ESL employment sites. If you haven’t yet received your TEFL certification, there’s no need to worry: English teachers are in such high demand in the country that as long as you’re a native English speaker with a bachelor’s degree (at least), most schools will be willing to hire you. Be sure to take note that once you get the job, you’ll travel to Vietnam on a tourist visa then set up a work visa upon arrival with your employer.

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An estimated 90,000 foreign nationals have settled down in Vietnam. And it’s no wonder why: between the sultry beaches and bustling cities, the country offers something for every taste. Expats that have quickly adapted to the country and found work have had a knowledge of Vietnamese before moving abroad. With Vietnam’s tiny second-language English-speaking community, it’s important to learn the language before setting foot in the country. Check Language Trainers’ Vietnamese courses before heading off to the golden country!

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