ESL Teaching- Full time vs. part time

Hi guys!

I'm moving to Vietnam(Saigon) in a few weeks, I'll be looking for a job as an English teacher.

I've read few posts here where people were suggesting to get few part-time gigs rather than a full-time job at one of the language centers.
It does make sense, so I thought it would be a good idea to get a part-time job at one of the McEnglish places(Appolo, ILA..) in order to get a work permit through them(I do have a BA& the CELTA cert) and then look for part-time gigs in smaller centers.

What do you think?Any pros&cons of such approach you would like to point out?Any suggestions?

Pro:  Spread your risk in case one school doesn't work out.

Con:  1) Your WP does not legally entitle you to work at any of those smaller schools.  Remember it is not your permit to work;  it is the school's permit to employ you.  To have a work permit at each schools may be possible, second permits may use the same documents you provide, but the small mom-and-pop places may not want to process the paperwork on their end.

            2) The small schools will probably pay $2-4/hour less than the big chains.

Hey THIGV, thanks for the reply!

Hmm, more cons then pros...

THIGV :

..but the small mom-and-pop places may not want to process the paperwork on their end...

How does it work in reality? Are people working without the permit at, say, one place and having it for the other place where they are working?

THIGV :

..The small schools will probably pay $2-4/hour less than the big chains....

Just to make sure I got it right...In Saigon, the standard rate for those who have all the ducks in a row would be around 25$/hour at those corporate-type schools and, as you said, $2-4 less at "the small mom-and-pop places"...?? Are we talking gross or net?

Now, being a NNES and having a BA and the CELTA cert, I guess I could expect around $20ish/hour at the big chains and $20 or less/hour at the smaller schools???

SALARY is always "negotiable" .... how they negotiate is by claiming you don't have something "Not certified by this or that".... and they will play hard ball about getting the salary as low as they possibly can.

When negotiating ... NEVER tell them what you have already done ( gotten an apartment, bought furniture, blah blah )... tell them NOTHING and only talk about "Bottom Line Pay" and Working hours .... FORCE THEM TO PUT IT IN WRITING TOO!

As for side work, get the Work Permit through whoever you choose to work for, and then do private tutoring ( Schools Charge X to make a profit, and Parents know this, so doing "private lessons" outside of the school IS the best option for "side work".

Circus Wallah :

How does it work in reality? Are people working without the permit at, say, one place and having it for the other place where they are working?

You are correct.  That is the reality.  The smaller schools are also unlikely to have public school contracts where WP enforcement is more stringent.

Circus Wallah :

Are we talking gross or net?

Gross

Circus Wallah :

Now, being a NNES and having a BA and the CELTA cert, I guess I could expect around $20ish/hour at the big chains and $20 or less/hour at the smaller schools???

Perhaps your CELTA can overcome that disadvantage.  However the big chains may or may not hire you at all.  Your written English seems fine.  Is your BA from an English speaking country?  If so you should be OK.  Also if you work there, the big chains should pay you their standard salary.  Dickering is more for the smaller places.

JayJones :

As for side work, get the Work Permit through whoever you choose to work for, and then do private tutoring ( Schools Charge X to make a profit, and Parents know this, so doing "private lessons" outside of the school IS the best option for "side work".

I thought you were an outspoken advocate for absolutism in following country laws rather than "do as the Romans."  Giving private lessons, even at home, requires that you set up a proper business and pay taxes.  In general, Vietnamese are amenable to private lessons.  I had to turn down several requests just within my own apartment building.  If you don't want to do it the legal way, you need to keep your visibility low, such as by not advertising and only taking students from within your own apartment building.  The problems is if you cross the wrong person, he can turn you in to the local police.  A lot of local English teaches operate "night schools" and might feel that you are cutting into their income.  Of course Jay, you would never violate local labor rules by giving private lessons yourself without setting up the business legally, but feel free to advocate that others do so.

No law dictates you are not allowed to provide "Private Tutor Services" ( This is by definition what an educator does outside of an education facility ). The fact that the OP has ( claims to be getting ) a WP, then the person is especially protected by the Ministry of Labor.

The laws to fear in this case revolve around "Advertising" that service. ( Hanging signs, where signs are permitted [ Never attach a sign to a tree] )...

http://vietnamnews.vn/opinion/op-ed/302 … ction.html

JayJones :

The fact that the OP has ( claims to be getting ) a WP, then the person is especially protected by the Ministry of Labor.

You seem to have forgotten, or never knew, what I posted above, that the work permit does not belong to the worker.  It belongs to the employer.  It is to work for that employer only.  How does that mean that the Ministry of Labor (officially Department of Labour, Invalids, and Social Affairs or DOLISA} will support your right to work at home?  Please explain.

When your employer applies for a work permit, they are also applying for your Visa status to change ( from C class to D class [ This is why shady schools don't want to apply for a work permit, because the visa status change can be expensive [ $200 to $400 USD based on whatever immigration officer is demanding at that time ] ) ... ( The Employer is the ONLY entity that can legally do this )... you as a foreigner can not even apply for the WP, or Visa Status change on your own.

Under a C class ( tourist ), the ONLY business you may conduct is "Buying" .... Basically you are just a consumer and buying hotel/furniture/food/ ( Yes even land/ house ) blah blah ...

Under the D class ( Business ) you may legally trade services or goods. However, you may not be "employed" directly by ANY company. ( you are at the mercy of Customs Laws in terms of goods ) ... "services" are another nightmare of bureaucracy, but "Tutoring" has no specific legal definition, unless you are an "establishment", in which case you basically operating as a "school" ( which has its own nightmare bureaucracy )

To be employed by a company, you need a "work permit".

Yes ... you may LEGALLY provide "tutoring" services under D class, but you may not "advertise" yourself as a "business" ( unless you are operating under a legally registered business ) - Also, there are new laws about "advertising, specifically in parts about "signs". If i am not mistaken ( it was last year that i read the labor regulations )), there is a specific monetary amount per transaction. ( 2.000.000 VND ) ... If it has changed in the last 14 months ( could have ), i would be unaware.

JayJones :

When your employer applies for a work permit, they are also applying for your Visa status to change ( from C class to D class [ This is why shady schools don't want to apply for a work permit, because the visa status change can be expensive [ $200 to $400 USD based on whatever immigration officer is demanding at that time ] ) ... ( The Employer is the ONLY entity that can legally do this )... you as a foreigner can not even apply for the WP, or Visa Status change on your own.

This is not true in all cases.  When I got my work permit, I had a spousal VEC and made no visa changes at all.  Others can and do go from a tourist visa to a TRC upon receiving their WP.  I suppose that you could move to a one year D visa but why would you when you can have a 2 year Temporary Residence Card.  As I did not need one, I never went through the TRC application, but I had the distinct impression from my lawyer that the employee applies for the TRC while referencing the WP which the employer applies for.  I did not take her up on it (this was 2013) but she quoted me $200 all-inclusive, both government fees and hers, for the TRC.

You are now introducing the factor of a "VEC" & "TRC" .... and want to compare the result of a person arriving off an airplane ?

DID op claim to be eligible for a VEC? ( OP would not be asking this question here, if they did ) 

DID op claim to have a TRC? ( OP would not be asking the question in "future tense" ) 

You are applying YOUR circumstances to another person who I am willing to gamble based on their questions is NOT in your current situation, or even have those options available.

WHY are you attempting to apply option Y or Z to a person who is asking about X ?

colinoscapee :

http://vietnamnews.vn/opinion/op-ed/302089/ban-on-after-school-lessons-a-step-in-right-direction.html

Also ... I should point a few things out about what this article is saying:

A Prohibition for a teacher to use a public / state school from collecting revenue which is already funded by the state.

Gee .... shouldn't that make logical sense? People pay tax, to use a facility, but a teacher wants to make more money by charging a fee to use those facilities.

In terms of "Home Classes" .... again, we come down to "regulation", Teachers are "state funded" in most schools, and want to subsidize their income by using their home as a classroom ( Commonly failing to report the extra income in taxes, as well as operate as state sanctioned teachers without being regulated by the state.

Lets not forget how most Vietnamese are generally driven toward providing a lessor service and and extorting that service to increase a revenue by adding an extra claimed service at a higher price. Have we not learned to never trust humanity as ever attempting to be ethical or fair? ( Classical Socialism -vs- Capitalism Debate )

Why are people so keen on applying their own nations systems on Vietnam? Also an important note: Teachers make crap salaries in even the most developed of nations. Nobody logically assumes that a public school teacher is ever reach for this OBVIOUS reason.

JayJones :

DID op claim to have a TRC? ( OP would not be asking the question in "future tense" )

As the OP definitively stated that he has a BA and a CELTA, it is a reasonable assumption that he will be eligible for a TRC as soon as he is hired and his WP comes through.

Circus Wallah :

I do have a BA& the CELTA cert

Some of the OP's questions are naturally phrased in future tense, which is natural, but this statement is in the present simple tense.

It seems to me that you are suggesting a short entry visa ( enough to get in, and get set up ), and then apply for a TRC as a suggestion ... It would be long term cost effective ONLY if the employed is guaranteed Employment, and a guaranteed contract agreement ... to which i would ask .... WHEN does anything go "as planned" in Viet Nam?

Also note: "once an employer knows what your plans are, they often use that knowledge to exploit the employee" ... Ask around about "English Teachers & Their contracts" ...

JayJones :

It seems to me that you are suggesting a short entry visa ( enough to get in, and get set up ), and then apply for a TRC as a suggestion ... It would be long term cost effective ONLY if the employed is guaranteed Employment, and a guaranteed contract agreement ... to which i would ask .... WHEN does anything go "as planned" in Viet Nam?.

Exactly.  The most common model is probably no work permit and continued border runs.  However starting with a tourist visa, getting a job and a WP followed up by a TRC is the most common legal way to do it.  You can start with a business visa, but don't have to as long as you and the school maintain the fiction that you are not working while you are waiting for the documents to process.  As far as I know, no employment is guaranteed for ESL teachers.  You just need to forge ahead as if it was, without thinking about cost efficiency.

THIGV :

However starting with a tourist visa, getting a job and a WP followed up by a TRC is the most common legal way to do it.

...and it totally makes sense if one plans to stay long enough to offset the WP costs by saving some money.

This is off topic, I guess but when I arrived in June, it was stamped that it was permitted to remain until December.  I went to England in October and the stamp I have now is for January 22,2019.  So I guess I have to make a border run.  Any suggestions how I go about that?  Not too excited about it at all, but will give it a whirl.  I am planning a trip to the U.S. in May and will endeavor to get a business visa  just before that trip.  Any info or insight is appreciated.

Tip: it is always better to create a new question thread, than to add an off-topic question to a very old thread that won't get seen by experts you seek. For example, this thread title attract teachers, but you need visa answers. Just FYI.

Two points:

1) If you are coming in a few weeks, it's just before Tết, schools will be closed for two weeks and then things will be slow after that for a month or two. There's still work around though, just less demand until summer.

2) If you want information about teaching in Vietnam, you can simply contact and correspond with the schools. You can find numerous ads here:

https://vietnamteachingjobs.com

Additionally, a web search will turn up the the websites of the larger schools such as ILA, VUS, AMA, etc. You can directly ask them about your chances of being hired, potential salary, visa/WP info, etc.

Take what they say with a grain of salt and don't agree to anything before arriving. Just network with everybody and maybe have some interviews set up for when you get here.

On facebook there are various groups: "English Teachers and Tutors in Ho Chi Minh City", and "English Teaching Jobs in HCMC Vietnam" that post regularly and often.  You can find listings for both short term and long term positions.   However, you might want to wait until you arrive here...most of the postings are looking to be filled almost right away...not a lot of 'distant future' planning.

yes thanks, I was getting frustrated with the site, not able to make a new posting.... so I posted there in the hopes of a response.  Anyway, I got it sorted out.

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