Working in Vietnam without a degree

Hi all,

I'm looking at moving to either Hanoi or Saigon in March.

I've been teaching for about 8 years, and have a Tefl certificate.

I'm aware of the requirement for a degree, which I don't have.

Can anyone confirm how likely it is that I'd get a teaching job without a degree, and what salary I'd likely be looking at?

I'm aware that I'd be working off the books, so to speak, which is on me.

I'm just really curious as to how likely it is that I'd actually get a job as and when I arrive.

The info online is pretty ambiguous, aside from stating that you 'officially' need a degree. I want to know what the score is if you don't.

For the purposes of clarity - I'm not a backpacker who just wants a months pay before heading eldewhere - this is my profession and I take it incredibly seriously. I just really want to live in Vietnam.

Many thanks in advance!

Simon

Simon_miles :

Hi all,

I'm looking at moving to either Hanoi or Saigon in March.

I've been teaching for about 8 years, and have a Tefl certificate.

I'm aware of the requirement for a degree, which I don't have.

Can anyone confirm how likely it is that I'd get a teaching job without a degree, and what salary I'd likely be looking at?

I'm aware that I'd be working off the books, so to speak, which is on me.

I'm just really curious as to how likely it is that I'd actually get a job as and when I arrive.

The info online is pretty ambiguous, aside from stating that you 'officially' need a degree. I want to know what the score is if you don't.

For the purposes of clarity - I'm not a backpacker who just wants a months pay before heading eldewhere - this is my profession and I take it incredibly seriously. I just really want to live in Vietnam.

Many thanks in advance!

Simon

Edit your CV to include "master of euphemisms".

You can definitely get an ILLEGAL teaching job (not innocently working "off the books").

That will make ANY visa you possess illegal as well, and you would be a candidate for the immigration blacklist.

However, there is at least one longtime poster on this forum (with actual experience in teaching here) who will encourage you to go for it anyway, 

But..."incredibly seriously"?

Seriously???

Getting a degree would be a major sign of taking your chosen "profession" incredibly seriously.

Then you would actually be a true professional in your profession...

Simon_miles :

Hi all,

I'm looking at moving to either Hanoi or Saigon in March.

Demand is lowest in the months following Tet until the summer holiday starting in June. Some say it's not as slow as it was in the past, but you may experience a couple of fallow months at the start. Budget accordingly.

Also, I'd be looking at options beyond the two major cities. Of course, those are the two biggest markets but these days there are more and more schools opening up nationwide.

I've been teaching for about 8 years, and have a Tefl certificate.

I'm aware of the requirement for a degree, which I don't have.

Can anyone confirm how likely it is that I'd get a teaching job without a degree, and what salary I'd likely be looking at?

The teaching market in VN is about 80% kids classes primarily on the weekends. Schools are looking for teachers who can show up at 8 am Saturday and Sunday morning, keep the kids entertained and be "flexible" (don't complain or freak out about the schedule, material, last minute changes, lack of resources, TAs, etc.). (The second largest segment is IELTS test prep.)

If this sounds like you, then you will likely get *some* work relatively quickly. You should note that most schools in VN still hire on a casual basis with 'employment agreements' or short-term contracts, schedule on a weekly basis and pay an hourly rate, which is normally somewhere between $15 - $25/hr. Rates are often quoted in USD, but paid in VND.

Of course, you should be directly contacting the schools by e-mail or through their facebook page. There are ads on this site (See "Jobs" in the menu above) and online, ex. https://vietnamteachingjobs.com/

There are also numerous teachers groups and teaching jobs in (HCMC, HN, Da Nang, Nha Trang, Vung Tau, etc.)  pages on Facebook where you can network, get advice and find job ads.


I'm aware that I'd be working off the books, so to speak, which is on me.

I'm just really curious as to how likely it is that I'd actually get a job as and when I arrive.

The info online is pretty ambiguous, aside from stating that you 'officially' need a degree. I want to know what the score is if you don't.

For the purposes of clarity - I'm not a backpacker who just wants a months pay before heading eldewhere - this is my profession and I take it incredibly seriously. I just really want to live in Vietnam.

The requirement for a degree pertains to places that offer a full-time one-year contract, generally international colleges, international schools, and the major language institutes chains. For those who are on this type of contract, a work permit is necessary.

The main risk of teaching on a casual basis is that you have no recourse if a school decides to fire you or not pay you, no benefits, and no guarantees of anything. The vast majority of schools are focused on
the short-term and the whole situation is often very chaotic and unprofessional.

If you can show documentation for those eight years of teaching, you can get a work permit.

colinoscapee :

If you can show documentation for those eight years of teaching, you can get a work permit.

I forgot about that.

Very true.

OceanBeach92107 :
Simon_miles :

Hi all,

I'm looking at moving to either Hanoi or Saigon in March.

I've been teaching for about 8 years, and have a Tefl certificate.

I'm aware of the requirement for a degree, which I don't have.

Can anyone confirm how likely it is that I'd get a teaching job without a degree, and what salary I'd likely be looking at?

I'm aware that I'd be working off the books, so to speak, which is on me.

I'm just really curious as to how likely it is that I'd actually get a job as and when I arrive.

The info online is pretty ambiguous, aside from stating that you 'officially' need a degree. I want to know what the score is if you don't.

For the purposes of clarity - I'm not a backpacker who just wants a months pay before heading eldewhere - this is my profession and I take it incredibly seriously. I just really want to live in Vietnam.

Many thanks in advance!

Simon

Edit your CV to include "master of euphemisms".

You can definitely get an ILLEGAL teaching job (not innocently working "off the books").

That will make ANY visa you possess illegal as well, and you would be a candidate for the immigration blacklist.

However, there is at least one longtime poster on this forum (with actual experience in teaching here) who will encourage you to go for it anyway, 

But..."incredibly seriously"?

Seriously???

Getting a degree would be a major sign of taking your chosen "profession" incredibly seriously.

Then you would actually be a true professional in your profession...

With respect, you know absolutely nothing about my background, my teaching credentials, or my personal circumstances.

If getting a degree, (some people can't afford a degree by the way), is your barometer for how seriously someone takes their chosen profession, then you're completely clueless.

Again - you don't know me, or how good/bad/serious/complacement I am at teaching. Having a degree doesn't make someone a good teacher, just as not having one doesn't mean the opposite.

I wasn't after a lecture, as I know what the score is. I just wanted to know how easy it would be to find work.

Thanks anyway!

johnross23 :
Simon_miles :

Hi all,

I'm looking at moving to either Hanoi or Saigon in March.

Demand is lowest in the months following Tet until the summer holiday starting in June. Some say it's not as slow as it was in the past, but you may experience a couple of fallow months at the start. Budget accordingly.

Also, I'd be looking at options beyond the two major cities. Of course, those are the two biggest markets but these days there are more and more schools opening up nationwide.

I've been teaching for about 8 years, and have a Tefl certificate.

I'm aware of the requirement for a degree, which I don't have.

Can anyone confirm how likely it is that I'd get a teaching job without a degree, and what salary I'd likely be looking at?

The teaching market in VN is about 80% kids classes primarily on the weekends. Schools are looking for teachers who can show up at 8 am Saturday and Sunday morning, keep the kids entertained and be "flexible" (don't complain or freak out about the schedule, material, last minute changes, lack of resources, TAs, etc.). (The second largest segment is IELTS test prep.)

If this sounds like you, then you will likely get *some* work relatively quickly. You should note that most schools in VN still hire on a casual basis with 'employment agreements' or short-term contracts, schedule on a weekly basis and pay an hourly rate, which is normally somewhere between $15 - $25/hr. Rates are often quoted in USD, but paid in VND.

Of course, you should be directly contacting the schools by e-mail or through their facebook page. There are ads on this site (See "Jobs" in the menu above) and online, ex. https://vietnamteachingjobs.com/

There are also numerous teachers groups and teaching jobs in (HCMC, HN, Da Nang, Nha Trang, Vung Tau, etc.)  pages on Facebook where you can network, get advice and find job ads.


I'm aware that I'd be working off the books, so to speak, which is on me.

I'm just really curious as to how likely it is that I'd actually get a job as and when I arrive.

The info online is pretty ambiguous, aside from stating that you 'officially' need a degree. I want to know what the score is if you don't.

For the purposes of clarity - I'm not a backpacker who just wants a months pay before heading eldewhere - this is my profession and I take it incredibly seriously. I just really want to live in Vietnam.

The requirement for a degree pertains to places that offer a full-time one-year contract, generally international colleges, international schools, and the major language institutes chains. For those who are on this type of contract, a work permit is necessary.

The main risk of teaching on a casual basis is that you have no recourse if a school decides to fire you or not pay you, no benefits, and no guarantees of anything. The vast majority of schools are focused on
the short-term and the whole situation is often very chaotic and unprofessional.

That's incredibly helpful info - thanks for your detailed response!

Simon_miles :
OceanBeach92107 :
Simon_miles :

Hi all,

I'm looking at moving to either Hanoi or Saigon in March.

I've been teaching for about 8 years, and have a Tefl certificate.

I'm aware of the requirement for a degree, which I don't have.

Can anyone confirm how likely it is that I'd get a teaching job without a degree, and what salary I'd likely be looking at?

I'm aware that I'd be working off the books, so to speak, which is on me.

I'm just really curious as to how likely it is that I'd actually get a job as and when I arrive.

The info online is pretty ambiguous, aside from stating that you 'officially' need a degree. I want to know what the score is if you don't.

For the purposes of clarity - I'm not a backpacker who just wants a months pay before heading eldewhere - this is my profession and I take it incredibly seriously. I just really want to live in Vietnam.

Many thanks in advance!

Simon

Edit your CV to include "master of euphemisms".

You can definitely get an ILLEGAL teaching job (not innocently working "off the books").

That will make ANY visa you possess illegal as well, and you would be a candidate for the immigration blacklist.

However, there is at least one longtime poster on this forum (with actual experience in teaching here) who will encourage you to go for it anyway, 

But..."incredibly seriously"?

Seriously???

Getting a degree would be a major sign of taking your chosen "profession" incredibly seriously.

Then you would actually be a true professional in your profession...

With respect, you know absolutely nothing about my background, my teaching credentials, or my personal circumstances.

If getting a degree, (some people can't afford a degree by the way), is your barometer for how seriously someone takes their chosen profession, then you're completely clueless.

Again - you don't know me, or how good/bad/serious/complacement I am at teaching. Having a degree doesn't make someone a good teacher, just as not having one doesn't mean the opposite.

I wasn't after a lecture, as I know what the score is. I just wanted to know how easy it would be to find work.

Thanks anyway!

Except, based on your OP, you either don't "know the score" or you do but you are hoping to dance around cold, hard truth: without an "expert certification", any work you get here is illegal.

As Colin reminded us, it is possible for you to get an expert certification IF you can provide satisfactory documentation of your 8 years of experience.

Not to your satisfaction but to the government's satisfaction.

I guess the Vietnamese government is clueless too, because they made up the rule and established that as the barometer.

My reply was a reply for the sake of ANYONE reading this thread in the future, so hopefully they will be dissuaded from attempting to come here under similar circumstances.

If you don't mind taking the risk of violating the law here, by all means...

OceanBeach92107 :
Simon_miles :
OceanBeach92107 :

Edit your CV to include "master of euphemisms".

You can definitely get an ILLEGAL teaching job (not innocently working "off the books").

That will make ANY visa you possess illegal as well, and you would be a candidate for the immigration blacklist.

However, there is at least one longtime poster on this forum (with actual experience in teaching here) who will encourage you to go for it anyway, 

But..."incredibly seriously"?

Seriously???

Getting a degree would be a major sign of taking your chosen "profession" incredibly seriously.

Then you would actually be a true professional in your profession...

With respect, you know absolutely nothing about my background, my teaching credentials, or my personal circumstances.

If getting a degree, (some people can't afford a degree by the way), is your barometer for how seriously someone takes their chosen profession, then you're completely clueless.

Again - you don't know me, or how good/bad/serious/complacement I am at teaching. Having a degree doesn't make someone a good teacher, just as not having one doesn't mean the opposite.

I wasn't after a lecture, as I know what the score is. I just wanted to know how easy it would be to find work.

Thanks anyway!

Except, based on your OP, you either don't "know the score" or you do but you are hoping to dance around cold, hard truth: without an "expert certification", any work you get here is illegal.

As Colin reminded us, it is possible for you to get an expert certification IF you can provide satisfactory documentation of your 8 years of experience.

Not to your satisfaction but to the government's satisfaction.

I guess the Vietnamese government is clueless too, because they made up the rule and established that as the barometer.

My reply was a reply for the sake of ANYONE reading this thread in the future, so hopefully they will be dissuaded from attempting to come here under similar circumstances.

If you don't mind taking the risk of violating the law here, by all means...

I do know the score. Or at least, I'm confident that I do - fairly clearly stated with the 'I know the score' comment in my initial post. I didn't come here looking for advice on the legal aspects.

I didn't post looking for patronising commentary on the legalities on what I'm looking to potentially do, but the likelihood of me actually being able to land a role.

I have no qualms with the governments guidelines and legal parameters, by the way. Nor have I ever stated that I do.

My initial post was pretty clear in it's intentions. As was your response.

Simon_miles :
OceanBeach92107 :
Simon_miles :

With respect, you know absolutely nothing about my background, my teaching credentials, or my personal circumstances.

If getting a degree, (some people can't afford a degree by the way), is your barometer for how seriously someone takes their chosen profession, then you're completely clueless.

Again - you don't know me, or how good/bad/serious/complacement I am at teaching. Having a degree doesn't make someone a good teacher, just as not having one doesn't mean the opposite.

I wasn't after a lecture, as I know what the score is. I just wanted to know how easy it would be to find work.

Thanks anyway!

Except, based on your OP, you either don't "know the score" or you do but you are hoping to dance around cold, hard truth: without an "expert certification", any work you get here is illegal.

As Colin reminded us, it is possible for you to get an expert certification IF you can provide satisfactory documentation of your 8 years of experience.

Not to your satisfaction but to the government's satisfaction.

I guess the Vietnamese government is clueless too, because they made up the rule and established that as the barometer.

My reply was a reply for the sake of ANYONE reading this thread in the future, so hopefully they will be dissuaded from attempting to come here under similar circumstances.

If you don't mind taking the risk of violating the law here, by all means...

I do know the score. Or at least, I'm confident that I do - fairly clearly stated with the 'I know the score' comment in my initial post. I didn't come here looking for advice on the legal aspects.

I didn't post looking for patronising commentary on the legalities on what I'm looking to potentially do, but the likelihood of me actually being able to land a role.

I have no qualms with the governments guidelines and legal parameters, by the way. Nor have I ever stated that I do.

My initial post was pretty clear in it's intentions. As was your response.

You wrote:

"The info online is pretty ambiguous, aside from stating that you 'officially' need a degree. I want to know what the score is if you don't."

It's not ambiguous, unless you choose to ignore the law.

Your *wink* *wink* acknowledgement of the 'official' requirements is a deft dance step, but for the sake of future casual readers, you are essentially asking if it's possible to be employed illegally.

Go ahead and roll the dice.

When you end up on the visa blacklist, you will find lots of helpful information here in other threads.

Eight years teaching experience by a native, first-language English speaker from the big seven (US, Canada, UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa) is better than most kids get. The kids deserve the best and many are keen to learn. The risks are only his.

Sounds like Simon is way above midpoint on the teaching-ability spectrum. Vietnam's gain, Philippines loss. Welcome dude!  :cheers:

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