Teach English in the Philippines

Details

Demand

Good

Busiest

Jan-Dec

All Year

Currency

P

Philippines Pesos (PHP)

Contract

3-24 months

Normally

Taxes

High

Summary
There is good demand for English teachers here, but as there are lots of English-speaking Filipinos willing to work cheaply in the language schools, there aren’t as many opportunities for native speakers.
Main TEFL regions
Cebu, Manila
Types of teaching
ESL private language institutes: General English, Business English, TOEFL, ECCE
University language programs: General English, TOEFL, English for Specific Purposes
Migrant English programs: General English, TOEFL, English for Specific Purposes
Call centers/call center preparation houses: General English, Business English
Accommodation
You will usually have to find your own apartment, which will cost about P4,500-6,500 (US$100-150) per month, depending on your desired level of comfort.
Flight reimbursement
Not usual, but you may be offered a bonus at the end of a long contract.
Salary
Salaries are lower than in neighbouring Hong Kong and Taiwan: expect to get about P35,000-45,000 (US$800-1000) per month with a full time schedule. You can charge upwards of P500 (US$11) per hour for private tuition, but it’s hard to get students until you’ve established yourself.
Taxes
Income tax is relatively steep in the Philippines. On a normal teacher’s salary, you’ll pay about 25% of your income as tax.
Cost of living
While the cost of living is low compared to the west, it’s slightly more expensive than other South-East Asian countries such as Thailand. Food for a month should cost about P3,500 ($80), electricity for your apartment will be about P1,300 per month if you don’t use air-con, and alcohol is very cheap: at the extreme, you can get a bottle of rum for only P20 (US$0.50)!
Potential to save money
It is possible to save money if you live well within your means and munch at cheap local eateries. Thankfully, as the country is quite westernized, you can satisfy any craving for western junk food (which, let’s face it… most people do) without breaking the bank by eating at places like 'Jollibee'.
How much TEFL training is recommended?
A TEFL qualification is required to teach here. Something like i-to-i’s Professional TEFL Course (120) will prepare you well for your first classes.
Common teaching conditions
Many private schools are run primarily as businesses, so you could end up with a hectic schedule. Your students will mostly be Filipino, but lots of Koreans come to learn English, too. Whichever nationality you teach, they expect you to be an entertainer almost as much as an educator.

Be aware…

If a private language school agrees to employ you before you leave home, keep your options open. They have been known to cancel contracts at the last minute if they find a cheaper replacement in-country.