Singapore is a famous travel destination and one of the 10 best countries to teach English in Asia. It is famous for the Marina Bay Skyline, year-round summer, shopping malls, one of the world’s best airports, and clean streets. Of course, these are just a few from the long list of why people find Singapore a fun and amazing place to visit. Singapore is a great place for ESL teachers to go teach abroad. While teaching English in Singapore, you will also have the opportunity to travel around the neighbouring countries as well. Some of the Southeast Asian countries nearby Singapore are Vietnam, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Thailand.
Another reason why Singapore is famous is because of its law that bans chewing gums. Some people think that the law completely bans chewing gum. However, that is now true. You are allowed to chew gums, just can’t sell or import them. There is absolutely no problem with buying gums before travelling to Singapore and chewing it during your stay in the country. If you are an ESL instructor who is interested in teaching English in Singapore and happens to also be a chewing gum lover, you do not have to worry about the gum law.
Teaching English in Singapore
Singapore is a very diverse country. While teaching English in Singapore, you will be able to have yourself get exposed to so many different cultures. The government is home to a wide range of ethnicities. That is why it is not surprising to know that in Singapore, there are four official languages: Malay, Tamil, Singaporean Mandarin, and English. Almost all Singaporeans are bilingual due to the national promotion of a dual-language learning system. Most of the people speak English along with one of the other three official languages.
Because English is widely used in Singapore and students learn it at the earliest in primary schools, there is a high demand for English teachers. There are many English teaching jobs in Singapore, but it is highly competitive to get well-paid jobs. Most of the jobs will typically offer a 12-months contract. The student groups that you will most often interact with are business professionals and children. If you prefer teaching English online, that can also be a possible option.
Before you decide that you want to teach English in Singapore, finish reading this article first. Check if you are qualified, if you are happy with the salary, and if you are fine with the cost of living.
Requirements for Teaching English in Singapore
If you want to teach English in Singapore, you have to meet the following requirements:
- University or college degree
- TEFL certificate
- Native English speaker (from U.S., U.K., Ireland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, or South Africa)
These qualifications are required for most English teaching jobs in Singapore. Even if you choose to teach abroad in another country, you will find a TEFL certificate required for most of the ESL jobs in many countries. So, if you don’t have it yet, you are strongly required to get it. You can easily obtain TEFL certification by taking online courses. If you do not have a university degree, consider teaching online.
English Teaching Jobs in Singapore
Look at the different types of ESL job opportunities in Singapore and see which you like the most. In many institutions, you will work around 20-25 hours per week, including the class preparation time. It is great that you can keep the rest of the time for yourself to go around travelling; enjoy the rich and diverse culture.
Private Language Schools
Teaching at a private language school in Singapore is a good way to begin your full-time career in the country. Although the salary tends to be lower than other English teaching jobs in Singapore, there are some advantages to choosing this job type. The perk of working at a private language school is that you will be able to teach a smaller group of students or even one-on-one. Also, the work schedules are more flexible than other institutions. If you are someone just beginning an ESL teaching career, you might struggle with teaching a large group of classes in other types of English teaching institutions. A private language school is a great place to start and build ESL teaching experience.
Because of the competitive salaries and benefits packages, you will have to be highly qualified to get an English teaching job at an international school. Additional to the required qualifications list provided above, employers will look for past teaching experiences. Also, you might need to get a teaching license specific to teaching at an international school in Singapore. Some of the examples of this type of institution in Singapore are the Australian Internation School Singapore (AIS), Canadian International School (CIS), and Singapore American School (SAS).
Although the salary at public schools is lower than it is in international schools, it still provides great terms and work conditions and insurance. Also, some schools will provide housing support and return flights. You can directly apply to these schools or apply through the Ministry of Education, as the public schools are run by the government.
This option is great to keep as your part-time job. It is common to see students in Singapore take private English lessons. Although the hourly salary won’t be as high as it is for other types of English teaching jobs in Singapore, it is still a good way to supplement your income.
Salary for ESL Jobs in Singapore
The salary range differs depending on the type of English teaching job you have. However, generally speaking, the average salary of English teachers in Singapore is between 2,200-3,050 USD per month. ESL teachers will be able to live a comfortable life, possibly even saving some cash after paying for the cost of living.
Things to Consider When Teaching in Singapore
The cost of living in Singapore is not as low as the neighbouring countries. Depending on one’s lifestyle, the cost of living can range between 2,100 and 2,500 USD per month. However, because the salary is also higher than in nearby countries, you will be able to cover the cost of living. Also, there are many ways to cut the cost of living and save money. Teaching private tutor lessons as a part-time job can be helpful to make extra cash. Find shared accommodation and go to local hawker centres when you want to eat out.
FAQ About Teaching English in Singapore
Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about teaching English in Singapore.
Is there a demand for English teachers in Singapore?
Yes, there is a high demand for English teachers in Singapore. English is one of the official languages of Singapore. Students begin to learn English in primary school. Most of the Singaporeans are bilingual. People speak English and another official language. As the language is very widely spoken and taught, you will be able to see different types of teaching institutions looking for English teachers.
Can I teach English in Singapore without a degree?
Most of the English teaching jobs in Singapore require teachers to have a university or college degree. As the job market is highly competitive, you will have a lower chance of securing a job. However, you can always choose to teach English online if you do not have a degree.
What qualifications do I need to be an ESL teacher in Singapore?
The minimum required qualifications to teach in Singapore include a university/college degree and TEFL certificate. Also, teachers must be native English speakers.
Do teachers get paid well in Singapore?
Singapore is one of the best places to teach English in Asia. The average salary is relatively high as it ranges between $2,200-3,050 USD per month.
Teach English in Singapore: Join the Conversation
What are your thoughts on teaching English in this amazing country? Is it the right place for you, or are you looking for an ESL teaching job in another part of the world like Central America? Let us know what you think. We’d love to hear from you!