Teaching in Philippines

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Teaching in Philippines – Asian College of Teachers (ACT)

Teaching jobs in the Philippines may hire overseas teachers at any point throughout the year. Philippine public schools need over 30,000 new teachers yearly just to meet demand. To boost the quality of teaching in the country, the country has a demand for skilled and qualified teachers to teach in schools. The warm welcome from Filipinos with the relaxed atmosphere makes the Philippines an ideal destination to teach abroad.

The Philippines is an exciting and rewarding place to live and work, with numerous advantages for the expat. The Philippines being a former American colony, English is an extremely common second language making it the fifth largest English-speaking nation in the world. With an estimated 52 million people being able to speak English, 92% of the population in the Philippines can speak some level of English as a first or second language. Thus, English teaching or educational opportunities as a whole focus on a more advanced form of instruction.

Keeping aside the glamorous beaches and tropical heat, migrants often move to this country looking for excellence in the English Language. Thus, if you are weighing the possibilities of setting sail in the "Pearl of the Orient", you need a proper blend of qualifications, credentials, finances, and mentality.

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Updated Educational Requirements to Teach in Philippines

This country facilitates schools and universities that offer cutting-edge technologies to ensure that students are given the highest quality of education. Thus, if you are planning to be a part of the teaching team and teach legally in the Philippines, you must.

  • Be a graduate from a recognized board or university with at least a bachelor’s degree
  • Be a citizen of a native English-speaking country or have near-native proficiency for ESL jobs
  • Have completed 120 hours of TEFL course from a globally recognized institution (for English teaching)
  • Teaching experience (preferred)
  • To become a Licensed teacher in the Philippines, a graduate of Bachelor of Secondary Education needs to pass the Licensure Examination for Teachers (LET)

Even though Filipinos use Tagalog as a language for local communication, English is used as a medium of instruction in educational institutions to ensure both local and foreign students are equally competitive.

Updated Visa Requirements for Teaching in Philippines

As per Article 40 of the Labor Code of the Philippines, any foreign national seeking admission in the country for employment purposes or any Filipino employer willing to engage an alien for employment in the Philippines must obtain an employment permit from the Department of Labor and Employment. For this, they have come up with an Alien Employment Permit (AEP) permit that allows a non-resident or foreign national to work in the Philippines.

Thus, to apply for a visa, your first step would be to apply for the AEP sponsored by your institution with a validity of 6 months to 2 years. Once you have this, you can apply for a work visa. The most common type of work visa issued in this country is a 9 (G) visa, also commonly known as the Pre-arranged employment visa. The issuance of this visa falls under the category of B1. This allows employers in the country to employ foreign nationals with relevant qualifications, experience, and skills that might be in short supply in the country.

To qualify for the work visa, you need

  • An organization sponsoring you
  • Notarized certification of a number of foreign employees of the employer
  • Copy of employment contract
  • A certified copy of AEP issued from DOLE
  • B1 clearance certificate
  • A valid passport for at least 6 months
  • Medical certificate issued locally
  • Police clearance certificate issued locally

The visa is valid for an initial period of 1, 2, or 3 years and can be extended for up to 3 years depending on the duration of the employment contract. However, the validity cannot be exceeding the period guaranteed by AEP but can be renewed multiple times.

Major Types of Educational Jobs in Philippines

The Philippines is a competitive job market, but if you have the proper credential and qualifications, it is not difficult to land a job in the educational sector. Successful candidates can start their careers in Private Language Schools, International Schools, Public Schools, Colleges or Universities, and Tutoring.

Even though the Philippines hire throughout the year, the peak hiring season is during March.

Teach in Philippines - Private Language Schools

These schools normally tend to operate on weekends and at night. This act either as a professional development tool for working adults or augments English instruction in regular schools. One of the major reasons why students of all age groups enroll in a private language school in the Philippines is to study for one of the standardized English proficiency tests or entrance exams like:

  • GRE

If you are fond of teaching the youth, you will be pleased and satisfied to work in this environment. Being one of the most popular job options for English teachers from abroad, these academies or institutions are located abundantly in the highly urbanized cities of the Philippines.

To teach English as a second language or foreign language in a private language school in the Philippines, a desired candidate must have:

  • A bachelor’s degree in your relevant subject
  • A TEFL/TESOL certification
  • A prior knowledge or certificate of IELTS/TOEFL/GRE (preferred)
  • A teaching license from the aspirant’s home country
  • A legal ‘G’ visa

However, since these are privately owned institutions, hiring requirements are not strict and rigid. If you possess the proper blend of credentials, qualifications, experience, and vigor, you will be able to get in. Furthermore, depending on the location of the school and your personal qualifications, you may expect to earn around $1,200 to $2,000/month at a private language school.

Teach in Philippines - International School

International schools in the Philippines cater to the social and economic elites and are generally a major attraction for anyone looking for a job in the education sector. Since these are the schools most aspirants are aiming for, competition is fierce.

The predominance of these schools is mostly in the urban cities of the Philippines where the elite class lives. To teach English in international schools, competent candidates must have:

  • A bachelor’s degree in your relevant subject
  • A teaching license from the home country of the aspirant
  • TEFL/TESOL certification
  • A full-time teaching experience of at least 2 years
  • Cleared the Licensure Examination for Teachers (LET)
  • A legal ‘G’ visa

If you are willing to live a relatively premium life in the Philippines, then this might be your safest bet. International schools in the Philippines are the ones that generally pay the most than any other institution. You can expect to earn anywhere around $1,500 to $3,000/month.

Teach in Philippines – Public School

Public schools in the Philippines are widely scattered throughout the country. Not only are they situated in the hearts of the major cities but have also marked their presence in the off- the-beaten-path small town and villages. Even though these schools are highly available, it is somewhat difficult to land a teaching position in them.

If rural life is what you are after, then public schools are a go-to for you. If you want to teach English in public schools in the Philippines, here is a list of essentials you must have:

  • At least a bachelor's degree in your relevant subject (Master preferred)
  • A teaching license from the aspirant’s home country
  • TEFL/TESOL certification
  • PGCE or equivalent
  • A full-time teaching experience of at least 2 years
  • Cleared the Licensure Examination for Teachers (LET)
  • A legal ‘G’ visa

Pay for public schools is notably lower when compared with private or international schools. If you are planning to teach in public schools in the Philippines you are most likely to earn around $800 to $1,500/per month. On average you will not be able to make more than $1,000 every month.

Teach in Philippines – University/College

Since students of the Philippines are more inclined to travel abroad to native English- speaking countries for studies and work for PR purposes, they are often required to learn English to pass the English proficiency test. This is why there are abundant positions available for teachers in universities and colleges.

If you are aspiring to teach English in colleges or universities in the Philippines, you must have:

  • At least a Master's degree in your relevant subject (Ph.D. preferred)
  • A teaching license from the aspirant’s home country
  • TEFL/TESOL certification
  • IELTS certification
  • PGCE or equivalent
  • A full-time teaching experience of at least 3-4 years
  • Cleared the Licensure Examination for Teachers (LET)
  • A legal ‘G’ visa

After international schools, colleges and universities rank second-highest when it comes to earning a handsome salary. You can expect to earn anywhere around $1,500 to $2,000/month. Apart from this most universities also provide tangential benefits like medical insurance and free housing on campus.

Teach in Philippines – Tutoring

Tutoring is another way of earning a sumptuous amount in the Philippines. You can either be online or offline one-on-one private tutors. Since the Philippines was a colony of the USA, families often opt for homeschooling for their kids.

If you come across any such family and want to tutor kids in the Philippines you must have;

  • A bachelor’s degree in your specialized subject
  • TEFL/TESOL certification
  • A full-time or online teaching experience of at least 1 year
  • A legal ‘G’ visa

Private tutoring is not only less time-consuming but it guarantees high earnings. The average pay of a tutor in the Philippines is around $4 to $5 per hour. Depending on the numbers you put in, you can earn a lucrative amount. Moreover, if you already have a teaching job in the country, it will be easy for you to market yourself as a private tutor to students and families.

Land a Teaching Job in Philippines

The economy of the Philippines is rising and the cost of living in the country is pretty low. As opposed to popular belief, the Philippines offers you a chance to earn satisfactorily while enjoying a laid back atmosphere. Not only will you get a lot of private and public schools in the capital city Manila. But the neighboring city of Pampanga also has numerous opportunities as the language academies and international schools there are highly copious.

Well, apart from teaching other lucrative careers in the Philippines attract expats. With a competitive salary and medical benefits, these careers are hard to beat. So, if you are planning to begin or grow your career in the education sector, here are some offers for you.

  • Curriculum/course developer
  • Training Coordinator
  • Educational consultant
  • Associate professor
  • Child care center director
  • Learning Specialist
  • Senior program coordinator
  • Curriculum leader.

If you want to land a job in the Philippines, here are some hot tips for a seamless job-seeking experience:

  • If you are located outside the country, take refuge in the job sites to find the best possible jobs for your qualifications. Some of the most popular sites are- Jobstreet, Dave's ESL Cafe, Indeed, and ESL Base.
  • You can also turn to the various Facebook groups dedicated to ESL teaching in the Philippines and find job vacancies.
  • Get at least a 120-hour TEFL certification if you have not already polished your resume.

If you meet the basic requirements mentioned above and are diligent about spreading your resume far and wide, you are guaranteed to find a job only after a brief search.

Cost of Living in Philippines

The Philippines is not super expensive when compared to the west or other Asian countries. The cost of living is relatively low and as a foreign TEFL teacher, your take-home salary will be more than the average local. In the capital city of this island nation, Manila, which is considered to be expensive, the cost of living, is still affordable.

Here is a run-down of the typical day-to-day expenses for foreign nationals living in the Philippines:

  • Meals- Starting from $3.39
  • Basic utilities (water, electricity, heating, cooling, garbage)- $93.43 for a 915 sq ft apartment
  • Accommodation: $270.15 for a 1-bedroom apartment, $239 for a studio apartment, and $96 for a double sharing room
  • Domestic beer: $1.19 for 1-pint draft
  • Eggs: $1.66 for a dozen of regular eggs
  • Transportation: around $1 by bus

If you plan to stay in more sparsely populated regions then the cost of living is even lower. In most cases, you end up spending around $800 monthly if you want to live a comfortable life.

Major Perks of Teaching in Philippines

With the country constantly evolving, teaching in the Philippines will be a thrilling opportunity for you. Not only will it be an extra addition to your resume, but you will also become culturally rich. Since the cost of living in this country is relatively low, it offers an attractive package for the expats leaving you with enough to save. Some of the common perks enjoyed by teachers in the Philippines are:

  • Health Insurance
  • Retirement and Life Insurance (Public School teachers)
  • Vacation credits and leave privileges
  • Performance Based Bonus (PBB)
  • Productivity Enhancement Incentive (PEI)
  • Annual Personal Economic Relief Allowance (PERA)
  • Year-end bonuses and cash gifts
  • Clothing allowance (Public School teachers)
  • Loyalty benefits

Popular Places to Teach English in Philippines

The Philippines, aka the nation of islands in the South Pacific, welcomes teachers who are looking forward to working in a relaxed environment amidst an inquisitive and friendly culture. From crystal clear waters to sprawling rice terraces, and bustling cities to untouched remote villages, the Philippines can satisfy the teacher's desire to get the taste of a new life.

So far, the big trio of this heavenly country has the largest concentration of ESL jobs. They are:


The capital city is a sprawling metropolis with around 21 million people and is in the broader metro areas. Home to some of the highest end-educational establishments, Manila is suitable for people who are looking to spice up their life while satisfying their luxurious needs.


Also known as the 'Queen City of the South', Cebu is one of the oldest and the original capital of the Philippines. Famous for waterfalls, historical landmarks, and religious sites, this city is also bustling with numerous private language academies and is in constant need of private tutors to fulfill the learning needs of the students.


Also known as the 'Summer Capital of Philippines', this city is rapidly developing and is considered to be a highly urbanized city. Situated in the northern mountains this city is home to elementary and special education teachers. Also, with numerous education centers constantly looking for teachers, this city is good for that little extra income.

Teach and Live in Philippines

Comprising 7000 islands, the Philippines is a sweet mix of common cultural threads with a notable difference in religious cultures. As already mentioned, the workload of the teachers in the Philippines is comparatively lower hence there will be very less instances when you feel stressed or burned out for your job. However, the students are considered to be less punctual just like the rest of the population. So, this sometimes might be a source of frustration, but you will get used to it.

The working hours differ based on the location and the type of institution you are teaching in. For private institutions, it is normally 8 hours a day with 6 working days a week. However, for schools both public and private, classes start from 7 am to 5 pm Monday-Friday.

Filipinos are generally warm in nature and hence it is customary to greet each other by smiling or placing a kiss on the cheek. For more formal occasions, men and women tend to greet each other by shaking hands. Apart from this, one of the major perks of living and working in the Philippines is the convenient support you will get from the locals as almost everyone there speaks some level of English.

Student Reviews


Full of knowledge and useful information, suggestion for lesson plan and ideas for support learning. The knowledge, as mother and "home" teacher was incomplete, after this course I'm feel more comfortable in these topics.

Catherine Streng

Catherine Streng

It was hard work but I learned a lot. Because of this it was well worth it and I am well on my way to succeeding in my goal to become an English teacher in Asia. Instead of being scared as I previously was, I am only a little bit nervous now that I have this experience under my belt.

Joseph Cachia

Joseph Cachia

It was a challenge for me as it been a long time since I had done any academic studying but the course was structured well overall as the course progressed I was relating more to what I was doing at school and implementing them and seeing results I could see my self-confidence growing thru the course.

Melissa Laurin

Melissa Laurin

The course was very informative and I really liked the fact that I could do the Work on my own time. That made less pressure and I could do my best work for the assignments.

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