How to Find a Job Teaching English in Cambodia

From the various awe-inspiring ruins of Angkor Wat just outside Siem Reap to the hustle and bustle of the capital city, Phnom Penh, Cambodia has much to offer aspiring EFL teachers. If you’re wondering how to find a job teaching English in Cambodia, you’ll be delighted to know that obtaining English teaching jobs here is not as challenging as some of its Asian counterparts.

Cambodia is currently one of the fastest-growing economies in Asia and English teaching jobs are on the rise along with it. It’s the perfect destination for any aspiring English teacher who wants to pioneer a special type of experience; one where you can be a backbone of an expat community and a role model figure in a country that will surely see its EFL teacher population begin to grow rapidly in the coming years. 

What qualifications do I need to teach English in Cambodia?

When it comes to finding a job teaching English in Cambodia, you’ll notice many schools prefer a bachelor’s degree though it is often not required, and they usually do not require prior teaching experience. Cambodia is also open to non-native speakers. It is often required to hold a TEFL certification.

In short, the only qualifications you need are:

  • to be a fluent English speaker
  • to hold at least a high school diploma
  • to hold a TEFL certification
  • to have an interest in living and teaching English in Cambodia

It’s important to keep in mind that many Cambodians use all of their savings to invest in English classes, so you’ll want to provide them the best education possible. Earning a TEFL certificate (check out our TEFL training program with job placement in Cambodia) can ensure you will be a more confident, capable teacher, and maybe even better teaching opportunities with higher salaries, plus your students will be better off.

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What are the different types of teaching jobs in Cambodia?

Private Language Institutes:
There is ample opportunity to work in private language institutes in Cambodia, which are schools that specifically offer language skills, and English is the most commonly studied one. Students here will be of all age groups and language levels, and most will be studying in addition to work or school. This means you’ll have both the opportunity to teach a variety of skill levels and ages, as well as maintaining a more varied work schedule (sometimes this includes nights and weekends).

One benefit of private language institutes is that they’re open year ’round, which means no long, unpaid holidays and the ability to work as much or as little as you desire.

Public and Private Schools:
Whether working in a public or private school, it is important to be open and flexible. Public schools may not have the funding for competitive salaries, so it’s important to keep the experience in mind and not just the paycheck. Between the two, private schools are usually able to pay higher wages.

Either way, you will be making a difference in the lives of children who may not have had an opportunity to learn English otherwise. These positions offer a set schedule Monday – Friday with weekends and public holidays off.


Sometimes corporations or large companies will hire English teachers to help their employees learn English. This may mean working as a freelance teacher, or a salaried position, but often the pay is competitive and the hours are during normal business hours. If teaching adults and focusing on specific kinds of English (like business) is your cup of tea, this might be perfect for you.

teaching english in cambodia

How can I find a teaching job in Cambodia before I arrive?

Most English teachers working in Cambodia got their jobs after arriving in the country and interviewing in-person, and most work is in Phnom Penh, the country’s capital city. 

The low cost of living helps keep away some of the fears associated with arriving in a foreign country without a job lined up, and one can simply remind themselves of the cost of living perks if they begin to stress out about the notion of being unemployed while abroad. 

If that makes you a little nervous, you could opt to take your TEFL certification program in Cambodia with guaranteed job placement, which has many benefits including the opportunity to immerse yourself in the culture and language for four weeks prior to teaching, as well as hands-on teaching practice with actual Cambodian students, and the training itself guarantees that you will be a more effective educator when you graduate from the program. The guaranteed job placement facet of a program like this adds some financial security for anyone uncertain of arriving in foreign land without a teaching job already lined up.

teaching english in cambodia

Do I need to obtain a work permit/visa to teach in Cambodia? 

Most teachers arrive on an E visa (not an electronic visa). It is $35.00 USD and is granted upon arrival. This allows you to extend for up to 1 year and you can work on this visa. 

The Tourist visa ( T Visa ) is $30.00 USD and can only be extended once for 1 month. This is usually for students coming in from countries where the government won’t grant an E visa on arrival (most African countries, India, Pakistan, etc.). This requires you to leave the country after 60 days if you don’t yet have a job. When you do find a teaching job, you’ll be able to apply for an E visa and stay for one year.

How much can I earn teaching English in Cambodia?

While you won’t get rich teaching English in Cambodia, the cost of living here remains lower than other places in the region, meaning you can live decently on the monthly salaries that are between $700-$1,000 USD.

In the popular areas, it’s possible to splurge on fancy meals, hotels and travel, but living outside of the tourist destinations and immersing yourself in the local cuisine and ways of life will ensure a decent amount of savings each month.

What are additional sources of income to support my time teaching English in Cambodia?

In addition to teaching English at your site in Cambodia, you can earn additional income by offering private tutoring services to your students and surrounding community.

Private tutoring allows you to develop your own classes, build your own clientele, as well as establish your desired hourly rates. Most teachers love the one-on-one teaching environment and the freedom to work as much or as little as they want. There is also ample opportunity here to swap languages — you teach them English and they teach you Khmer!

If you prefer an alternative method to private tutoring, teaching English online is another excellent way to earn income. Teaching online allows you to have a flexible schedule that won’t interfere with your regular onsite classes. Plus, you will gain invaluable experience teaching English in a remote setting that you can continue even after your time in Cambodia! 

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What are some teaching essentials I need to bring to Cambodia?

Beyond packing regular items for your trip, it is important to gather the essentials to ensure your time teaching English in Cambodia is a success.

A few things to add to your packing list include your laptop and any teaching materials (pictures, flashcards, pens/pencils, books, etc) you’ll want in the classroom, along with professional clothing to wear when you teach. 

On top of your visa and passport, it’s very important that you bring the following key documentation with you:

  • the original version of any qualification you hold (degree / diploma); and
  • a background (police) check – must be no more than 6 months old when presented

Note: Teachers are strongly advised to have their qualifications and background check notarized and legalized in their home country.

In short, it’s relatively easy to get started teaching English in Cambodia. The amount of English teaching jobs in Cambodia is rising along with the local economy, and you’ll certainly not lack for things to do in your spare time, with beautiful beaches, archaeological sites galore, and a rich and recent history to explore throughout the country.

Words by Logan Davis & Jessica Hill