Teaching English in the Philippines

Teaching English in the Philippines

Philipinnes Overview

Main Cities/AreasSalary range (USD/month)
Manila, Baguio, Cebu$800 – $2500

The Philippines is a collection of beautiful tropical islands where living costs are low. The only trouble is, the local people generally speak such excellent English that there is little demand for native English teachers. However, the growing Korean population in the Philippines seeks tuition at language centers and if you have a relevant MA or PGCE (or equivalent) then you may find work at a university or International School.

Food, drink, and transport are all cheap but accommodation prices vary dramatically depending on your budget and location.

File:Flag of the Philippines.svg - Wikimedia Commons

Typical Requirements

Degree?TEFL Certification?Experience?
MastersYes2-3 Years

An MA TESOL or Linguistics degree will greatly improve your chances of a decent salary. Inexperienced teachers are advised to get some experience elsewhere first!

Be very wary of working illegally without the correct permits.

If you are adamant about teaching and living in the Philippines you may wish to consider teaching online via Skype, for example.

Unless you are working at a university or International School it’s best to arrive in the Philippines on a tourist visa and then ask your employer to arrange a work permit. There are tight restrictions on this (unless you happen to be married to a local).

Pros and Cons of Teaching in the Philippines


  • The people of the Philippines speak excellent English so there is no language barrier and it is easy to make friends
  • Low living costs in most areas
  • Should you happen to be married to a citizen of the Philippines then you can start a language school of your own


  • Difficult to find a job unless you have a relevant Masters Degree
  • The work permit restrictions are very tight
  • Teaching Koreans at language centers or private colleges is generally poorly-paid