Teaching English in Indonesia

Everything you need to know about teaching in the land of the Emerald Equator.

Indonesia is a huge, diverse, and insanely beautiful country, with scenery ranging from active volcanoes to calm white sand beaches.

Many of its more famous islands like Bali, Java, and Sumatra are hailed by western travelers as paradisaical, and so millions of tourists flock to their resorts on the shores of the Indian Ocean each year. There are also millions of eager English language learners on the islands creating a booming market for new teachers looking to find sweet students and a sun-soaked lifestyle.

If you dream of colorful markets, ancient temples, and surf-worthy waves, read on to consider the benefits of finding teaching work in the country.



Between $900-$1,600 per month.



A paradise for backpackers, island hoppers and adventurous teachers of all ages.



The official language is Bahasa, but you’ll find over 700 languages in use by communities across the different Islands!



Hot and humid, with an especially wet summer season.

TEFL Wages in Indonesia

Wages in Indonesia may aren’t the highest in the world, but are easily sufficient for a great lifestyle while you are on the islands.

Typically, if you are working at a language center, such as English First (EF) the salary will range between $900-$1400 usd per month, sometimes with added benefits such as plane tickets and health insurance.

The pay range will be higher for placements at international schools or private schools. Public school jobs are unavailable as funds are usually lacking for foreign teachers.

Positions: Wages:
Language schools: $900-$1,400 USD p/m
Private schools: $1,000-$1,600 USD p/m

University positions will require more qualifications, preferably an MA, and some previous work experience in the country, so new teachers should be looking at language schools, or international schools if they have teaching certification to get a foot in the door.

The cost of living in Indonesia can vary by island and city between $500-$900, with the capital Jakarta on the upper end of the spectrum and smaller cities and towns on the lower end. With some planning, even a salary of $800-$900 can add up to small savings, which can be used to travel around the islands or further out to other Southeast Asian countries.

Where to teach English in Indonesia

Indonesia is made up of numerous islands grouped together between the Indian and Pacific Oceans. As such, you’ll find a range of different environments in each area. You could opt to teach in Jakarta on Java island, with its more metropolitan feel, or you could explore a little further teach among the local communities on the smaller islands.


Here are some of the most popular destinations for teachers in Indonesia:

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Food in Indonesia

In Indonesia everything can be made more delicious with a little spicy sambal or sweetened up with peanut sauce. Here are some of your rice, meat, salad, and soup day-to-day options, though there are hundreds of others you will discover once in country.

English teaching requirements in Indonesia

While it’s possible to get a job without teaching experience, it’s much easier if you have at least some experience under your belt. You can get your foot in the door with a large commercial language center, or plan to search while living in the country for a month or two and, to be on the safe side, focus your search in cities in either Java or Sumatra.

It is possible to get a job with a large commercial chain before arrival, but otherwise much better to conduct your job search while in the country. You will need a TEFL certificate and a bachelors degree to be competitive for most jobs.

If you don’t meet all these requirements, check out our blog post on tips, or get in touch to find out what other opportunities are available to you.

Start your journey today!

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