Teaching English in Cambodia

Everything you need to know about teaching English in the land of the kingdom of wonder

Cambodia is well known for its ancient temples, red-robed monks, and lush waterfalls, but it is also an up-and-coming destination for the ESL industry. While the wages aren’t the highest around, it still has a lot to offer: classroom experience, breathtaking monuments, and a distinctive culture rooted in traditional Buddhist philosophy and practice.



Earn between $900-$1,500 per month.



A great place to teach if you live for the unexpected, both calm, laid back, and chaotic at the same time.



Khmer, with some Vietnamese and English.



Warm all year round with both dry and monsoon seasons.

TEFL Wages in Cambodia

Inexperienced teachers can expect to be employed by private schools or private ESL academies and both will pay $1,000-$1,400 dollars on average per month or $1,200 on average, with jobs in the capital Phnom Penh on the high end of the scale with tourist-heavy destinations like Siem Reap middling and Sihanoukville on the lower end.

Positions: Wages:
Private schools, ESL academies (Phenom Pehn): $1,200-$1,500 p/m
Private schools, ESL academies (Elsewhere): $1,000-$1,300 p/m

Throughout the country these salaries are taxed about 15%. While there are a few public school jobs, most are with international schools and require qualifications like teacher certification and experience. A TEFL or TESOL certificate or a year or two of experience can draw a higher salary at many private institutions, potentially garnering earnings up to $1,500 per month. Cambodian schools have 25 days off in the official calendar, and most teachers who are paid hourly will not be paid for those days, so need to budget accordingly.

Where to teach English in Cambodia

Cambodia is a developing country, with much of its land being covered in thick jungle, or being used for agricultural purposes. However, there are still some great cities and towns around the country which you can find teaching work in.

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

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Food in Cambodia

Whether it’s spicy or sour or citrusy or creamy, Cambodian foods favor strong and complex blended flavors. A usual meal will probably include a bit of soup, rice, vegetables and fish or beef. Here are some must eat meals:

English teaching requirements in Cambodia

As with other Southeast Asian countries, it is much better to begin the search for jobs once on the ground in the country. Most Cambodian schools will be looking to hire in person, so potential job seekers should plan to move to the country or budget to travel for a brief period to find a placement that suits them. Though a bachelor’s degree is not required, it can be helpful for some of the higher paying jobs.

Non-natives: If you don’t have a passport from the UK/US/IRE/CAN/AUS/NZ/SA, you can still legally work in Cambodia.

Teachers without degrees: You can also teach English in Cambodia without a degree! While higher paid positions may have preferences for teachers with degrees, it’s not a fixed requirement in order to gain a work permit.

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