How to Find Teaching Jobs in Singapore

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Although Singapore is an island nation, it has grown to become a modern and efficient first world model country in Asia too. The infrastructure is remarkable and education sector largely successful. And, the flourishing economy has created an unprecedented demand for ESL teachers. The demand for native English teachers is extremely high, and teachers can expect good salaries, perks, and excellent accommodation once they are employed. The only downside is that the cost of living is higher than the most other ESL destinations in Asia. In the section below, we shall examine some of the main employers and important considerations you should keep in mind when applying for teaching jobs in Singapore.

Major Employers of Teachers in Singapore

Generally, teaching jobs in Malaysia are available all over the country and there are plenty of opportunities that abound almost all year round. Even so, it is still very important for you to identify some of the major employers of teachers. Remember, your qualification and experience may influence the level of teaching job you will engage in and the kind of employer who will hire you. Some of the major employers of TEFL teachers in Singapore are highlighted below:

1.Ministry of education Singapore

One of the best employers of teachers in Singapore is the Ministry of Education. Applicants who want to take up job openings created by the Ministry of Education should have a minimum bachelor’s degree. If you have TEFL, CELTA, or TESOL certificate, then that is an added advantage. Application forms are freely available for foreign applicants from the ministry’s website. When seeking for opportunities, you should be careful not to be misled by private recruitment agencies who claim to recruit teachers on behalf of the ministry.

2.Language Schools

If you are a qualified teacher, then you should also try to contact some of the language schools in Singapore. They certainly have great teaching opportunities for teachers who are competent in General English, Business English and, English for Young Learners. Since the TESOL/ TEFL market is massive, foreigners from other parts of Asia come to Singapore to learn English, and there is a considerable number of schools which cater for this market that any prospective teacher can exploit.

3.International schools   

If you are looking forward to working at an international school, then you should at least be a professional teacher with a teaching degree and some teaching experience. International schools cater for expat kids and so they require qualified teachers to fill any vacancies that arise. Sometimes, the job openings may not be advertised, so you will have to contact some of the schools in Malaysia from time to time to find out if they have openings for English teachers.  
4.Secondary schools

If you have a bachelor’s degree, then you might also want to consider taking up opportunities that are available in many secondary schools in Malaysia.  Applicants are required to have a minimum bachelor’s degree from a recognized university and a Post-graduate Certificate in Secondary Education (PGCSE). They should also have at least 3-5 years teaching experience and excellent communication skills.
5.Home Tutoring

A great way of exploring teaching opportunities in Singapore is to find home tutoring jobs. As a private tutor, you can work solely to cater for kids who are not covered in the competitive school system. Some of the local teachers work as professional home tutors part time. You can check out recruitment agencies which have openings for private tutors and book an interview.


If you have a TESOL or CELTA certification, then you might want to consider taking up a university teaching job. University lecturers are expected to have 3-5 years teaching experience and post-graduate (Masters or a doctorate in English). Typical work includes 40 hours per week, but this differs from place to place. It might help if you get referrals from a colleague or friend because most universities would hire foreign expatriates who are referred by lecturers they already know.

Other opportunities

If you are looking for additional opportunities other than teaching English in Malaysia, , then you will be glad to know that you can also work as a private tutor, instructor, librarian translator, and speech therapist if you are competent. The good thing is that the qualifications for such jobs, the salaries, and working hours are not standardized.


Once you visit Singapore, then you will realize that the ESL industry is massive, but even so, it may not be as open to foreigners as you might expect. When seeking for opportunities, you should make effort to understand the requirements of some of the employers mentioned above before contacting them. There are also good number of online resources which can help you locate existing job openings in Singapore.  You can check out  among other credible job sites and forums for reliable information and opportunities for ESL teachers.

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John Thomson has 7 articles online

My name is John Thomson and I'm currently teaching English in Singapore. It's not always easy to find jobs in Singapore, but opportunities are getting more abundant.

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How to Find Teaching Jobs in Singapore

This article was published on 2012/05/25