Finding English Teaching Jobs in Indonesia

English-teaching jobs in Indonesia generally fall into four categories. Pay and work schedules vary from school to school. Classes are held throughout the day, and end around 9pm. Many students attend regular schools and go to private English schools afterwards.

Large English Schools

Large schools include international schools catering to children of Western expatriates, as well as independent Indonesian schools.

Students include both children and adults, and the pay usually is good. One English teacher we talked to recently was making roughly $850 per month – not much by Western standards but a king’s ransom in Indonesia. This category of jobs is most similar to those offered in Japan, South Korea, or Taiwan, with interviews, formal contracts, and benefits standard practice. There are a number of these throughout Indonesia, but they tend to be concentrated in Jakarta and provincial capitals like Medan, Yogyakarta, Bandung, and Semarang.

Small English Schools

These are the mainstay of the average Indonesian hoping to learn English. Scattered throughout the archipelago, these small, privately run schools turn up even in the most remote backwater. The pay at these places may be nominal but so is the cost of living. The advantages of working for one of these schools are the chance to build an up-close relationship with the locals and the ability to choose where and for how long you want to work. You probably won’t go home with a wad of money, but you’ll have an honored place in the community and the opportunity to intimately experience a foreign culture.

Private Businesses

Jobs teaching English to employees of private businesses are by far the most lucrative, but are also the most difficult to get.

This is the place to look if you are a professional educator with extensive ESL training. Industries like banking, pharmaceuticals, and oil are booming in Indonesia, and locals in these professions need English in order to climb the corporate ladder. Securing one of these positions – especially in a business center like Jakarta or Surabaya – can mean great pay and benefits, occasionally including airfare, furnished apartments, maid service, and company cars. But competition can be stiff; most appropriate for those with advanced degrees and extensive teaching or ESL experience. A professional appearance is an absolute must.

Private Tutoring

Some teachers also take on private students. One-on-one or small group sessions are ideal because conversation is inclusive and individual needs can be addressed. Teaching privately will also allow you to make connections that may prove valuable later on. Instructors usually make between US$20 – $30 per hour depending on the number of students and the nature of the lessons.

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