Home / Teach English in Cambodia the Complete Guide for TEFL Teachers | Reviewed May 2022

Tefl Jobs In Cambodia

Teach English in Cambodia Overview

Would you like to teach English in Cambodia? Cambodia is known for its fascinating history, magnificent temples, and beautiful beaches. Teaching English in Cambodia is a fantastic way to learn about a new culture, earn money, and meet like-minded people. So, if you’re seeking a unique experience, consider teaching English abroad as a second language (ESL) in Cambodia!

In comparison to other nations, the qualifications needed to work as an English teacher in Cambodia are extremely low! However, getting started on your ESL journey is simple if you’re a native English speaker with a bachelor’s degree and one year of teaching experience.

It’s no surprise that TEFL teachers are drawn to this great country since there is an abundance of teaching work, a low cost of living, extremely lovely people, and delicious food. Admittedly, Cambodia’s pay isn’t spectacular, but with such a low cost of living, it’s simple to make ends meet. In addition, there will be plenty to do and see during your free time, and Cambodia is a place where you can truly have an adventure while teaching English abroad in another country.

Types of teaching jobs

Private schools

Because public schools rarely hire foreign teachers, the majority of ESL teachers work in the several private schools in the Phnom Penh area. Teachers can start teaching in classrooms as early as preschool and work their way up to adults in university. Adults aged 18 and above

Depending on when you want to teach and what age group you want to teach, your work schedule may change.

Teaching English in Cambodia to adults means sessions are usually held at night, between 5:30 and 7:30 pm, when most people have finished their workday. Primary and secondary schools, on the other hand, meet from 8 am to 11 am, then from 2 pm to 5 pm, with a lunch break in between.

Volunteer teaching 

Volunteering to teach English in Cambodia is a fantastic way to see the globe while also doing good. Because the country’s unemployment rate is high and English skills are highly sought, many organisations turn to volunteers for assistance.

You can also locate volunteer teaching programmes at orphanages (but it’s crucial to think about the program’s ethics and conduct your research first!) Alternatively, you may work with Buddhist monks. Volunteering to teach English in Cambodia can be a rewarding and remarkable experience.

Where to teach in Cambodia

It’s crucial to conduct your study before travelling to Cambodia, just as you would before starting a career in any new nation. Begin by visiting one of Cambodia’s major teaching cities:

Phnom Penh 

Phnom Penh is Cambodia’s capital city, with a population of over 1.5 million people and some of the country’s best schools. The cost of living is higher here, but so are employer-provided earnings and chances for professional growth, such as ESL lessons or TEFL certification courses. If you enjoy teaching English in Cambodia and working in huge cities, Phnom Penh is the place for you!

Siem Reap

Teaching English in Siem Reap is a fantastic idea. The city, which is only a few hours’ drive north of Angkor’s ancient temples, has grown in popularity as a tourist attraction in its own right. It’s also a great starting point for exploring the rest of Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam, and Laos.


Because of its proximity to the Angkor monuments and popularity with tourists, Siem Reap should be high on your list of probable sites if you plan on teaching English in Cambodia. Siem Reap is more populous than many other Cambodian towns or cities, with a population of over 300,000. Furthermore, the majority of those who live here work in tourism-related enterprises such as hotels, restaurants, and bars.

How to find a job in Cambodia


There are a few different ways to locate English teaching positions in Cambodia. The TEFL Institute’s teaching jobs abroad board has all accessible job ads. Phnom Penh, Cambodia’s capital, is one of the few areas in the country where you may obtain stable work. Unfortunately, once the rainy season arrives, there is little to no work teaching English in Cambodia in the provinces unless you volunteer, and new teachers will find it challenging to find work in Siem Reap and Sihanoukville.

Work visas

You can apply for and acquire a tourist visa when you arrive in Cambodia, which will allow you to stay for 30 days. You’ll also need a business visa, which you may renew from within the nation if you want to teach English in Cambodia. To renew your tourist visa, you must leave and return to the country.


To avoid any misunderstandings, keep in mind that your business visa also serves as your work visa. After 30 days, you can apply for one-month, three-month, six-month, or one-year work visas depending how long you hope to stay and teach English in Cambodia.

Classroom and work culture

Teaching English in Cambodia is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. The culture of the classroom will be significantly different from what you are used to, and you will need to alter your teaching style accordingly. Cambodian students in the classroom:


  • Instead of using their first names, teachers are frequently addressed as Mr or Miss (or nicknames).
  • Teachers must be punctual; they must arrive on time and begin class on time. Students must also arrive at least 5 minutes early to prepare their materials before class begins. If there is an emergency and you will be late, make sure your kids are informed so they can plan appropriately.
  • In public, a lot of people pick their noses. Likewise, your students will.

Culture and etiquette tips

Cambodia is a conservative country whose culture reflects strong traditional beliefs.

  • Always dress professionally: When it comes to dressing for the classroom and going out on the town, you should keep in mind that modesty is essential. Men should avoid shorts, tank tops, and flip-flops, and ladies should wear a scarf or shawl to protect their shoulders.
  • When visiting monasteries, bow when entering temples or palace structures, remove your shoes before entering residences, do not sit with your feet facing toward a Buddha statue/image, and avoid touching monks’ robes.
  • Use your right hand to pass or receive goods instead of your left. Both hands are sometimes utilised. The use of the left hand is deemed unfriendly and should be avoided at all costs.
  • Make sure you don’t walk on anything: Lifting your feet over someone’s bag or chair is considered offensive because your feet are thought to be the dirtiest part of your body.
  • The top of the head is regarded as the most vital region of the human body. Therefore, touching someone on the top of their head, especially a baby or toddler, is considered impolite.


Despite having its own currency, Cambodia is a dollar-based economy. Only things under one dollar are typically marked in riels, so don’t be shocked if you find a mix of price tags. Both are available at ATMs. English teachers in Cambodia receive a fair pay in comparison to the country’s low cost of living, and a dinner at a market can cost as little as €1, while a sit-down meal in a restaurant is still quite affordable. Although prices are growing, it is still a relatively affordable location to live. Living and eating like a native is substantially less expensive than eating Western food, frequenting tourist pubs, and indulging in home comforts, as it is everywhere.


Because most English teachers in Cambodia are paid on an hourly basis rather than offered a salary, benefits such as paid vacations, housing, and health insurance are not usually included. Also, because there are so many volunteer teaching positions in Cambodia, many expatriates are on a low budget, so you won’t have trouble connecting with other TEFL teachers who are in the same boat. Angkor Wat (the world’s greatest religious structure), Battambang bat caves, the genocide museum, Koh Rong island, and Ta Prohm temple are among the many beautiful spots to explore. One of the most attractive and charming elements of Cambodian culture, according to many ex-pats, is the people’s friendliness, humility, and openness. So it’s no surprise that many TEFL teachers are drawn to the adventurous lifestyle available in Cambodia, which includes top meals such as fish amok curry, green mango salad, beef loc lac, crab and pepper, and pumpkin custard.

In order to provide the most up-to-date cost of living figures, we use Numbio.com, the world’s most significant cost of living database.

  • Accommodation: £388–£811/€490–€1,000
  • Utilities: £71/€90
  • Health insurance: Cost of a typical visit to a GP: £25/€30
  • Monthly transport pass: £17/€20
  • Basic dinner out for two: £7/€8
  • Cappuccino in ex-pat area: £1.73/€2.02
  • A beer in a pub: £1.33/€1.54

Tefl Jobs In Cambodia: KEY POINTS



€865–€1,200 (£680–£1,000)



No degree is required



A 120-hour TEFL qualification is generally required



Private Language Schools, International Schools, Business English, Bilingual Kindergartens, Volunteering


  • Popular locations for TEFL jobs: Phnom Penh and Siem Reap
  • The average salary for EFL teachers: The basic monthly salary for full-time positions is likely to be in the region of €865–€1,200 (£680–£1,000) per month. Top salaried positions pay around €1,800 (£1,500) per month. Many positions pay by the hour, at a rate of about €9–€13 (£7–£11) per hour.
  • TEFL qualification requirements: A 120-hour TEFL qualification is generally required Prerequisite university degree: No degree is required for a visa but can be specified by employers
  • Term times: May to October and November to March
  • Currency: Cambodian Riel (KHR) and US dollars
  • Language: Khmer
  • Teaching programmes: Private Language Schools, International Schools, Business English, Bilingual Kindergartens, Volunteering
  • Age restrictions: Maximum 65
  • Previous teaching experience: Beneficial but not necessary

Teaching English in Cambodia can be a very different experience depending on the school you work at and the position you play. There are numerous volunteer opportunities in Cambodia, some of which charge a fee in exchange for the experience and provide free lodging and food. Others are free to engage in but require that you cover your own living expenses. Even if they’re full-time, paying jobs can be salaried or hourly, and you can find higher-earning work with no amenities or a lower-paying position with free housing.


Professional and academic work can be hard to come by in Cambodia, and even international schools don’t always teach in English. Private schools employing English teachers in Cambodia have various reputations, so do your research and do your study before signing a contract – it’s not difficult to get work, so don’t take the first job that comes your way. The professionalism of the school has a significant impact on the working environment. Some will provide you with enough teaching materials, while others will need you to provide your own materials or change theirs if you feel they are inadequate. Even though Cambodian children are well-behaved, large groups of them can be challenging to manage, but they are joyful, friendly, and a delight to teach.

Facts about Teach English in Cambodia the Complete Guide for TEFL Teachers | Reviewed May 2022






16.72 million






Cambodian Riel (KHR) and US dollars



Phnom Penh





Tefl Jobs In Cambodia: FAQS


How much do English teachers in Cambodia earn?

Teachers in Cambodia earn an average of €680-€980 a month. Bear in mind this tends to be based on an hourly rate and does not come with sick pay, holiday pay or any other benefits, but the cost of living is low. 

Due to the high demand for teachers, qualifications for teaching in Cambodia tend to be somewhat lax. It’s possible to find a teaching job with only a high school diploma, though having a Bachelor’s degree or TEFL certificate will make you a more competitive candidate and could make you eligible for positions at universities.

Cambodia is a great destination to teach abroad because it’s relatively easy to find jobs, and the salary will be more than enough with which to explore the country. There are a number of organisations that offer teaching programs you can apply through. A third-party provider will match you with a teaching job, or you can apply to jobs directly by searching job boards or looking at availability in international schools.

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