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

Tefl Jobs In Indonesia

Indonesia is actually a group of more than 17,000 islands. It is culturally diverse and has a fantastic ecological variety. It is an excellent place to live and work, home to the Komodo dragons; the crystal clear waters off Lombok island offer some fine surfing conditions. You can also explore the ninth-century Buddhist temple in Borobudur, which is architecturally significant. It is little wonder Indonesia attracts a large number of people, and currently, the population stands at around 238 million. Both locals and visitors alike are warm and friendly and welcome new people with open arms. Those looking to teach English in Indonesia will have a fantastic experience, and the salary, which of course does depend on the location of the job, your qualifications, and the type of position, is likely to be in the range of €590-€1000/$600-$1,100 giving you plenty to live and explore the area with.

You will find that the young people in Indonesia are engaged and eager to learn better English skills. They love hearing tales from other countries about life and pop culture. Some of the larger cities are busy, Jakarta has a lot of traffic, and it’s always on the go, but if you want somewhere slightly quieter, Bali makes an incredible location, especially for those who love seafood. Sumatra is famous for its orangutang population, but no matter where you choose to base yourself, there are plenty of opportunities for English teachers in Indonesia.

In this guide, you will find everything you need to know about applying to be an English teacher in Indonesia. We look at the types of jobs on offer, how much you are likely to get paid, the qualifications you need and where to find and apply for jobs. We also look at the local culture and living as a local in the area, including the cost of living.

Job types

Many people are unaware that Indonesia was actually a colony of Holland. When it gained independence in 1945, the government removed Dutch from the curriculum and replaced it with English. It is now a compulsory language in schools, and children start learning at the primary level. You will find most students have English as a second language and study it until they are proficient. However, state schools do not generally have enough money to employ native English teachers in Indonesia, and therefore, the work tends to be carried out by local teachers. Sadly this means there are very few vacancies on offer in public schools because it is taught as part of languages alongside native Indonesian as decreed by the Ministry of education.

Private schools

This means that the most likely opportunities for work as an English teacher in Indonesia will be found in private schools. The good news is private schools offer good remuneration packages for their teachers, and English is taught from kindergarten right up to year 12. Therefore, a high proportion of the jobs will be found in the preschool and kindergarten arena. If you enjoy working with younger children, this could be an ideal place for you to seek work as an English teacher in Indonesia.

Language schools/extra-curricular programs

The other alternative for finding English teaching options in Indonesia is to look at language schools and extracurricular programs. Language schools are usually found in the larger cities, and here you will find a wide range of students, even adults looking to improve their English skills. Some of them operate on a typical school day, whereas others cater to evening and weekend learners giving you the option to create an English teaching schedule for yourself that works best.

Finding a job

There are many different ways to find the perfect job teaching English in Indonesia that are teaching programs that will support you and place you in a role they deem suitable; you can look for vacancies on TEFL Jobsite boards, or you can approach schools directly. If you work with a teaching program, they support you with the paperwork, which does make it a lot easier, especially if you have any barriers with language. This is a great way to find work if you are nervous and unsure about how it works and are moving to teach English in Indonesia as a first-time foreign language teacher.

When to apply

In Indonesia, the school year begins in mid-July and continues right around until mid-June. It’s a shorter summer holiday than most people will be used to, and there is also a break in December time and for Muslim Eid which is a different date every year. There is no best time to apply, they will recruit as and when they need teachers, so whenever you are ready to apply, you will find that vacancies are available.


If you are looking to teach English in Indonesia, you will be required to have your bachelor’s degree. Most places will also want you to have a TEFL certification. Generally, you will find vacancies are offered on a 12-month contract. Some schools will ask for experience in teaching; however, most places are happy as long as you have your TEFL certificate and your degree.

Visa Requirements for English Teachers in Indonesia

To teach English in Indonesia, you are required to have a work Visa. You should be aware that work visas will not be issued to anyone who does not come from an English-speaking nation. Currently, the list of people who can successfully apply for a work Visa in Indonesia must have a passport from the United Kingdom, United States, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Ireland and South Africa.

Navigating the Visa application can be a little tricky, but you will find your employer or a teaching program can help with the paperwork. The work Visa is also referred to as KITAS, and this is your identity card as a non-resident. It is possible for teaching programs to take care of all legal papers needed for teaching English in Indonesia and also some company sponsorship.

Need to know

The average salary for an English teacher in Indonesia is around $600-$1100 a month. You will find that international schools offer the best wages, while those seeking positions at private preschools or kindergartens will be paid slightly less. However, the pay is still reasonable compared with the cost of living.

Common benefits for teachers

Generally, teaching English in Indonesia does not come with any form of housing benefit. However, with a low cost of living, housing does not cost that much, and you should easily be able to afford it. If you have a contract, it will include paid sick leave and holidays. Again, you will find the best benefits attached to jobs in international schools but be aware that the competition is fierce.

You may find it helpful to enlist a realtor to help you find the best housing options that fit your budget. They have access to full listings and can help you secure the perfect rental property in the area you wish to base yourself in. You will also find property listings on the internet and classified adverts.

Where to teach English In Indonesia

When you are looking into teaching English in Indonesia, you should research every area so you can decide where the best place for your new TEFL challenges can be found. The most common destinations and the locations where you will find most jobs are listed below.

English teaching jobs in Jakarta

Jakarta is the capital city of the island of Java, and this is where you will find most of the teaching opportunities. It is a vibrant city that never sleeps, and there is plenty on offer for those who like to indulge in eating out and shopping. It is bustling and busy, so you need to want to live in a city, but if you do, then Jakarta is a great place to teach English in Indonesia.

English teaching jobs in Surabaya

Also located in Java is Surabaya, which is the capital of the east side of the island. This is the second largest city in Indonesia and is an excellent place to face yourself if you enjoy architecture. There are remains of the Dutch colonisation intertwined with mosques of elaborate and ornate design, showing just what a diverse religious community this is. Surabaya is also known as the city of heroes because the battle for independence of Indonesia took place there. This is a stunning location for history lovers.

English teaching jobs in Bandung

Over in the west of Java, you will find Bandung, which is an excellent option for English teachers in Indonesia who prefer a smaller town to a city. It is set in plenty of nature, including lakes, forests, volcanoes and tea plantations. It is a little bit more remote, but there are plenty of opportunities for English teachers in Indonesia in Bandung. Jakarta is a two-hour drive or four hours if you go by train. Bandung is the capital of West Java.

Classroom culture

Starting out in a new location is always tricky, but it helps if you understand the classroom culture and etiquette as it can be very different from what you were used to. English teachers in Indonesia should take time to learn from their peers and adapt to the accepted classroom culture. The main religion in Indonesia is Islam, and 86% of people practice this. With this in mind, you should dress conservatively, and that means no shorts or tank tops for men or women. The only exception is Bali which tends to be a little more relaxed as it is a tourist hotspot.

Culture & etiquette tips

Culture dictates that you must take off your shoes before going into a room with carpet or any place of worship. Because Islam is the dominating religion, you will find that pork products and alcohol are generally off-limits, so be careful if you are giving any gifts not to include any of these. You can only pass food with your right hand when dining at the table. If you leave your plate or glass empty, you are inviting a refill even if you thought you had finished. When you visit someone’s house, you should bring a small gift and expect them to refuse it two or three times before finally accepting it.



Compared to life in the US or UK, the cost of living as an English teacher in Indonesia is quite cheap. Of course, your spending habits determine how much money you have left, but some average costs are shown below.

In order to provide the most accurate cost of living figures, we use numbeo.com, the world’s largest cost of living database, updated regularly.

  • Food: €115-€170/$120-$180 per month
  • Transportation: €7-€18/$10-$20 per month
  • Entertainment: €47/€95/$50-$100 per month
  • Housing: €145/€430/$150-$450 for a room in shared accommodation, depending on the city
  • Utilities: €7-€35/$10-$40 per month

Tefl Jobs In Indonesia: KEY POINTS






Bachelors degree



120-hour TEFL qualification



Public & private schools


  • Popular locations for TEFL jobs: Jakarta, Bali, Bandung and Surabaya
  • On average, an English teacher's salary in Indonesia: is between $600-$1,100USD a month.
  • TEFL qualification requirements: At least a 120-hour TEFL qualification
  • Prerequisite university degree: Most jobs require a degree
  • Currency: Indonesian rupiah (Rp)
  • Term times: The school year starts in mid-July and ends in mid-June. Students get holidays in December and for the Muslim Eid Holiday, which changes yearly. Most programs hire teachers year-round.
  • Language: Indonesian (locally referred to as Bahasa Indonesia)/Javanese (Jawa)
  • Teaching programmes: International schools, Private schools, Language Centres, Private tutors, Volunteering
  • Age restrictions: Maximum 65
  • Previous teaching experience: is required for the higher-paid roles.

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






27.35 crores






Indonesian rupiah








Tefl Jobs In Indonesia: FAQS


How much can I earn as an English teacher in Indonesia?

English teachers in Indonesia tend to earn around €590-€1000/$600-$1,100 per month.

Compared to life in the US or UK, the cost of living as an English teacher in Indonesia is relatively cheap.

No, you will not be able to find work as an English teacher in Indonesia without a degree, you will also need to have your TEFL certification, and 120 hours is recommended.

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