Teaching English in Malaysia

Malaysia is at the heart of Southeast Asia. Teaching English in Malaysia gives you desirable elements like mountains, beaches, and tropical rainforests.

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Although Malaysia is not at the top of the list for a lot of people, the people there are warm and friendly.  And once you settle in, lifestyle only gets better from there. You typically need a degree and TEFL certificate for teaching English in Malaysia.

But because the standard of English is already pretty good, there is a smaller market for TEFL. Roles are often filled in by fluent Malaysians. But there is still a lot of demand in major cities like Kuala Lumpur.

Malaysia is the heart of Southeast Asia. If you are teaching in Malaysia, you get desirable elements like mountains, beaches, tropical rainforests. It’s a melting pot of sorts with a lot of different nationalities.


The experience and qualifications you have will dictate which jobs are open to you. Because English is so widely spoken, the standards are high. The expectation is for well-planned lessons and high standards of professionalism.

English Language Centers – The best English language center jobs focus on the local market with adults and young learners. They pay better and generally have more benefits, but they typically require a bit more experience and qualifications.  Lots of students are at near-native level and use English as their first language in equal measure.

International Schools – This is where the best money and benefits are but they’re more difficult to get. Most international school jobs require qualified teacher status with teaching experience. Most only operate 40-45 weeks a year in line with the school calendar.

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The money in Malaysia is not as good as in other countries. You can earn anywhere from 3,000 to 8,000 MYR ($700 to 2,000 USD) per month. 

You get heavily taxed in Malaysia with a minimum of 24% and higher.   But you can claim most of it back when you file your tax returns at the end of the year.

Start-up costs are quite high in Kuala Lumpur. But the daily living costs are more affordable than other countries in Southeast Asia.  During your stay, always try to get health coverage. 


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Frequently Asked Questions

You can earn anywhere from 3,000 to 8,000 MYR ($700 to 2,000 USD) per month.

Taxes are always changing so check up on your tax rates. Currently, you’re taxed at over 24% through the Malaysian tax system.

You typically need a degree and TEFL certificate for teaching English in Malaysia.

Malaysians are already quite fluent in speaking English. The demand for English teachers is lower here because roles are often filled in by Malaysians.

Some of the biggest advantages of teaching English in Malaysia are its mountains, beaches, tropical rainforests, variety of nationalities, and unique cultures.


  • The Petronas Twin Towers were the tallest buildings in the world from 1998 to 2004.
  • Some buildings in Malaysia do not have a fourth floor because it’s an unlucky number.
  • There are 4 UNESCO world heritage sites in Malaysia.
  • Borneo is the third-largest island in terms of landmass.
  • Malaysia has the largest roundabout in the world.
  • The largest cave chamber in the world is located in Malaysia.
  • The world’s tallest tropical tree, the Tualang, grows in Malaysia.
  • It’s considered rude to point at things with your index finger.