I have a lot of people ask about teaching English in the Philippines. I’ve known one person that did it full time and he didn’t earn much. However they did provide him room and board. He was earning less than $300 a month in cash salary. This week, I had another expat contact me about teaching part time. The pay is P300 per hour for two hours of work a day. Or P600 per day. I’d have to spend about two more hours getting to the location and back.
How Much Can You Earn Teaching English in The Philippines?
If an expat is living in the Philippines and on social security alone with a pension of $1000 a month or less, maybe it is worth it. However, spending 20 hours a week teaching English for about $75.00 a week doesn’t appeal to me at all. This 20 hours would likely be without air con including 2 hours a day in travel time.
An online business continues to be a much better choice for me. While a person might have to learn new skills, those skills are not that hard to learn. You will also have more time earning nothing when you first start than you will if you work for someone else. However, the payoff with an online business is much higher. I’ve earned more than $400.00 this week and I’ve not worked at all. I’ve been sick. I don’t have to be on someone else’s schedule either. Personally, I’m sorry I ever worked for someone else. Maybe I shouldn’t, at least I do have a good pension now that also provides medical benefits and income even while I live in the Philippines.
Working in the Philippines as an expat is both complicated and the pay is often quite low. Sometimes people are working illegally, risking their entire good life in the Philippines. I’ve seen the learn English as a second language schools come up with some contracts that they say make it legal for those working on a tourist visa. I don’t believe it. In the Philippines, you generally need a permission to work document from the Bureau of Immigration. I’m no lawyer though so I can’t say for sure. I just remain very skeptical. I know I’m not going to risk my good life in the Philippines. Especially for the low pay I’ve seen offered.
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There are a lot of people out there that will tell you it is easy to make money online. They are not telling you the truth. Anytime you see the word “automatic income” or some variation of that you should become very skeptical. A lot of people market to those wanting to earn online and the promise of automatic income from installing some script is often made. I’ve never seen one of these work.
To make money online, you need to learn a set of skills and then it takes time to and some trail and error. If you’ve got the right product, I think you can make money in six months but most of us don’t have a product at all. You can make money anyway. Selling other peoples products. I would allow a year of determined work before you start to get your online income to kick in. Some do it faster but most do not. In fact, most fail, quit and never make any money. They never make money because they quit. They often quit because they expect too much too soon.
I’ve had various online activities do well and then go belly up. About a year ago, I decided to take a new approach. Or go back to an old approach but with a different tactic. I didn’t think it would work. I earned over $1000 from that activity last month. Now that was in large part due to the Christmas season but I will keep expanding on what I’ve learned. I’ve gone from $30 a month to over $1000 a month in a year and my goal is $5000 a month by the end of year two. That’s kind of bold goal and I may not make it but that’s my goal. 🙂 If I stay sick, I won’t make it this year. 🙂 All I can do is try. That is just it though, these are skills and if you stick with it, I think you can do the same thing I’ve done.
Working in the Philippines or any where else on someone else’s schedule is out of the question for myself. Even if I could do it, and honestly I can’t, I wouldn’t do it. The pay in the Philippines and other developing nations is very low. That’s usually why one can save so much money by living in a developing nation. Some businesses in the Philippines can work but once you see the poverty here and understand the depth of it, you might realize that route also provides limited opportunities. It is not a viable endeavor for most small time operators.
Now you don’t have to be rich. If you’ve got a few hundred thousand dollars in the bank, you can do it. If you’ve got the capital to setup a call center or just about anything else that is labor intensive then you can make a lot of money here. The key is you need a business that you can export out of the Philippines. Another option is to import your clients into the Philippines.
Teaching English In The Philippines Business
A business teaching English could probably work but the competition is going to be tough. A lot of Koreans own businesses here teaching English. They often import Koreans from their country. Filipino that need to know English already know English. If they don’t know English, they generally can’t afford to go to a school to learn it. So the question would be where will you get your clients?
If there is a way to make money here that doesn’t require a lot of capital, then Filipino are already all over it. There’s a connivance store in the Philippines every 50 yards. They are known as sari sari stores. A family will stockpile goods to sell out of their home. Our maid even makes ice in my freezer and sells that for a few extra pesos. Filipino are very enterprising and always looking for a way to make a few bucks. I really don’t think you want to compete in that kind of environment. I know I have no interest in tying my entire life up for a few hundred pesos a day and that is what you can expect to earn from these kinds of activities.
An Internet cafe can probably do a bit better but I don’t think you’re likely to make a lot of money with one of those either. Buying 10 computers is not going to be cheap. You earnings will generally be around P20 for each hour that PC is in use. Maybe a bit more, perhaps a little less depending on where the cafe is.
I thought I’d open some type of business when I was on my way here. It didn’t take me long at all to see that was just not a good choice and instead I poured myself back into my websites. While I could get a job teaching English in the Philippines, it does not appeal to me at all.
Filed under: Living In The Philippines
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