Bali is becoming one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world that has captured the attention of digital nomads and expats alike who are craving a vibrant tropical place to call home.

Working as an English teacher in Bali is all about lifestyle: surfing after school, climbing volcanoes on the weekends, and drowning in endless sunsets!

Not to mention all the friends and contacts you'll make along the way.

Teaching English in Bali is an excellent opportunity for young travelers to get a taste of expat life in a sun-drenched tropical destination, while also experiencing the hospitable Balinese culture.

However, you will see that the salary is not sustainable in the long term. It is certainly not suitable for those with financial commitments such as student debt and mortgages. Is Bali expensive? Travel to Bali cheap 2022.

There is always a demand for English teachers in Bali because the tourism industry plays a huge role in the Balinese economy, accounting for around 80% of the island's GDP.

But jobs are not as plentiful as might be expected.

There are tons of applicants trying to get the best English teaching jobs in Bali, so you'll need to make a good impression.

Below I have written all the details you need to know to teach English in Bali.

Your main motivation to teach English in Bali will be the lifestyle.

Most English teaching jobs abroad require you to work full time and put in some effort, whereas in Bali you can have a good balance between work and play.

Although the logistics of working in Bali are complicated, the place itself will not disappoint you.

Teaching English in Bali
The Shaivite Water Temple is a must see attraction in Bali.

Pros | Why you need to teach in Bali

  • Lifestyle: As I said, this is the main attraction.

Bali has a great atmosphere, and you can use your free time to experience a number of exciting activities that the island has to offer. Surfing, diving, yoga, everything.

With a booming expat community and an impressive local community, it's an easy place to make friends to share the experience with.

  • Potential to travel: Bali is a backpacker-friendly place loved for its natural beauty, with endless beaches, jungles and mountains to explore.

Although the salary is low, your income should allow you to explore other Indonesian islands on weekends and during annual vacations.

Settling down in Bali has great travel prospects, as long as you know how to budget.

  • Culture: Experiencing Balinese culture is a treat.

Behind the dances, music and shrines that tourists only see on the surface, you can dive right in and experience the depth of Balinese hospitality.

  • Working hours: Typically, you will work 20-25 hours a week.

This leaves plenty of time to explore the island (did I mention how beautiful it is?).

  • Contract period: Most contracts bind you for 12 months. After one year, your contract will be re-evaluated.

You will have the option to discuss with your employer if they (and you) wish to renew for a second year. That means you're not committed to a long fixed term, but the option can be there if you want it. 15 Best Villas in Bali (2022 – Complete Guide)

Cons | Things to keep in mind before teaching in Bali

  • Low wage: Although the monthly salary in Bali will cover your expenses and leave some rupees to play, you will not be able to save.

Don't move to Bali thinking about getting rich.

The average salary for an English teaching position in Bali is between US$650 and US$150 per month, depending on your experience teaching abroad and the type of school you work for.

However, the cost of living in Bali is quite low, so even with the lowest salary you will be able to survive, but you will not be able to save much.

  • Citizenship: Balinese schools only accept natives from countries where English is the first language.

That is, countries like the United Kingdom, Ireland, South Africa, New Zealand, Australia, Canada and the United States.

If you are not a citizen of these countries, unfortunately, you will not find a job due to the strict immigration regulations.

  • Education criteria: You will also need a bachelor's degree and a TEFL certification before I could teach English in Bali.

Four-year degrees are preferred, but not required.

  • Visa: Indonesian visa is famous for its complicated and expensive extension service for long-term tourists.

Naturally, visa requirements for foreign language teachers follow the same path. You will need both a work permit (called IMTA) and a temporary stay permit card.

This is called KITAS (Kartu Izin Tinggal Sementara). It's a complicated process, but your employer will sponsor your visa and take care of most of the paperwork.

  • Competence: Although Indonesia is in high demand for English teachers, Bali is the most popular for aspiring English teachers.

Paid teacher jobs in Bali are very competitive.

  • The weather: Obviously, one of Bali's main advantages is its tropical climate.

Sure, that's all well and good when you're on vacation, but it takes a lot to work in the heat and humidity. It won't be a problem if you teach in a nice air-conditioned classroom, but that may not be the case.

Bali's rainy season is the worst time for the feeling of air and can make commuting difficult.

Don't let this discourage you, but be aware of the sweaty consequences of working so close to the equator.

How much can teachers earn?


The average salary of an English teacher in Bali is $650 – $1,050 USD (9,300,000 – 14,700,000 IDR) per month.

Some teachers claim to earn a little more, but don't hold back.

With a large exile community, Bali boasts a scattering of international schools where qualified teachers are in demand.

These schools typically offer the highest salaries for teachers in Bali, but only accept the best candidates.

Curricula vary from school to school. Some follow the International Baccalaureate (IB), others the Australian, etc. Teachers typically work for 12 months and then transfer, so there's a lot of turnover.

There are many language schools in Bali where international English teachers can find job opportunities.

It could be teaching adults in the tourism sector, university students or children after school.

Language schools are at the lower end of the salary scale, with a median salary of about $5 per hour.

In case you're wondering, there are no TEFL opportunities in Bali's public schools.

Public schools generally only hire local Indonesians because there is more to teach than English, so unless you are fluent in Indonesian, this will not be an option for you.

Requirements to teach in Bali

There are a number of essential requirements that you must meet before teaching English in Bali.

Some of them are flexible depending on the type of job, but these are the basic requirements:

  • It is very unlikely that you will get a job in Bali as an English teacher if you are not native. A school would love to have you, I'm sure; Unfortunately, immigration has made it impossible for non-native speakers to obtain a visa.
  • TEFL certificate: You will need a TEFL certificate to teach English in Bali. You can study before you leave or while you are in Indonesia – Bali has several options available. Both online and face-to-face TEFL certificates are accepted
  • Degree: You need a bachelor's degree to teach English in Bali. A four-year degree is preferable, and if you have a master's degree, you will attract more attention. Your degree can be in any subject and not related to teaching
  • Experience in teaching English: Balinese schools will recruit teachers who meet the above criteria, and previous experience teaching English abroad is not required. However, we never tire of saying how competitive the job market is in Bali, so having some experience would be a great advantage.
  • Visa: Since most contracts in Bali are for one year, you will need a work permit and a KITAS (temporary stay permit).

Your employer will sponsor you and help you with the paperwork and documentation. You can't get either before you get a job offer.

The Indonesian government will only award jobs to foreigners in the event that there is no Indonesian available who is qualified to do the job in question.

Your sponsor will cover the cost of the KITAS ($1,200). Keep in mind that if you leave the position early, they may ask you to return some (or all) of the money.

  • Health insurance: As part of the KITAS process, you will need to prove that you have health insurance. During the interview process, find out if your company provides it. It will be discussed later
bali in summer
Relax on a Bali beach at your leisure.

Where to get the TEFL certificate

If you do not yet have a TEFL qualification, you will need to take the TEFL course before you start applying for a job in Bali.

The industry standard for most teaching jobs around the world is a 120 hour TEFL certification, so I would recommend choosing a TEFL course of 120 hours or more, as in reality anything less than that would be useless to you.

You can choose to do it from your home country or in Bali, as there are many options to study for your TEFL certification online or onsite.

However, most TEFL courses have an online component, although there is the possibility of studying on site, which is ideal for those who are already traveling and want to become certified.

Online TEFL Certificates

There is tons of places to get TEFL certificates online.

Some of them they are false. These are usually video-only courses where you don't talk to anyone or prepare any lessons on your own.

They won't help you teach English on the spot and they certainly won't get you any jobs in Bali.

If you are thinking of buying a TEFL certification online without completing a TEFL course, stop there! Not only will you not be prepared for the world of teaching (it's not just a way to travel, it's also a serious job), but most schools and language centers know these companies, so they will discover you.

This will seriously damage your reputation as an English teacher and you may get blacklisted from teaching jobs in Bali (schools talk to each other).

So now that we've warned you, let's look at some of the most reputable companies that run TEFL courses where you can get a real and legitimate TEFL certification:


The 140 hour MyTEFL course is the gold standard of TEFL certificates. It is accepted by any country, and prepares you for a career teaching English abroad in any country.

It comes with a 120-hour TEFL course that covers the fundamentals of English and what you will eventually teach your students, as well as covering essential teaching skills like classroom management and lesson planning.

There is also an additional 20-hour course that focuses exclusively on teaching English online. If you are thinking of teaching English online, this is the ideal course for you.

If you're not worried about teaching online, they also offer a 120-hour course. After completing this TEFL course, you will feel confident walking into any classroom.

let's TEFL

Let's TEFL is the next best online TEFL certificate, and is best for those who need to brush up on the rules of English on their own before going to the classroom. If you haven't taken grammar classes in a while, you'll want to brush up on them.

This 120-hour TEFL course covers the basics of the English language you'll need to teach your students, as well as classroom management and preparation, so you feel confident and eager to share some knowledge with your students!

TEFL professionals

TEFL Pros isn't the most practical TEFL certification, but their TEFL course is often the cheapest. Plus, they have a free trial so you don't have to shell out any money to see what it's all about.

This TEFL course is online only, so if you are traveling or working full time and need that flexibility, this course may be for you.

However, I personally found the face-to-face TEFL courses much better, as you can really get experience teaching other students in the course and make connections. Some countries require you to have practical teaching experience, something you don't get with an online TEFL course, but jobs in Bali do not require practical teaching experience.

Get your TEFL in Bali

The other option is to get your TEFL in Bali. You'll get hands-on teaching experience, along with a taste of what it's like to live in Bali as an ex-patriot.

Please note that the TEFL course will take up the entire duration of your 30-day visa-free stay.

If you want to complete the course and spend some time exploring Bali and the adjacent islands, you will need a visa. You can request a Visa on arrival (VOA) at the airport, which can be extended to give you 60 days in the country.

Another option is the social visa, which must be purchased at an Indonesian embassy before travel.

The following schools offer TEFL courses in Bali.

english first – English First is an organization that places English teachers in schools all over Indonesia (plus China and Russia, just so you know).

If you take a teaching job with English First (more on that later), they will even sponsor your TEFL studies. If you want to get a TEFL certificate but don't have money, this may be the best option.

English First is a world-renowned TEFL institution with a gold star reputation.

TEFL target – Bali is the latest addition to this leading TEFL school based in several countries around the world. Southeast Asian. This four-week course takes place on the border of prosperous Seminyak and Canggu.

It covers all types of teaching methodology, including business English, phonetics, classroom management and lesson planning.

You will carry out six hours of teaching under observation and evaluation. Accommodation is not provided, but the school will help you negotiate a rental within walking distance of the school

And don't forget that you can also be in Bali while do your TEFL course online if the prospect of a face-to-face TEFL course seems daunting.

Live in Bali and teach online

Bali is full of expats and digital nomads teaching English online.

This opens the door to non-native speakers and gives you more autonomy over your schedule. Living in Bali – Cost of living on the island 2022.

Internet in Bali is not bad; it is more reliable than many other popular tourist destinations in Southeast Asia.

During the rainy season, power outages can cause the home internet to go down sporadically.

In hotspots like Canggu and Ubud, the internet speed can drop at times. Fortunately, mobile data is cheap in Bali, so you can connect your laptop from your smartphone if you need to.

Go with Telkomsel. They are super easy to use and have an app where you can top up data.

You will probably earn more money in Bali as an online teacher than in a classroom. But of course, you won't connect with the community like you would by teaching in a classroom.

In addition, as an online teacher, you will have to take responsibility and cover the costs of extensions of your tourist or social visa. This isn't a huge problem, but it's something to keep in mind.

Uluwatu Beaches
The views from the Uluwatu beaches are amazing!

How to find work in Bali

Due to the visa requirements involved in acquiring a job, it is best to apply for a job in Bali in advance.

Unlike other Southeast Asian nations, such as Cambodia or Vietnam, where you can present yourself and apply in the country, this is not so easy in Bali.

Of course, if you're already traveling, you can always land in Bali and do some research in person. Most nationalities are entitled to a 30-day visa-free stay.

If you use the time to look for a job, you will have to leave Indonesia when the time is up.

You can process the work permit and KITAS from your country or from another place: KL, Singapore and Bangkok are popular options to get Indonesian visas.

Apply for a job in Bali online

If you want to handle the application process yourself, you can search for job opportunities online and interview through your webcam.

  1. Make a list of all the international schools and language centers in Bali and visit their websites. In many cases, schools advertise openings they have. If they don't, you can email them a copy of your CV
  2. Send an email to the school or center with your CV. Make sure it includes the following information:
    1. Nationality
    2. your education
    3. Details about your TEFL certificate
    4. Any teaching experience
  3. If a school likes you, they can invite you for an interview on Skype or equivalent. Treat it with the same seriousness as any job interview. Dress professionally and modestly (keep in mind that Bali is a Hindu island in a Muslim country).
  4. Be prepared to talk about your experience with children if you apply for a job teaching children. If you don't have teaching experience, talk about any other jobs you've had where you've worked with children.
  5. At the end of the interview, you must confirm with the interviewer that they will sponsor your work permit and KITAS. Be sure to check all the terms and conditions of the offer and have a copy sent to you in writing

Be careful when applying for a program volunteering. Sometimes these programs are a huge scam and you end up paying a lot of money in program and administration fees.

Unfortunately, you have to pay for volunteer programs in Bali.

If you are a native English speaker and have a TEFL certificate, you are qualified for a paid teaching position, so I would only recommend this route if you are not a native English speaker and want to gain experience teaching abroad.

If you want to give up your time and volunteer English teacher abroad without paying the program fee, consider teaching in Africa.

Sign up with a provider

One of the major job providers in Bali is english first.

This is a good option to consider if you want the security of a large company taking over.

  1. Apply as a candidate via the English First website: a short application form that takes five minutes to complete. You will have to answer a few quick questions, upload your CV and write 100 words about your motivations for teaching English in Bali. Make sure that check out your resume! Competition is fierce and you will fall at the first hurdle if your CV is riddled with spelling and grammatical errors.
  2. A few days later, you will receive a call from English First if they like you and think they can find you a job. You will then be invited to do an interview with English First. Have details of your credentials and work experience handy. Expect to be asked about your motivation to teach and your ideal start date
  3. If the interview is successful, English First will start the process to find you a job in Bali that matches your preferred start date.

Finding a job with English First will secure you a legal work permit and KITAS, and they cover the associated costs.

They will provide you with medical insurance and, in some cases, cover the costs of flights.

In the case of Bali, this is not guaranteed, but it is worth asking. You will receive two weeks of accommodation, but after that you have to find and pay for your own

English First does not charge teachers for their services, nor do their jobs provide higher salaries than you can get by going direct. Again, some tutors report earning around $5 per hour

live in bali

live in bali

Now things are heating up! Living in Bali gives you the golden opportunity to get to know the island and its people.

A year working with the locals and experiencing Balinese culture will give you a much richer experience than a fortnight's vacation in the sun. Travel to Bali – Travel guide 2022.


Bali is a safe place to live in general. Violent crime is extremely rare, and as a resort island, it is exceptionally welcoming.

Muggings are rare, but can occur particularly in the densely populated areas of Seminyak and Kuta.

The thieves operate from motorcycles and target pedestrians and motorists. Always make sure your bags and valuables are safely stowed under the seat and keep your phone out of sight.

Be careful with your possessions in warungs, bars and on the beach, and never leave valuables locked on your motorcycle

From time to time thefts occur in the chalets. Store your valuables in a safe place and keep the door locked, just like you do at home

Traffic in Bali can be chaotic and hectic in the tourist areas and around Denpasar. Inexperienced motorists can easily get into trouble on Bali's tiny roads, so be careful.

Living in Bali, you will become a professional motorbike driver.

But vacationers aren't always the same: be on the lookout for those who might drive drunk or have an exaggerated opinion of your driving skills.

Your main safety concern in Bali is the not-so-humble mosquito. Being a tropical island, the residents are infested with them, and dengue is a risk. Cover yourself with repellent and burn spirals, especially during the rainy season

Payments month by month, without permanent contracts and without the need for itineraries that's the exact type of insurance digital nomads and long-term travelers need. Cover up while you live the DREAM!

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Monthly budget

Bali is not expensive, unless you are traveling on a Bali salary. Like I said, you'll basically get by every month on your salary, with a little bit of money to finance other trips.

Flying to Dubai from the US $500-$700
Accommodation $350
Food $200
Transport $60
Entertainment $150
Total monthly expenses $760

Keep in mind that these figures are the ones you will need to pass. You will feel much more comfortable if you secure $1,000 or more per month.

Where to stay in Sanur Bali
Bali sunsets are from another world!

Money Saving Tips

Accommodation in Bali it is variable. If you want the full experience of a private Balinese villa, you can say goodbye to your hard earned salary.

But you should be able to get a private room in a shared villa for $350-500 a month.

Renting a small apartment or a spare room from a local family will cost you less. Look for options further afield to reduce costs. What to see in BALI – EVERYTHING you need to know 2022.

Transport Bali is where you should spend the least. The cheapest way to get around is to rent a motorbike for the 12 months.

You should be able to trade between $45 and $55 per month (600,000-750,000 IDR). Gasoline is very cheap.

If you don't feel comfortable driving, you can get in the back of an Agarra or Gojek. They also provide cars, but they cost more. Organize a shared ride if you don't feel like riding a motorcycle.

Meal in Bali suits all budgets. You can eat for 2 dollars (30,000 IDR) in a local warung.

Bali is brimming with all kinds of western restaurants offering food from all over the world. Meals start at 6$ (85,000 IDR) but can exceed 15$ in mid-range places.

Groceries are reasonable: Bali-grown fruits and vegetables are cheap, and fish is affordable.

Quality meat is more expensive, so swap out the chicken breasts for tofu and tempeh. Vegetarians and vegans will also have no problem in Bali.

Entertainment It's where you're going to feel a tug on your pocket.

Surfing, diving, hiking, massages, beach bars and yoga classes are on every corner of Bali. You will have to set a budget, let's say a massage once a week.

If you like water sports, it will be cheaper to buy a surfboard or scuba equipment than to rent it every time you catch a wave or book an excursion.

speak the language

The official language of Indonesia is Bahasa Indonesia. Each island has its own language, which is usually the first language of any Indonesian. For example, Balinese is spoken by the Balinese, and Javanese by the inhabitants of Java.

Most of Bali's signs are written in Indonesian and English. In general, its inhabitants speak English. Beyond the main tourist areas, English is less widely spoken.

You should learn the basics of Bahasa Indonesia (or Balinese) while living in Bali. Break down barriers and make it easy to befriend the locals. Your employers will thank you, and your students will adore you.

It is also useful when bartering for products, excursions and rentals, or renting your motorcycle: you will have an advantage. And it is a simple language. The vocabulary may be totally new to you, but the grammar is very simple.

Don't panic if you have problems. You will continue to get a lot out of your experience in Bali

Bali swing in Bali
Be sure to check out the world famous rope swings in Ubud.

Frequently Asked Questions About Teaching English in Bali

Final Thoughts on Teaching English in Bali

And there you have it: that's all you need to know before teach english in bali!

Don't be discouraged by the low salary, what you get is a better quality of life and an enriching experience. To be on the safe side, make sure you have some savings to fall back on before accepting a job in Bali.

This beautiful island, with its warm inhabitants, will steal your heart. Visiting it is an experience you will cherish for years to come, but living and teaching in Bali will be a once in a lifetime experience that only a few truly competitive English teachers will get to enjoy.

I really hope you can be one of them

I wish you the best in your job search. Let me know how it goes in the comments!

Thanks for reading, it's been fun 😀

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