Ho Chi Minh City’s labour market

Ho Chi Minh City's labour market

In recent years, Vietnam has become a hub for expats looking to teach English due to the high demand for teachers. And while people may often assume the primary jobs available in Ho Chi Minh City are within the education sector, that isnt necessarily the case. While teaching ESL is undoubtedly a popular choice among expats of all ages, it is surprisingly not at the top of the market.

The most promising fields for expats in HCMC

According to World Atlas, Vietnam’s job market is currently dominated by several key industries: food processing, electronics, mining, construction, banking and finance as well as tourism. In recent years, Vietnam’s economy has seen a steady increase, making Ho Chi Minh City an ideal location for expats working within these sectors.

The different ways of entering the local labour market

Expats hoping to relocate to Vietnam should certainly brush up on their cultural knowledge before delving into the workforce. Although there are plenty of expats working throughout the nation – namely in its larger cities Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City – adhering to the local culture is necessary in order to build a successful professional reputation.

A recent survey conducted by Ho Chi Minh City-based recruitment firm Robert Walters found that those with skills in engineering and manufacturing will be increasingly needed as Vietnam continues to become one of Southeast Asia’s most prominent manufacturing hubs. As a result, multinational companies will be entering the field, making this an ideal opportunity for those interested.

Two other industries that are booming for expats can be found within tourism and information technology. Given the fact that Ho Chi Minh City is one of Southeast Asia’s most traversed cities, those with multilingual skills will surely benefit and thrive in their business ventures.

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For expats who are not relocating to Ho Chi Minh City via their international companies, there are several websites they can browse before their big move. Sites such as VietnamWorks and LinkedIn are frequently posting positions; many of them are seeking expats to expand their teams and help take their companies to the next level. While this notion is promising, it is important for expats to bear in mind that locals will often come first when it comes to the job force. Similar to other nations, Vietnam has regulations in place that a certain percentage of executive directors, managers, and experts must be local; many companies also must have a plan to train Vietnamese staff in case they need to replace foreign employees.


If you are struggling to find work in your industry but urgently need work in Vietnam, and if you can communicate well and enjoy learning environments, doing a TEFL qualification and entering as an English teacher can be a wise move. This way you can support yourself and look for a job whilst already in the country. If you plan on teaching abroad in Vietnam, be sure to bring your hard copies of your university degree and TEFL certification, and a background check from your home country as these documents will be necessary to secure a job.

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