Do you want to take your Lao to the next level? Then keep reading because today, the Ling app presents job titles in Lao. As a bonus, we’ll also have some extra information about how you can work in Lao as an English teacher and what advice this English teacher would give you if you’re thinking of moving.
Job Titles In Lao
|Lawyer||tha nai khuaam||ທະນາຍຄວາມ|
|Factory Worker||phanakngan ohngngan||ພະນັກງານໂຮງງານ|
|Butcher||khon kai sin|
|Priest||pa ol hid|
Working In Lao As An English Teacher
Are you looking for career opportunities in Laos?
Undoubtedly the best employment for a Westerner in Lao is as an English teacher. The average salary is between $600 to $1500. Although officially you need a Bachelor’s degree and TEFL certificate, many lesser language schools let anyone who can speak English become a teacher. However, standards in international schools in Vientiane are higher.
Although it doesn’t sound like much money, $1000 goes a long way in Laos. In fact, according to Numbeo, it’s enough to break even for a single person.
It is worth noting also that there are volunteer opportunities available in rural regions of Lao. Although you don’t get paid, you get free housing and accommodation. These are perfect for students or recent graduates who want to dip their toes into the water before deciding if life as a teacher is right for them.
Advice For Working In Lao As An English Teacher
Although I never worked in Lao, I have worked in nearby Vietnam for three years and Thailand for two years. Between those two experiences, I understand being a successful English teacher in the region.
My first piece of advice would be to disregard your notion of schooling. In England, we are taught a foreign language in rows of desks, with the teacher writing on the board, then repeated drilling. This is not done in Asia, even with adults, and what’s more, students won’t stand for it. They’ll immediately become bored. In a three-hour class, you might find yourself playing five different games along with two interactive activities. This can be challenging when class sizes mysteriously swell from 12 to 30 because many students sign up at the last minute. Don’t arm yourself with English knowledge. Instead, research games that you can fall back on.
Secondly, alluding to my first point: Stay flexible. Asia is the arena of the unexpected. Your taxi could break down on the way to work, or you could get to work, and the power is out, or you could arrive in the classroom, and as I already mentioned, find your small group has swelled into a giant group. Plan as much as you can for the unexpected. Set off for work 30 minutes earlier, wear clothes that don’t boil you alive, have a collection of flashcards and toys for small kids, and powerpoints for teenagers and adults.
Finally, if things go wrong, don’t stress. Lao people are much friendlier than Europeans. If you’re having a bad day, they’re far more likely to understand.
Working In Lao (Other Jobs For Expats)
The Lao economy is still relatively undeveloped, and the country is still a little protectionist. Speaking English+ Lao or Lao+Chinese could get you a job with a multinational company as a translator or within a government department.
A particular problem with working in Laos is the amount of red tape you have to get through. You could not, for example, turn up and say that you’re a freelance teacher because visas are tied to your employment conditions. Some companies can expect you to help with visa costs up to $500, which is a lot considering your salary range.
The biggest business in Laos is rice. This is because 80% of fertile land is used for rice production. However, becoming a rice farmer in Laos probably isn’t near the top of your list of desired jobs. Unfortunately, even working as a seller is difficult because of restrictions on foreigners setting up distribution businesses.
Working for an NGO is another popular occupation for Westerners traveling to the country. Although, because of its very nature this job is not well paid and is sometimes voluntary. A significant contributor to the Laos economy and international development is the United Nations, and they have several development initiatives.
The most well-known is the UXO project run by the UNDP that is responsible for clearing up unexploded bombs leftover from the Vietnam war. This is dangerous and noble work.
Learn Lao With Ling
There you have it, a little bit of everything on careers, education, and salaries. Next, consider learning some more helpful language in Lao. We have a complete course on the Ling app that takes you from colors to house rooms to vocabulary related to space travel.
And keep following our blog for more handy content like this. The last two weeks have been Lao sports vocabulary and the Lao calendar. Thanks for reading, and keep posted on that job alert for a gap year in Laos. Although the recruitment process is complex and the salaries aren’t high, I promise that the experience is worth it.