Is it true that a Caucasian person is paid twice the salary of an Asian person for teaching English in Vietnam?

My answer to Is it true that a Caucasian person is paid twice the salary of an Asian person for teaching English in…

Answer by Enna Morgan:

Thanks for the A2A, Michael.

I would first make the differentiation by saying that Caucasians are paid double the salary of the locals, though not necessarily of an Asian person.

In the past, I have had the experience of having a colleague in China, who is Chinese, but had spent 20 years residing in the USA, his salary and benefits were the same as mine, though he was obviously treated differently in other regard.

I will also say that I have never worked or resided in Vietnaam, but everywhere else on the Asian continent, this disparity exists, so I would assume that it is the same in Vietnaam.

To be clear, on the Asian continent, any native English speaker is paid twice the salary of the locals, and it makes perfect sense. Think about it, a local person wanting to learn English would want to learn from a native of that language, thus they would be willng to fork out some hefty dough, knowing that it will give them a great advantage in the long-run in terms of employment.

Their willingness to pay premium dollars will thus fortify the coffers of the schools, who employ foreigners to teach English to the well-paying client. So the native English speaker will be adequately rewarded for just being a native, and if they are Caucasian, well so much the better (does not mean that they will get any more for being white, they just enjoy a ‘preferred’ status).

In many Asian countries, Caucasians are preferred by some employers, and that is often clearly stated in their advertistments. In the better universities, however, credentials are king, and a non-Caucasian with the right credentials will trump a Caucasian applicant (but a local teacher will still get half the salary of the foreign teacher).

Case in point, in my current job, I am the only female, am non-Caucasian, and I am the highest paid foreign teacher (of four males, one is Caucasian). I was recently hired by Tsinghua University (the second top univeristy in the country, number one in the world for technology), and was hired on the spot, at the interview……the position had been open for months; many prior Caucasian (and other ) candidates were rejected.

My point is that it is not necessarily a race issue, but it is a commodity issue – the schools will pay premium bucks for a marketable employee. In other words, can they sell you to their students? But with the top universities, however, they do not need to sell their product, they will therefore go for the sheer credentials; skin colour, nationality, or ethnicity is thus not a consideration.

Generally, a Caucasian is an easy sell, this is why they are preferred across the board, but as you can see, there are other factors involved, it is just not black and white (no pun intended).

Is it true that a Caucasian person is paid twice the salary of an Asian person for teaching English in Vietnam?