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Teaching English in China


Quick Stats
Average Salary: R5000
Tax Rate: 5%
Rent: Supplied by school
Hours p/w: 15-20


China is one of the most popular destinations for English teachers at the moment. You might be wondering why, considering that salaries are pretty low in comparison to other countries like Japan and Taiwan. There are several reasons for this:
The first is that the cost of living in China is extremely low. This means that if you are teaching English in China, you can save most of what you earn.
Another reason is that average teaching hours are low - about 15 hours per week. So, you can earn R5000 (Y5000) for a 60 hour month in China compared to R10, 000 for a 100 hour month in Taiwan or Korea. Also, most jobs are for teaching English to adults, the employer provides accommodation, working without a degree is possible, and there are many university-teaching positions available.
Lastly, there are literally thousands of English teaching jobs in China.

Here is a rundown of teacher's salaries in China:

1st Degree, without bona fide teaching experience:3,500 to 4,500 RMB per month

1st Degree with ESL, TESOL or other qualifications:4,000 to 5,500 RMB per month

Post Graduate, Masters [Education], MBA etc:4,500 to 6,500 RMB per month

Experienced, Qualified Teachers of European ethnic origin: 4,500 to 7,500RMB per month

PhD, Experienced IT Post Graduates, etc 5,500 to 10,000 RMB per month

Getting There

The majority of English teachers find jobs via the Internet. There are agents who recruit teachers, but why go through a middleman if you can deal directly with the school? Dealing directly with the school will also give you a bit of an idea of what it will be like once you get there. Some schools will pay for your flight, so if you are short on cash find one that will.

Getting Started

Getting settled in China is relatively cheap, but take at least R8000 just in case something happens. Teaching EFL in China comes with a certain degree of culture shock like most Asian countries. Keep an open mind, wait a couple of months for the culture shock to subside and then you will be fine!

Getting Around

This will vary tremendously from place to place. The bigger cities have public transport systems that rival any first world country's, but smaller towns and villages may have little to none.

The Best Local Website

Two websites are of tremendous help. The first is the Chinese sister site of the Taiwanese tealit.com site:

Teaching and Living in China

The other is:

China Teachers

Finding a Job

Check saet.co.zas Job Board

Otherwise visit these sites:

Dave's ESL Cafe


Tealic.com's Job Board

If you want to learn more about China get Lonely Planet's China travel guide and visit IAN's China Guide .

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