Teaching English in China

Teaching English in China

China Overview

Main Cities/AreasSalary range (USD/month)
All Major Cities$1000 – $2500

There is huge demand for teaching English in this vast nation and salaries range depending on your experience and qualifications and the location of the school or language centre. Some people love their experience in China and others find the country culturally challenging.

A never-ending supply of teaching opportunities means that it is quite straightforward to find a position that appears to suit you. Nevertheless, luck often plays a part meaning that dream positions on paper can turn out more frustrating than expected and apparently bog-standard, poorly-paying, first-year jobs can turn into some of the most memorable and exciting experiences of your life.

Flag of China - Wikipedia

Typical Requirements and Tips

Degree?TEFL Certification?Experience?

There are a vast number of jobs available so it is advisable to arrange a position you are happy with before you travel to China. It may be more difficult for those aged under 25 due to visa rules.

If you are not happy with the salary offered, simply decline. There is a seemingly limitless supply of teaching opportunities in China so there is no rush to sign a binding contract.

Think carefully when deciding which part of China you wish to work in. If you like mild winters, head to the south. If you like beaches, head east.

Do not enter China on a tourist visa. Make sure you have a stamped contract and F-visa (business) or Z-visa (working) with you when you arrive. Be very careful when reading the contract and request amendments to any parts that seem vague. Generally speaking, you are not allowed to work for any other schools in addition to the sponsor.

The cost of accommodation in China is relatively low. Income tax is generally paid by employers.

Pros and Cons of Teaching in China


  • Low living costs and a large number of jobs makes China a good place for newly-graduated teachers
  • Apparently, there are over 300 million English learners in China. This means you will never be short of students
  • Unsurprisingly for a country of its size, China has a good network of ex-pat teachers to befriend


  • Government restrictions on internet access are illustrative of wider human rights issues
  • Some schools are run by people who actually have little interest in education so great care should be taken when reading contracts
  • You may encounter racism in China. Non-white native speakers may have difficulty here