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It’s Friday. You get off work instructing English in China and head house to munch on some candy and bitter hen and dumplings when you pack your weekender. You’re off to hike Mount Huangshan, the UNESCO World Heritage Web site set amidst “the loveliest mountains of China.”

As a result of, why not?

You’re there, and you’ll afford it. How? You’ve obtained a profitable job spending your weekdays in a college instructing kids or younger adults converse and write what already comes naturally to you: English.

Instructing English in China is a dream gig should you’re seeking to journey round Asia and earn money doing it. However there’s a lot of essential data you must learn about land a instructing job in China and prep your self earlier than you go.

The Advantages of Instructing English in China

Instructing overseas in China is an unbelievable expertise. Not solely do you could have the chance to immerse your self in a brand new tradition and have the journey of a lifetime, however you’ll even have a significant job that makes a constructive impression on the lives of your college students.

Plus, as a result of the Chinese language tradition is so completely different to ours, day by day in China is a brand new problem that’ll not solely impression your profession but additionally open your thoughts.

What are the advantages for academics in China?

  • Common first-year wage of 8,000 – 12,000 RMB/month ($1,150 – $1,700 USD)
  • Flight reimbursement to and from China
  • Offered housing or a housing stipend
  • Free medical health insurance
  • Visa utility help
  • Assist arriving and getting settled in China
  • Paid Chinese language authorities holidays 

Many first 12 months academics working for personal coaching facilities or train overseas packages might also discover further advantages akin to free TEFL certifications, coaching and orientation, or free Chinese language classes.

After all, these are simply the usual advantages. Faculties seeking to entice extremely certified or skilled academics will usually provide extra. Listed below are only a few of the advantages you may see whenever you’re making use of to high-level positions:

  • Common wage for skilled academics: 16,000 – 30,000 RMB/ month ($2,300 – $4,300 USD)
  • Transferring stipend to pay for further checked baggage
  • As much as 20 paid trip days along with authorities holidays
  • All visa prices reimbursed

Learn how to Get English Instructing Jobs in China

If the above all sounds engaging to you, right here’s get an English instructing job in China.

1. Full Your TEFL

First issues first: you’ll want a “Instructing English as a Overseas Language” (TEFL) certificates. The course will train you train English as a second language (ESL). Having a TEFL reveals faculties (and the Chinese language authorities) that you just really know train.

Whereas most instructing positions would require you to have a level and a instructing qualification akin to a TEFL certificates or a CELTA (Certificates in English Language Instructing to Adults), you don’t essentially want instructing expertise you probably have a certification.

Orange lanterns and a tall staircase in a Chinese alleyway
Orange lanterns hanging in a Chinese language alleyway

The commonest and best qualification for these all in favour of instructing English in China is the TEFL. The minimal is a 120-hour on-line course.

TEFL certifications may be achieved in-person or on-line, they usually vary anyplace from about $300 to $3,500. However you may simply get your TEFL on-line with out breaking the financial institution. I like to recommend doing by i-to-i as a result of it’s fairly priced, and it offers you entry to an intensive job board upon completion.

Then again, a CELTA is a model of TEFL from the College of Cambridge, and it’s generally talked about as one of the best certification for instructing overseas. Whereas CELTA certifications will look fairly spectacular, they’re additionally actually costly. In addition they have a reasonably excessive dropout price as a result of they’re extra demanding. Yow will discover extra details about the CELTA right here.

2. Discover Jobs

Whereas you will get a job on the bottom in China, I extremely advocate making use of on-line with the intention to present up on the right visa with the data that every part is ready in your arrival.

So, when you’ve obtained your qualification, you now must discover a job.

Happily for you, there are a ton of open English instructing positions in China—and there are a ton of sources that can assist you discover them.

To begin your job hunt, make it simpler on your self by narrowing down your choices. Take into account the next inquiries to just do that:

  • Do you wish to take care of younger kids, youngsters or adults?
  • What cities would you be all in favour of instructing in?
  • Do you wish to train in a public or non-public college? (Personal college jobs are often tougher to get and may be extra demanding, however they have a tendency to pay higher.)

And after you’ve decided all of that, you can begin utilizing job boards like these to search for jobs:

3. Apply for Jobs

There are three alternative ways you could find jobs in China past utilizing TEFL suppliers like i-to-i that supply job placement as a part of their certification.

  1. Apply Straight: You possibly can apply instantly on many non-public college websites, in addition to on some job boards. This cuts out the center man, but it surely’s not at all times an choice for public faculties.
  2.  Work With a Recruiter: Many public faculties and coaching facilities use recruiters to seek out certified academics. These recruiters will allow you to discover a job and should even allow you to negotiate your contract, apply in your visa and decide should you’re caught between just a few faculties. Whereas some have web sites promoting their companies, others pose as job boards; some could even request an interview earlier than working with you. 
  3. Undergo a Train Overseas Applications: Train Overseas Applications additionally allow you to discover jobs in China. Nonetheless, the emphasis is at all times on this system, quite than the job itself. You’re first accepted to this system and later positioned in a college. You could possibly request sure cities or job varieties, but it surely’s not at all times assured you’ll get the job you need.

Be aware: I’m not a fan of Train Overseas Applications for 2 causes:

  1. They lure you in with loads of free stuff (TEFLs, orientation, Chinese language classes), however your wage finally ends up being a lot decrease than it will have been should you’d simply used a recruiter.
  2. You typically have little to no say over which college you’re positioned in, so that you may find yourself on their own instructing on a factory-lined freeway the place you’re the one foreigner for miles… not that I’m talking from expertise or something.

Instructing English in China Necessities

If you happen to’re seeking to train English in China, there are some things you’ll want to fulfill authorized necessities. China is determined for international academics, so you may simply get a job instructing overseas with none expertise.

Right here’s what you do want to show in China, nevertheless:

  • Citizen of one of many authorized English-speaking international locations (US, UK, Canada, Eire, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa)
  • Authenticated Bachelor’s diploma from an accredited school or college
  • Clear prison background examine out of your nation of residence
  • Authenticated 120-hour TEFL certification

If you happen to’re searching for higher, higher-paying jobs, these {qualifications} will assist, as effectively:

  • Prior instructing expertise
  • A Bachelor’s or Grasp’s diploma in English or Training
  • CELTA certification
  • Licensed licensed trainer in your house nation

Instructing English in China Wage

Salaries instructing in China differ throughout positions and areas; so don’t be stunned should you see a really large wage vary on most job boards. Jobs in China will provide as little as $700 a month (5,000 RMB/month), however that doesn’t imply it’s a must to take these low-paying jobs! Our purpose is so that you can make financial institution instructing English overseas.

Let me stroll you thru the common job salaries and what you must purpose for with every kind of place and placement.

1st Tier Cities in China: $1,150 – $1,700 USD

Most ESL instructing jobs in first-tier cities like Beijing and Shanghai can pay anyplace from $1,150 – $1,700 USD/month after tax (8,000 – 12,000 RMB).

That mentioned, I personally wouldn’t take a job that pays lower than $1,450 USD/month (10,000 RMB). There’s completely no must take the bottom paying jobs, so simply apply round to some positions till you discover one thing within the $1,450 – $1,700 vary (10,000 – 12,000 RMB/month).

2nd Tier Cities in China: $700 – $1,450 USD

Smaller, second-tier cities like Nanjing, Xi’an, Chengdu and Hangzhou have a decrease value of dwelling cities like Beijing and Shanghai. This decrease value of dwelling means a barely decrease wage, nevertheless, you’ll nonetheless be capable to save massive since the price of meals and housing is lower than half of what you’ll discover within the massive cities!

The typical wage in a smaller Chinese language metropolis is round $700 – $1450 USD/month after taxes (5,000 – 10,000 RMB). That mentioned, I by no means advocate taking the bottom paying positions.

Search for a place that pays no less than $1,150 USD/month (8,000 RMB) with supplied housing and also you’ll be high quality!

School and College Lecturers in China: $700 – $850 USD

Enjoyable truth: School and college instructing positions are the lowest-paying jobs in China. Why? Who is aware of!

However significantly, it’s extraordinarily troublesome to discover a school or college ESL place in China that pays greater than $850 USD/month (6,000 RMB). Most of those jobs pay simply over $700 USD/month (5,000 RMB).

That mentioned, the hours on this place are very minimal, so you may at all times use your free time to journey round China or tutor English part-time.

Worldwide Faculties: $2,600 – $4,300

Worldwide college jobs are by far probably the most profitable positions in China. Skilled worldwide college academics could make anyplace from $2,600 USD (18,000 RMB) to $4,3000 USD (30,000 RMB) per thirty days.

Whereas it is a enormous vary, the wage actually does differ on the town you’re in, in addition to the quantity of instructing expertise and related {qualifications} you could have. Most worldwide college academics with greater than two years expertise are likely to make no less than $2,800 a month (20,000 RMB).

Personal Tutors in China: $29 – $58 USD/hour

If you happen to’re searching for a profitable side-hustle, you’ve come to the appropriate place. You can also make nice cash part-time tutoring in China.

In smaller second-tier cities, the going price is $29 USD (200 RMB) per hour. As you acquire expertise, you could possibly discover jobs providing a bit extra. For instance, I taught enterprise at an area firm for $65 for 1.5 hours (400 RMB).

If you happen to’re in a bigger metropolis like Beijing or Shanghai, the usual price is $43 USD/hour (300 RMB). Nonetheless, with expertise, you may at all times cost extra.

Forms of English Instructing Faculties in China

When you’re licensed, you’ll want to start out interested by what kind of job in China is finest for you. There are such a lot of completely different college and job varieties in China, it’s essential to determine which sort of college goes to finest suit your wants earlier than you begin making use of to positions.

Personal Language Faculties

Personal language faculties, also referred to as coaching facilities, are a quite common place to show English in China. These for-profit faculties usually train college students within the night or on the weekends.

You’ll usually have small lessons of anyplace from two to 10 college students, instructing oral English to quite a lot of age teams.

Whereas most non-public language faculties train ESL, there are literally faculties focusing on different topics like take a look at prep, public talking, debate, school counseling, drama and artwork. A few of these non-public faculties have high-paid positions with loads of advantages. For instance, I labored for over two years as a university counselor in China!

Personal language college rent new academics year-round, so should you’re seeking to begin a brand new job and might’t await September or February, that is the place to look.

Public Faculties

Chinese language public faculties are one other frequent place for individuals to show English in China. Public faculties typically rent supplementary oral English academics to show college students as soon as every week and even as soon as each two weeks.

students with backpacks walking to school in China
The place do you wish to work? Every college is a unique expertise!

Most public faculties in China have Chinese language academics train English grammar and writing whereas getting ready college students for admissions exams. Nonetheless, these faculties have realized that almost all college students have a troublesome time talking English, in order that they began hiring international academics to fill the hole.

If you happen to work at a public college, you’ll usually be working Monday-Friday from round Eight a.m. to Four p.m., instructing class sizes of 30 to 50 college students. Sure, Chinese language public college class are enormous.

If you happen to do wish to work at a public college, these faculties solely rent new academics for September and probably February since they hardly ever want new academics to start out part-way by a semester.

Schools and Universities

If you happen to’re seeking to work a job with fewer hours so you could have loads of time to discover, a university or college job is perhaps finest for you. Whereas these positions pay the least, in addition they have a lot fewer class and workplace hours.

Instructing oral English at a university or college may be the proper alternative to discover China whereas supporting your self financially. If you happen to’d quite spend most of your time having fun with China and don’t care a lot about having a excessive wage, this is perhaps the proper job for you. 

Worldwide Faculties

China’s highest paying jobs with probably the most advantages are undoubtedly worldwide college positions. Most worldwide faculties in China are searching for academics which are licensed and authorized to show of their house nation with greater than two years {of professional} instructing expertise.

Worldwide faculties are additionally a good way for non-native audio system of English to show legally in China. In case you are a licensed trainer in your house nation with no less than two years of expertise, you may legally train a topic in English at an Worldwide college. For instance, I had a Dutch buddy who taught math in English.

Personal Tutoring

If you happen to’re seeking to make a bit of further money in China, non-public tutoring is the way in which to go. Whereas instructing outdoors of your contract is technically unlawful in China, the federal government actually isn’t cracking down on non-public tutors.

That mentioned, should you do have a full-time instructing job in China, non-public tutoring generally is a violation of your contract, so simply watch out and undoubtedly don’t poach your college students for out of doors non-public tutoring.

Personally, I labored as a personal tutor whereas getting my Grasp’s diploma in China. Having just a few facet gigs allowed me to help myself whereas finding out, and it was comparatively straightforward to seek out jobs as soon as I made my companies identified round campus.

Some academics in China do determine to make a full-time job out of a number of tutoring gigs. Whereas it is a implausible solution to make some huge cash with no workplace hours, simply needless to say that is technically not authorized, and there can be no help system or advantages like trip time, medical health insurance or free housing.

Doc and Visa Course of for English Lecturers in China

The visa course of for academics in China is notoriously complicated and time-consuming. Fortunately, most jobs assign somebody to stroll you thru your complete course of, so that you’re not alone.

Listed below are the paperwork you’ll want for an official Z Work Visa in China:

  • Legitimate passport
  • Chinese language visa utility kind
  • Authenticated 120-hour TEFL certificates
  • Authenticated bachelor’s diploma
  • Legal Background Test
  • Official Acceptance letter (despatched out of your college)
  • Overseas Skilled Certificates (despatched out of your college)

The method for procuring these paperwork can really take just a few weeks, or probably even just a few months. Many colleges attempting to bend the principles might need points getting a Overseas Skilled Certificates for you, and should must attempt a number of occasions earlier than they’ll safe one.

For instance, I used to be imagined to have two years of faculty counseling expertise post-graduation for my school counseling job in China. Nonetheless, I had really been in China since just about the day I graduated from school, so my college needed to do loads of convincing to get me my certificates!

people climbing the stairs to a temple in China
A busy temple in China

As a result of the method may be prolonged and time-consuming, you’ll wish to begin making use of for jobs no less than three to 4 months early. For a September begin, I at all times advocate making use of in Could or June.

After you have all of those paperwork, you’ll want to use in your Z Work visa both at your native consulate or embassy, with a visa service company (should you dwell nowhere close to a consulate like me), or in Hong Kong.

Once you arrive in China, you’ll want to change from a Z Work Visa to a Residence Allow. Your college will apply for this allow for you, however you will want to get a medical examine when you’re in China.

Instructing English in China With out a Diploma

If you happen to don’t have a Bachelor’s diploma, it is attainable to show in China… simply not legally. China’s ESL market is booming, and there simply aren’t sufficient legally certified academics to serve the extraordinary demand in China. That’s the place you are available.

So many colleges are keen to rent academics with out a diploma on vacationer or enterprise visas. Many of those faculties don’t have the permits obligatory to rent a international trainer legally, whereas others don’t have the cash to supply salaries for certified academics.

In case you are working illegally in China, simply make sure you work for a college with first rate evaluations on-line. The very last thing you need is to get scammed instructing in China, and with out a legally binding contract to fall again on, you’ll have much less of a security internet in China if, for some cause, your college doesn’t offer you every part they’d promised.

In the case of instructing on a vacationer visa, it is a quite common follow and I’ve many pals in China who’ve achieved this. Simply preserve your head down, don’t announce to everybody in a crowded bar that you just’re a trainer, and you need to be high quality!

Instructing English in China as a Non-Native Speaker

If you happen to’re not from one of many seven “native speaker international locations” (US, UK, Canada, Eire, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa), there are two methods you may train in China:

  1. The authorized approach
  2. The unlawful approach

If you happen to’re a licensed and authorized trainer with two or extra years of instructing expertise, you may train a topic in English at a world college. When you received’t be capable to train English, you’ll get to show topics like math, science, psychology, historical past, artwork and extra!

If you happen to do have a bachelor’s diploma from a “native speaker” nation, some provinces in China may be capable to challenge you a piece visa. You may additionally be capable to discover a job instructing your native language, too.

If not one of the above are choices, you may at all times train on a vacationer or enterprise visa. Similar to these with out levels, make sure you do a ton of analysis in your college so that you don’t get scammed in China.

The Finest Locations to Train English in China

Whereas most academics wish to train within the well-known cities like Beijing and Shanghai, I personally advocate second-tier cities for first-year academics in China.

Why transfer to a metropolis you’ve by no means heard of?  Smaller cities in China are the proper place for a first-year trainer in China. Firstly, they’re of a tighter-knit expat inhabitants, making it simpler to fulfill individuals and make pals. Second-tier cities are additionally extra immersive with fewer comforts of house (so it’s extra of a cultural expertise).

Beijing's city skyline
Beijing’s metropolis skyline

That mentioned, there’s undoubtedly nothing unsuitable with dwelling and dealing in an enormous metropolis like Beijing or Shanghai. I lived in Beijing for 2 and a half years and beloved it.

The method of selecting the proper place to dwell generally is a bit overwhelming, so to make issues simpler, let’s undergo among the finest cities to show English in China. All of those cities have loads of instructing positions and an important high quality of life, so you actually can’t go unsuitable with any of the areas on this record.


China’s previous southern capital, Nanjing is the proper place for a first-year trainer in China. Simply north of Shanghai, Nanjing straddles the Yangtze river and is crammed with historical past from its time as a capital of China.

Spend your weekends exploring Xuanwu Lake or the Presidential Palace, make a journey out to the Ming Tombs or replicate on the Nanjing Bloodbath Memorial Museum. There’s at all times one thing to do in Nanjing!

Nanjing can be a really inexperienced metropolis, crammed with parks the place you could find locals enjoying mahjong or dancing in teams. It’s additionally very central, near many different cities like Shanghai, Hangzhou and Suzhou.


The traditional capital of China and residential to the Terracotta Warriors, Xi’an is an unbelievable metropolis to show overseas.

Positioned in North Central China, Xi’an is known for its historical past, unbelievable meals and Muslim tradition. Along with the Terracotta Warriors, Xi’an additionally has one of the best preserved historical metropolis wall in all of China. You possibly can even hire a motorcycle and discover your complete metropolis from above!

House to scrumptious noodles, kebabs, and roujiamo (the “Chinese language hamburger”), Xi’an is a metropolis for foodies. Spend your weekends wandering the Huiminjie Muslim Market the place you may attempt among the finest meals Xi’an has to supply!


Trying to dwell and work in a lovely, serene metropolis stuffed with historical past and tradition? Then Hangzhou is the place for you. An hour outdoors bustling Shanghai, Hangzhou was dubbed probably the most lovely place on the earth by Marco Polo. 

Spend your free time strolling round West Lake, cease by a conventional teahouse or take your Chinese language coworkers to KTV and spend the night belting out pop songs.

Surrounded by different massive cities like Shanghai, Suzhou and Nanjing, you’ll be capable to simply discover a lot of China in your weekend breaks.


Do you like spicy meals? Are you obsessive about pandas? Nicely, look no additional than Chengdu. The birthplace of China’s spicy “mala” delicacies, Sichuan is the proper place to stuff your face with sizzling pot, mapo tofu, mouthwatering noodles and any spicy Chinese language dish your coronary heart might ever want.

Chengdu can be house to the Big Panda Reserve, so you may go to these cuddly giants whenever you’re not at school! In Chengdu, you’ll additionally discover lovely bamboo forests lined with teahouses the place you may be a part of locals in getting your ears cleaned.

If you happen to’re searching for conventional China with a contemporary (spicy) twist, Chengdu is the town for you.


I do know I mentioned that second-tier cities are finest for first-year academics, however I couldn’t omit my China house of Beijing!

Do you like studying about worldwide politics? Are you an enormous historical past buff? Do you dream of studying Chinese language? Then you definitely belong in Beijing! An enormous cosmopolitan metropolis, and the seat of energy in China, Beijing is a spot no traveler (or exapt) in China can miss.

Beijing can be the usual for Mandarin Chinese language, making it the most effective cities to study Chinese language.

In your free time, spend your weekends mountaineering the Nice Wall, wandering the Temple of Heaven or getting misplaced in Beijing’s historical hutong neighborhoods.


If you happen to’re searching for a vibrant cosmopolitan metropolis with sizzling climate and nice procuring, look no additional than Shenzhen.

One in all China’s latest cities, this financial powerhouse is situated proper throughout the water from Hong Kong, making visa (and procuring) journeys extraordinarily straightforward. You possibly can simply hop on the subway or ferry and be there by lunch.

If you happen to’re searching for hustle and bustle, heat climate and loads of issues to do, Shenzhen is your metropolis. The situation additionally makes it tremendous handy for these of you who’re instructing illegally, since all it is advisable do is hop on the subway in your visa runs.


Whereas I’m undoubtedly a Beijing particular person (the Beijing vs. Shanghai rivalry is actual) I can’t deny that many academics are drawn to cosmopolitan Shanghai.

Shanghai is China’s enterprise middle and most worldwide metropolis. Right here you’ll discover loads of worldwide meals, pop stars visiting from across the globe and a fairly hopping nightlife scene.

Seize a drink at a bar within the French Concession, wander the bund and take within the scene of the Shanghai skyline, or make a journey as much as the highest of one in every of Shanghai’s tallest buildings for an unbelievable view. You’ll by no means run out of issues to do in Shanghai.

Is China a Good Place to Stay?

China is usually featured by the west in a destructive gentle. We deal with air pollution, web censorship and crowds. Nonetheless, China is a implausible place to dwell should you’re searching for the journey of a lifetime.

Firstly, let’s discuss revenue.

I managed to save lots of $40,000 in two years whereas working in China with out even actually attempting.

I utterly paid off my scholar loans, and I had an important high quality of life whereas doing it.

In actual fact, I drank $10 cocktails at fancy bars. I went to Starbucks every time I felt prefer it. And I took taxis to work once I by chance slept in. Yup, I even had my very own non-public workplace with a view and 20 trip days!

Past that, day by day in China was a singular journey.

Whereas dwelling in China wasn’t at all times straightforward, it actually was by no means boring. I lived in the course of Beijing’s historic hutong neighborhoods the place I’d discover each weekend. I discovered cat cafes, superb hole-in-the-wall eating places and I hiked 9 completely different sections of the nice wall (a few of which weren’t formally open to vacationers!)

Positive, China is vastly completely different from the US, however that’s what I used to be searching for. I wished to be challenged to adapt to a brand new tradition and survive in a rustic the place I might barely converse the language. I wished to be pressured to eat new meals and take a look at new issues.

Does saving cash whereas having an extremely immersive journey sound nice to you? Then China is undoubtedly a great place to dwell.  

Is it Secure to Train English in China?

After I first left to check in China, everybody apprehensive that I’d find yourself in some jail. I used to be warned to look at what I say on my weblog. (Enjoyable truth: I’m not essential sufficient for the Chinese language authorities to care what I write!). And I used to be warned about speaking politics, in addition to authorities guidelines and restrictions.

I’ll be sincere: China’s authorities isn’t my favourite. China has web censorship, no freedom of speech and horrible human rights abuses.

However, that doesn’t imply it’s inherently unsafe for you as a trainer.

Truthfully, so long as you don’t go working round Tiananmen Sq. with a “free Tibet” signal, you’ll be high quality. Sure, you’ll want to purchase a VPN to get round web censorship. However in any other case, the Chinese language authorities actually doesn’t have an effect on your day-to-day life.

If you happen to’re going to be apprehensive about something, be apprehensive about getting hit by an e-bike whereas crossing the street with a inexperienced gentle. That’s the true hazard.

Learn how to Train English in China On-line

Perhaps you don’t wish to go to an precise college day by day. Or possibly you may’t really make it to China proper now. The excellent news for you is which you could train English in China on-line, too.

With the appearance of recent know-how, instructing Chinese language youngsters on-line has by no means been simpler. There at the moment are so many various on-line faculties that rent distant academics to show English to college students again in China.

The beauty of this job is that there are not any workplace hours and you are able to do it from anyplace. You possibly can train on-line part-time whereas in China, or you may train full-time out of your hometown or one other nation.

Merely, simply search for on-line jobs on websites like the next:

You’ll nonetheless need and possibly even want a TEFL, relying on the job. So observe the identical steps for getting a job on the bottom.


I can vouch for the truth that instructing English in China is an unbeatable expertise. I earned and saved sufficient cash to journey the world whereas paying off my scholar loans and hitting up Starbucks on the common. Past that, because of my experiences instructing English in China of all locations, I’ve change into a extra open-minded and adventure-ready traveler.

So what are you ready for? Get on-line and begin getting licensed!


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