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What is the average English teacher salary in Hong Kong?



Teaching English in Hong Kong can be a lucrative career choice, especially given the city's role as a global hub that bridges East and West. Known for its vibrant shopping scene and bustling cosmopolitan lifestyle, Hong Kong attracts both Chinese and international visitors and residents. This fusion of cultures and steady influx of people contributes to the city's status as one of the most expensive places to live in the world. Consequently, salaries for English teachers in Hong Kong are designed to offer a good quality of life, reflecting the high cost of living. The potential earnings vary widely and are influenced by several factors including experience, qualifications, the type of school, and even the school’s location within the city. Whether you’re teaching in public schools, private language schools, international schools, or universities, Hong Kong offers a range of teaching opportunities that come with competitive compensation packages tailored to attract and retain quality educators.

Factors Influencing Teacher Salaries In Hong Kong

In Hong Kong, the salary of English teachers is influenced by a complex mix of factors that reflect both the local job market and the broader educational environment. One of the primary determinants is the level of experience an educator brings to the table. Teachers with years of experience and advanced qualifications, such as a Master’s degree or specialized teaching certifications, can command higher salaries. Another crucial factor is the type of educational institution. For instance, international schools and universities typically offer higher pay compared to public schools and private language centers due to their distinct funding structures and the clientele they serve.

The location of the school within Hong Kong also plays a role. Schools in more central and affluent areas may offer better compensation to attract and retain qualified teachers who are capable of meeting the expectations of a more demanding parent base. Additionally, the demand for English teachers in certain districts can affect salary levels, with higher demand pushing salaries upward.

Qualifications are equally important. Teachers possessing TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) certificates, CELTA (Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults) or equivalent qualifications are often preferred and may receive higher starting salaries. Furthermore, as Hong Kong positions itself as an international hub, teachers who can contribute to this environment by offering skills that enhance students’ global competencies are highly valued and tend to be better compensated.

Overall, these factors combine to set the groundwork for negotiating salaries and benefits in Hong Kong’s competitive teaching market, ensuring that compensation aligns with the cost of living and the professional demands placed on educators.

Salary Ranges by School Type

In Hong Kong, the salary ranges for English teachers can vary significantly based on the type of educational institution where they are employed. Each type of school caters to different segments of the population and has distinct funding resources, operational structures, and educational goals, all of which influence the compensation packages offered to teachers.

Public Schools: Teachers in Hong Kong's public schools can expect to earn between 25,000 and 70,000 HKD per month. Public schools often participate in programs like the Native-speaking English Teacher (NET) Scheme, which aims to improve English language education in local schools. The NET Scheme is particularly known for offering competitive salary packages that include additional benefits like housing allowances and flight reimbursements.

Private Language Schools: These institutions tend to offer salaries ranging from 18,000 to 25,000 HKD per month. Private language schools serve a diverse client base, including children, business professionals, and adult learners, focusing on practical language skills such as conversational English and exam preparation. The variance in pay within this sector often depends on the school's size, location, and the specific teaching duties assigned.

International Schools: As some of the most prestigious educational institutions in Hong Kong, international schools offer salaries that range from 30,000 to 80,000 HKD per month. These schools typically follow international curricula and cater to the children of expatriates and affluent local families. Teachers in these schools are usually required to have a solid educational background, often including a teaching degree from their home country and relevant teaching licenses, alongside experience in international education systems.

Universities: English teachers at universities in Hong Kong are at the higher end of the salary spectrum, with monthly earnings between 41,000 and 65,000 HKD. University positions require the highest level of qualifications, including a Master’s or Doctoral degree in a relevant field. These roles often involve a combination of teaching and academic duties, such as research and publication, and come with significant benefits, including long vacation periods and professional development opportunities.

Overall, the salary an English teacher in Hong Kong can expect to earn is heavily influenced by the type of institution they work for, with international schools and universities typically offering the highest pay due to their high standards and the affluent demographics they serve.

Public School Teaching Jobs and Salaries

Teaching in Hong Kong’s public schools presents a structured and stable career path for English teachers, with competitive salaries and comprehensive benefits. The salary range for teachers in public schools typically falls between 25,000 and 70,000 HKD per month. This variance largely depends on factors such as the teacher's qualifications, experience, and the specific responsibilities of the position.

One prominent pathway for English teachers in Hong Kong's public schools is through the Native-speaking English Teacher (NET) Scheme. This government-run program specifically recruits foreign English teachers to enhance the language skills of students across primary and secondary schools. The NET Scheme is well-regarded not only for its salary offerings but also for the additional benefits it provides, which significantly enhance the overall compensation package for teachers.

Benefits under the NET Scheme include:

  • Housing Allowance: Teachers are often provided with a monthly housing allowance, which is a significant benefit in Hong Kong’s expensive rental market.
  • Flight Reimbursement: Initial flights to Hong Kong and return flights at the end of the contract are typically reimbursed, lowering the financial burden on teachers moving to and from Hong Kong.
  • Paid Holidays: Teachers in the public school system enjoy generous holiday schedules, which align with the local school calendar and provide substantial time off during the summer and winter breaks.
  • Professional Development: Opportunities for further education and training are frequently offered, helping teachers to advance their skills and qualifications.

Teachers employed under the NET Scheme are expected to work alongside local teaching staff, bringing a native speaker's perspective to the English curriculum. The roles often involve not just classroom teaching, but also the development of teaching materials, the organization of language activities, and sometimes the training of local English teachers.

Working in Hong Kong’s public schools can therefore be a rewarding experience, offering not just financial benefits but also the chance to make a significant impact on the educational outcomes of students. Additionally, the structured support and professional development opportunities provided under schemes like NET make these positions particularly attractive to those looking to build a career in education.

Private Language School Teaching Jobs and Salaries

Private language schools in Hong Kong cater to a diverse range of students, including young children, teenagers preparing for exams, and adults seeking to improve their business English or conversational skills. These schools offer flexible teaching opportunities, often requiring teachers to work afternoons, evenings, and weekends to accommodate the schedules of their students.

Earning Potential

The salaries in private language schools generally range from 18,000 to 25,000 HKD per month. This variation is influenced by several factors including the teacher’s experience, qualifications, and the specific demands of the school. Some schools may offer additional performance bonuses or incentives based on student retention or progression, which can enhance the overall earnings.

Work Environment

The work environment in private language schools can be dynamic and fast-paced. Teachers are expected to manage classes of varying sizes, often with students at different levels of English proficiency. The role requires a high degree of adaptability and the ability to tailor lessons to meet diverse learning needs.

Classes in private language schools typically focus on practical language use, such as:

  • Conversational English: Helping students become fluent and confident in everyday English usage.
  • Business English: Equipping professionals with the language skills needed for the global business environment.
  • Exam Preparation: Assisting students in preparing for standardized English tests like TOEFL, IELTS, or local examinations.

Additional Benefits

While private language schools may not offer as extensive a benefits package as public schools or international schools, some do provide:

  • Contract Completion Bonuses: An incentive given at the end of a contract period if certain conditions are met.
  • Visa Sponsorship: Necessary for non-local teachers, which includes assistance with the visa application process.
  • Professional Development: Opportunities to attend workshops or obtain further certifications, although less common than in the public sector.

Teachers in these settings need to be versatile and energetic, capable of engaging students who might be attending classes after a long day of work or school. Despite the challenges, teaching in private language schools can be highly rewarding, offering the chance to impact a wide range of learners and gain valuable experience in a multicultural educational setting.

International School Teaching Jobs and Salaries

International schools in Hong Kong are among the most prestigious educational institutions, offering competitive salaries and benefits to attract qualified English teachers from around the world. These schools typically follow international curricula, such as those of the International Baccalaureate (IB), American, or British systems, and cater to both the expatriate community and local families seeking an international standard of education for their children.


The salaries at international schools in Hong Kong range significantly, typically from 30,000 to 80,000 HKD per month. This wide range reflects factors such as the teacher’s qualifications, experience, and the specific responsibilities of their role. Teachers with advanced degrees in education, teaching certifications from their home countries, and experience in recognized international curricula often command higher salaries.


In addition to high salaries, international schools in Hong Kong offer substantial benefits packages that can include:

  • Housing Allowance: Given the high cost of living and real estate prices in Hong Kong, many schools offer a housing allowance to make living more affordable for their teachers.
  • Medical Insurance: Comprehensive health coverage is commonly provided, which is a significant perk given the high cost of healthcare.
  • Annual Flights: Teachers are often entitled to annual flights to their home country, which is a valued benefit for expatriates.
  • Tuition Waiver: For teachers with children, international schools frequently offer tuition waivers or significant discounts, making this an attractive option for families.
  • Professional Development: Opportunities for further training and advancement are typically available, supporting career growth and development.

Work Environment

Teachers in international schools are expected to deliver a high standard of education and often participate in extracurricular activities, school development projects, and community engagement initiatives. The work environment is dynamic and multicultural, with high expectations for both staff and students. The schools are well-equipped with modern facilities and resources that enhance the learning experience.

Contract Terms

Contracts at international schools usually span two to three years and include probation periods to ensure both the teacher and the school are well-suited for each other. These positions are highly sought after due to the favorable work conditions, competitive pay, and the professional environment they offer.

Overall, teaching in an international school in Hong Kong can be a highly rewarding career move, offering not only financial benefits but also the chance to work in a diverse and stimulating educational setting.

University Teaching Jobs and Salaries

Teaching positions at universities in Hong Kong represent some of the most prestigious opportunities available to educators. These roles are typically suited for individuals with advanced degrees and a strong academic background, reflecting the high standards expected in higher education.


Salaries for university teaching positions in Hong Kong are quite competitive, generally ranging from 41,000 to 65,000 HKD per month. The exact remuneration can vary based on several factors, including the individual's academic qualifications (with Master's degree holders at the lower end of the spectrum and PhD holders towards the higher end), previous teaching experience, and the specific responsibilities associated with the role. Additionally, salaries can be influenced by the faculty's funding and the university's prestige.


University positions often come with an attractive array of benefits. These can include:

  • Comprehensive Health Insurance: Typically more extensive than what is offered in other educational sectors, covering a wide range of medical services.
  • Housing Allowance or Subsidized Accommodation: Many universities provide assistance with housing, which is a significant benefit given Hong Kong's high cost of living.
  • Research Funding and Grants: For those in research-oriented positions, universities often provide funding opportunities to support scholarly work and conference travel.
  • Sabbatical Leave: Depending on the university's policy, faculty may be eligible for sabbatical leave, allowing them to focus on research or other professional development activities without teaching responsibilities.
  • Retirement Benefits: Contributions to retirement plans are standard, helping secure financial stability for the future.

Work Environment and Expectations

University teaching roles typically involve a combination of lecturing, conducting research, mentoring students, and contributing to the administration and development of academic programs. Faculty members are expected to publish scholarly articles, participate in academic conferences, and maintain a presence in the broader academic community. These roles require a high level of dedication and academic engagement.

Contract Terms

Contracts at universities usually offer more stability and longer durations compared to other teaching jobs. Most contracts are offered on a multi-year basis, often starting with a probationary period to ensure the fit between the faculty member and the institution.

Opportunities for Career Advancement

Universities in Hong Kong provide significant opportunities for professional growth and career advancement, encouraging faculty to progress through academic ranks based on their contributions to teaching and research.

Additional Benefits and Perks

In addition to competitive salaries, teaching positions in Hong Kong offer a variety of non-salary benefits that enhance the overall attractiveness of these roles. These benefits are designed to not only make the relocation and living conditions in Hong Kong more comfortable but also to provide a supportive work environment that values the well-being and professional development of educators.

Housing Allowance

Given the high cost of living and the premium on housing in Hong Kong, many schools and universities provide a housing allowance to their teachers. This allowance is intended to offset the high rental costs and make living in Hong Kong more affordable for educators coming from overseas or other parts of the country. In some cases, institutions may offer subsidized housing directly, providing accommodation that is either on-campus or affiliated with the school.

Flight Reimbursements

To encourage international applicants, many educational institutions offer flight reimbursements. This typically includes a return airfare to Hong Kong at the beginning of the contract and a return flight at the end of the contract period. This benefit is particularly appealing to expatriates and helps to ease the financial burden associated with international relocation.

Paid Holidays

Teachers in Hong Kong often enjoy generous holiday allowances, which are usually significantly more extensive than those found in corporate settings. These include all public holidays, as well as scheduled school breaks during the winter and summer, which align with the academic calendar. This time off allows teachers to rest, travel, and recharge, contributing to a better work-life balance.

Professional Development Opportunities

Many schools invest in the professional development of their staff by offering workshops, training sessions, and funding for further education. This can include sponsorship for attending international conferences, pursuing additional certifications, or even completing advanced degrees. Such opportunities not only benefit the teachers but also enhance the learning experiences they provide to their students.

Health Insurance

Comprehensive health insurance is another critical benefit provided to teachers. This insurance typically covers a wide range of medical services, ensuring that educators have access to quality healthcare without the burden of excessive out-of-pocket expenses. This is especially important in Hong Kong, where medical costs can be high.

Additional Perks

Some institutions might offer additional perks such as bonuses for contract renewal, performance-based bonuses, and other incentives that recognize the dedication and hard work of their teaching staff.

These benefits, collectively, make teaching positions in Hong Kong highly desirable and competitive, providing not just financial rewards but also ensuring a supportive and enriching professional environment.

Navigating the Job Market in Hong Kong

Navigating the job market in Hong Kong for teaching positions requires a strategic approach, especially given the competitive nature of the educational sector. Here are several tips and strategies to help secure a well-paid teaching position in Hong Kong:

Start Early and Prepare Thoroughly

Begin your job search well in advance of the school year when you plan to start working, as many schools begin their recruitment process months ahead of the new academic year. Preparation should include updating your CV to highlight relevant educational and teaching experiences, obtaining necessary certifications like TEFL, and gathering all documentation such as diplomas and reference letters.

Understand the Market

Research the different types of schools in Hong Kong, including public schools, private language schools, international schools, and universities, to understand their hiring cycles, requirements, and the benefits they offer. This will help you target your applications more effectively and align your expectations with what is available.

Leverage Online and Offline Networks

Use online job boards, such as Teast, dedicated to teaching jobs in Hong Kong to find available positions. Additionally, attending job fairs and networking events can provide valuable contacts within the education sector and lead to recommendations and insider information on job openings.

Tailor Your Applications

Customize your application letters and CVs for each job you apply for, emphasizing how your skills and experiences meet the specific requirements of the job and the school's culture. Be sure to highlight any additional skills or experiences that may give you an edge, such as knowledge of the International Baccalaureate program for international schools or specific skills in ESL teaching.

Prepare for Interviews

Interviews for teaching positions can often include demo lessons or presentations. Prepare for these by understanding the school’s curriculum and student demographics. Practice your demo lessons and be ready to answer questions not just about teaching practices, but also about how you handle classroom management and cultural differences.

Understand Visa Requirements

For non-local hires, understanding the visa process is crucial. Ensure you meet the qualifications needed for a work visa in Hong Kong, and check if your prospective employer offers assistance with the visa application process.

Negotiate Your Offer

Once you receive a job offer, don’t hesitate to negotiate your salary and benefits, especially if you have significant experience or offer specialized skills. Be informed about the standard compensation packages and benefits for teaching positions similar to yours in Hong Kong.

By following these strategies, you can better navigate the competitive job market in Hong Kong and increase your chances of securing a teaching position that not only pays well but also suits your career goals and lifestyle preferences.


Securing a teaching position in Hong Kong can be a transformable career move for educators looking to immerse themselves in a vibrant, culturally rich setting while enjoying competitive salaries and benefits. By carefully preparing your applications, understanding the local job market, and leveraging both online and offline resources, you can significantly enhance your prospects. Remember, each step - from tailoring your CV to negotiating your contract — matters in positioning yourself as a standout candidate. With the right approach and mindset, you can find a rewarding teaching role that not only meets your professional aspirations but also provides a unique opportunity to experience life in one of the world's most dynamic cities.

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