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Teach English in China: Requirements, Salary, Jobs

Teach English in China

Considering a journey to teach English in China? This vibrant and diverse country offers a unique blend of modernity and tradition that attracts educators from around the globe. China's rapid development is palpable, especially in its bustling cities where ancient architecture stands alongside towering skyscrapers. This dynamic setting provides a backdrop for an engaging teaching experience.

China's vast landscape encompasses varying climates from the subarctic north to the tropical south, presenting distinct living experiences depending on the region. Whether you choose the cultural richness of Beijing, the economic vibrancy of Shanghai, or the technological hub of Shenzhen, each city offers its own allure. Not to mention, places like Chengdu, where the charm of giant pandas awaits, and Suzhou, known for its picturesque canals and gardens.

Beyond the professional opportunities, China is steeped in history and culture. As an English teacher here, you'll have the chance to explore iconic sites such as the Great Wall of China, the Forbidden City, and the Terracotta Warriors. The contrast between the ancient and the new, the serene landscapes, and the urban energy makes teaching in China a truly enriching experience.

Whether you're a recent university graduate exploring teaching in China or an experienced educator looking to expand your horizons, TEFL in China, short for "Teaching English as a Foreign Language" in China, offers a broad spectrum of opportunities. With each city offering its own unique set of experiences and attractions, your adventure as an English teacher in China could be as diverse and dynamic as the country itself.

Why Teach English in China?

China is a captivating destination for teaching English, attracting teachers from across the globe with its vast opportunities and rich culture. There are several compelling reasons why China might be the ideal place for your teaching journey.

The vibrant culture of China is deeply rooted in history yet dynamically blending with modernity. As an English teacher in China, you'll immerse yourself in a lifestyle that balances ancient traditions with the rapid pace of urban life. From the lantern-lit nights of traditional festivals to the bustling city streets, every day is a new discovery.

China's landscapes are as diverse as its culture. The country offers a dramatic range of scenery, from the majestic Great Wall and mist-covered mountains to modern skyscrapers in cities like Shanghai and Beijing. This variety ensures that there’s always something new to explore, whether you're in the mood for historical sites or urban adventures.

The cost of living in China is relatively low compared to many Western countries, allowing teachers to live comfortably. This affordability makes it easier to enjoy a quality lifestyle, including dining, traveling, and leisure activities, without straining your finances.

The demand for English teachers in China is one of the highest in the world, driven by the country's global economic integration and the value placed on English education. This high demand means more job opportunities, better job security, and often, competitive salary packages that may include housing, bonuses, and other benefits.

The Chinese community is known for its warm hospitality towards foreigners. Teachers often find themselves welcomed into local homes and communities, providing a deeper understanding of Chinese life and traditions not typically accessible to tourists.

Chinese cuisine is renowned globally for its diversity and richness, characterized by flavorful dishes and unique regional variations. As a teacher, you'll have the opportunity to explore this culinary heritage—from sizzling street food to exquisite banquets.

Living in China also places you at a strategic point in Asia, making it convenient to travel to other Asian destinations. Proximity to countries like Japan, South Korea, and Southeast Asia enables easy and affordable regional travel, enriching your experience even further.

Teaching English in China not only advances your career but also offers an immersive cultural and professional experience, making it a top choice for those looking to teach abroad.

Requirements to teach English in China

Now maybe you would like to teach in China, but don’t know what is required to be an English teacher. Some teachers worry that they are not experienced enough or come from an industry completely different so wouldn’t be able to get a job teaching in China. This is completely wrong as teachers come from many backgrounds. Some might include, doctors, lawyers, baby sitters, writers, models, and others have never had a job in their life. There is no requirement to have any experience as long as you are a team player and eager to learn. Experience is definitely a plus though and will help you stand out. There might be some exceptions to the rule, but here are the general requirements to teach English in China:

  • You will need a Bachelor's Degree (In any subject)
  • You need to be a native English speaker and a passport holder of either The United Kingdom, The United States, Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand or South Africa. This has been a government requirement since 2019, but it's still possible to teach a different subject other than English or work as a "teaching assistant" or "manager" at the school if you are not a native English speaker.
  • In order to receive a work permit you will need a TEFL certificate (You can get this after you have secured your job and your employer might support you)
  • Teaching experience is always preferred, but not required at all
  • You will need to pass a health check-up
  • You will need to get a criminal background check
  • You should be under the Chinese retirement age (55 for woman and 60 for men)
  • You should have an interest in China and Chinese culture
  • You should have a passion for the English language

Read More: What are the requirements to teach English in China?

Salary for teaching English in China

Would you like to know how much you can earn working as an English teacher in China? With the Chinese economy growing and more and more people needing English to improve their chances of succeeding at work, there is a huge demand for English teachers. The salary English teachers earn in China is usually more than enough to have a good quality of life.

The salary you earn will be dependent on a few factors. Firstly, your qualifications and experience. The more qualified and experienced you are, the more you can earn. Secondly, the type of institution. You might teach at a public school, private school, or international school. And thirdly, the location you teach at. If you teach in a first tier city you will earn more than teaching in a second or third tier city. Bear in mind that the cost of living will be much higher in a first tier city than a third tier city. Here are some average salaries English teachers are earning in China:

School Salary
Public Schools 10,000 – 20,000 RMB per month
Private Language Schools 12,000 – 18,000 RMB per month
Kindergartens 12, 000 - 28,000 RMB per month
International Schools 15,000 – 30,000 RMB per month
Universities 7,000 - 30,000 RMB per month
Private English Lessons 80 - 210 RMB per hour

Public school teaching jobs and salaries

Public schools in China often have a lower workload than other options and also offer relatively good salaries and benefits such as housing on or near campus, school cafeteria lunches and paid vacation days. Public schooling is competitive and students are quite smart and diligent but classes are also quite large. Some might have up to 50/60 students per class. Teachers at public schools like to get fully involved by helping out with sports and cultural or talent events. Here teachers need to create their own lesson plans are are given a lot of freedom in how you want to conduct your lessons. Here English teachers typically work weekdays during the daytime and earn 10,000 to 20,000 RMB per month.

Kindergarten teaching jobs and salaries

Kindergarten or preschools are for kids aged 18 months to 6 years. Depending on your personality, this can either be a really fun or have you begging for a vacation. Since you will be working with young kids your classes will focus on fun learning activities. Games, dancing, singing and flashcards. These are all provided by the school and you will have plenty of help from your Chinese teaching assistants. These classes are not too big and have around 4 to 20 students so they are very manageable. So if you love kids, this one is for you. Here English teachers work during the daytime on weekdays and earn a salary of 12,000 to 20,000 RMB per month.

Private language school (training centre) teaching jobs and salaries

This is the school that most English teachers work at in China. Because of the high demand for English language learning in China, there are many centres in every city, making it easy to secure a job. Here students can range from kindergarten, school kids, university students as well as adults and business professionals. The classes are mainly given in the evenings on weekdays and also on the weekends. One great thing about these jobs are that the centres usually have all your lessons prepared for you so you can focus on teaching and they will provide you with anything needed. Since these schools are privately owned they rely on technology like computer programs and whiteboards, which also make teaching a lot easier. Here teachers usually teach 20 to 25 hours a week (plus your office hours) and earn a salary of 12,000 to 18,000 RMB per month depending on hours taught and the location of the school.

International school teaching jobs and salaries

These are the most sought after schools in China. The facilities are world class and the standard of education is second to none. Students at these schools are either from wealthy locals or expats. The fees are high and the entry requirements are much higher than other schooling options. Because of this these jobs usually require well qualified and experienced teachers (usually with a teaching license or Master's degree). The class sizes are also smaller than average and you will work during the daytime on weekdays.

International schools are pretty much like the schools in your home country, except that they are in China. They usually follow a British or American syllabus and give preference to teachers who have experience with these. In most cases English teachers receive free housing on campus, great benefits and a very good salary of around 15,000 to 30,000 RMB per month.

University teaching jobs and salaries

If you work at one of the top Universities in a tier one city you will need to have an advanced degree and experience but you will also get a great salary and benefits. For all other universities, the pay is usually lower than other options, but so are the work hours (never more than 20 hours a week). You will also have a lot of freedom when it comes to planning and teaching your lessons. So if you want a little more creative freedom and older, mature and more focused students, this a job for you. University jobs are also liked by teachers for the long and fully paid summer and winter holidays. Because of the lower salary, these jobs mostly offer on campus accommodation and a salary of 7,000 - 30,000 RMB per month.

Read More: What is the average English teacher salary in China?

Cost of living in China

In China, the cost of living hugely depends on the cities you live in as well as the lifestyle you choose to live. It's possible to live very well for under 6,000 RMB (1,000 USD) per month but then again it's also possible to spend that amount on just rent, if you choose to live in a luxury condominium in the city centres of Shanghai or Shenzhen. China has great public services so things like transport are very convenient and affordable. Food can easily be very cheap if you eat locally, but you can also eat at Michelin star restaurants or buy imported foods and the cost will be much higher. A single persons estimated monthly costs are 3,594.01 ¥ per month without rent. The currency used in China is RMB or ¥ (Yuan or CNY, which is the basic unit of Renminbi or RMB) and according to Numbeo here are some basic costs to consider in China:

Item Cost
Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Centre 3,201.08 RMB
Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Centre 1,916.11 RMB
Monthly basic utilities (Electricity, Heating, Cooling, Water, Garbage) 370.58 RMB
Internet (60 Mbps or More, Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL) 94.29 RMB
Water (1.5 liter bottle) 4.32 RMB
Chicken Fillets (1kg) 27.50 RMB
Potato (1kg) 5.67 RMB
Rice (white), (1kg) 6.77 RMB
Banana (1kg) 8.74 RMB
Local Transport (One-way Ticket) 2.00 RMB
Fitness Club, Monthly Fee for 1 Adult 250.95 RMB

The Best Places to Teach English in China

China is a top destination for teaching English due to its vibrant culture and high demand for language instruction. If you're considering where to start your teaching journey, here’s a guide to some key cities and what they offer:

Beijing

Beijing, the capital city, is a blend of ancient history and modern development. Teaching opportunities here vary widely, catering to everyone from young children to business executives. Living in Beijing allows teachers to immerse themselves in Chinese culture, with easy access to famous historical landmarks like the Temple of Heaven and Summer Palace. The city's large expat community also provides a supportive network for newcomers.

Furthermore, Beijing's educational sector is thriving, offering competitive salaries and benefits to attract international teachers. The city’s emphasis on cultural integration helps teachers gain a deeper understanding of traditional Chinese practices and language, enhancing their teaching experience and personal growth.

Shanghai

Shanghai stands as a symbol of China’s rapid modernization and global integration. This city is not just China’s financial hub but also a cultural amalgam that attracts millions. Teachers in Shanghai find themselves in a cosmopolitan environment where they can advance their careers in various educational institutions including international schools and private language centers.

Shanghai’s international atmosphere is enriched by its historical architecture, like the Bund, juxtaposed with cutting-edge skyscrapers like the Shanghai Tower. Teachers living here enjoy a high standard of living and a vibrant nightlife, making it ideal for those looking to balance work with an active social life.

Guangzhou

Guangzhou is a pivotal city in southern China, known for its economic strength and cultural richness. It's a gateway to Southeast Asia and maintains a mix of traditional Chinese culture and modern influence. Teachers here benefit from the city’s strategic importance in trade and business, which ensures a steady demand for business English and general language courses.

The city also celebrates numerous festivals, including the famous Canton Fair, which provides teachers with unique experiences outside the classroom. Guangzhou’s warm climate and proximity to Hong Kong also make it a favorable location for those looking to explore Southeast Asia during their stay.

Shenzhen

Shenzhen is a testament to China’s rapid progress, evolving from a small fishing village to a global tech hub within a few decades. The city’s schools and language centers often look for English teachers to cater to its burgeoning professional population. Shenzhen is particularly appealing for those interested in technology and innovation, offering a glimpse into the future of urban living.

Living in Shenzhen, teachers enjoy modern amenities, lush parks, and proximity to some of China’s most significant technological companies. This city is ideal for those looking to connect with young professionals and creative minds in one of the world’s fastest-growing economic landscapes.

Chengdu

Chengdu is renowned for its laid-back atmosphere and cultural depth, offering a stark contrast to China's more frenetic cities. Teaching in Chengdu allows educators to engage with a community that values tradition, from the leisurely enjoyment of Sichuan tea to serene visits to local panda sanctuaries. The city's emphasis on work-life balance is apparent in its slow-paced lifestyle and warm, welcoming locals.

Additionally, Chengdu’s educational sector is expanding, with a growing number of language institutes and international schools seeking skilled English teachers. This growth provides ample opportunities for career advancement while enjoying a quality of life that blends relaxation with cultural exploration.

Chongqing

Chongqing serves as a fascinating destination with its mountainous backdrop and significant role in China’s wartime history. The city is rapidly developing, offering numerous opportunities in education and business. Teachers here can explore Chongqing’s famed hotpot cuisine and riverfront scenery while contributing to the educational growth of one of China’s emerging megacities.

The city's diverse educational needs make it a suitable place for teachers interested in a variety of subjects beyond English, such as history and international relations. Chongqing’s vibrant street life and cultural sites provide a dynamic backdrop for educators looking to immerse themselves in a truly Chinese urban experience.

Other Regions

Aside from these major cities, other regions in China also offer unique opportunities for teaching English. Cities like Xi'an, with its ancient historical significance, or coastal Qingdao offer different lifestyles and teaching experiences. These areas provide a more immersive experience into Chinese culture with less expatriate influence, ideal for those looking to deeply integrate into local life.

China offers a diverse range of environments and experiences for English teachers. Whether in bustling mega-cities or quieter regions, teaching English in China can be profoundly rewarding and career-enhancing. For a deeper dive into what each region offers, stay tuned for a detailed article exploring these opportunities further.

Read More: The best cities to teach English in China

Things to know about China and Chinese culture

China, with the largest population in the world, is incredibly diverse. This diversity means that newcomers, especially those from outside Asia, may find many aspects of Chinese culture quite surprising. It’s best to arrive with an open mind because while some customs may shock you, others will undoubtedly be fascinating.

Language

The primary language spoken in China is Mandarin, which is one of the two main Chinese languages, the other being Cantonese. Mandarin is also spoken in Taiwan. The language encompasses various dialects, some of which are significantly different from each other. For anyone moving to China, a useful first phrase to learn is "Ni Hao" (pronounced nee haow), which means "hello"—a friendly start to any interaction.

Direct Communication

Unlike the reserved nature typical in many Asian cultures, Chinese people can be quite straightforward when it comes to personal observations or inquiries. It's not uncommon for someone to comment openly on your appearance or to ask about personal details like your age or salary. These comments are not meant to offend; rather, they reflect a cultural norm of openness and should not be taken as insults.

Tea and Socializing

Tea plays a central role in social interactions in China, much like meeting for coffee in other parts of the world. In urban areas, international coffee chains like Starbucks have also become popular. The Chinese place great importance on food not only as nourishment but as an art and a way to build community. There are diverse regional cuisines to explore, each offering a unique taste of Chinese culture.

Politeness and Indirectness

In China, politeness is paramount, and direct refusals are rare. If someone is unable to fulfill a request, they may agree initially but later provide an excuse or hope the request is forgotten. This can be particularly noticeable in a workplace setting. Watching for non-verbal cues can help you understand their true response and show respect for their feelings.

Eye Contact and Body Language

In Chinese culture, direct eye contact is not always encouraged, especially with elders or superiors. Students, for example, may look downwards when speaking to a teacher or parent as a sign of respect. Body language also plays a crucial role in communication. For instance, a thumbs-up is a positive gesture, signaling approval or congratulations. Conversely, actions like winking or whistling are considered impolite. To call someone over, the polite gesture is to face your palm downwards and curl your fingers toward yourself.

Enthusiasm for Language

Learning English is highly valued in China, where it is taught from a young age both in schools and through additional training centers. Many Chinese are eager to practice English with native speakers. Learning and using basic Chinese phrases can greatly endear you to locals and enhance your experience living and teaching in China.

Embracing these aspects of Chinese culture will not only help you adapt to life in China but also deepen your appreciation for its rich and varied traditions.

Do you need to speak Chinese to teach English in China?

No, you don't need to speak Chinese to teach English in China. Language schools generally prefer that English teachers use only English in the classroom to create a full immersion environment. This practice is believed to be more effective in helping students learn English. However, while you don't need to know Chinese for your teaching role, learning some can greatly improve your experience in China.

Having a basic understanding of Chinese can make everyday life much simpler. You’ll find it easier to handle tasks like ordering food, shopping, asking for directions, and using public transportation, especially in less touristy areas where English isn't widely spoken. It can also help in managing your classroom better, particularly with younger students or when communicating with school staff and students' parents who may not speak English.

Additionally, knowing Chinese helps in building stronger connections with your students and colleagues, showing respect for the local culture and facilitating a more integrated experience. These relationships can enrich both your personal and professional life, providing support and making your time in China more enjoyable.

Moreover, understanding the language offers insights into cultural nuances, enhancing your effectiveness as a teacher by allowing you to adapt your teaching methods to better fit your students' cultural context. Taking on the challenge of learning a new language also contributes to your personal growth and can add a valuable skill to your resume, potentially opening up further international education or business opportunities.

So while speaking Chinese is not a requirement for teaching English in China, knowing the language can simplify daily activities, deepen cultural understanding, and strengthen professional and personal relationships, enriching your overall experience in the country.

Can you teach English in China without a degree?

For those aspiring to teach English in China, navigating the legal requirements is crucial for a fulfilling and risk-free experience. To work legally as an English teacher, obtaining a Z visa is essential, with one of the primary requirements being possession of a bachelor's degree or higher in any field. This stipulation ensures that all English teachers meet China's educational standards and are authorized to work within the country.

Despite these clear regulations, there exists a gray market where some schools and agencies may propose employment under tourist, student, or business visas. Additionally, certain institutions may attempt to recruit foreign teachers without the capability to sponsor the correct visa, engaging in practices that are not only illegal but fraught with risks. Choosing to teach under such conditions exposes individuals to potential fines, deportation, and a loss of worker rights, leaving them vulnerable to exploitation by employers. Changes in contractual terms, reductions in salary, or non-payment are real risks faced by those working without the proper legal documentation, with little to no recourse available.

We strongly advocate for pursuing legal avenues to secure teaching positions in China. Working legally not only protects your rights as a worker but also contributes to a positive and professional teaching environment. For those determined to embark on this rewarding career path, exploring legitimate options and adhering to China's legal requirements is imperative.

Read More: Can you teach English in China without a degree?

Do You Need to Be a Native English Speaker to Teach in China?

In China, the criteria for legally teaching English prominently include being a native English speaker. This designation is typically reserved for individuals holding passports from countries where English is the primary language, including the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa. Obtaining a work permit hinges on this requirement, though exceptions exist for those with a Bachelor's or Master's degree from institutions in these English-speaking nations, especially with majors in English, Linguistics, or Education.

The preference for native speakers in English teaching roles is not solely based on the ability to teach grammar and vocabulary. It also encompasses imparting a certain linguistic authenticity and cultural insights from English-speaking countries to the students. Despite the high qualifications and extensive experience that many non-native English speakers possess, including those who have taught at university levels, the slight accents and differing cultural backgrounds are often cited as reasons for favoring native speakers.

Nevertheless, the landscape is not devoid of opportunities for non-native English speakers. Chinese educational institutions legally employ non-native speakers in roles beyond direct English language instruction. Positions such as managers, teaching assistants, or subject teachers in English are available and come with the issuance of a work permit. These roles require a demonstration of relevant degrees and professional experience, and their availability largely depends on the school's openness to diversify their staff. This approach enables schools to benefit from the wide range of skills and perspectives that non-native speakers bring to the educational environment, enriching the learning experience for students in different facets.

Read More: Can you teach English in China as a non-native English speaker?

Do you need a TEFL certificate to teach English in China?

To teach English in China, obtaining a TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language), TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages), or CELTA (Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults) certificate is essential. These certifications are mandatory for receiving a work permit and are typically required when you process your visa. Although both TEFL and TESOL certifications are accepted, TEFL is more commonly recognized by schools in China, and they usually require the certificate to reflect at least 120 hours of training.

You have several options for where and how you can complete your TEFL certification. You can take a TEFL course in China, which allows you to start adapting to the new environment while you study. Alternatively, you can complete a course in your home country before you depart, or you can opt for the convenience of an online TEFL course. It's important to ensure that the TEFL course you choose is accredited and recognized in China. However, keep in mind that not all schools in China accept online TEFL certificates, so it's crucial to verify that your chosen course meets the criteria expected by your potential employer in China.

Gaining a TEFL certificate not only fulfills legal and job-related requirements but also equips you with essential teaching skills and knowledge that will help you be more effective in the classroom. These courses cover various aspects of language teaching, from creating engaging lesson plans to managing classroom dynamics and understanding the basics of grammar and phonetics. This training will give you a strong foundation for your teaching career in China.

In addition to the practical benefits, having a TEFL certificate may also offer competitive advantages, such as higher salary offers, more job opportunities, and positions in reputable schools. As the demand for English language education in China continues to grow, having a recognized TEFL certification will set you apart in the job market and enhance your career prospects.

So while obtaining a TEFL certificate requires additional time and investment, it is a crucial step for anyone serious about teaching English in China. Not only does it meet the legal requirements, but it also significantly boosts your teaching skills and job prospects in China's vibrant education sector.

Can You Teach English in China Without Experience?

Teaching English in China without prior experience is definitely feasible and can be a great start to an exciting career path. Many schools in China are open to hiring novice teachers and often provide extensive training to help them get started. This training usually covers classroom management, lesson planning, and effective communication strategies, equipping new teachers with the tools they need to succeed.

Schools are typically very supportive, understanding that everyone has to start somewhere. They often pair new teachers with experienced mentors who can offer guidance and practical tips. This support not only helps in professional development but also eases the transition into a new cultural and working environment.

Furthermore, schools in China value enthusiasm and a proactive attitude. They look for candidates who are eager to engage with students and contribute to their learning journey, regardless of previous teaching experience. This openness provides a unique opportunity for new educators to gain valuable teaching experience while immersing themselves in Chinese culture.

While starting a teaching job without experience might be daunting, the structured support systems in place and the welcoming nature of educational institutions in China make it a feasible and often rewarding option for many newcomers.

Read More Can you teach English in China with no experience?

How to Get a Visa to Teach English in China

To legally teach English in China, you'll need a Z visa, which is specifically for foreign workers. The process starts once you secure a teaching position. Your future employer will play a crucial role as they need to send you the necessary documents to apply for a work permit. This is typically handled electronically or through courier mail.

Step-by-Step Guide to Applying for a Z Visa

  1. Secure a Job: Your journey begins when you accept a teaching offer from a school in China.

  2. Gather Your Documents: You will need several documents for the visa application process:

    • Resume/CV.
    • Reference letters from past employers.
    • A copy of your passport.
    • Authenticated copies of your academic degrees and TEFL certificate.
    • Two recent passport-sized photos.
    • A police background check certificate.
    • A recent health check report.
  3. Work Permit Application: Your employer in China will request these documents to apply for your work permit. Once approved, they'll send you the work permit and an official invitation letter.

  4. Visit a Visa Application Center: With your work permit and invitation letter in hand, you can apply for your Z visa at a Chinese Visa Application Service Centre in your country. You’ll need to submit:

    • Your passport.
    • A passport photo.
    • The documents provided by your employer.
    • A completed visa application form.
  5. Receive Your Visa: The visa processing typically takes between 3 to 10 days. Once you receive your Z visa, you're ready to move to China.

After Arriving in China

The Z visa is initially temporary. After you arrive in China, your employer will help you convert this visa into a Residence Permit for the duration of your employment. This permit is necessary to live and work in China legally.

Additional Tips

  • Check for Updates: Visa policies can change, so it's a good idea to check the latest requirements with the Chinese embassy or consulate before starting your application.
  • Prepare for Fees: There are fees associated with the visa application and health checks, so prepare to cover these costs.
  • Plan Ahead: Start the visa application process as soon as you receive your job offer and the necessary documents from your employer to avoid delays.

Understanding and preparing for these steps can help ensure a smooth transition to your new teaching career in China.

Read More: Z visa requirements for English Teachers in China

When to apply for a teaching jobs in China

When applying for a teaching job in China you should know that different types of schools have different hiring periods and school dates might differ. For public or government schools, they are split up into two semesters per year. The first semester runs from September to January and the second semester runs from February to May, so most teachers will start working in September and February. Private schools and centres might have different start dates and often starting the middle of the year.

Schools will usually hire teachers 3 or 4 months before the start date to give teachers enough time to process visas and travel. If you are already in China hiring closer to the start date is also fine. Although the start of semesters are the biggest hiring dates, because of the huge demand for English teachers in China, schools will hire all year round so you will be able to find a job any time of the year.

How to Apply for Teaching Jobs in China

With the rapid growth of China's economy, there is a soaring demand for English teachers. This means there are plenty of opportunities if you meet the minimum qualifications. However, with many aspiring to live and work in China, competition for positions at top schools can be intense. To stand out when applying for teaching jobs, here are some practical tips:

Present Yourself Professionally

Appearance is highly valued in China, where educators are respected figures. To make a good impression:

  • Dress smartly and maintain a neat appearance.
  • Keep your hair tidy and natural.
  • Trim or shave beards.
  • Cover tattoos and piercings where possible.

Communicate Clearly

Clear communication is crucial as you'll be teaching groups of students:

  • Speak distinctly, at a moderate pace, and ensure your voice is audible.
  • This is particularly important because schools often prefer native speakers for their understandable accents.

Tailor Your CV

Create a teaching-focused CV that highlights relevant qualifications and experiences:

  • Update your CV to emphasize your teaching credentials and any related experience.
  • Attach a recent photo to your CV, which is a common practice in China.
  • Include an introductory section or cover letter explaining why you are interested in teaching in China.

Utilize Digital Introductions

Enhance your application with a personal touch:

  • Consider adding a brief video introduction. This doesn't have to be professionally made; a simple, clear video recorded on your phone can work.
  • If you have footage of yourself teaching, include a demo video. This shows potential employers your teaching style and interaction with students.

Where to Look for Jobs

You can find teaching positions through various channels:

  • Check specialized job portals like our China teaching jobs page.
  • Use recruitment agencies that specialize in placing teachers in Chinese schools.

Stand Out

Given the volume of applications top schools receive:

  • Ensure every interaction with potential employers is professional and polished.
  • Follow up on your applications and show genuine interest in the positions you apply for.

By following these steps and preparing thoroughly, you increase your chances of securing a teaching position in China, despite the competitive job market. This approach not only helps you get noticed by recruiters but also prepares you for a successful teaching experience in China.