Teaching English in China

China Overview

There is huge demand for English tuition 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.

Type of Institution Typical salary (USD/month) Typical hours Typical annual leave
Various 1,000 (no experience) – 2,500 (DOS positions, experience & relevant MA) Various but often including weekend work 2 weeks plus national holidays
International schools 2,500 upwards 8am – 4pm Monday to Friday plus some weekend work 10 weeks plus national holidays

Main places for jobs

All major cities.

Typical requirements

Degree, TEFL certificate.

The University of Toronto TEFL Online - Internationally Recognized


1. 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.

2. 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.

3. 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.

Red tape

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.

Cost of living

The cost of accommodation in China is relatively low.

Tax and salary information

Income tax is generally paid by employers.


Low living costs and a large number of jobs makes China a good place for a newly-graduated teachers Government restrictions on internet access are illustrative of wider human rights issues
Apparently, there are over 300 million English learners in China. This means you will never be short of students Some schools are run by people who actually have little interest in education so great care should be taken when reading contracts
Unsurprisingly for a country of its size, China has a good network of expat teachers to befriend You may encounter racism in China. Non-white native speakers may have difficulty here

Directory of Recommended Schools, Language Centres and Recruitment Agencies

On the Mark Recruitment Co. with positions all over China. On the Mark Recruitment provides a FREE placement service to all who would like to teach English in China. Email: Apply@OntheMarkTEFL.com Application page:

Reach To Teach Recruiting with positions all over China. Reach To Teach Recruiting – Teaching Adventures Abroad – Connecting Great Teachers with Great Schools. Contact: Carrie Kellenberger Email: carrie@reachtoteachrecruiting.com Application page:

Teaching Int Limited with positions throughout China. Teaching Int Limited source and provide quality English and other teachers to China, from kindergarten level to university lecturers. Carter Langley and Caryn-Ann Langley, Greigsford, Ellon, Aberdeenshire, AB41 8QT, United Kingdom. Email: info@teaching-int.com Telephone: +44(0)7824 394511.

Would you like your school, language centre or recruitment agency to be listed above? Please contact us.

Qualified English teachers please register with World of TEFL and we will contact you with relevant vacancies as they come in. This is a free service for teachers.


  1. Jeremy says:

    There are currently several well-paid, low-hours openings on http://www.chinajoblist.com. New openings are being posted daily.

  2. Ginger says:

    I hear the guys at Teaching Nomad are a great tool for anyone looking for teaching jobs in China. Really nice recruiters, and they helped my buddy found the perfect job for him and his wife.

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