A Detailed Guide To Esl Teaching In China: Everything You Must Know

A Detailed Guide To Esl Teaching In China: Everything You Must Know

Thanks to competitive salaries, excellent incentives, and awesome tourist spots, a large number of teachers from all across the globe relocate to China each year.

With approximately 250 million English learners, it must not come as a surprise that China has the biggest ESL market whose demand for qualified teachers does seem to cease.

Studies have shown that the country is at present experiencing a dearth of teachers, which may, unfortunately, increase over time. So, in case you are planning on pursuing a career as an ESL teacher, there is a high chance China will need you.

Before you visit a recruiting agency or go for a job hunt on your own, please check out the rest of the write-up. It is basically a guide specifying beneficial information regarding the English teaching opportunities in China. You will come to know what requirements you must fulfill, the pay scale, types of schools and their schedule, etc.


  • To work in China, you must have a passport issued by any of the seven recognized English-speaking nations  – the UK, the USA, Canada, Ireland, Australia, South Africa, and New Zealand. In other words, you must be a native English speaker.
  • A bachelor’s degree is considered the minimum requirement. You cannot apply for a Z visa or work legally in China unless you are a graduate.
  • Almost all schools prefer candidates with a teaching certification. So, make sure you have undertaken and completed the TEFL training.
  • You must pass a background check in the country you reside in. The Chinese government will not want anyone with a criminal background.

Pay Scale

The monthly stipend you will receive for teaching English in China depends on the below-mentioned factors:

  • Your qualification and experience. The more experience you accumulate and the more qualified you are, the higher your salary will be. You can also negotiate the amount.
  • The province or city you will work in. China divides the cities into tiers. The tier-one cities such as Shanghai and Beijing pay the most. Tier Four and Five offer a low salary and few privileges.
  • The type of school you will work in. International schools are the highest paying. The universities, on the other hand, offer the lowest salaries.

Types of Schools and Their Schedule

  • In the kindergartens, you must work Monday to Friday, and also in the afternoon. The kindergartens may pay well, but it can be tiring to work here. Also, only people who are good with kids must apply.
  • Training centers are perhaps the most well-known ESL institutions. You must expect night and late afternoon shifts. If the work pressure is excess, you may have to work on weekends.
  • The schedule in public schools is much less taxing. You have to teach 10 to 15 hours every week.  You will get frequent and long holidays. The class size is intimidating, though. You must handle at least 40 students simultaneously.
  • International schools are preferred by the ESL teachers since their schedule and curriculum is similar to what they had in their homeland. The class size is small, the salary is high, and the perks are out of the world. You have to be immensely efficient to get a job here.

Most of the individuals feel lucky that they have bagged the teaching opportunities in China. After all, the benefits offered are incomparable. Regardless of where you are working, you get proper accommodation or a housing allowance every month with which you can rent a decent apartment. Bonuses, in addition to the usual end-of-year ones, positively impact your earnings. You also get to savour a completely different culture.