Teaching English in China won’t get you rich, but it’s guaranteed to provide you with an exceptional opportunity to experience the Chinese culture, to travel, make friends, learn some Mandarin, and also provide you with a means to live abroad for an extended length of time. Interested? If you’re between the ages of 18 and 60, in relatively good health, flexible and adventurous, the prospects of landing a teaching job will be, in most cases, easier than you would think.
Presently, there are over 400 million Chinese learning English due to the government’s push to make English its second language. Universities, colleges, grade schools through high schools all have their English departments, and they are always in search of native English speakers to add to their faculty. Also, there are legions of privately owned English language institutions continuously on the lookout for hiring English teachers for either daytime or evening courses. And finally, China hosts nearly a hundred international schools that serve the expatriate communities, and English is the language of choice at most of these schools.
Before you pack your bags and catch the next freighter to Shanghai, it would be prudent to investigate your full options online. Pay and benefits widely differ, depending upon as many factors as toiletries you’ll be tucking into your duffel bag. Salaries range from the US $300. Per month at small colleges and peak at $30,000-40,000 per year at international schools, depending upon your experience and teaching certifications. Almost all of the schools provide their foreign English teachers with tax-free salaries, free accommodations, airfares, and basic health insurance. Teaching contracts range from 3 months to 2 years.
Why the huge range in salaries and benefits?
It largely depends on the type of school in which you are seeking employment. It also depends on your qualifications and skills.
The cream of the crop teaching opportunities in China would be the international schools. Most of them were established during the past ten years and were founded by Western corporations desiring to offer their expatriate employees a school for their children to attend as they are living abroad. International schools allow families to continue living together when one or both parents are asked to come to China to further their employer’s business interests. Conversely, the presence of international schools makes that city an attractive prospect for investment by foreign companies seeking to locate and invest in China.
Typically, parents of children in international schools are technical, general or financial managers who remain overseas for 2-5 years. The international schools allow the children of these families to reintegrate without difficulty into their home country education system. Many of the schools offer an American, Australian or British education.
Most of these schools offer an excellent salary and benefits package, a comfortable apartment that is rent-free, and flight and shipping reimbursements. For the most part, salaries are competitive with what teachers would earn at home, yet due to the low cost of living in China and the exclusion of tax deductions, teachers can live very well! International schools seek professional educators with teaching certificates and experience; some prefer teaching couples, but that varies. Husband and wife teams can easily sock away one of the spouse’s full earnings and even more, all the while experiencing travel and adventure.
If you’re a licensed teacher looking for good pay and professional growth, I encourage you to investigate online the numerous international schools in China and query their headmasters as to what teaching positions will be open in the near future. But don’t wait until spring to begin searching. Most international schools expect their teachers to notify them in January regarding contract signing for the following year. A director of an international school will most likely know what positions need to be filled for the next school year already in January of the current year.
If you’re interested in teaching at an international school in China, there are a few associations that screen and prescribe candidates to educate abroad. You ought to enlist with one or a greater amount of these associations. They will prepare your application materials and present your certifications to schools with chances to instruct in China. By and large a competitor wishing to educate abroad registers with the office and finishes a progression of structures, which, together with classified suggestions from previous directors, make up the hopeful’s document. These records might be sent to schools that require candidates for particular positions teaching abroad.
Consistently, these associations host enlistment fairs for teaching abroad in different parts of the world, which unite the schools and the candidates for a few days of interviewing. Once enlisted, the applicant who needs to educate abroad has the alternative to attending one or a greater amount of the enrollment fairs being held by the organization. These might be attended by as few as 20 worldwide schools or upwards of 120. The proportion of candidates to schools can be anywhere in the range of 1:3 to 1:6, in spite of the fact that lately the quantity of candidates has dwindled while the quantity of schools in attendance has expanded – all uplifting news for the universal applicant intrigued by teaching in China or somewhere else.
These job fairs are serious, three-day occasions where the organization will coordinate the necessities of the schools to candidates’ qualifications for teaching abroad. On the off chance that a particular school is keen on your bid, you will be required an interview. One bright favorable position in attending an enlistment reasonable is that most candidates figure out how to be interviewed by agents of no less than three or four abroad schools. Additionally, numerous schools fill a noteworthy bit of their universal teaching jobs with candidates they have interviewed at an enrollment reasonable.
If you’re not a licensed teacher, there are still many opportunities for landing a teaching job in China. As mentioned before, Chinese schools are always seeking native English speakers and having few or no credentials usually isn’t a set-back. Again, many schools will provide you with a comfortable apartment, health insurance, a tax-free salary, and a reimbursed plane ticket.
You may choose to make arrangements through a language and culture exchange program that acts as a recruiting agency and offers training, travel assistance, and networking opportunities. Your teaching salary would fall between 3,000 to 6,000. RMB ($350.-$700. USD) per month, depending upon your education and experience, which would put your earnings far above the average Chinese teacher’s salary of 1,000. RMB ($120. USD) per month. With your basics covered, such as accommodations and medical insurance, you can live fairly comfortably if you shy away from western restaurants and shopping at pricey department stores.
For the do-it-yourselfers out there, you may wish to be already in China while you’re looking for a teaching position. Bring application materials with you. You can enter China with an “L” Tourist Visa. These 3-month visas can often be obtained via a travel agency or through a Chinese Embassy or Consulate and usually cost between $30. To $50. USD. Since you’re buying a tourist visa, it is advised that you don’t mention that you will be working in China. Once you have secured a teaching position, the school or university will exchange your tourist visa for a “Z” one-year working visa and a Residence Permit and take care of the necessary paperwork.
Before you hit the pavement in search of a teaching gig in China, it’s best you understand the fundamentals of the Chinese education system. There are major differences in the teaching between government and private schools and they may or may not affect your decision as to where you wish to seek employment.
The first and most important distinction between government and private schools and education institutions are that the best institutions that attract the brightest Chinese students are nearly always government owned and operated. In China, there is often lots of prestige attached to attending the best government schools, colleges, and universities. Private schools and institutions, on the other hand, cater to China’s new rich. They are generally perceived in China as being for students who have the money but not necessarily the brains.
Government teaching jobs give you quite a lot of flexibility, and usually only require you to teach fifteen to twenty hours per week; private schools have less bureaucracy and may offer better benefits and performance incentives. The next most important distinction between government and private schools is that teaching contracts usually stipulate in one form or another that extra private teaching and tutoring is not allowed, but the fact remains that there is a chronic shortage of quality English teachers in China, and if a foreign teacher wants to engage in private teaching outside of his or her existing duties, there is not much a school can and will do about it.
I believe I’ve covered the basics; the bottom line is this: If you are a foreign teacher in China, even if your wage is only 3000 RMB per month, you are still making almost triple the monthly wage of the average Chinese teacher. Plus you have your accommodations, health coverage and flights paid for. Combined with the low cost of living, it is easy to make and save money and have a great experience teaching in China.
Some say that the teachers are the ones who make less money or are underpaid when one looks at their credentials or certificates. There are very few teachers who make more money than an IT professional or a corporate person. Such teachers are in abundance in China. But there is no real concern or need to worry as there are lots of other ways of making money for these certified teachers and one among the options is online teaching. The following are some of the key facts relating to certified online teaching:
1. Online teaching is probably the most convenient way of making money for teachers. They can do their teaching from the comfort of their house or any place provided they have the software and hardware required for the job.
2. Most of these online teaching videos are pre-recorded which means they are not live. So this means that the teacher does not have to give teaching sessions in a live environment and do not have to stick to the timings of the schools around the world.
3. Online teaching helps the teachers make money not only from schools in their locality but also from the schools in the other parts of the country and the entire world.
4. Online teaching does not need you to quit your current job and relocate your base. You can very well continue with your present job and still do online teaching. This ensures two jobs for the teacher and a way to make some additional money.
5. There are lots of schools or colleges where one would have liked to be a part of the teaching faculty, but the relocation factor would have stopped them from doing it. Now it would not be a problem as they can be a part of their faculty list by not even stepping on the campus of the Institute.
6. Online teaching does not only help you make money but also gives you an opportunity to get exposed to different students, their cultures, and values.
7. There are lots of teachers who in the current scenario make money through online teaching. This proves the fact that online teaching is for real, and it is no fraud or some Internet scam.
8. Some teachers make so much money through online teaching and are so satisfied with the job that they no longer feel the need to work on their regular jobs. This is very helpful for female teachers as they get to spend more time with their family and at the same time not lose out on their income part.
9. The qualifications required for an online teacher is pretty much similar to a regular teacher. So there is no chance of anyone faking himself to be a teacher and making money through online teaching. The schools and colleges would ask for the copies of your certificates and would do the thorough cross-checking for its authenticity. If anyone is found guilty of faking, then they might be punished too