So you want to move to China and work as an English teacher? Moving to China and working as an English teacher is simply the best choice for any westerner. English isn’t that popular in China, but most international companies require English-speaking Chinese employees. Due to this fact, most Chinese private and public learning institutes are looking for westerners (especially native Americans) who can teach English.

Laowai Career’s social media pages contain teaching English in China blog that addresses questions such as how much do English teachers make in China, teaching English in China requirements and teaching English in China without a degree. Also, you’ll come across honest teaching in China reviews and advice oh how to look for a teaching job in China.

How Much Do English Teachers Make in China?

It’s time to address the big question – Can you really make money teaching English in China? Of course, you can. However, the amount of money earned by English teachers in China will depend on the tier and city. China has a very large population that needs to learn English.

Even if all qualified ESL teachers in the world moved to China, more English teachers would still be needed. This is very good news. Do you know why? Western English teachers are treated like a gold-mine in China. They are showered with goodies such as health insurance, paid holidays, free airfare and more. Here’s a breakdown of what to expect.

Public School English Teachers in China

According to honest teaching in China reviews from foreigners, public school employees are expected to work for 16-25 hours per week. Here, you’ll be working for the Chinese government, and you might teach at multiple skill levels and bounce between schools. The main advantage of teaching in public schools is that you’ll get a guaranteed time-off during national holidays. The salary ranges from 6000 RMB to 10000 RMB ($942-$1500 USD). It might cover a modest apartment and paid vacations.

Private Language Institutes

Foreigners teaching English at private language institutes in China should expect to earn 6000-16000RMB per month ($942-$2500 USD pm). This salary is a bit higher than that of public school teachers due to the difference in job requirements. For instance, native English teachers have a salary of 12500-15400RMb while Disney English teachers earn 10000-15000RMB.

Anyone can attend language schools in China hence you might interact with business professionals, adults and preschoolers in one day. Working hours are more than those of a public school and weekends should be dedicated to teaching.


Both public and private universities in China offer English teachers a decent salary of 7500-10000 RMB ($1200-$1600 USD). Expect lots of free time, a light workload and benefits such as housing, time-off and airfare. The maximum number of working hours is 20 hours plus 3-5 hours of preparation time. During off hours, you shouldn’t be within the campus premises. Public universities come with better salaries and benefits than private universities.

International Schools

This is where children of expats living in China go to learn English. Chinese parents who want their children to travel or work abroad also take their children to international schools. Here, the salaries are quite high – 12000-30000 RMB ($1900-$4700 USD). In most cases, classes are taught in English, and your roles might not revolve around the English subject. Foreign teachers are hired to teach entire grade levels (all subjects at 40 hours per week).

Teaching English in China Requirements

China is known to have lower minimum requirements for teachers than most countries. For instance, if you are a citizen of a native English speaking country and have a BA degree, you can find a good job. Teach English in China job positions require you to have at least:

· Two-year teaching experience in English.

· A Bachelor’s degree or any other higher education diploma.

· English as a first language (not mandatory)

· An age of 24-60 years.

· TESOL or TEFL certificate. You just apply for a Z VISA (work VISA). As soon as you get the job, start applying for it online. Some schools are also willing to pay for it.

It’s important to note that female teachers are more likely to get the job first as they are more friendly, reliable and patient. Also, the two-year experience requirement might not be applicable if you’re Caucasian and have a diploma.

Teaching English in China Without a Degree

China is among the few countries in the world that will allow you teach English without a degree. However, some schools will not accept your CV without a degree certificate. The best way to get a job as a foreign English teacher is by contacting the school directly and here’s why:

· Recruiters, agencies or any other third parties will charge you a fee for finding a school and organising your documents. This is just giving them money for something you could do.

· The school might be more lenient when you express yourself even if you don’t have a TEFL certificate.

· You will be able to teach English in primary schools, night classes and colleges. Clearly, you have more options to choose from even if you don’t own a degree. Universities will not hire you without a degree.

Teaching English in China Advice

Obtain Your TEFL Certification

To increase your chances of getting a better teaching job in China, you should take an accredited TEFL certification course. This course will provide you with the skills needed to run 4-6 classes per day efficiently.

Research Well

Moving from your home country to China to teach English is a huge step. Therefore, you should research all the aspects of international relocation to ensure that you’ll be successful. Go through teaching English in China experiences to know what to expect.

You Don’t Have to be a Native English Speaker to be Hired

About 1 billion people in the world are learning English. Therefore, if you are a fluent English speaker, you have better chances of getting hired in China. However, native English-speaking teachers are paid better.

Know Which Schools to Avoid

Not all learning institutes will treat you well. This is why you need to go through teaching in China reviews to know the good, the bad and the ugly ones to avoid.


If you’re a westerner, you can make good money from teaching English in China. Whether you own a degree or not, China will offer you many options to choose from. All the best.


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