How much teaching experience do you need to teach English in China? Do you need a degree and a TEFL or CELTA certificate to teach English in China as a second language? Are there any benefits of teaching English in China? Well, you are at the right place at the right time.

China has the highest number of foreigners from Western countries in Asia. Also, the country has a huge population that needs English teachers. This is probably why most westerners prefer teaching English in China. However, the Chinese government has set some minimum requirements that must be met before one can be an English teacher. Before addressing these requirements, let’s take a look at some benefits of teaching English in China.

Benefits of Teaching English in China as a Foreigner

· A juicy monthly salary of 8000-22000 RMB.

· Free flights and airport pickup.

· Health insurance coverage.

· Most schools offer free housing.

· A working visa or Z-VISA

· If you don’t want to live in the house provided, some schools offer a housing allowance.

· A contract completion bonus.

Those are just some of the goodies you will enjoy by being an ESL teacher in China. Keep in mind that these benefits will vary depending on the city and teaching level.

Do I need to have a TEFL/CELTA certificate, a degree, and two years of experience to teach ESL in China?

In China, each teaching job comes with different requirements hence not all foreigners will get the position they want. For example, teaching English in Chinese public schools requires fewer requirements than those of international schools. Here are the minimum requirements.

A 120-hour TEFL/CELTA Certificate

Unlike other countries, China doesn’t have a problem with foreigners who have taken TEFL online classes. TEFL classes will give you the skills required to handle a class for 6-8 hours per day. Taking online classes is cheaper and convenient, but you won’t have the practical experience. Keep in mind that teaching in a foreign classroom is different from teaching in your home country, and this is why you need a 120+ hour TEFL certificate. Teachers who haven’t taken TEFL courses have problems in teaching Chinese students.

Bachelor’s Degree

Foreigners from the UK and Australia should have a 3-year Bachelor’s degree while those from US and Canada should have a 4-year degree. Owning a graduate degree will open more doors for you if it’s an education-related degree. In fact, teachers with a Bachelor’s degree and many years of teaching experience are highly sought for management positions in China.

Teaching Experience

Most schools in China require ESL teachers to have a minimum of 2 years’ experience in teaching. This is why it’s not a good idea to travel across the world to start your career. However, there are some schools that provide excellent training to young foreigners. For example, you might spend about six months as a camp counselor where you will participate in various volunteer work with children. If you offer tutoring services, put it in your teaching experience resume with references.

Other Requirements

Native English Speaker

Most schools in China require native English speaking teachers. Therefore, foreigners from UK, US, Canada, New Zealand, Ireland, Australia and South Africa have better chances of getting hired. However, foreigners from other countries may be accepted if they meet the minimum requirements but will be paid less.

Mature and Professional Personality

You should be friendly and outgoing. Schools need extroverts, not introverts. For instance, if you are going to teach children, be ready to be asked to do silly things. At the same time, you should show some level of maturity and professionalism.

Resume Tips

This section contains the best teaching experience CV examples that will land you a job in China. First, there are some guidelines that should be followed when writing a teaching experience resume.


· A good teaching experience CV should be easy to read and well organized.

· Choose an effective format and stick to it.

· To draw attention, use bold type, underlining, italics, and capitalization.

· All relevant items should be listed in the reverse chronological order in each section.

· The most important information should be placed near the top or the left side of the page.

· Use a footer with page numbers and your last name. This is important in case pages get separated.

Sections of a CV

Heading – This contains your name, email address, mailing address (one is enough) and phone number.

Education – This is where you list your degrees and certifications from the most recently earned. Details such as the institution, state, city, type of degree, major, and month and year the degree was awarded should be provided.

Relevant experience – If you have any teaching experience, skills, and other expertise, list them here. Group experiences into relevant categories to enhance your CV.

Publications – Good Examples of publications include: chapters in books, research reports, pamphlets, and articles. Ensure that you provide bibliographic citations for your publications.

Honors and awards – Teaching or research awards, receipts of competitive scholarships and names of scholastic honors should be listed here.

References – Three to five valid references are enough.

Here’s a good personal summary:

A committed and proactive secondary school teacher with fifteen years of teaching experience.