Teaching English in China

Teaching English in China

Are you an English teacher looking to immerse yourself in a different culture and improve your teaching skills – Perhaps you should consider teaching English in China, because Chinese schools offer incredible opportunities…


At Inta Education, we specialise in connecting talented teachers with international schools across the globe, which in return help those in teaching, amass amazing careers and livelihoods in the process

Having lived and worked in China ourselves, we know first hand of what teaching English in China can offer, and we want to help others with similar desires achieve these dreams. If you are thinking about teaching English in China, then please get in touch today and our experts would be happy to help you out.


Teaching English in China Locations

Currently, openings are focused on east coast hubs, including Beijing and Shanghai, with other jobs arising in central locations such as Xian or Chengdu.

Cities where teaching in China is available include:

There are 564 international schools located across China, the vast majority of availability for teaching English in China is in major Chinese cities and urban areas.

Exploring the rich historical landmarks of the capital city, immersing oneself in the vibrant urban attractions of bustling Shanghai, or embracing the natural wonders (including adorable pandas) of Chengdu—China’s growing demand for international and bilingual education is poised to drive an expansion in the number of schools and their distribution across the country.

What We Do

Here at INTA Education, we work with a number of international schools offering a huge range of full-time teaching roles across the globe.

Our tailored methodology, coupled with our first-hand experiences of teaching English in China, instils the assurance that we can locate the ideal placement to meet your unique requirements. Additionally, our wealth of experience in the Chinese teaching landscape allows us to confidently address any teaching English in China inquiries you may have.

Through our vast network of connections, we ensure that the educators we collaborate with are matched with prestigious international schools that have been meticulously assessed and personally inspected by our team.

Teaching English in China FAQs

Do they Teach English in China?

If you’re wondering, ‘Do they teach English in China?’, the answer is yes. With the Chinese economy now the second-largest in the world, the demand for English speakers in the country is naturally growing.

English is a required subject in China, and most students are taught their first lesson in the third grade, while others even start during kindergarten.

Most reputable jobs ask for proof of English proficiency. A college English test certificate is acceptable.

Why are schools in China an attractive destination for English Teachers?

Perks and pay

Schools in China are great when it comes to perks. They usually pay the cost of your work visa (Z visa), holidays, and accommodation, and many also offer an allowance for your flights to travel home and abroad.

The salaries of English teachers are alluring due to the low cost of living.

Current statistics show that the average salary of an English teacher is 20,000 to 30,000 RMB (£2,378-£3,568) per month.

Not only that, the cost of living is low compared to the UK.

When teaching English in China, you can save significant income and enjoy a comfortable life. If you make 20,000 RMB, you can easily save around 11,000 RMB.

Opportunity to explore China

Exploring China is like exploring another world. If you’re an adventurer, China offers an awe-inspiring experience.

History and modernity are blenders. If you want to see modernity, you can see the skylines in Shanghai.

Yet China doesn’t forget its history. There are temples and ancient streets in every city. Or you can take a high-altitude train to Tibet and tour the Himalayas, the tallest mountains in the world.

What are the qualifications needed to teach in China?

If the thought of teaching English in China intrigues you, you’ll want to learn the requirements.

Bachelor’s degree

You must have a bachelor’s degree to qualify for a Chinese work visa. It’s also useful if you’ve studied for a degree in the subject you’re going to be teaching.

Postgraduate teaching qualification

If you want to work at one of China’s international schools, you must possess a certificate that shows you have a postgraduate teaching qualification, like the Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE).

No criminal record

You must have a clean record if you want to teach English in China, as schools in China do not hire professionals with criminal records.

Types of Teaching Jobs in China

China ranks among the most sought-after destinations for English teachers, attracting both newcomers to the field and seasoned educators due to its abundant job opportunities and associated benefits.

Here, we outline some of the most prevalent types of positions for teaching English in China :

1. Public Schools:
Teaching English in China’s Public schools may offer lower salaries compared to private language academies, but they typically entail lighter workloads. Many teachers reside on campus or in close proximity to the school, often participating in extracurricular activities like talent shows and sports events. Classes at public schools tend to be larger, with around 30 to 50 students per class.

2. Private Language Academies:
Teaching English in China’s Private language academies offer something a little different – they feature smaller class sizes, ranging from about 5 to 20 students, primarily during evenings and weekends. Some academies specialise in teaching adults, while others focus on young children. Teachers at private academies are likely to instruct a diverse range of age groups and English proficiency levels.

3. Universities:
Teaching English in China at universities is highly competitive, typically requiring teaching credentials and prior instructional experience. However, it offers the potential for a substantial salary and outstanding international exposure. University English instructors in China have the opportunity to customise their lessons, fostering discussion within smaller classes and seminars.

What are the salaries and benefits of teaching English in China?

The standard monthly salary for a novice ESL teacher in China is approximately £1,200, typically accompanied by free housing. However, your teaching income in China is contingent upon the type of educational institution and your level of experience. If your initial teaching salary exceeds £1,600, it’s less likely that housing will be provided.

Here’s a breakdown of teaching salaries in different types of schools in China:

1. **Public Schools:** While public schools may offer lower salaries compared to other countries, teaching English in Chinese public schools provides an opportunity to earn a substantial income and save money. On average, English teachers at public schools in China earn around £1,250 to £3,000 per month (8,400 RMB to 20,000 RMB), with varying weekly teaching hours ranging from approximately 20 to 30 hours.

2. **Private Schools:** If you secure a teaching position in a private or international school, your monthly salary can range from £2,800 to £4,300 USD. However, you might be expected to handle more administrative duties compared to teachers in public schools.

3. **International Schools:** English teachers at international schools in China can earn anywhere from approximately £3,000 to £5,000 USD per month, along with additional perks like airfare reimbursement and housing. Competition for these positions is stiff, and the workload may be more demanding than that of public or private schools.

4. **Universities:** Salaries for teaching English at Chinese universities typically range from £1,500 to £2,500 USD per month. While university professors in China need to thoroughly plan their lectures and seminars, they typically have fewer contact hours with students compared to international schools.

In addition to your monthly salary, as an English teacher in China, you can expect to receive the following benefits:

– Housing
– Reimbursement for flights
– Chinese language lessons
– TEFL certification training
– Completion bonus or a one-time payment upon successfully renewing your contract

These benefits are typically included in your compensation package, which means your primary expenses will generally cover food, entertainment, clothing, and personal items.

Where’s the Best Place for Me to Teach English in China?

With so many schools offering postings for teaching English in China, it’s likely that you’re going to have lots of say in where you end up. With that in mind, you might well be wondering how to decide where you’d be best suited to teach English in China.

There are a number of factors that prospective teachers look at before deciding where to accept a placement, and the experienced team at INTA Education is happy to help answer questions you have during the application process.

For example, you might be interested in teaching English in a large Chinese city, close to western amenities and with easy access to international airports. In this case, we’d recommend looking at schools in major hubs like Shanghai, Shenzhen or Beijing.

If you’re more interested in an authentic cultural experience during your time teaching English in China, then we’d recommend considering lesser-known Chinese cities. This might include places like Hangzhou or Tianjin. Remember, just because a Chinese city is ‘lesser known’ doesn’t mean it’s small. The population of Hangzhou, for instance, is over 10 million.

What are the costs of living in China?

In comparison to Western standards, China is known for its affordability. While larger cities such as Beijing and Shanghai can be more expensive, English teachers can enjoy a comfortable lifestyle and even save money, thanks to the perks available.

The following are estimated costs, and the actual figures may vary based on your teaching location and personal lifestyle preferences:

– Housing: Typically ranges from £200 to £650 per month for a room in shared accommodation, depending on the city.
– Food: Generally averages between £150 to £250 USD per month.
– Transportation: Typically falls within the range of £10 to £50 USD per month.
– Entertainment: Usually amounts to around £50 to £100 USD per month.

Why Teach English in China?

Teaching in China is different from the western world. Whether you’re in search of a fresh adventure, harbour a lifelong desire to master Mandarin, or simply revel in immersing yourself in diverse cultures, it’s undeniable that China stands as an irresistible destination, captivating even the most seasoned of educators.

Yet, beyond its allure as the world’s second-largest economy and most populous nation, China offers an abundance of professional opportunities for fully qualified English teachers.

Distinguished international and bilingual schools throughout the country actively seek seasoned and passionate educators to fill positions across various academic departments.

Teaching English in China not only promises substantial financial rewards and enticing travel benefits but also provides unique avenues for honing your skills and enriching your experience as an educator.

What is classroom culture like in China?

China’s etiquette and classroom culture may differ significantly from what you’re accustomed to in your home country. English teachers in China should approach this new environment with respect and adaptability, both within and outside the classroom.

In general, Chinese students often view foreign English teachers as a refreshing change from their regular instructors. They may anticipate a more relaxed and amicable atmosphere, so it’s advisable not to impose excessive pressure on them.

There’s an anticipation that foreign teachers will introduce “innovative and creative Western teaching methods” to the classroom. This means you’ll be tasked with inventing new games, exploring varied teaching styles, and injecting diversity into an environment often focused on standardised testing.

In China, there’s a tendency for things to be organized on short notice, which can sometimes lead to communication challenges when it comes to scheduling. However, it’s important to recognize that each school operates differently, and adaptability is crucial for a smooth transition into your new role.

One crucial cultural note: Avoid using the color red when writing a student’s name (or anyone’s name), as it is associated with blood and is considered an ill omen. Many new teachers inadvertently make this error while grading students’ assignments.

Finally, be prepared for vibrant conversations in China, even to the point of people raising their voices or seemingly yelling at each other. It’s essential not to misinterpret this as anger or distress; it’s simply a culturally ingrained style of communication in China.

Why use INTA Education to help you find Teaching Jobs in China

UK-based team with 10+ years’ direct experience living and teaching in China

An easy-to-navigate jobs board listing the latest openings for teachers

A simple job application process that starts online or over the phone

The ability to provide a tailor-made, one-on-one service for our clients

Helpful support at every stage of the application and visa process

Expert knowledge of the international and bilingual education systems in China

Are you ready for a new teaching career in China? Then contact INTA Education to find out more.

Founded by passionate teachers Lydia and Will, INTA Education is ready to help you start a new teaching career in China. With ten years of first-hand teaching experience in Asia, we have the know-how needed to find your perfect placement position.

Get in touch today for more information on teaching in China.

Are you ready to teach English in China?

Then contact INTA Education to start your journey.

INTA Education was founded by Lydia and Will, teachers with a passion for language and education. With ten years’ experience teaching in Asia, we’re ready to help you find the best school in China to teach English.

Get in touch today for more information on teaching English in China.


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