Teach English in China: A How-To Guide 2023

China is an appealing destination for those seeking to teach English, offering the possibility of high salaries, a vibrant urban lifestyle, and potential to practice Mandarin. Thus, it is essential to explore details regarding what is necessary to teach in China and the types of teaching roles on offer.

About Teaching English in China

The wide array of teaching opportunities in China, from public schools and bi-lingual and international schools, to kindergartens, training centers, and tutoring jobs, attest to the consistently high demand for English teachers throughout the country. This heightened demand, coupled with China's generous salary offerings, which can garner additional income ranging from 2000RMB -10,000 RMB (around $280 – $1,400 USD) through side hustles, provides ample monetary recompense for those seeking a lucrative career in English teaching.

What are the Requirements to Teach English in China

Much to the chagrin of those enticed by the prospect of earning a living teaching English in China, numerous requirements and changing regulations may erect a barrier to entry that is nothing short of a complex and costly headache. The implications of this reality are compounded by the continued prevalence of COVID-19 regulations that have, in many ways, outlived those of the Western world.

To keep this simple, let’s first start with the basic requirements to teach English in China:

Passport from a native English speaking country

Between the ages of 18-60 (men) 18-55 (women)

A Bachelor’s degree

A 120 hour TEFL (or 2-years experience)

Criminal background check

Good health

Passport from a native English speaking country:

The Chinese government's delineation of nations whose native language is English for teaching purposes is comprised of the United Kingdom, Ireland, the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.

Companies offering employment to non-native English speakers, often in training centers and other leniently regulated organizations, can be highly precarious; for the workforce, should police raid the business, the consequence of being caught in an illegal ESL job may be exhorbitant fines and eventual deportation.

Between the ages of 18-60 (men) and 18-55 (women)

The retirement age for men in China is 60 years and for women it’s 55 years. China sticks to those ages as the cutoff for teachers who are coming to teach in China.

A Bachelor’s Degree

You must have a bachelor’s degree from you home country. The type of degree is not significant, but having one is imperative.

The bachelor’s degree must be notarized and authenticated according to your home country’s standards and also legalized by your local Chinese Embassy/Consulate.

120 Hour TEFL Certificate

Obtaining a TEFL qualification of at least 120 hours is an essential prerequisite to begin teaching English as a foreign language; however, any additional hours beyond the minimum of 120 may further maximize the efficacy of the individual's pedagogical methodology. Therefore, while a 40- or 60-hour TEFL may provide a surfeit of foundations vital to establishing a successful career in ESL, such instructional accreditation is incapable of fulfilling the necessary demands of instructing.

The TEFL certificate must be accredited, meaning that it has been reviewed and approved by a recognized, independent organization.

Rather than relying on a TEFL, it may be necessary to furnish evidence of a minimum of two years' worth of teaching experience. To do so, proof can usually be provided in the form of a signed, official letter from the relevant educational institution, recording your tenure and occupation as a teacher across the specified period.

Like your bachelor’s degree, your 120 hour TEFL certificate will need to be authenticated and legalized in the country of origin.

Criminal Background Check

Depending on your country of origin, you will need to either get an FBI background check or a criminal background check from your home country. It should be less than 6 months old from the date of applying for your visa and also be notarized, authenticated, and legalized.

Good Health

Gaining your permit that permits teaching English in China necessitates you to undergo a medical examination in China and maybe even in your native nation. Most likely, a chest X-ray, ECG, blood test, and urinary sample procedure, would be a portion of said exam. Any positive result to viruses like HIV, hepatitis, and tuberculosis, shall likely bring about the negation of the work visa. Despite that illicit drugs aren't tested for,, the police in China may occasionally run drug tests on those in foreign establishments such as bars or restaurants.

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