The Ultimate Guide to Teaching English in China

Teaching English in China has been a popular expat activity for decades. Due to its large population and dedication to education, China has the potential to become the nation with the highest demand for English speakers.

Therefore, English language instructors in China may choose from a plethora of work openings, face less competition for those positions, and reap the rewards of extraordinary monthly salary and perks. That, plus the inexpensive cost of living and amazing travel options, make China an ideal place for teachers to establish themselves professionally and personally.


Avg. Pay range: $1,300 - $2,900 a month

The Average Weekly Effort Dedicated to Instruction: 18-30 Hours

There are two options for the length of the contract: 6 or 12 months.

Peak months for recruiting are February and July.

September - July is the academic year.

Z Visa is required for entry.


Overall, the pay for English language teachers in China is quite good, and there is a great chance to build a nest egg there. There is a wide variety of options for ESL instructors in China, both in terms of location and of the work itself.

Aside from that, the chance to live in China and learn about one of the world's oldest cultures is once in a lifetime. China offers a wide variety of experiences, from its delectable cuisine and rich culture to its varied topography. Even if you don't know the language, you can still teach there!


If you want to teach English in China, you'll need to make sure you're qualified to do so. Here are the most important ones:

Speaker of American, Canadian, Australian, Irish, New Zealand, South African, or British English by birth.

Undergraduate study in any discipline

Professional teaching experience of at least two years or a reputable TEFL certification are required.

Those younger than 55

Applying for a Z Visa, China's work permit for teachers, can take seven to eight months due to the rigorous requirements and screening processes involved. Therefore, if you want to teach in China, you need start preparing well in advance.

A valid TEFL certificate from an accredited institution and two letters of recommendation are among the many requirements for China's Z Visa.


On average, a native English speaker in China may expect to earn anything from RMB 8,500 to RMB 18,000 ($1,300 to $2,900) each month. On top of the great monthly pay, many instructors get extraordinary advantages such as rent-free accommodation, airline reimbursement, and contract incentives.

These tremendous perks make China one of the finest nations to teach English and save money. It’s not unusual for English instructors to save as much as $600-$1,500 each month.


Compared to many Western countries, the cost of living in China is quite low. Also, many schools provide free or reduced rent to English instructors, allowing them to save hundreds of dollars monthly.

Cost of living varies widely throughout China due to the country's size and diversity. The typical monthly cost of living for an expat might range from $450 to $800 or more, not including rent. You should anticipate to spend an extra 2,000-4,000 RMB ($290-$580) in rent each month if housing is not provided by your employer as part of your salary as a teacher. Location inside and proximity to the city, as well as the city's tier, may have a significant impact on this number.

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