Teaching English in China Salary

China has a history of 5,000 years and is also the world’s most populous country. As the economy further develops, people pay an increasingly higher amount of attention on education. There are many schools that need native English speaking teachers. For new grads who want to experience a new culture and explore Asia while enjoying a higher quality of life with the same (or higher) salary, China is definitely the best choice! With a low cost of living, you’ll be able to easily save money to go traveling while paying off student debt. How could you become a teacher in China? It’s easy! You just need a bachelor’s degree, native level English skills and a TEFL certificate. From there, you can start at any time!

Before you begin your adventure, you may find the following information useful. You’ll have a better idea of the salary range of each position.


Location : 

Your salary will vary depending on where the job is located at within China. Fortunately, however, a low salary does not mean a lower quality of life. For example, even though your salary in Shanghai will most likely be higher than in Guilin, the cost of living in Shanghai will also relatively be higher than in Guilin. For example: you’d only need around 2,000 RMB to rent a decent one bed apartment in Guilin. So no matter where you live, your cost of living will go with the salary as well.

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Average Monthly Salary for Teachers in Tier 1 Cities (Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen and Guangzhou)

Average Monthly Salary for Teachers in Tier 2 Cities(Nanjing, Chengdu, Hangzhou, Ningbo, Xiamen and Chongqing )

Your Degree: 

The basic requirement of coming to China to be a teacher is a BA degree. Generally speaking, a fresh graduate can earn a minimum basic salary of 10k plus an additional 2-3k housing allowance. If you have a master's degree or higher, however, you can command a relatively higher salary. Although a bachelor's degree is sufficient to teach in China, the school will favor teachers with a higher degree.


Your Certificate:

A teaching license and/or degree in education: If you have a teacher qualification certificate in your country, this will definitely help you earn a higher salary. At present, international schools would prefer recruiting teachers with teaching qualifications, especially teachers specialized in specific subjects. Their salary range is around 30,000 RMB-40,000RMB. As long as you can meet their requirements and have relevant experience and certificates, they are willing to offer a high salary to attract qualified teachers. In addition, if your undergraduate degree was in education, no matter what type of school you are in, your salary can be higher than other new teachers.


Work Hours: 

1) Your teaching time in training institutions and kindergartens is generally 20-25 hours, and the rest of the time you will need to do some additional training and stay at the office. The salary is generally around 1,600 USD-3,100USD. 

2) The teaching time in public schools is relatively short, and the teaching time varies according to the regulations of each city and school. Since it's easier to work in public schools, the salary is relatively lower than other options. 

3) The teaching time in international schools isn’t much. However, you still need to stay at the office for the rest of the day, and they have higher requirements for teachers. Therefore, you need to prepare more during office hours for your classes, and you even need to participate in some teaching and research meetings.



Depending on the salary of each school, you will receive different benefits. In some schools, they only provide high salaries but do not provide any other benefits such as air ticket subsidies, renewal contract bonuses, etc. However, the salary structure of most schools is a basic salary plus housing allowances or accommodation. There are also insurance and renewal bonuses. Generally, the housing allowance will be around 2,000 RMB-3,000RMB. You will get to save additional money from what you might have spent on rent if the school provides housing. Everyone has different requirements. Some teachers hope to be able to solve the accommodation issue before arrival, while others may want to find an apartment by themselves after arrival. At this time, it is best to ask for housing subsidies. Insurance that schools provide is usually social or commercial insurance, depending on what type of insurance the school offers. The contract renewal bonus usually ranges from 4,000 RMB-10,000RMB.

Part-time Job Opportunities: 

In China, there is always a huge demand for native English-speaking teachers. They always need part-time ESL teachers. As long as you are consistent and hardworking, making money in China is always easy. There are many opportunities to earn money. If you want to make more money, you can go to the training center in your spare time or even work as a part-time teacher in a kindergarten. You can also tutor students in your spare time at their homes on a part-time, hourly basis. For example, if you work 5 hours a week part-time, then your monthly income for a part-time job will be around 4,000 RMB-6,000RMB. If your full-time job pays you 18,000RMB a month, your income can easily reach 24,000 RMB a month or even more. Compared to Vietnam, Thailand and other countries in Asia, China is a relatively easy place to make money. You can quickly save money for traveling, and you can also save money to pay off student loans. In other countries, such as Vietnam and Thailand, although their living expenses are lower, the salary is also lower. You need to spend a lot more time working to earn a comparable wage.

ESL Teaching Jobs in China

International school

International kindergarten

Training center(kids)

Public schools

Training center(adult)

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