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01.03.2022 vonDavid O Connor
The high ESL teacher salaries in China primarily attract teachers from all over the world. The country's normally competitive salaries have continued to rise recently due to the fallout from the pandemic. Kind of a silver lining, you might think? As a matter of fact!
Read on to find out how much you can earn teaching English in China in 2022!
*The average salaries in China for teachers are based on a range ofLectureships across China. You may need to dig a little deeper to find the exact averages for your preferred location.
One of the most common questions we ask here at China by Teaching is about salaries. How much do teachers earn in China, you ask? It depends on.
A few key variables drive salaries. They are:
Your experience teaching ESL abroad
(and teaching in general)
your formal qualifications
The type of teaching
The lesson goal
The demand for foreign teachers is at an all-time high in 2022. Many foreign teachers returned to their home countries at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic and most simply never returned. As China reopened to the world and tried to get its normal life back on track, schools and teaching institutions across the country found a dire shortage of ESL teachers.
As a result, average teacher salaries in China have skyrocketed this year. If you've ever thought about finding oneLectureship in China, there really is no better time thanat the momentto make the move.
While we expect teacher salaries to eventually return to normal by next year, China will continue to offer enticing rewards and will no doubt remain a great destination for teachers. How do we know? Because pre-pandemic China was already a worthy destination for teachers, and “average” salaries were higher than almost anywhere in the world.
Here's what to expect from your English teaching salary in China in 2022.
Most foreign teachers in China earn between 14,000 RMB (US$2,500) and 21,000 RMB (US$3,400) per month. The most qualified teachers, working in the most well-known schools, can earn salaries of around RMB 22,000-32,000 (USD 3,500-5,000). The upper end would require several years of post-qualification teaching experience in a Tier 1 city.
Remember that the most important factor in salary is determined by the city you live in and the cost of living. Of course, the more expensive cities of Shanghai and Beijing will have the highest salaries.Cities are usually divided into tiered cities. This is a breakdown of these levels:
Step 1:Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen and Guangzhou
Rang 2:Chengdu, Xi'an, Nanjing, Hangzhou, Suzhou, Dalian, Ningbo, Wuhan, Qingdao usw
Level 3:Yangzhou, Guilin, Sanya, Shantou, Nanchang, Huzhou, Hohhot, Jilin usw.
English Tutor Salaries in Chinakindergartens
18,000 RMB (2,800 USD) on average
Kindergarten teacher jobs are among the best paid in China. ThatAverage salaries hover around 18,000 RMB (2,800 USD). Reputable, private children pay above-average salaries, and teachers can earn even more if they work in top-notch cities.
Kindergarten salaries by level (average):
Tier 1: 22,000 – 32,000 RMB (23,750 – 5,000 USD)
Level 2: 20.000 – 26.000 RMB ($3.450 – $4.000)
Level 3:18.000 – 24.000 RMB(2.800 $ – 3.750 $)
The perks of this particular teaching profession are fairly universal in China, although you'll find a significant disparity in salaries between public and private kindergartens.
It goes without saying that in order to find kindergarten jobs that pay off, you should have a deep passion for teaching and interacting with children. If you do, you'll enjoy the lighter workload, more relaxed ambience, and generous lunch breaks (often more than 2 hours). Add in a few fun and active classes and it can be a very enjoyable experience indeed.
When you have little to dohave no teaching experience but still want to earn a very decent salary for teaching English in China, Kindergarten jobs are ideal
Salaries for teaching intraining centers
24,000 RMB (3,750 USD) on average
Training centers offer extracurricular English classes that complement traditional schooling. Classes usually take place in the evenings and at weekends and can be offered to children and adults alike.
The salaries for English teachers in China's training centers are not exactly fabulous(about USD 3,000+ in major cities).However, these jobs can also be very tempting in other ways.
Training Center Instructor Salaries by Level (Average):
Tier 1: 24,000 – 30,000 RMB (3,750 – 4,700$)
Rang 2:18.000 – 26.000 RMB ($2.800 – $4.050)
Level 3: 16.000 – 22.000 RMB($2.500 – $3.500)
Work evenings and weekends can give you a lot of free time during the week, which means you can supplement your income with tutoring. You can also negotiate two consecutive free days of the week (e.g. Monday and Tuesday) to create your own weekend.
If you come to China primarily for the cultural experience and the opportunity to explore and discover a new country, an apprenticeship is for you. Not only will you have time off when everyone else is working (less crowded tourist attractions and cheaper travel costs), but you'll work fewer hours and be in contact with a much larger number of students.
Overall, this can make for an excellent teaching experience, even if you don't necessarily earn a lot. Mind you, the ratio of paid to tuition hours is still impressive.
Salaries for teaching inuniversities
between 10,000 - 16,000 RMB (1,500 - 2,500 USD)
Coveted for their lighter workload, weekday schedule, and overall greater flexibility, college teaching jobs can come with fantastic perks. These apprenticeships can vary greatly, as can the salaries thatrange from $1,500 to $2,500depending on the level of awareness of the university.
At a Chinese university, you don't follow a set curriculum and enjoy a lot more freedom with your students. You, in turn, will grow older and more independent, which also means you'll enjoy potentially more rewarding and challenging classroom discussions. You teach a maximum of 20 hours per week, have weekends and evenings off and are well respected in your local area, which in itself is a wonderful bonus.
The demands and requirements for college teachers are nowhere near as stringent as, say, international school boards, and the rewards can be phenomenal. Additionally, if you land a position at one of the country's most prestigious universities, your salary for teaching English in China can be well above average.
Salaries for teaching inpublic schools
between 16,000 - 24,000 RMB (USD 2,500 - 3,800).
Public school jobs were once among the lowest-paid teaching jobs in China. No longer! Granted, they may not yet compare to higher-paying positions, but salaries for these jobs have increased quite a bit over the past few years. Additionally, the usual perks that have traditionally attracted many first-time ESL teachers remain, making public school jobs increasingly attractive.
What are these perks? First of all, your position and teaching visa will be secured and protected under a government mandate. You will also have a curriculum to follow, so you don't have to invest hours of lesson preparation. The work schedule is relaxed and among the least stressful of any apprenticeship, which is suitable for those just starting out or anyone who prefers to just go with the flow and have an easier time.
If that's not enough, public school jobs are perhaps the easiest to get in China because the requirements aren't as strict.
If all of that isn't enough, note that public school teachers also benefit from a fair amount of free time (school vacations and public holidays can last up to four full months). Just remember that many contracts offered have a 10 month limit. This is usually done to cheat you in the holiday fund! Keep this in mind when negotiating your contract.
For many, public school jobs are a great way to gain classroom experience or to get away from teaching young children. Regardless of your motivation, you will not regret spending at least a year in the public school system in China.
English Tutor Salaries in China:
Public VS private schools
As in many countries, schools in China can be either publicly or privately funded. The latter range from kindergarten through middle and high schools, bilingual schools to academies where classes are taught in English.
Average teacher salaries in China's private schools will almost always exceed those in public schools, although the workload, stress, commitment and expectations will also be much higher.
In public schools, you follow a set curriculum and work closely with a local teacher. There's still a lot of competition among public schools, so don't think these are all "easy-peasy" jobs. Your lesson plan will be similar to a 9-to-5, and your accommodation will often be provided. You'll have to deal with less paperwork and oversee extracurricular activities.
Although your average teacher salary in China can be as little as $2,000 per month in the public system, the total package can be very tempting indeed.
In a private school, however, expectations are as high as average salaries. These expectations will come at you from all sides: your employer, your fellow teachers, and especially your parents. Working at a private school is a good way to make money, but there's no stopping it.
The benefits include fantastic working conditions (high-tech amenities and equipment that public schools simply don't have), greater teaching freedom, a highly respected community reputation, and exceptional salaries.
You can learn more about the differences between private and public schools, righthere.
English Teacher Salaries in China - by Location
Your choice of travel destination will affect your salary just as much as your job title. As you can imagine, the largest, wealthiest, and most prominent cities offer the highest teacher salaries.
Fortunately, Chinese cities have a tiered system that makes determining salary brackets relatively easy.
When you learn more about itChinas City-Tier-System, you will understand that with the bonus of a higher salary comes the downside of a higher cost of living.
However, China is still a very affordable place to live and you will discoverThe daily cost of living is much lower than in most western countries.Yes, even in the most expensive cities in the country.
A large part of your monthly expenses depend on your habits. Your taste for foreign imports, craft beers and how much you socialize will determine how much money you can save each month.
But even with expensive tastes, it's quite an effort to get through your salary every month and not at least have something to spare for a rainy day.
This is what makes teaching in China so attractive for many teachers.
Imstep 1ThereforePeking,shanghaiandShenzhen) Teacher salaries start at $2,600 per month and can go up to $5,000.
In smaller and less prominentlevel 3Cities (like Dalian and Guilin) will see the salary drop by around 25% – here you can expect to earn anywhere from $2,000 for the lowest-paying positions to $3,500 for prime positions.
Lectureships inRang 2ThereforeChengdu) will of course be somewhere in between.
The importance of a particular schoolcan also drive up teacher salaries. Even in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities in China, average teacher salaries can be impressive if the school is highly regarded. Conversely, in a Tier 1 city, you can get paid below par if the school has a bad reputation.
At the end of the day, English teaching salaries in China work in a yin and yang balance. Essentially, they are determined by more than one factor. Location, job type and school awareness are the main salary drivers.
But there's something else you need to know about...
What you should know about teacher salaries in China
Your qualification counts
In fact, YOUR qualifications and overall teaching experience can be the main factor in securing the highest salaries for teaching English in China.
It goes without saying that the more qualified you are, the higher the salary you can ask for. This applies to every teaching assignment in every city across the country.
Be aware of the extras that can skyrocket teacher salaries
You might be offered a salary that isn't that good for the face value, but upon closer inspection you'll find that the "mediocre" salary includes a generous monthly housing benefit, a return ticket for the school holidays and reimbursement for your moving expenses, and fantastic health insurance that covers all eventualities.
All in all, maybe the salary isn't that bad now, is it? Travel and rent are bound to be your biggest expenses when living and teaching in China. So try to negotiate some sort of inclusion in your pay package that at least partially covers them.
Moral of the story - look at the whole picture and don't get stuck on just one part of your salary package!
With tutoring you can round off your salary
Supplementing one's income by doing undeclared work as a private tutor can be very lucrative in China. The starting price is around $50 per hour, but you can charge up to around $80 if you are a) very good and in demand and b) live in a Tier 1 city.
Be warned, teaching alongside your regular job may be illegal. While a part-time job was something almost every teacher dabbled in, it's now fraught with peril. The teacher can now be reported by neighbors, which will return a reward said to be RMB10,000.
Average Salaries in China – How Does the Tuition Work?
The average salary in China in 2022 across the labor market is about 7,400 RMB – orjust under $1,200 per month. This is considerably lower in most developed countries and explains how the cost of living is kept comparatively low.
However, the median salary is nearly $5,000 a month, suggesting that about half of the population cannot even break the median salary mark. A huge percentage, on the other hand, earn astronomical salaries.
China's average salary disparity is not surprising given the tiered city system, the sheer number of working adults, and the wide range of skilled and unskilled jobs in the public and private sectors. China manages to create over 12 million jobs in its (many) busy cities every year.
In comparison, the ESL teaching sector is well paid, which is explained by the huge increase in demand over the past two years. Even the lowest paid teacher in the most remote city will manage to earn the average salary in China. The majority earn significantly more.
Also, foreign teachers are in a much better bargaining position than the average Chinese employee. While almost all sectors should see an 8-10% pay rise each year, many don't. ESL teachers, on the other hand, can renegotiate their existing teaching contract or get better-paying employment at another school once their current employment contract expires.
For this reason, it is also important not to commit yourself to long-term contracts with any school in China. A 12 month contract is the norm, but sometimes a school will push for a 2 year contract. Of course, this is not to your (financial) advantage.
How much can you live on a salary as an English teacher in China?
This is perhaps the most important question to ask yourself, and the answer is: surprisingly little!
Here's a brief synopsis, but read on for more detailed information:
- In Tier 1 cities, you can enjoy a decent standard of living and still save while earning as little as 18,200 RMB (2,800 USD).
- In Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities, if you don't eat too much of imported goods, you can still save some of your salary on a $2,000 salary.
Your spending habits will play a big part in determining your lifestyle in China.
Keep this in mind when trying to determine the ideal teacher salary for you.
More details can be found in ourCost of living in Chinathe blog.
Well-known cities offer the widest range of living costs, and that's because, for little money, you can "live like a local" or live like an executive-level expat and spend five times as much. Overall, the cost is still lower than most western countries.
Even in “expensive” cities in China, you can pay as little as 4,000-6,000 (USD 600-950) a month for a city-centre shared apartment. Enjoy an excellent local meal at a restaurant for 40 RMB (7 USD). You can get a monthly gym membership for $50 and spend peanuts on public transportation.
If you buy your groceries locally and aren't crazy about fancy cocktails, it's easy to see how well you can make a living from an English teacher's salary in China.
Cost of Living – Tier 2 & 3 Cities
Your salary range may well be 25% lower in less prominent Chinese cities, but the drop in the cost of living will fall even more. Sometimes the cost of living can be as little as 50% of big cities. That means you'll still have more yuan in the bank at the end of each month.
And isn't that the aim of the game?
Average costs for meals, beer, gym memberships, and public transportation are only slightly lower in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities. However, it is the rental prices that make the difference.
Take Ningbo for example. This bustling and beautiful city is only 200km from Shanghai, but rents are almost 70% cheaper here! This is how you save money. Added to this is the fact thatNingbois actually an excellent teaching city and has many prominent schools. You'll see that the lowest salary dollar isn't the only thing to consider.
Top hacks for negotiating a better salary for teaching English in China
Some international schools insist on a 2 or 3 year contract. If you can avoid this kind of long-term commitment, you're better off. Sign up for 12 months only instead. This gives you the opportunity to renegotiate your salary after a year.
If you are particularly satisfied with your teaching activity in China, contact your employer in good time before your contract expires. Give yourself enough time to negotiate a new one with a better deal. If you can't agree, you have plenty of time to find a new job.
Not satisfied at all, your contract is about to expire and you are thinking about moving? Contact us and we will see if we can find you a better deal at a better school.
If the employer won't budge on salary and you really don't want to leave, negotiate more perks. Additional benefits such as improved housing allowances, health insurance or an additional plane ticket home for the coming year can sweeten your package.
Want to see what else China has in store for you? Read our comprehensiveGuide to Teaching in China, Try thisrecent teaching assignmentson offer andcontact usif you need help finding your dream job in this sensational country.
How much does China pay English teachers? ›
Most foreign first-time English teachers in China typically make between 8,400 RMB ($1,250 USD) to 19,100 RMB ($2,850 USD) per month. Many English teachers in China also receive free housing or a stipend (typically 3,000 RMB per month) to cover housing costs and some also receive free or reimbursed airfare.Is China hiring English teachers 2022? ›
Rest assured that there's no shortage of options available for new grads and licensed teachers looking to teach English in China, including teaching jobs in private language schools and international schools across the country.As the biggest ESL hotspot in the world right now, ESL teachers in China can earn a ...Are English teachers in demand in China? ›
There's an almost limitless demand for teachers of English as a foreign language in China, which also means salaries are becoming increasingly competitive. You can expect to earn from around $1,000 to $3,000, or even more at certain International Schools for heads of department.Can I teach in China in 2022? ›
Qualification needed to Teach English in China in 2022
Here are the essential qualifications to teach in China: You MUST have a passport from a native English-speaking country or be a certified teacher in your home country. You MUST have a Bachelor's Degree. You MUST have a TEFL/TESOL/CELTA OR a teaching certificate.
Most foreign teachers in China earn between 14,000 RMB (USD 2,500) and 21,000 (USD 3,400) per month. The most qualified teachers, working in the most prominent schools, can expect salaries of approx. 22,000 - 32,000 RMB (USD 3,500-5,000).How much do American teachers make in China? ›
|Institution type||Salary range (USD)|
|Language centers||$1,500 – 1,850|
|Public schools||$1,400 – 2,300|
|International schools||$2,000 – 3,500|
|Universities||$1,000 – 1,300|
The primary requirement to teach in China is having a valid Z-Visa in your passport. This is the only type of visa that allows you to work in the country, legally. This means that the requirements of the visa dictate those to teach English in China. In this sense, being allowed to teach in China is deceptively simple.How many hours do English teachers work in China? ›
While public schools in China aren't the highest paying jobs for English teachers, they usually have other benefits. TEFL teachers can expect set working hours on weekdays only, around 20 hours of teaching time per week and all school holidays off.How hard is it to get a job teaching English in China? ›
The eligibility requirements to become an ESL teacher in China are fairly accessible compared to other Asian countries, with university degrees and teaching experience not always needed. Combined with an extensive array of locations and schools, teaching jobs in China can be great options for all types of teachers.Is China banning ESL teachers? ›
The new regulations are intended to ban private ESL tutoring, ban companies profiting from teaching school curriculum subjects, and ban on hiring foreign teachers from overseas.
Which country pays most for English teachers? ›
- South Korea ($1,850-$2,650 USD a month)
- China ($1,200-$2,600 USD a month)
- Japan ($1,700-$2,600 USD a month)
- Taiwan ($2,000-$3,000 USD a month)
- Gulf Arab States ($2,000-$5,000 USD a month)
- Honorable Mention: Vietnam ($1,500-$2,000 USD a month)
- South Korea.
- United Arab Emirates.
At least 25 large Chinese online education firms closed up shop in 2021 after the government banned for-profit private tutoring, according to data compiled by Chinese research firm 100EC.What qualifications do I need to teach English in China? ›
To legally work in China you will need a bachelor's degree, a TEFL certificate, a valid passport from a native English-speaking country, and a criminal background check. If you don't have a teaching certificate yet, many programs offer free TEFL certification as part of the benefits package.What is the age limit to teach in China? ›
Meet the Age Requirements
China is one of many countries in Asia that maintains an official retirement age of 55 for females and 60 for males. Because of this, schools in China typically look for teachers under the age of 40.
|Expenses||Cost (USD)||Estimated Monthly Cost (USD)|
|Rent||$200 ~ $700||$200 ~ $700|
|Food||$2~$5 per meal||$100 ~ $150|
|Transportation||$,0.3~$0.5 each way (bus)||$30 ~ $50|
|Utilities||Electricity, water, gas, telephone, wi-fi||$50 ~ $100|
The average Mandarin Translator salary is $42,288 as of December 27, 2022, but the salary range typically falls between $35,251 and $52,292. Salary ranges can vary widely depending on many important factors, including education, certifications, additional skills, the number of years you have spent in your profession.Why are English teachers in demand in China? ›
Parents in China highly value native English-speakers from well-known foreign countries, and they want their children to have more career opportunities. Even if you don't have any teaching experience, a bachelor's degree is usually the ticket you'll need to gain access to thousands of English teaching jobs in China.Which country pays American teachers the most? ›
Switzerland. Switzerland ranks among the countries with the highest teacher salaries in the world. According to sources, a high school teacher is entitled to a compensation of 71,500 Fr (US $73,646.93) at the start of their career, including bonuses, overtime allowances, and tips.Do foreign teachers pay tax in China? ›
In most cases the answer is yes, so you'll be pleased to know it's quite straightforward. Like in most countries, income tax in China is calculated at a progressive rate and is taken from your salary before it reaches your account. Many schools advertise the salary after tax, but this isn't always the case.
What country pays teachers the best? ›
Teachers in Luxembourg earn 30% more than any other teacher in the world, with a starting salary that exceeds nearly every other nation's maximum teacher salary. By sharp contrast at the bottom of this chart, teachers in Estonia reach their maximum earning potential at just over $17,000 a year.How much do English translators make in China? ›
How much does a Chinese Translator make in the United States? The average Chinese Translator salary in the United States is $58,138 as of December 27, 2022, but the salary range typically falls between $51,018 and $66,842.Which country pays highest salary to teachers? ›
Annual gross starting salaries of teachers (2020/2021)
Leaving aside Luxembourg, the annual starting salary was above €50,000 in just two countries, namely Switzerland (€66,972) and Germany (€54,129).