Types of English Teaching Jobs in China

There are several types of English teaching jobs in China. These include working in:

• private language schools

• primary & secondary schools - public and private

• colleges & universities - public and private

• jointly run Chinese-Western academic programs

• large companies with in-house training programs

• private tutoring

english teaching jobs in china

The above picture is not - to the best of my knowledge - a private language school!

Private Language Schools

Private language schools are the largest providers of English teaching jobs in China. These are the jobs you will mostly see on the internet. They are the easiest to get and have the lowest requirements for both qualifications and experience. They are also some of the most demanding English teaching jobs in China. This is because they are commercial companies, and must please the customer. Therefore the teachers often work split-shifts. You could find yourself teaching early in the morning, again at lunchtime, and then again in the evening; whenever the students have the time to attend. Usually this means before or after school/work.

The main advantages of these jobs are that they are the easiest to get - especially if this is your first job in China - and that they hire throughout the year. Although, if you hope to work for a university it would be best to arrange any contracts to fit in with the university calendar - and make sure your contract ends in August. This would mean you would not have to break a contract and have to request letter of recommendation, which most private schools would not give if you broke your contract with them. Many teachers do enjoy working for language schools, but choose your school carefully.

Primary & Secondary Schools

Primary and secondary schools are another option for finding teaching jobs in China. Their terms begin in September, and you will need to apply around February or March - and by April, at the latest. They often have paid holidays, although some contracts are now being offered for 10 months only. The private schools are less common than the public schools, but they are growing in number.

English Teaching Jobs in China - Universities

These are, in general, more relaxed places to work than private language schools. Although, some universities also have challenging environments. The pay is lower than for private language schools, but when taking into account paid holidays, the hourly rate is often comparable or better. One big advantage of this kind of job is that it will enable you to get your Z visa, and have enough time to teach privately. Most employers allow, or turn a blind eye, to their teachers to take on private work.

Private universities are similar to public universities, and have the same academic year. One disadvantage is that they are expensive and attract rich students whose grades were often not high enough to get into the public universities. They pay a lot of money and the universities are often reluctant to fail them. This can obviously lead to a lack of motivation amongst the students.

Jointly Run Chinese-Western Academic Programs

There are more and more western universities setting up campuses in China. This provides a cheaper alternative than traveling abroad to study. The advantage of these universities is that they pay very well. Often paying salaries comparable with those they offer in their home countries. A minimum of DELTA or MA in tesol is usually required, as well as more extensive teaching experience; often in EAP. The disadvantage is that finding out about vacancies is difficult. Check the relevant university websites regularly for vacancies. There is stiff competition for these types of jobs.

English Teaching Jobs in China - Other Options

If you hold recognized teaching qualifications from your own country you can find work in an international school. These are among the highest paying esl jobs in China. You will be working full time 5 days a week. There are international schools in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou.

Private tutoring is a way to earn some extra money. It can take some time to set up, but once you have, it can provide a good way of saving money. Remember that teaching privately is not allowed - check your contract - by many schools and universities. Despite this, many teachers do have private classes.

teaching jobs in china

How to Find English Teaching Jobs in China

The easiest way to find an English teaching job in China is through online job ads. Dave's ESL Cafe has the best selection, followed by TEFL.com Most of these jobs are at private language schools, and they can provide a good way into the job market in China. They have the advantage of hiring teachers at all times of the year. Some universities also advertise online.

If possible, avoid using agents. Whilst there are some honest recruitment agencies, others are not. Check internet forums for the reliability of an agency before you use it. Avoid agencies that charge you - often large - amounts of money for the service. A good recruitment agency will charge the employer to find a teacher - not the teacher. An exception to this is the cultural exchange programs which offer tefl certification and other services. It's best to get the contract from the employer - not the agent. Avoid any agency that claims to be an official agency. There is no such thing.

The best way, if you have the time, is to apply directly to institutions in China. You need to find the email addresses of universities in China. Then send a copy of the picture page of your passport, your resume/cv and a cover letter. The cost of any phone calls you have to make will be less than what some of the job finding agencies would charge you. You will need to apply in the spring - by April at latest - to begin in late August or early September of the same year.

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