Teaching English in Hong Kong


There are some good jobs teaching English in Hong Kong, but they can be quite difficult to find. The best TEFL jobs in Hong Kong are in international schools, state schools and universities. These are also the hardest to find work at, and you will need QTS or state recognized certification. For universities you will need an MA TESOL or a PhD TESOL

The easiest jobs to find teaching English in Hong Kong are in the many language schools. Here the standard varies a lot. Salaries (in language schools) start from around HK$12,000 (subsistence level) and go up to around HK$25,000 or more.


teaching english in hong kong

Hong Kong Star Ferry 


At the lower level you will only be just surviving, and while it's possible to live on HK$12,000 a month, it would be uncomfortable. You would need to buy your food in local markets and cook most days. No partying possible on this salary – basically, it's not recommended.At the higher end life will be more liveable. A degree and a TEFL certificate are enough to find a job in most language schools.

Teaching English in Hong Kong will certainly be more comfortable if you have QTS. In this case you should apply through NET the Hong Kong government scheme. Also see hkpnets.org for more information on the details of teaching on the scheme than I can put here.

You can find a list of international schools at shambles.net/hongkong/

The academic year runs from September to June. For private language schools it's possible to find work at any time of the year. Even a TEFL certificate is not always needed.

Many teachers like to teach at university or college level. The salaries are higher (around HK$28,000-50,000) and the working conditions are better than language schools. Tax is low in Hong Kong.



Living in Hong Kong


Hong Kong is a modern cosmopolitan city. It's also a very crowded and expensive city to live in. Most apartments are very small. However, it's quite easy to find accommodation in Hong Kong, so you could stay somewhere for a few weeks or a month when you first arrive - so as to give yourself more time to find somewhere you like for the rest of your stay.


teaching english in hong kong

The aviary in Hong Kong Park 


Positives of living in Hong Kong include low tax, convenient transportation systems, variety of shopping and restaurants. China is a short journey away, as are many other good travel locations in East Asia.

Negatives include the humidity, lack of space, and the poor salaries at some of the private language schools.

For more information on teaching English in Hong Kong you could check out the Hong Kong forum on Dave's ESL Cafe.

As an alternative to teaching in Hong Kong you could consider teaching English in Macau Also, you may be interested in an interview I did with Hana Marley, a longtime resident of Hong Kong, and experienced teacher of English. Part one and two are here: Teaching in Hong Kong and Teach English in Hong Kong







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