China is one of the most popular destinations to teach English abroad. With a population of almost 4 Billion people, the demand for learning English, and an unbelievable culture and history, China offers amazing salaries and exciting opportunities for expats.
In order to teach English in China, you require a Bachelor’s degree and TEFL Certification or at least two years of professional teaching experience. The average salary for teaching in China is $2000 -$3000 per month. With certain international schools paying as high as $4500 per month! This means you can save up quite a lot of money as living expenses are not high at all.
Depending on location, rent can be from $300 to $1000 per month. On average most teachers pay around $550pm for rent. Food is also relatively cheap and thus the average spending is around $350 on food every month. Water and electricity tops out at $50 per month and all your other expenses like going out with friends etc. should be around $400 per month. This means you will be able to survive with around $1300-1500 a month.
Why come through us?
If you decide to apply for an English teaching position in China through The TEFL Society, we guarantee professional service and assistance until you finish your contract with the school. We pride ourselves in being transparent and honest and we never touch your salary. You sign a contract directly with a school and get paid directly by them. We are there to help you to find the best possible position and to help you get to China legally, safely and with ease, and we are there if you need any assistance throughout your entire stay in China.
Our schools offer total salary packages of between RMB15000 and RMB23000 after tax. The salary you will receive depends on your experience, qualification, how the interview goes, the location, working hours and so on, and will be confirmed before you sign a contract with the school.
The total salary usually includes the following
Performance / KPI / Class bonuses
Housing allowance / Free accommodation
Health / medical insurance
On top of the salary packages most positions include only 15-20 teaching hours per week, and never more than 40 total hours of work in a week. This means that you do admin at the office and don’t need to spend your own time on lesson preparation and marking assignments when you are not at work.
Schools also offer around RMB10000-15000 Contract completion bonuses, and if you sign another year contract around RMB7000 on top of the original bonus.
In order to teach legally in China, you have to meet the following criteria in order to obtain a Z visa.
⦁ You have to be a Native English speaker, which means you need to be from one of the following countries: South Africa, The United States, England, Ireland, Australia, New-Zealand or Canada.
⦁ You have to have a passport that still has 2 years’ validity and at least 6 blank visa pages.
⦁ You have to have a clear criminal background and be able to obtain a police clearance certificate showing that you have no convictions.
⦁ You have to have at least a Bachelor’s degree. The degree can be in any field, however, it needs to be a degree. Unfortunately diplomas and certificates aren’t accepted for visa purposes in China.
⦁ In order to find work in big cities in China you need to have at least a 120-hour TEFL certificate which you can easily obtain through The TEFL society or any other TEFL company whose certificates are accepted by the Chinese government for visa purposes. You don’t need the TEFL in order to apply for a position and you are encouraged to APPLY NOW, but in order to get the visa you would need to complete a course.
How do I apply?
Please click on the APPLY NOW tab on this website.
How much will I be paid?
You will earn between $2200 – $3500 per month
Are the remuneration packages you mentioned what I can expect to receive?
Yes. However, certain schools might pay slightly more. It all depends on your location, experience etc.
Will I be kidnapped? Are you doing human trafficking?
NO! Strangely enough we get this question quite often. You don’t need to worry about being kidnapped.
Go have a look at this BBC video and you will see that there are security cameras EVERYWHERE in china. The chances of something happening to you is almost zero. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pNf4-d6fDoY
Is China safe?
From the above video link, you can see that surveillance is everywhere and as such crime is at a minimum. The general public is also not allowed to own guns in China and as such violent crime almost doesn’t exist.
Is China convenient?
Yes. China is extremely convenient. We use our phones to do everything here. We don’t need cars, and if we really need to talk to a local we use translate on our phones. Here are a few more links to show you how technologically advanced this country is:
How do I know I’m not being scammed?
Here at The TEFL society we pride ourselves on being honest and open and therefore we have the following policies in place in order to ensure that our teachers are safe.
a. Our recruiters will provide you with their full names in order for you to find them on social media to see if they are real people.
b. We never ask you for one single cent or take a cut from your salary at any point.
c. We will put you in contact with other people who have been placed by us before
d. You sign a contract directly with your employer and not with us
e. Your employer pays your salary.
f. Upon your request we will provide you with any non-confidential information you might need, including our business registration documents etc.
g. We will not let you be employed in China without having the correct Z/ work visa.
Where will I work, and how old are the kids?
The students are usually between the ages of 3 and 14 years old and we have various positions in Training centres, Kindergartens, Primary schools, middle schools, and International schools all across China.
What’s the catch? How much do we have to pay you?
There is no catch. To prove to our applicants that we are not a scam we don’t ask you anything for our services at any point.
Can I apply if I am not from one of the Native English speaking countries?
Unfortunately, we can only accept applicants from Native English speaking countries such as South Africa, Namibia, the USA, Australia, NZ, UK, Ireland and Canada.
Can I come over to China with my child?
This is definitely possible. A little more complicated, but we are able to assist.
How long is the contract?
All contracts are 1 year long
What happens if I want to stay in China longer?
Extending your contract is always an option. If you sign with the same school for a second year you also receive an additional RMB5000-10000 bonus just for resigning with the school.
Is there an age limit?
The legal upper age limit is 60, however most people over the age of 40 don’t have the freedom, the desire, the mind-set or the energy to relocate to a new country and we thus advise that people over 45 don’t apply
Do I need a TEFL certificate to teach in China?
Yes. You have to have a TEFL certificate to obtain the work visa, but to apply on our website you don’t need to have one yet. You are welcome to do our 120-hour TEFL Course or obtain your certificate from any other TEFL provider. However, just ensure that their certificates can be notarised and that they are accepted for work visa purposes in China.
When is the best time to apply?
English teachers arriving in China are usually taking the place of departing teachers who have finished their contracts. Therefore, there is no specific “intake period”. Apply whenever you are ready to come. It usually takes 2-3 months in order to get your documents ready.
Can I apply with a friend / spouse?
We encourage this! We try our best to place friends or family members near each other.
How can I communicate with my family and friends back home?
In this day and age, communicating with loved ones, no matter where in the world they may be, is easy. Some foreign apps like google and Facebook are blocked in China, although many foreigners still access them daily. Speak to us if this is something that bothers you and we will walk you through it.
How will I get to work every day?
Most teachers will live in close proximity to their schools, so walking and cycling will be the preferred method of getting to and from work. However, if a school is a bit further away the metro/ subway systems are extremely convenient.
What is the food like?
The food in China is delicious, colourful, fresh and relatively cheap! You have all kinds of options. You may, for example, choose to shop at a western-style supermarket, like Carrefour or Walmart. Alternatively, you may opt to pick up your groceries at a local market on a street corner and cook up your own stir fry. But most teachers opt for the convenience of stopping at the myriad of cheap Chinese restaurants available in every direction you care to go. For the less adventurous: there is an over-abundance of KFC, Starbucks, Burger King and McDonalds in every city.
How can I teach if I don’t have any prior teaching experience?
You are not expected to know how to teach on arrival in China, you will receive training, and the 120-hour TEFL course will provide you with the knowledge you need.
How can I teach children if I can’t speak their language?
Speaking Chinese is not at all needed in order to teach in China. New vocabulary is taught with the aid of flashcards (cards with pictures on them) and grammar is taught through drills, games, rhymes, poems, songs etc.
You will also have a Mandarin-speaking assistant present in most of your classes, and he/she will translate if it is really needed.
What are the class sizes?
Usually between 7 and 15 students per class
What should I bring with me?
Pack like you were going on holiday. You will be living in a fully furnished apartment so there is no need to bring your television along. But pack your laptop, medication, clothes, toiletries, the necessary documents and of course, your camera.
Can I open a bank account in China?
Yes. We will help you to open a bank account within the first few weeks after arriving.
How much can I expect to save?
It is completely possible to save between $1000-$2000 of your salary every month. That just depends on how much you earn and how much you spend.
Getting to China.
Packing up and moving half-way around the world is a huge step that requires patience, wit, stamina, perseverance and a whole lot of faith. But once you’re here you’ll see that it’s all worth it and you’ll never look back.
In order for us to get started this is how the process usually works.
⦁ You apply on our website
⦁ One of our recruiters will be in touch and answer any of your questions.
⦁ We will arrange an interview for you with a school.
⦁ If the interview goes well you sign a contract with the school.
⦁ You start getting your documents ready in order to apply for the work permit.
⦁ You send us all the documents you need in order to apply for the work permit.
⦁ We apply for the work permit here in China and send it back to you in order to apply for the work visa.
⦁ You apply for the work visa at the nearest China visa application centre.
⦁ Once your visa is approved you fly to China and we pick you up at the airport.
⦁ We accompany you to your accommodation and assist in making the transition to your new life smooth and easy.