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Are teachers in China paid well?
How much money can you earn teaching English in China? This is a question I am often asked. Unfortunately, there is a lot of misinformation out there, so I'm going to clear it out for you. But first, some history on the Chinese TEFL market (because you need some background).
China is the birthplace of TEFL education.
Mainland China is one of the world's most important markets for English language instruction.
It is believed that more than 360 million Chinese students are studying English.
Furthermore, the private education sector is estimated to be worth $330 billion. That is enormous!
English is taught in almost every school and institution in China, from public elementary schools to private night schools.
This translates into a significant demand for skilled, native English-speaking instructors, notably those from the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Australia.
Your wage is determined by six critical elements.
Before we go into specific numbers, I'd want to go through the primary aspects that will influence your pay.
Having this perspective helps to explain why two professors may earn substantially different sums.
What you may earn as a teacher in China is determined by the following factors:
The kind of school (public vs private)
Location of the school (major city vs smaller city)
What you are teaching (just oral English vs specialized subjects)
Number of hours you teach (part-time vs full-time)
Your credentials (education degree vs non-education degree)
Your previous work experience (teaching vs non-teaching).
The most significant issue, in my opinion, is the sort of school.
Private schools are far more expensive than public schools.
The average wage range
Now for the numbers!
A average pay for teaching English in China ranges from RMB 7,000 to RMB 18,000 per month.
This amounts to around USD 1,040 to USD 2,580 every month.
If you're having trouble understanding yuan (RMB) or US dollars, you may look up your country's exchange rate here.
Why is there such a disparity?
It's because no two instructors are same, and no two teaching opportunities are alike.
Consider the six components — these are what define the range.
You could spend hours investigating China teaching wages (such as this Quora topic), but I wouldn't.
Simply concentrate on yourself and what you can contribute to the table.
In China, there are four realistic teaching pay situations.
Here are four frequent instances to help you understand how foreign teacher pay in China might vary dramatically.
They contain an estimate of a beginning wage in a small to medium-sized city.
You may make more money if you teach in a large city such as Beijing or Shanghai.
1. Full-time English instructor at a public school or institution – RMB 7,000 as a starting salary
Teaching at a Chinese public kindergarten, elementary school, high school, or university may be a fantastic experience.
You may work just 16 hours per week and yet be considered a full-time educator.
Working part-time hours (as a full-time teacher) allows you plenty of time for extracurricular activities and travel around China.
Although you'll like the flexible work schedule, lesson preparation is expected to be done on your own time.
Your preparation time will be reduced if the school has a well-organized curriculum and lesson plans are already drawn out.
On the other hand, if the class textbook is optional and you are free to teach anything you choose, you will need to devote a significant amount of time to lesson preparation.
2. Full-time topic instructor at a public school or university – beginning pay about RMB 8,000
If you can teach key courses such as math, physics, or business, you may earn a greater income than if you just teach English.
Some colleges also offer specialized courses in areas such as American culture and history.
Chinese students like learning about the rest of the world from their TEFL professors.
Furthermore, these types of studies might assist students prepare for international experiences and admission to foreign universities.
Subject teaching contact hours are comparable to oral English teaching contact hours. As a result, 16 hours a week is about the lightest burden you could bear.
One of the difficulties with topic teaching is that students may struggle to grasp both the course material and the language of instruction (i.e., English!).
3. Part-time English instructor at a private language institute – beginning pay of RMB 8,000
Some private language colleges allow you to work part-time or full-time.
Part-time is defined as working less than 20 hours per week, whereas full-time is defined as working at least 30 hours per week.
Simply said, the more hours you work, the more money you will be able to earn.
Working nights and weekends is required if you teach at a private institution.
Your vacation will most likely take place over two consecutive weekdays. This may conflict with the schedules of your coworkers.
If you're a little unorganized, teaching part-time at a private facility can be a good fit for you.
Lesson preparation is normally handled for you, so all you have to do is follow a set of instructions. Your life outside of the classroom will not be overtaken by lesson preparation.
This, in addition to a greater compensation, is why many TEFL instructors choose to work at private institutions.
4. Full-time English instructor at a private language facility – beginning pay of around RMB 12,000
You may make a good living teaching English in China if you are willing to work at least 30 hours each week, including evening and weekend lessons.
Private centers often offer monthly wages beginning at RMB 12,000 per month (USD 1,720).
Given that you can live well in China on a few thousand renminbi a month, after a few years of teaching (and hard saving), you might come home with enough money for a down payment on your own property.
It's a substantial and fair reward for putting in a lot of effort.