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How To Find A Teaching Job In China
If you’re wondering how to find a great teaching job in China, you’ve landed on the right guide. China is one of the best places to teach English abroad. Although you can also teach other subjects if you’re qualified to do so.
Why Get a Teaching Job in China?
China is an exciting and very rewarding teaching destination. It’s renowned for offering high teaching salaries and a great standard of living. Part of the appeal, right now, is that demand for foreign English teachers is sky high so that puts applicants in an enviable position. If you’re serious about How To Find A Teaching Job In China and hold the right qualifications, your search will be successful.
Scoring a teaching job in China is not all that difficult. However, scoring the right job may well be, especially if you’re aiming for the best teaching positions of all. Want high pay and a great place to live in China? Then you best do all the right things!
How To Find A Teaching Job In China
Have the right qualifications
China demands a certain set of requirements from foreign teachers. All schools and teaching institutions in the country adhere to these demands, for the most part. There are a few exceptions and we’ll explain what these are below.
The primary requirement to teach English in China is a Z Working Visa. This is the only visa type that allows you to legally teach in China.
The main requirements of a Z Visa application to teach English in China are the following:
A Bachelor’s Degree, in any subject
Recognized ESL Qualifications
2 year’s teaching experience
You’ll also need to be from one of 7 approved countries. They are the USA, UK, Ireland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa
You should be between 18 and 55 years old (women) and 60 years old (men)
A Clear Criminal Background Check
You’ll also need to pass a medical exam but that’s no biggie if you’re fit and healthy.
Exceptions to the Z visa requirements are occasionally made. For example you may not be born in one of the 7 approved countries, but maybe you moved there and are a native English speaker nonetheless. You might just get lucky and find a prospective employer who thinks that’s good enough.
Also, high demand means that a particular school, in dire needs of a teacher, may not insist on extensive prior teaching experience. This is especially true is the school runs a set curriculum which you’d have to learn anyway.
Exemptions notwithstanding, having the right qualifications will increase your chances of getting a great teaching job in China. The more boxes you can tick, the better the teaching job you’ll find.
Only ever accept legal teaching positions
Working illegally is never smart anywhere but especially not in China. If you want your English teaching job experience to be a positive one, start on the right foot. Unscrupulous schools take advantage of foreigners who are desperate to move to China and will occasionally offer teaching positions to those holding only tourist visas.
This is a huge no-no with potentially terrible consequences.
If you get caught, you may be deported from the country and that’s not even the worst that can happen! So, do yourself a favour, and only ever accept legal teaching contracts in China.
Be flexible and realistic with your teaching job search
There’s a lot of variety within the teaching scene in China. Yes, you can teach English, of course, but you can also teach Maths, Geography or PE in English in an international school. You can play games with 2-year-olds in kindergarten, teach 60 students in a university lecture hall or give one-on-one lessons in private language centres.
Given you’ve unlikely done all of these before…how do you know what will suit you best?
There’s a lot of room to manoeuvre your teaching career in China so don’t limit your chances of getting a job by only considering one kind of option. By thinking laterally, you can widen your search and increase your chances of getting a teaching job in China. Once there, this can also help you get an even better job once your contract has been fulfilled.
Many foreigners remain in China for years teaching in different schools and different cities. They find the change to be invigorating!
Every potential ESL teacher that comes to China has a ‘dream job’ in mind but that doesn’t mean the only way there is direct.
Think outside the (teaching destination) box
Ask any prospective ESL teacher who wants to come to China and they’ll likely say they’re dreaming of teaching in Beijing or Shanghai. Ask them again after a couple of years in the country and they may just give a different answer.
There’s more to teaching English in China than big name cities. In many ways, teaching in smaller and lesser known cities can be even more rewarding. Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities offer an array of great experiences, including
Greater cultural immersion
Lower cost of living
Quieter and more relaxed place to live
Better air quality
Less manic traffic
And the list goes on and on!