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Tips Before Getting an English Teaching Job in China


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Tips Before Getting an English Teaching Job in China

Tips Before Getting an English Teaching Job in China
Admin - Sep 23 2015

Looking for an English teaching job in China may seem like a daunting task given the language barrier and the preponderance of recruitment scams but with the right preparation, you can snag a teaching position in one of the world’s oldest civilizations.

Before researching schools and accommodations, it is important that you seriously think about why you want to teach in China. People who enjoy their work are the ones who will be more satisfied in the long-run, especially when homesickness starts to kick in. People who don’t enjoy teaching will have a much harder time in a foreign country. It’s also important to correctly assess how well you would do in China. Remember that you will likely be staying in a foreign country for months or years at a time and it isn’t easy to adapt to that. If you feel that you can’t handle such pressure, it would be better to look for a job closer to home.


Now if you’re really sure that you want to teach in China, here are some general requirements:

  1. a bachelor’s degree
  2. a TEFL certificate
  3. at least 2 years of work experience
  4. at least younger than 65 years of age, and
  5. a clean bill of health.

However, don’t forget that each school require different qualifications, and faculty standards for middle schools and training schools likewise vary.

Finding the right employer

Research reputable schools or companies and negotiate a well-written contract before leaving for China. Carefully review the terms of the contract especially those on working and living conditions. It would be helpful to ask for references from persons that have had dealings with the institution, especially from former or current employees. Ask about the class size, the age of the students, and what subjects you might be teaching. Get as much information as you can about your possible job to avoid any shocks when you’re already in the country.

Foreign instructors should get everything put into writing to avoid contract disputes. However, expect Chinese contracts to be less binding compared to those executed in other countries. The contracts may sometimes be altered when you arrive in China or during your employment. Salaries are usually paid monthly but you should make sure the salary is clearly defined in terms of hours per month and compensation per hour.

Find out where you will be staying or where in a city the school is located. Remember that it is illegal to work in China without a proper work visa so if the school is asking you to come on a tourist visa, it is advisable to secure a work visa to avoid immigration woes later on. A “Z” visa is available from the Chinese embassy or consulate. Sponsorship from an employer is needed to obtain the valid work visa. Check the Chinese government website (http://english.gov.cn/) for recent restrictions on visa issuances.

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