top of page

A step-by-step guide to becoming an English teacher in China

Updated: Nov 6, 2023

Nagima Kubanychbekova, author of the article with title "A step-by-step guide to becoming an English teacher in China"

Author: Nagima Kubanychbekova

Date of Publication: 29/09/2022

China is an enormous market with a huge number of vacancies both offline and remote. Therefore, thousands of people from all over the world have a chance to find a well-paid job in China. One of the most popular and sought-after professions there is an English teacher. Educational institutions gladly employ foreigners from Europe and America. Here, I will guide you through step-by-step instructions on how to become an English teacher in China.

Teacher - Kids - A step-by-step guide to becoming an English teacher in China

By the way, to write this article I gathered my own experience and my European colleagues to share with you the entire path to this opportunity.

How to become an English teacher in China: Starting process?

Of course, one of the easiest ways is to simply contact a recruiting agency. For $ 1000-1500 they will not only offer you vacancies but also help with visa applications, finding accommodation etc.

But let's see how to do it on your own.

The first thing to do if you want to know how to become an English teacher in China is to visit specialized sites that offer vacancies from an employer. To do this, you will need the following sites, eChinacities, China Job

After choosing the vacancy you like, you need to write a resume, focusing on your accomplishments, and send it. Photo is better to choose with a smile.

In addition to your resume, you also need to send a 1-2 minute video. To do this, using Movavi Screen Capture or similar programs, record a video where you talk about yourself. Nothing much, just a short video.

What to discuss and how to behave in an interview?

If the employer is interested in you, you will be offered an interview via Skype.

If you are great, a lot has already been done in order to get a job in China.

I would suggest you not to worry. Since the person who will interview you will most likely be Chinese and does not speak English perfectly. Therefore, they will also experience some stress, like you.

During the interview, they usually ask questions about the experience of teaching English and communicating skills with children. Work experience is beneficial but not required. It is imperative to discuss with the employer all issues related to salary, workload, living conditions, and travel costs. Since most companies provide accommodation and compensate for the cost of the flight tickets.

Nevertheless, the worst thing that can happen is a polite rejection. But keep in mind - there are enough options. Try again and I'm sure you'll get the job in the end. And most importantly - smile - in this case, this is half the battle. If the results of the interview are positive, you will be sent a contract with working conditions and an official invitation from the educational institution. After that, you can start applying for a work visa.

What level of English is required?

The level of knowledge of the language must be at least B2.

Of course, if you will teach English to kindergarten children, then a conversational level is enough, without delving into the grammar. But if you choose to work as a teacher in a more adult audience, then you must know the language thoroughly. In this case, you need to have a good knowledge of grammar, phraseological units, rules for using articles, etc. Your vocabulary should be sufficient to be able to freely conduct a lesson in English. What’s more, you need to be able to explain grammar rules and maintain a dialogue with students and colleagues.

TEFL / TESOL Certificate

In order to find a job in China and get a higher salary, you need to take a special online course. After taking this course you will be given a Teaching English as a Foreign Language Certificate, which confirms your competence as a first-class teacher. This point is important because, without this certificate for a teaching position in China, it is becoming increasingly difficult to get a job. The minimum requirement is a 120-hour course. Now, it's worth noting that you'll have a better chance of getting a job as a teacher if you choose a 150 or 250-hour course.

What is the salary of English teachers in China?

English teachers are in high demand in China, so their salaries are higher compared to other teachers. Of course, the salary will depend on the region, city, and educational institution, but on average about 10 - 15 thousand yuan (1200 - 2500 euros) for nonnative speakers. This is a full-time payment with a schedule Mon-Fri 8:00-17:00. Native speakers are paid 元17,000-25,000 (approximately $2,500-3,700).

On top of that, the average cost of housing, food, clothes, and medicine is a little more than 2 thousand yuan (400 euros) per month. So, you will have an opportunity for savings. In addition to the basic salary in China, English teachers can count on various bonuses. For instance, if they did not provide you with housing you will receive bonuses for housing payments and insurance. Also often a bonus is paid after the end of the contract.

Kids  - A step-by-step guide to becoming an English teacher in China


To decide whether to go to China or not, you need to weigh all the pros and cons. Working in China is a great opportunity to earn money, while you can get to know another country and its culture. On the other hand, not everyone will be able to adapt to the conditions of life in an Asian country. This is because is has its own traditions and customs, which are very different from European ones.


26 views0 comments


bottom of page