Earn more money! Can I do a part-time job beyond my full-time ESL job in China?


Recently, many ESL teachers in China have asked me the same questions whether they can get a part-time job beyond the job on their contract, what kind of jobs they can look for and how can they get the job?


I’m happy that no one asks me whether it is legal to work for others not the one on the contract.  We can go straight to the questions here.


First, when ESL teachers work in China, it’s ok for ESL teachers to get a part-time job.  Most ESL jobs are not required too much work hours and office hours. Therefore, ESL teachers have enough time to do other jobs.  And some of the ESL jobs could not meet the expectation of ESL teachers. Then, they need a part-time job to help them get more money, too.  I know there are some ESL teachers who are coming to China, not just because they like the culture of China, but also they need to save money to pay off the students’ loan.  As most people know, there are some places of China that the cost of living is really low, which can save you a lot of money.


Second, let’s talk about the types of part-time are available for ESL teachers in China.

The most common type is teacher for a training center or private tutor.


Sometimes, language schools need part-time teachers who can work stably.  You may get the number of hours from a part-time job as many as a full-time job. The payment of the part-time job will be a little bit higher than the extra hours in the contract, but lower than the private tutor.  As I said, there is a lot of working hours for ESL teachers. Therefore, if you need a mount of money to pay off your loan, you can try to get a part-time job in a training center.


Where can you get a part-time job in a training center? I would like to say that if you want to work for a training center stably, you should go to a recruiting agency, which can help you lock a part-time job here in China. You can also ask your friends who lives in the local city longer. They may help you too.


Private tutor is very popular in China.  It’s also paid the most among all the types of part-time job in China. Then, let’s see who needs private tutor, then we may know where ESL teachers can get private tutor job in China.


In China, almost every parent has higher expectation to his/her kid. They prefer to have a native English speaker for their kids at home, not just go to training center. Sometimes, they prefer one-to one. Sometimes, they prefer 3-5 kids small class. The parents would give a higher hour salary to the ESL teacher.  Sometimes, the parents who hire ESL teachers may provide dinner and commute taxi fee. However, the working hours are not many and could not be guaranteed.  Most of the private tutor jobs do not go to the recruiting agency. They only exist between ESL teachers. Therefore, it’s not easy to get a private tutor job.

Then, the most important questions are that how you can get a private tutor job and where you can find one. Parents who need private tutor are usually looking for ESL teachers who are referred by others, since they don’t go to recruiting agency.  The parents especially like foreigners who worked for them before to refer some else to take their places.  Therefore, it’s important to make some local foreign friends.

Although it’s pretty hard to get a private tutor, you can still ask your friends who may keep an eye for you at the private tutor.  There are also some local wechat groups that can help you get in touch with the local foreigners and local news.


There are other part-time jobs available for ESL teachers, such as translators, on-line English teachers and so on.


If your Mandarin is pretty good, you can be a translator in China and works at your spare time to translate some paper. About the salary of the job, I’d like to say if your Mandarin is good and spend less time to understand Mandarin, and then it’s a good job for you. Since you can work at home and master your time, the only thing you need to pay attention is that you need to hand out by the due date.


If you’re confident with your Mandarin, you can go to some websites similar with craigslist in the states to search for translator jobs.


Expect for translator jobs, you can also write letters or papers for others, which can make help you make more money. However, you need to have a good write skill to be capable for the job.


On-line teaching is also a good option for ESL teachers who would like to take a part-time job in China. You can search online for this kind of part-time job. The teaching hour is very flexible. And you don’t need any new skills for on-line teaching job, either.  However, the hour salary for the on-line job is not very high. For example, if the hour salary for training center is 200 RMB, then hour salary for on-line teaching will be around 80-120 RMB.


After introducing those kinds of part-time jobs for ESL teachers in China, you may be curious that how much you can get for one hour. I’ll take my city as an example. In my city, the hour salary for private tutor is around 300-350 RMB; training centers is around 150-200; on-line teaching is around 80-120; the extra hour salary on the contract is around 100-120 RMB. Those hour salaries vary from cities to cities.  Some cities higher, some cities lower. You can always find a part-time job if you’re a qualified ESL teacher.


I’ll introduce more jobs searching websites for you later in other articles. You can always get a part-time job if you keep an eye at it.