Most foreigners prefer to find ESL teacher jobs in the south of China. Their reason is as followings, south is less polluted and warmer, south is has better scenery, south has a better pay and etc.
To be honest, that is not firmly established. There are beautiful cities both in the north and in the south. I have to admit that north is colder in winter than that in the south, however, in the south, the temperature is similar in and outside. That might be better if there is an air conditioner. In the north, the temperature is warmer at home, because they all have heater. In the most south, you might not be able to see the snow, I feel that’s kind of disappointing. North always has four different seasons, and you may experience the beauty of spring, summer, autumn, and winter. All have their own features. Just wear more in the north, you will not feel cold.
As for the pollution, both southern cities and northern cities have pollution. As far as I am concerned, as long as it’s not too polluted, it’s ok. Would you like to work in a city that has AQI of below 50 for your whole life? If you couldn’t achieve, then do not insist on living in such cities, since there are not many. Once you move to a little more polluted city, you will be sensitive about the little pollution, even though it’s 100 or 120. You might get sick more easily than before. One that has been accustomed to fresh air will feel uncomfortable about some pollution. If that’s the case, your ESL teacher job options will be fewer.
About the pay in the south and in the north, more southern cities especially south-eastern cities do offer a higher pay than northern cities, since the living cost there is much higher. I think Shanghai and Zhejiang are the most expensive places. It’s normal for them to offer a higher salary.
In conclusion, I suggest that do not care too much about whether it’s in the south or in the north, unless you’ve been living in tropical areas, and really feel frozen in the north. You have see more better positions if you are open to see more cities in China. That’s just my advice. Whether where you choose to work still be up to you.