Please put yourself in a proper position while looking for a TEFL job in China

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China does have a great need of TEFL teachers, and the pay for TEFL teachers has been increasing, however, those high-paid jobs have higher requirement and more restrictions, not everyone can get an ideal pay. They should consider many factors and their own qualifications and the market. Besides, the z working visa policy has become more strict since 2016, especially in 2017, some cities have changed the z visa policy, which means more limitations for foreigners that want to teach in China. I suggest everyone to be aware of the situation and put yourself in a proper position, so you won’t miss a good job opportunity and get a job more smoothly. Recently, a lot of foreigners contacted us for TEFL jobs, and most are expecting 16,000rmb monthly pay or even 40,000rmb monthly pay, this is really crazy! I couldn’t say no schools want to hire someone with that amount of pay, but it sounds more like robbing. Please forgive my rude words, it’s not my intention to offend anyone, just want to let all you know, China is not as expensive as you imagine, and not as generous as you suppose. Each school has its budget, you should evaluate yourself, and know what kind of pay and benefits you deserve. Everything has an exception, but it’s not common seen, so please do not grasp this little chance.

I believe, those who want to come to China to be TEFL teachers not just for money, there must be more attractive reasons. China is not like Saudi Arab that can can offer a very high pay,  but China might be more fascinating in many other aspects. There are some schools that can offer the pay you are expecting, but do you deserve it? Do the schools think you are a good fit? That depends on the school. To make you understand better about the job market in China, I would like to tell you what schools prefer and accept.

First, all schools prefer native English speakers, this is undisputed. However, some schools would consider non-native English speakers for different reasons, and fewer and fewer schools can arrange z visa for non-native English speakers if you don’t have a bachelor’s degree from an English speaking country. Most schools will need these documents including bachelor’s degree or degree from native countries(if you are non-natives), TEFL/TESOL/CELTA certificate, a reference letter of two years’ teaching experience, medical check, police check and authenticated degree from a Chinese Embassy. If you want a legal working visa, those are necessary. If you even do not have a degree, please do not expect more than 14,000rmb monthly pay. If you are from non-native English speaking countries(not Canada, Australia, Britain, America, Ireland or New Zealand), please do not expect a monthly pay of more than 16k(especially when you don’t have a degree from an English speaking country, do not expect more than 13k). As I said everything has an exception, but you are not necessarily the lucky one. If you are a bachelor’s degree and TEFL holder without any formal teaching experience but from an English speaking country and want to teach English only, your monthly pay could be 7,000-15,000rmb per month. 7000rmb or 8,000rmb is for university positions, that’s a normal pay. 10,000-13,000rmb is for general public schools, they might have fewer hours, so the pay is lower. 11,000-15,000rmb is for kindergartens , training centers or international schools. If you are a master’s or doctor’s degree and TEFL holder from English native countries, and major in education, have a few years’ teaching experience in formal classroom, especially at international schools, your monthly pay could be 8,000-22,000rmb per month. 8,000-12,000rmb is for university positions. 13,000-17,000rmb is for training centers. 17,000-22,000rmb is not easy to meet. If there is an international school recruiting a homeroom teacher for their kindergarten or primary school, they might be happy to offer more than 20k suppose you are major in education or teaching and have related teaching experience for more than 3 years. Or maybe you can teach AP or A-level subjects, mainly math, physics, chemistry and etc, 20k or a little higher is also reasonable. If you are a degree and TEFL holder and also have the teaching credential from your native country plus several years’ teaching experience, your monthly pay could be 15,000-25,000rmb per month, depending on whether it’s a general public school or an international school. Such schools are not many and always picky. The last high-paid job is the academic dean. This positions requires more related experience and the age is also important, schools usually prefer someone between 40 and 50, they don’t like to hire someone that is only 30 or 35 to manage the school staff. They think it’s inappropriate or less effective. This type of position can offer 20,000-30,000rmb. Such position is not always available, probably we could meet such position twice a year.

All above apply to those who are under 58 years old(kids centers, international kindergartens and primary schools prefer someone under 55). For those who are over 60, and want z working visa, only universities are suitable and can issue a z visa. We know universities couldn’t offer more than 12k, usually no more than 10k, if you couldn’t accept the pay, sadly no schools could hire you.

In conclusion, before you start looking for TEFL jobs, please find the place and height you should stand at. Please do not demand an outrageous price. That will discourage agents and schools. Some schools straightly decline some candidates just because they don’t like ones that request a very specific high pay even though they can afford. If you really deserve it, all your agents will try to get you a satisfactory job, since agents will get paid if you sign with one of their schools. No one wanted to persuade you to accept a lower offer, but everyone hopes you can sign with their schools.

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