What salary to expect to teach in China?

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Having been engaged in foreign teacher recruitment for a long time, you will find a lot of different phenomena,such as change and differentiation in ESL teachers’ salary.

First of all, with the development of the times and the improvement of daily life, the daily consumption level is correspondingly improved,followed by the increased salary of ESL teachers. This is common, no ground for blame. However, over the recent years, the salary growth rate of ESL teachers in China is far more than the average level of people’s economic growth, which makes us have to analyze the reasons for this. Here are my personal opinions. First, with longer and deeper reform and opening up, there are more and more foreign teachers to come to teach English in China. And with the improvement of people’s living standards and change of people’s concept, more and more parents began to pay attention to cultivating children’s oral English expression. Therefore, there are a lot of English language training centers and international classes appearing. There is a large demand of ESL teachers in China, so the salary of foreign teachers salary is rising, which is not surprising. About two years ago, the average salary for ESL teachers in China is 8000-10000RMB for native speakers. If your qualifications and teaching experiences are good, then it can be higher like 12000RMB. It is acceptable to foreign teachers. But now, most foreigners who come to teach English in China ask for 12000-15000RMB and many schools can afford it if they think it’s worthy. Some ask for 20000RMB for just teaching English in China. This is too high. That’s for subject teachers like math, physics, chemistry, etc. So if you want to earn a high salary, then you need to get yourselves equipped with good qualifications and teaching experience.

Second, another phenomenon is the differentiation fo foreign teachers’ salary. We mentioned that the overall level of ESL teachers’ salary is constantly rising, but there is differentiation with different levels of ESL teachers, to a great degree. Schools will firstly choose ESL teachers from the US, UK, Canada and other native countries. This kind of resource is limited, so it leads to short supply. Thus, in order to snatch high-quality ESL teachers, they will competing the salary package like “auction”. Once the salary has rised, it can hardly be decreased. In additon, teachers from those countries noticed that the shortage of ESL teachers in China, they will ask for much higher salary. Well-capitalized schools will meet their requirments for hiring qualified teachers. The vicious circle will no doubt pull up the salary level. On the other hand, it’s not so optimistic for foreign teachers from non-native countries, especially in Africa and some Asian counties. Philippines is a coutry who speak English, but teachers from there are very hard to find jobs in China. The intense policy situation is part of the reason. This is not racial discrimination.It is dominated by China’s ESL teacher market. The market demand led to current situation. Thus, the difference in ESL teachers salary is not on the basis of racial discrimination. Second, teachers from African and Asian countries earn relatively low salary because they have to compete with European teachers. Schools will choose European teachers as a supplement if they can’t find native teachers, which in turn will further reduce the salary level of ESL teachers from Africa and Aisa. It is important to emphasize here that these do not mean that the salary of African and Asian ESL teachers is too low, but relatively reasonable.

Many people who come to teach English in China don’t know what salary they should expect. It really depends. For ESL teachers who are native speakers, the salary is 10000-12000RMB if you ara a new graduate without teaching experience. Money shouldn’t be the most important thing at this time. You need to gain more actual and formal teaching experience. Once you have gain experience in China, it will be much easier to find a better job in the future. If you have much teaching experience and higher degrees, then you can expect 12000-15000RMB per month. If you have teaching license from your own country, it’s best to choose a public or international school. They value it a lot and can offer higher like 20000RMB. If you are qualified to teach science subjects like Maths, Physics and Chemitry, the salary is 20000RMB and above. Of course, it also depends on the location. For smaller cities with lower consumption level, it will be a little lower. If you don’t hold a bachelor degree, the salary is around 9000-10000RMB. If you are European teachers with degree, tesol/tefl and teaching experience, you can expect 9000-11000RMB.

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