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Teaching English in China 101

The job market for teaching English abroad in China is the largest in the world. Demand for English teachers in China is so high that schools hire year-round, and interviews are conducted in advance over the phone and via e-mail. In most cases, those who teach English in China will get their airfare reimbursed, and schools typically provide free housing for their teachers. With over 1.3 billion citizens and an estimated 400 million English learners, China shows no signs that it will relinquish its title as the top job market for English teachers any time soon. 

Most public schools throughout China have mandated English training from age five through the end of secondary school.  With the largest number of middle-class households in the world, parents are sending their children to private language schools at an unprecedented rate.  The adult learner market is enormous as well. China's export market is one of the world's largest, and it is necessary for their white collar workforce to communicate with potential buyers worldwide using English.


The cost of living for those teaching English in China is very low, and a generous salary affords English teachers in China the opportunity to live a comfortable lifestyle while saving up to $400–$1,000 USD per month, which has nearly three times the local purchasing power that it would have in the USA. English language schools offer approximately 20 to 25 hours of work per week, giving English teachers in China plenty of time to travel and explore the nation’s endless treasures.

It is not required to hold a bachelor’s degree to teach English in China, but please note, a Bachelor’s degree is required in order to obtain a work visa. Because demand is so high in China, there are still limited opportunities to secure a job without a degree, depending on the school and its locations, however not having a degree will make your job search more challenging in this country. Please refer to this article for more information on what it means to teach in China without a Bachelor’s degree.

There are well over 50 cities with over 1 million people in each. Top destinations for teaching English in China include BeijingShanghai, Nanjing, Hangzhou, and Guangzhou, to name just a few.

Visit the China Alumni Ambassador Corner - Get videos, articles & inside tips for teaching and living in China from ITA Ambassadors living there!


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