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About the $$$ - ok, the 元


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What kind of pay rates can a teacher of English expect in China? Also, are there any qualifications that can maximize pay rates? Does a bachelor of education with TESOL or TEFL help?

I am considering going to China to teach, but realistically if I cannot bring in close to $2000 a month while I am there, it would be better for me to remain in my home country for a while to earn some money and just go there for a year as a tourist or foreign student.

Also, are there different categories of schools out there paying different rates?

Lets discuss it!

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As your first job in country with no experience or good leads, despite qualifications. 16,000rmb a month is not likely I would think. Some people "can" do It apparently, my gf says her ex makes 18,000rmb a month, with degree as I recall, but he has been there 12 years, and speaks fluent chinese.

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English teachers just don't get paid that much. If you can manage it, you'll be working ridiculous hours and won't really have time to enjoy the environment.

Do you have any other skills? There are ways to make a lot of money in China, teaching english isn't one.

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I think you are comparing apples and oranges.

In China the cost of living is very low and you have have a great life on a low salary.

So the salaries are lower in Dollar terms but are actually good jobs. Things like living in nice downtown apartments, eating out every day, taking taxis everywhere, being able to afford to travel in China in any holiday you get.

An average teaching job brings in 8, 000 Yuan a month 2000 goes to housing(some places include housing in the contract), 1,000 to food, 2,000 yuan to partying 3,000 for saving or traveling with. In USD this only looks like $1100, or anual salary of $13,000 you would barely be able to scrape by.

In West , the cost of living is higher so the salaries are also higher. This also means it is often more difficult to save or splurge on things which are common in the west.

If you have college debt, of course you have to factor that in. There are people that can live on very little cash in China (Like 1000 yuan a month) espicially if you're not living in Shanghai or Beijing.

So come for the experience, and don't come if you have school loans.

have fun,


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The heydays for that kind of money TEFL are pretty much over. If you are a certified teacher back home, then you can make something in the ballpark that you mentioned in the international schools (check out TES).

From what I've seen, the average salary is between 4800-5500RMB, free accommodations, airfare, local health insurance... . Every once in a while, I see an ad for 10000RMB.

From what I've seen listed;

International schools/ joint venture- universities seem to pay the highest

Private schools, university

language schools, training colleges

public schools, university - lowest paying

Check out Dave's Cafe, teflchina,tefl.com ... Having said all this, someone on Dave's mentioned a job offering 7000RMB for 10 hrs a week. Anything's possible.

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if you need money, go to korea, people come to china to learn chinese or because they are interested in gthe culture, most teaching jobs are between 5-10,000 yuan with airfare and apartment, in bigger cities they should pay more, apartments in shanghai and beijing for example are cheaper. there are TONS of teaching jobs. but if you are looking to make 2,000

USD a month, you have to go to korea or to taiwan, PS, taiwan is supposed to be great and you can still learn chinese, it's mostly one year contracts, so you have to factor that in. good luck!

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You can't really compare wages in the USA to those in China. Excluding the big cities like Beijing and Shanghai which are expensive and so pay differently and assuming your not a fully qualified experienced American teacher who could get a job at an international school - then you can expect 5000RMB per month for teaching 20 hours (give or take a bit).

But how much money is that. Well your $2000 in the USA is probably just enough to live on but won't leave much spending money. You would have to be quite frugal. However, 5000RMB is allot of money in china. You will not have to count your money or watch your wallet. Unless you are silly with money, your wages here will last you a long time.

Additional, the teaching jobs usually pay for your flights to and from the USA, give you free accommodation for the year, and will introduce you to the culture better than you could ever do as a tourist. For example, I have had two trips to Inner Mongolia which were fully paid for by my school including all the meals and so on. I had a 3 day stay in Shanghai courtesy of the school. Plus I have colleagues and friends who regularly invite me to restaurants and there houses. How many US$ would you have spent doing that as a tourist. Quite a lot I would suspect. So you get more than just a $ earning.

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