Home to more than 300 million English students and the world’s fastest growing economy, China represents the largest and one of the most lucrative teaching markets in the world. But just what are the options for foreign teachers looking to work in this dynamic country? We’ve compiled a list of the many options that job seekers will have when looking to teach in China. (Be sure to also read our breakdown of the Requirements to Teach in China)
The Many School Options for Teachers in China
Training schools are private institutions that tend to specialize in a subject area and age level, and can be found in every city in China, providing the opportunity to work with any age of students, from small children to adults. Training schools are a good option for those new to teaching, as they often offer a full training package, as well as a Chinese teacher who will support foreign teachers with their classes. Because they offer lessons outside of public-school hours, teachers are often required to work evenings and weekends, with two days off during the week. The salaries, however, can be quite good, and extra classes are nearly always available for those who want to earn even more.
Chinese public schools are seeing a growing demand for foreign teachers who can share their language and culture with students. Jobs abound in nearly every city in China, from the kindergarten to high school level. Public schools may be preferable to teachers who want to work in a less profit-driven environment, while maximizing their cultural experience through interaction with Chinese students and teachers. Salaries and work loads vary, but you can generally expect to teach around 22 hours per week, with weekends and all public holidays off. Vacation time can be quite generous, with often more than one month each during summer and winter vacations.
University jobs are not the highest paying in China, but do offer some unique benefits which prove attractive to both younger and older teachers alike. University teachers will enjoy a relaxed course load of about 16 teaching hours per week, leaving sufficient time to pursue other interests during their time in China. They also tend to enjoy more autonomy in course development and teaching. Perhaps the most attractive perk is lengthy, paid summer and winter vacations – up to 3 months total per year! – which is perfect for those who are keen to travel or study during their off time.
International schools are Chinese or foreign owned institutions which generally follow a British, American, or Canadian curriculum, and may exclusively employ foreign teachers. Students include the children of expat workers as well as locals hoping to enter foreign universities. A few years of experience, and relevant qualifications and certifications from your home country may be required to work in an international school. Not surprisingly though, these jobs offer the highest salaries in the country, and present many career advancement opportunities should you decide to stay in China for the long-term or return home or to another country.
A Plethora of Options
The demand for foreign teachers in China continues to grow year after year. The variety of job options is also increasing, as the education sector continues to develop. That’s great news for job seekers, whether new graduates or seasoned teachers, who are looking to start their teaching adventure in China!
Questions about teaching in China? We can answer any of your questions about moving to and working in China, and connect you with the best teaching jobs in the country.
Browse our extensive job list, and find hundreds of positions in private institutes, pubic schools, universities, and international schools in China.
Not sure what kind of teaching jobs you qualify for? Apply now, and we will assess your options and connect you with the best schools that you qualify for. We look forward to hearing from you!