How to Teach English in China – Full Steps

If you are looking for ways to teach English in China, this guide will walk you through the entire process.

China is a country with a diverse culture, stunning natural beauty, a large economy, and excellent cuisine. With a population of 1.44 billion, China is the world’s most populous country and the third largest country by territory, and there is hardly a shortage of teaching jobs, which is why it has quickly become one of the most popular destinations for English teachers from all over the world.

If you are one of these English teachers and you are here to see what information you can find in order to take hold of a teaching opportunity, I urge you to continue reading because we have listed all of the requirements as well as the steps you must take in order to achieve your dreams.

If you don’t have a specific country in mind and just want to cast a net to see how many fish you can catch, we’ve got you covered with our guides on how to teach English in various countries around the world. With the world becoming more connected, it has become increasingly important to break down language barriers by learning languages that one is not native to; this is why Asian countries like Korea and European countries like Germany are constantly in need of English teachers to assist with this.

Requirements to Become an English Teacher in China

In order to qualify for an English teaching job in China, applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • Hold a bachelor’s degree in any field
  • Be TEFL certified
  • Hold a valid passport from any of the English-speaking countries such as UK, Ireland, US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa, or be a certified teacher in your home country with at least two years of teaching experience.
  • Possess a work visa or a Z-Visa
  • Have a clean criminal record
  • Get a medical check
  • Provide two passport-sized photos
  • Be between 18 to 60 years

Pros and Cons of being an English Teacher in China

As much as teaching English in China comes with its perks, there are also many downsides to it. In this section, we are going to explore some of the pros and cons of teaching English in China.

Pro: Excellent Salaries

Anyone teaching English in China can enjoy high salaries, especially if they are teaching at international schools. You can also double your income by teaching English online. Here is an article to guide you.

Con: High Workload and Difficulty Obtaining Teaching Books

As you earn well by teaching English in China, you can expect to give back by overexerting yourself. Work can get overwhelmingly frustrating and demanding, and the worst part is that you may not easily find quality English textbooks anywhere in the country.

Pro: Opportunity to Explore a new Culture

As a country with a rich cultural diversity, you can experience so much during your time here. You can pick up a new language, explore the Chinese culinary scene, learn about the Chinese tradition, and even learn to dress the Chinese way in order to blend in.

Con: Culture Shock

As you delve deeper into Chinese culture, you are likely to experience culture shock as a result of being exposed to so many things that you have never heard of or experienced. With so many ethnic groups in the country, catching up will be nearly impossible.

Pro: Low Cost of Living

China has a lower cost of living than some of the other countries you may be considering. With some employers willing to provide free housing, you can save more and spend less on other necessities like transportation and food, which are both inexpensive.

Con: Expensive Familiar Things

As many things as you can buy at affordable prices in China, most of the things that you are familiar with may not come cheap at all. African cuisine, for example, can be three times more expensive than regular Chinese cuisine.

Pro: Easily Explore other Asian Countries

As a Chinese residence permit holder, you have visa-free entry into some Asian and European countries and can easily travel across the continent via cheap flight deals and other public transportation options.

Here is a guide to become an English teacher in Thailand.

Con: Punishment for Wrong Visa

It is illegal to teach in China on a visa that is not a work visa or a z-visa. If you are caught, you will be deported to your home country and barred from ever entering China again.

Other pros include beautiful scenery and historical sites, numerous ex-pat communities, teaching without a degree in education, and Chinese people’s friendliness toward foreigners.

Other cons include overcrowding, pollution, difficulty communicating with Chinese locals, isolation, and stringent internet restrictions.

If you want to consider teaching English in other countries, here is a guide to Italy.

teach English in China

Teach English in China – Full Steps

Now comes the part you’ve been looking forward to; This section outlines the steps you must take in order to teach English in China.

  1. Begin your research
  2. Get your documents ready
  3. Search for jobs online
  4. Apply for positions and attend your interview
  5. Sign a contract and prepare your visa
  6. Travel to China and begin your new job

1. Begin your Research

The first thing you do when you want something, no matter how little, is look around or ask questions, just as you have done by reading this guide. As someone looking to teach English in China, the first step is to conduct a research and learn everything there is to know before proceeding. It is recommended that you seek an advisor; someone who is more knowledgeable on this subject than you are. They will provide you with all of the information you need before you can begin looking for work in China.

2. Get your Documents Ready

After you’ve gathered all of the necessary information, the next step is to prepare all of your documents. While there will be many documents you will need to keep handy throughout this journey, it is important to note that the documents below will be required by recruiters as you fill out application forms, so keep them closer.

  • Your CV
  • A Cover Letter
  • Your TEFL Certificate
  • Your Educational Certificates
  • Proof of Experience
  • Employer Testimonials

3. Search for Jobs Online

After you have compiled your documents, you should begin your job search. There are numerous ways to find ESL jobs, one of which is to simply search on Google. Google is everyone’s friend. On the result page, you will see some of the websites that post these types of opportunities. However, here are some website recommendations to help you narrow down your search.


You can also request a customised job search from recruiting agencies like Reach To TeachTeaching Nomad and Set in China who will help you narrow down your search and follow up with additional information or tips.

4. Apply for Positions and Attend your Interview

The goal is to apply for as many jobs as possible; there’s no harm in casting a wide net, is there? Because Chinese schools hire all year, you can apply whenever you want. If your application is successful and luck shines on you, you will receive job offers. Some employers will require a virtual interview before accepting you, and this will be your final opportunity to sell yourself and explain why you are the best candidate for the position. Discuss your previous experience and what you were able to accomplish.

5. Sign A Contract and Prepare your Visa

After you get the job, you must sign an employment contract; there is no procedure for this because it is between you and your employer. The next step is to make arrangements for your visa. Your employer can help you with this and tell you what documents you need. Make sure you have the proper visa for this purpose; you will need a work visa or a z-visa to teach English in China. Additionally, you will need a residence permit and a medical clearance stating that you are free of tuberculosis, HIV, and drugs; carefully go through employment contract to see if your school will pay for your visa and the associated fees, as each school is different.

6. Travel to China and Begin your New Job

After you have cleared all the steps above, the next step is to hop on a plane to China and begin your new job!


That’s all you’ll need to teach English in China. While you may not be accepted with every application you submit, you should keep applying until that acceptance letter arrives in your inbox!

Teach English in China – FAQs

What is the salary of English teachers in China?

On average, English teachers in China can earn $3000 monthly. They can earn much more if they have more experience or teach in prestigious schools.

Do I need a degree to teach English in China?

Yes. You need at least a Bachelor’s degree in any field before you can teach English in China.

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