Can You Make a Life Long Career Teaching English in China?

Can You Make a Life Long Career Teaching English in China
Can You Make a Life Long Career Teaching English in China –

ESL teaching in China is a lasting career if you do it right. China is definitely the place for English teaching right now. But can you make a lifelong career teaching English in China?

Teaching English in China is a booming market. If you are a native English speaker and a good teacher who is willing to learn effective methods to teach Chinese students, you’ll have lots of success and plenty of work. And because  ESL is a vast market, English is in the gaokao – China’s high-stakes standardized college entrance exam. If Chinese students want to attend Chinese University, they have to pass an English exam. It is an official policy that affects the entire education system in China.

Read on to find out how you can make a successful and lifelong career teaching English in China.

See also: What Other Jobs Can ESL Teachers Do?

Is Teaching English in China a Good Idea?

Teaching English in Asia is a good idea, especially in China. Most East Asian countries’ education system has English as a requirement to go to University. Compared to other East Asian countries, it is relatively easy to teach English in China, mainly because some countries require a teaching license to teach in those countries.

The standard of living is increasing in China, and you can live very comfortably on an ESL teacher’s salary. Being an ESL teacher in China is a rewarding and lasting career. Teaching English in China is not only a lasting career but also a rising and rewarding career option. ESL teachers in China are doing pretty well now and will do even better in the future.

  • Chinese people value English: Chinese parents raise their children to learn English from early childhood and place great importance on English skills.
  • English is a mandatory subject for Chinese students from elementary school to university.
  • Adult continuing education is also booming: More adults are learning English to improve their English skills for better employment opportunities or career advancements.
  • Chinese universities, schools, and training centers are actively looking for committed, motivated, and qualified ESL teachers.
  • Chinese parents care very much about their children’s education, and English is one of the most important subjects.
  • In major cities, educated Chinese parents have realized that getting a good grade on a written exam is not enough. They want their children to speak English fluently.

Can You Make a Life Long Career Teaching English in China?

China is an excellent country to make a lifelong career teaching English. And you can make a lifelong career teaching English if you do it right. The standard of living is increasing in China, and you can live very conveniently on a teacher’s salary.

However, not everyone can apply for a position teaching English in China. You can still increase your chances of getting hired by a renowned employer with a good salary by following these tips to help you successfully teach English in China.

See also: What Is It Like Being an ESL Teacher?

Teaching English in China Tips for a Rewarding and Successful ESL Career

1- Have a career goal

Like Anything in life, it is essential to have a goal. What are your career goals in teaching English in China? Once you have decided on your career, then you plan accordingly.

With successful career planning, you can have a high quality of life with a solid income and vacation time.

The best advice for making a lifelong career in teaching English in China is to have a career goal. If you are looking to make a fulfilling and well-paid career teaching English in China, follow these tips.

2- Get TEFL Certified

A 120-hour TEFL certification is your first step toward a successful teaching career. Arriving in China with your TEFL certificate already in hand will help you find a better and higher-paying job.

Holding a TEFL certification shows your employer that you are serious and qualified to teach English and that you aren’t only looking for a fun time abroad.

I teach math at a high school in Guangzhou, and I got my TEFL 120 Hour certification at the University of Toronto in Canada. Most employers in China require 120 hours of study.

3- Choose your TEFL Specializations Based on Your Career Goal

You can choose your specializations depending on your destination and your student’s age, such as teaching English to Arabic speakers or teaching English to young learners. If you are heading to China, it might help you get a TEFL specialization in Teaching English to Mandarin Speakers

Make sure to highlight your specialization during your job interview at schools, as it can be a great selling point for you.

Check out this detailed video on how to choose a TEFL course.

How to choose a TEFL course featuring the OISE TEFL course – Teach Away TEFL with OISE

4- Apply to Multiple and Reputable Schools

You don’t need to wait until you get your TEFL certificate before starting to apply. I got my first job as an ESL teacher while studying for my 120 Hours TEFL certification.

Make sure you apply to as many jobs offers as you possibly can to maximize your chance of landing a better job. Applying to multiple schools also gives you more options because you will receive many job offers, and you will be able to choose the best one that interests you.

Try to look professional during the interview, dress professionally for your Skype interview, prepare questions, and research the school and its location.

Where to Find Reputable Schools And Recruiters: 

  • Talk to others (friends or family) who are already teaching in China.
  • I found my high school math teacher job through a recruiter at Dave’s ESL Cafe.
  • Also, you check out Teachaway’s website.

5- Be Flexible And Open-minded

Being flexible and open-minded will help you make a lifelong career teaching English in China.

The most important thing to keep in mind is cultural differences, you might experience culture shock, but you will quickly adapt and succeed as an ESL teacher in China with an open mind.

See also: Are ESL Classes Tax-Deductible?

6- Build your Experience

Your first job might not be the one that pays you well or not in your preferred city. In the beginning, especially your first year, focus on gaining experience. Once you start working and gain experience, you will see more job opportunities will start appearing.

After you gain teaching experience and the proper certifications, it is possible to live in great cities and teach at private international schools.

7- Build Relationships With Your Employers And Colleagues

Building relationships, in general, is excellent for making a lifelong career teaching English in China.

The golden rule is to follow Chinese laws and regulations. Don’t discuss politics, religion, and sex in China.

See also: Is Being an ESL Teacher a Good Career?

Final Thoughts on Making  a Life-Long Career Teaching English in China

Overall, you can make a lifelong career teaching English in China if you do it. Here are the best teaching English in China tips and building a rewarding and successful career teaching English in China. 

  • Have a career goal 
  • Get TEFL Certified 
  • Choose your TEFL Specializations Based on Your Career Goal 
  • Apply to multiple and reputable schools.
  • Be flexible and open-minded
  • Build your Experience 
  • Build relationships with your employers and colleagues

And above all,  you should be prepared to work hard and learn about Chinese culture, and you will make a successful and lifelong career teaching English in China. 


Hello friends, I am Altiné. I am SO excited you are here! I am the guy behind Project English Mastery. I am from Toronto, Canada. I graduated with a Master in International Economics and Finance from Ryerson University in Toronto, Canada. After working a few years in the banking industry and completing my 120 TEFL from the University Of Toronto, I decided to teach English in China. Project English Mastery is a blog that provides helpful resources for English Teachers and Learners: vocabulary and grammar, exercises, and class activities ideas and tips.

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