Teach English in China

China has numerous ESL opportunities available to native English speaking teachers. Foreign teachers can choose to teach English in a private language training school, or you can teach various subjects in a public school, an international school, or a university!

Teaching in China will not only provide you with many different opportunities, but it will also provide you with extra cash to spend on traveling or whatever else you'd like to do. Getting to China from your home country is the most difficult part, because after that, you can easily travel to and from the neighboring countries like Cambodia, Thailand, and Japan!

The opportunities to teach English in China are considered some of the best in the ESL market globally. This is due to high wages, low cost of living, and high demand for foreign teachers. Similar to the opportunities in South Korea years ago, but China is now the epicenter of teaching abroad.

Temple in China
Almost nothing is more important to Chinese parents than the education of their children, and both the public and private education sectors are rising to meet the demand. Along with the spending power of the rising middle class, there are now literally 10’s of millions of families that can afford to send their children to school with native English speaking teachers. Across the entire country, in cities you've never heard of there is a demand for teachers, especially ESL teachers.

Also keep in mind that teaching is a service, and China has an ever-growing demand within the service sector of the economy. For teachers, this means that the growth in demand will continue to outpace the growth in supply, so teachers that do go to China will make a good amount of money. If you're ever considered teaching abroad, or teaching in China, now is a great time to finally make your move!

The fastest growing segment of education jobs in China right now is at the professional level. The demand for instructors that are experienced in the following curriculums: American AP, British IGCSE and A-Level as well as internationally accredited programs like International Baccalaureate (IB), has been steadily increasing every year. Meanwhile, the demand for recent university graduates and less experienced ESL teachers continues to outpace the supply of teachers.

Curriculum List including IB, AP, IGCSE, and A-levelsWhether you’re a newbie or experienced professional, we at Teaching Nomad will be sure to find a position that meets your needs.

Why Consider Teaching in China?

China spans over 1,700 miles North to South connecting Harbin in Heilongjiang province (home of the famous Harbin ice festival) to Hong Kong with its humid subtropical climate. Each city has a lot of individual character and the local people take a lot of pride in this diversity.

Opportunities to teach English in China are almost as diverse as the country itself. Different types of schools and different parts of the country can provide totally unique experiences. For example, a business English instructor in the mega-city of Shanghai will have a very different experience than a kindergarten teacher in Chengdu. Not only are the attractions in the cities different but also the local culture and language. Whether or not you prefer to be in a specific location, your placement consultant will work to find you a suitable city that appeals to you.

Teaching abroad in China opportunities include Preschool, Kindergarten, Primary school, Middle school, High school, Universities and adults. Not to mention demand for freelance and hourly lessons. A new trend is also online teaching, which grants the flexibility to work with learners across the country with tight schedules. Working with Teaching Nomad will ensure you a well-compensated position (even for beginners) based on your experience and qualifications. Read about the different types of schools we work with in China.

Almost all teaching contracts in China are between 1 and 2 years. As the education market is maturing and the salaries are rising, schools do not want fly by night teachers that will leave their students hanging after a few months. Although beginner teachers are welcome, they need to take the position seriously and be prepared to honor their contractual obligations. And just remember- no matter where you want to go, there will be many teaching positions for you to choose from.

Cute kids in school

Where in China Can I Teach?

Cities in China are informally grouped into 3 tiers to give a broad reference to their stage in development. As China is a “developing nation”, the development status of these three tiers varies greatly! The cities recognized as tier 1 are Shanghai, Beijing, Shenzhen and Guangzhou. Some parts of these cities could easily be confused with western cities. There are over 170 cities in China with 1 million+ people and dozens of them are tier 2 status. This means they likely have an underground metro system, airport, high-speed train station, definitely KFC (Chicken) and Starbucks! While many people are looking to teach in Shanghai because of its international reputation, tier 3 cities will certainly be more of an adventure. With limited access to imported goods and few English speakers, these cities will certainly grant you a full immersion experience.

Teaching Nomad has openings in all 3 types of cities stretching as far North as Harbin, near the Russia border to as far South as Hainan island in the South China sea and as far west as Chengdu in Sichuan province. The majority of the our schools are in Tier 1 and Tier 2 cities but if you’re looking for a real adventure, we do have tier 3 city opportunities.

As the most international city in the country there are many teaching jobs in Shanghai. Remember that while salaries in Shanghai are higher than many tier 2 or 3 cities, the cost of living is also considerably higher than most of mainland China. See all current openings in Shanghai here.

Pyramid showing Chinese city tiers and associated cost

Schedule and Start Dates:

K-12 & Universities work on the same schedule as western countries with the fall semester starting in late August or early September and the spring semester starting after the Chinese New Year, March, (based on the lunar calendar). For fall positions we suggest applying 4-5 months in advance and 2-3 months in advance for spring. In addition, China has huge demand for training schools, which hire new teachers every month! No matter your schedule, we’ll be able to help find the best teaching opportunities available.

Getting Started:

Teaching Nomad offers free teacher placement services, but you must meet our basic requirements before we can place you.

Our minimum requirements are:

1. You must be a native English speaker

2. You must have a BA degree or above

3. You must have either 1 year of teaching experience or a 120-hour TEFL certification. (If you need a TEFL certification, Teaching Nomad also offers both in-class & online TEFL courses.)

Teaching jobs in China are all displayed on the job board or you can just register your information to be connected with a placement consultant.

Interested but have questions? Send us a message to be connected with a placement consultant, and discuss your concerns with them. Email us directly at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Also, be sure to check out reviews and testimonials written by other Teaching Nomads about us to better understand what we're all about!


Teaching Nomad is your connection to teaching in Asia & The Middle East! We are a western owned and operated teacher placement agency with offices in Denver & Shanghai. We take a lot of pride in connecting teachers with great teaching opportunities.


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Contact Us

   Kangding Road No.1018, Third Floor, Suite 306 Shanghai, Prc

   1660 S.Albion St. Suite 826, Denver,CO USA

 (+86) 21 8025 3905

 (+1) 720 531 6136




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