Teach English in China (Cost of Living)

Teach English Abroad
Teach English in China - Cost of Living
Teach English in China

Teaching English in China can be a fantastic experience, even for those who are traveling to teach for the first time. The cost of living in China is inexpensive. Monthly salaries of teachers in China vary, depending on experience, teaching hours and employer size, etc. Most jobs expect about 15-25 teaching hours per week. Additional time spent for preparation of materials and lesson-planning does not count as teaching hours.

Here are some monthly salary expectations:

  • Teachers without experience: RMB 3,500-4,000 (US$512-585)
  • For those with ESL/ TESOL qualifications RMB 4,000-5,000 (US$585-730)
  • Those with a post graduate/master’s degree  RMB 4,500-6,500 (US$660-950)
  • Experienced teachers from EU countries RMB 4,500- 7,500 (US$660-1,100)

Average salaries for teachers in major cities like Beijing, Shanghai and Guizhou are between RMB 4,000- 6,000 (US$590-900). In smaller cities, salaries average around RMB 2,000-4,000 (US$292-590). These numbers may be a little dated, because some of the larger schools like EnglishFirst are reportedly offering around US$1800, however, online salary figures often include the value of benefits so they may not be a true salary.

Almost all schools in China offer free shared accommodations with other English teachers, a bike for traveling (most host schools settle their teachers in areas nearby the school), and flight reimbursements for the return ticket (upon completion of your contract) plus free Chinese classes. So, what teachers have to pay for are utilities, food and entertainment.

If not offered a place to stay, accommodation in China is fairly inexpensive. A room in a shared apartment would cost 1,500-2,000 RMB (US$220-295) per month. Food in China is cheap and unique. If you eat in local food stalls and do your grocery shopping in markets, you would expect to spend about RMB 1,500 (US$220) per month on food. Cheap and delicious Chinese dishes with rice would only cost about RMB 15 (US$2) while dining in westernized restaurants are more expensive at around RMB 100 (US$15) per meal.

Public transportation in China is efficient and cheap. Local tours are accessible and reasonably priced, while traveling by trains are a bit expensive, yet more comfortable. On the weekends, many people use taxis within the city while enjoying the nightlife. An average monthly budget for transportation is between 200-300 RMB (US$30-45). Communication costs (telephone calls, prepaid cards) would be around RMB 250-300 (US$36-44)/ month. It would also be advisable to contact your family & friends through the internet. It costs less and most of the schools offer free internet connection together with the provided accommodation.

Teaching English in China may not be as luxurious as teaching in other nations but the experience is definitely worth it. Don’t expect to become rich but the amount that you get is more than adequate for a comfortable lifestyle.

Find TEFL English Teaching Jobs in China

TEFL English teaching job listings in China

Teach English in China (General Information)

A general overview of what to expect teaching English in China

Teach English in China (Visa Requirements)

Information on visa requirements to teach English in China

Interviews with English Teacher in China

Interview with Kelly Sandor, teaching English in China
Interview with Roger Jones, teaching English in China
Interview with Gordie Rogers, teaching English in China

More Information
China Official Website
China (Tourism Information)
China News (China Daily)
China News (Xinhuanet)
China News (Inside China Today)
China Classifieds (Jobs)
China Classifieds (Accommodations)
China Classifieds (Accommodations)
China Classifieds (Accommodations)

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