China is a country shrouded in mystery for many foreigners, especially those from far-off countries like the USA, Canada, and the United Kingdom. Many prospective teachers who reach out to us are a little wary of teaching in China because there are some common misconceptions about what it’s really like to teach there. Well, we’re here to set the record straight. Read on to discover some of the misconceptions people have about teaching English in China, and find out the truth for yourself!
Pay Rate for Teaching in China
Some applicants are under the impression that teachers in China tend to make less money than those working in other regions like the Middle East — that’s false! A quick survey of job postings on our site and others shows that while the average starting salary for qualified overseas English teachers in China may be on the lower end of average, all-in-all, it’s pretty close to par with other comparable overseas locations (depending on work experience, of course). Further, there are many positions in China with higher and more competitive salaries, depending on experience.
Taking all of that into account and factoring in the comparably low cost of living in China, teachers there can actually end up pocketing more of their take-home pay than in places like Oman where groceries and entertainment cost significantly more.
Reality: Teachers can expect a starting salary of $2000-2500 USD for most of our placements in China, compared to a starting average of $2500-3500 USD in the Middle East, but costs of living balance out the equation making take-home pay comparable across both locations.
Local Culture & Value of Teachers Some people are under the crazy notion that teachers in China (and foreigners in general) get less respect from locals and students than they do in other countries — this couldn’t be further from the truth! A study by the University of Sussex put this question to rest with extensive data, finding that public respect for teachers was actually higher in China than anywhere else in the world, including the USA and the UK. In fact, the Chinese actually place teachers in the same esteem as doctors. China places a huge cultural value on education, and many students are eager to learn English, earning teachers a high positive regard from locals.
Reality: China values education, meaning you’ll be highly regarded by students and locals as a teacher, and treated accordingly. Don’t believe us? Check out the research-backed data for yourself!
Longevity of Career Prospects
One other weird misconception people have of teaching in China is that teachers are easily replaced. Having established that teachers in China are highly valued by the locals and their students, you might have a hard time believing this myth already, but to erase any kernels of doubt, you should know that most of our placements require a set time commitment of 1 to 2 years. Schools have no desire to replace teachers on any kind of regular basis, so flights are reimbursed only on successful completion of the term, and bonuses are often paid out as an extra incentive for teachers to stick around.
Reality: Schools in China are happy when they get a teacher who will commit to stick around, and employers will reward you accordingly. Remember, teachers are highly valued!
Living and working in China is an incredible experience, and teachers are treated very well. If you’re ready to see for yourself, have a look at our vacant positions in the region, and apply today!
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