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Right now, China is one of the hottest markets for TEFL Jobs China’s emergence into a more free market system coupled with the higher standard of living many Chinese are now enjoying, has made for an insatiable demand for English teachers. The main worry is not if you will find a decent paying job, but which offer you should take.
First, make sure that the school you are contracting with has a good reputation. Talk to other teachers in the area via the internet or in person. The school should put the terms of your employment in writing and answer all the questions you have about the conditions you will be working in.
Be sure you know the population you will be teaching, class sizes, hours you will be working, details about salary, is housing provided or a housing allowance, is return or round trip airfare provided, do they have a permit to employ foreigners and will they help you to get a visa and work permit, how many teachers in the last year renewed their contracts, and can they provide you with references for teachers who have worked for them.
This is not a complete list of things to ask, but it provides you with an inkling of areas to have confirmed before you make the leap. The Beijing U.S. Embassy has a very good document on their website with more detailed guidelines (http://beijing.usembassy-china.org.cn/teach.html).
You can often secure a TEFL Job in China through a recruiting firm before arriving in China. Make sure that you have a contract from the school itself and have looked into both the recruiting agency and school. Sometimes the recruiting agency will not really know where they will place you. You want to avoid this situation at all costs.
To teach English in China now, you don’t need any qualifications other than being a native English speaker. That’s how high the demand is, but the more experience you have and the better your credentials the more job options and the higher the salary you will get.
If you have no experience or qualifications and are considering teaching for longer than the very short term, consider getting a well recognized TEFL certificate. This will increase your earning potential, give you important teaching skills, and if you take the right course, give you actual experience in the classroom.
Teaching positions in China fall into three main categories – private school, university, and freelance teaching. Universities are generally lower paid, beginning at 3,000 yuan/month with free accommodation for around 15 hours of teaching per week.
Students tend to be more interesting, and you will have time to do other things or increase your income in other ways. They are inclined to be more consistent in terms of paying on time and giving assistance with visas than are private schools.
You can expect 5,000 yuan/month or more with a private school, with around 20 hours of teaching per week. Accommodation is usually provided, or the school should make provisions in your pay if it is not.
Freelance teaching is simple to get either through the two previous situations or students you find on your own. Fees start at 100 yuan/hour and can go as high as you like. About 200 yuan/hour is reasonable if it means preparation and travel time. Officially, you still need a work permit, visa, and written permission from any other employer if you want to do this.
Again, be sure you are clear about what you are agreeing to before accepting a position in China. Bring cash reserves to fall back on should things not work out, in spite of your thorough planning. Best of luck to you and have fun!
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