Salary Expectations

Salaries can vary widely from city to city depending on the living standards and jobs. But in general you should be looking to get a rough guideline as listed below.

Full time jobs

A full time job should include something around 20 teacher hours per week. 20 hours does not mean you will show up 4 hours a day and go home. In most cases they give you school hours where you will have to be there at the school. During this time, or on top of this time, you will need to lesson plan for all classes. In general when you get started one-hour class should properly need one hour of lesson planning.

Full time jobs usually start around 11,000RMB to 12,000RMB depending on the school. Some will offer 13,000 to 15,000, but with more money usually comes with more work or the school is very far away. In general if you do a up to standards job and your students take a liking to you expect to ask for a raise within 3 to 6 months.

Tutoring jobs

Tutoring can be very lucrative, and sometimes extremely easy. Many people just simply want to talk. Why just talk? It sounds a bit wild at first, but you learn that they lived in America, or studied English for 10 years, studied in England, moving to America, or have a big meeting with their foreign boss. The general idea is to not lose what they learned. Just speaking casually retain their knowledge, and pick up a word or two.

Tutoring jobs pay anywhere from 100RMB to 200RMB on average. 300RMB per hour is possible, but you have to be lucky and very good. 120 to 150, this is pretty normal.

Part time class jobs

Many schools have part time classes. You might have a class on Tuesday and Thursday from 6pm to 8pm. This depends on how many students are in the class. But in general it’s more than teaching and should start at around 150, depending on the below variables.

What to consider when talking money

Distance – how far is the commute. These cities are massive, sometimes a one hour commute is normal, but to tutor some kid for one hour? Forget it. Many of the people I work with commute 1 1/2 hours every day, 3 hours in total.

Housing – In Beijing you will not find this option as in Shanghai. The reason is the apartments are too expensive. But in many smaller cities schools usually will offer housing. Housing can vary widely, so check it out, best to check first hand and see the place before starting. The best situation is they give you your own apartment. This is extremely rare. The worst is they put you in bunk beds in a room with 3 or more others. Normally you will share an apartment in an OK building, this will not be luxury, just middle of the road standards in China, so it’s probably pretty low compared to western standards. It’s best to see it first. Sometimes they show pictures of apartments that are really nice, then you show up and it’s in a nearly abandoned building 20 miles from the school.

How easy is the job? Some jobs are so easy, close and offer many hours. In the past I would not negotiate too much because it as too good.

Do you learn anything? – I always considered if I learned from the experience. If it can help me to grow, then that will help me in the future. Consider presentation skills built, any kind of management, do they speak Chinese to me in class and in the office (then I can practice), can I translate English to Chinese (practice again), is this a good connection for the future, am I bettering this persons life?

Lesson Planning time – some classes require next to no time to plan, just go out of the book. Some classes require hours of photo copies and preparation.

Do I need the money? – Well, this one is obvious, if your hard up it’s hard to turn down cash.

Do I have to pay tax? – If you get a Z visa you will pay tax, if you tutor it’s all yours.

Contract Length – Do you want to stay for one year? If you leave early what does that contact say. Remember, most places have no contracts; it’s only a verbal agreement. But long-term gigs do. Read the find print, and if it is only in Chinese get a trusted friend to read it.

Do I trust this school? – There are many dodgy operations out there. If you stay here long enough and work at part time jobs you will be stiffed eventually. The school will go out of business, run out of cash, or the worst the cops will show up when you are there. Sometimes the school just doesn’t pay you and says they won’t.

Class sizes – Classes can be anywhere from 3 students to 300. If there are 300 students like at New Oriental, you should be getting paid more.

Students Finances – Sometimes you will just meet an awesome cool student and take on a charitable case to help them out. You might not even charge, or charge much less. Sometimes you can see the family is definitely lacking in finances, and you are feeling charitable, so you teach don’t push the negotiation too far.