Saturday, June 22, 2013

China Foreign Teachers Union Suggested Hourly Pay, Wages, & Salary Rates For Expat Teachers - 2013 Update

As you may have already discovered at the agents and recruiters artificially control the salaries quoted online in hundreds of ads.  Do not be misled by these low-ball figures.  They are designed to foll you into believing their offer is a good one! If you negotiate your own contracts and salaries (as we have always recommended) you should not settle for anything less than the following and if you do, you are only cheating yourself:


Monthly Minimum Salary:      20,000 yuan
FT  Hourly Minimum:             250 yuan per hour
PT  Hourly Minimum:             300 yuan per hour


Monthly Minimum Salary:      18,000 yuan
FT  Hourly Minimum:             200 yuan per hour
PT  Hourly Minimum:             225 yuan per hour


Monthly Minimum Salary:      12,000 yuan
FT  Hourly Minimum:             175 yuan per hour
PT  Hourly Minimum:             200 yuan per hour


You should not be teaching anything other than Kindergarten classes @150 per hour 

The above are rates suggested  are only for classroom teaching with no more than 15 students per class.  For Business English or VIP Corporate Training we suggest between 350 yuan to 500 yuan per hour based on the number of students and complexity or course being taught.  Stand firm and you win - Cave and you lose!

Please keep in mind that expat teachers are still the lowest paid foreigners in China by far.  The median income for professional foreigners working in China is now at 380,000 yuan per year compared to 135,000 yuan for teachers/professors.  And while the COL and inflation has dramatically increased over the last 5 years, and salaries for local Chinese has increased  an average of 21%, salaries of expat teachers has increased only 12.5% over the last 6 years. By comparison hourly wages and salaries in the U.S. have dropped 1.1%  The below chart shows earnings of Urban professionals in Shanghai as a general comparison but please note that this chart is from 2010.  We are now searching for more current data:

Remember also that less and less foreigners are coming to China these days to teach due to all the negative ink about teaching scams, and better opportunities elsewhere in the Middle East, Latin America, Brazil, etc.  In 2013 almost 2,000 less foreigners are teaching in China than 2012. TAKE ADVANTAGE!  This give you leverage to negotiate not only higher wages, but medical insurance and reimbursements of air fare, and of course visa sponsorship and related costs. for more information you can visit our other web site at  and if you have not already done so, be sure you read our blacklist page of 300 schools and 67 Chinese agents who have a history of ripping of teachers at:

Undoubtedly there is a double-standard of wages in China. It will probably remain this way for at least another decade. But what you earn is up to you, NOT an agent!  Please read this before you go and negotiate in confidence based on what YOU have to offer - not what others dictate:
and also see: 



  1. Hi! My name is Evelyn and I want to be a experiencing teacher in China.
    I'm from Brazil. Here I contact a really respected exchange agency. And now they just send me the name of the school that I'm supposed to work. They said that I'll get my Z visa before I leave my country.
    But I google the school, and I did't found anything... Can you please help me to find out if this school is real or is it a scam?!
    It's my dream to go to China... But I really want to know if this is a sure thing...
    The name of the school is Beder International Kindergarten attached to Berdy Education Group. It's located in the Fangda Top Town Neighborhood, in Yu Hong district, Shenyang.
    And the name of the exchange agency in China is EANNA. Have you ever heard about it?
    I can give you more informations by e-mail. Please contact me!
    Thanks a lot!!!

  2. I work from my home in Shanghai, I charge 400 per hour and make about 80k rmb per month. if you have a good program, can speak the language, you can make good money here.

  3. I really recommend NOT going to mainland China. Why come here and endure low salries and endless numbers of cheaters and liars. Its not easy to find solid good work. Most jobs require you to travel 1.5 hours one-way to teach a 2 hour class that you will need to spend 2 hours preparing for. This means you will spend 7 hours of your time to earn 2 hours of salary. And you can enjoy thick cancer-inducing smog, massive crowds of rude people, frequent fighting and massive nasty arguments all around.

    Why not just go to Taiwan where you can earn more, enjoy a beatiful environment, be surrounded by far more internationalized and educated polite local people. Taiwan has had my vote for years.

  4. This website is brilliant and more foreign teachers need to know about it so they stop taking jobs that pay so little. Its really quite terrible- salaries are pushed to the bottom of the barrel and some middleman is making a very sizable profit off of your work.

    I used to teach for an English training company at a famous Chinese electronics firm where I made 270 per hour. Later I found the training company was charging more than 1300rmb per hour for me, but paid me 270 (20% of their take). I know they need to make a profit, but why do they need to take 80% and give me 20%? Seems a tad unfair.

    Several of my Chinese collegues and friends make well over 1000 per hour teaching TOEFL and GRE stuff-- stuff that any foreigner could also teach if we could actually get hired for those jobs. But we don't generally.

    My advice, tell all your friends about this website, spread the news, keep wages higher.
    And go teach in Taiwan or Japan.


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