Teach English in Shanghai

a world of opportunities

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Kirsten Colquhoun
June 7, 2024

Contents

Introduction
Why teach in Shanghai
How to qualify
Teaching jobs
How to get a job
Cost of living
Saving money
Life and culture

Are you looking for an exciting adventure that will take your teaching career to the next level? Look no further than Shanghai! One of China’s most dynamic and rapidly evolving cities, Shanghai is a hub of innovation, culture, and opportunity. 

Here you’ll have the chance to work with motivated students of all ages, and explore a vibrant metropolis with a unique character all while immersing yourself in one of the world’s most fascinating countries. 

Interested? Let’s talk Shanghai, from dumplings to Disneyland!

Why Start Teaching English In Shanghai?

There are countless reasons to consider teaching English in Shanghai, but perhaps the most compelling is the opportunity for personal and professional growth

By living and working in a foreign country, you’ll develop a new perspective on the world and gain valuable cross-cultural communication skills. You’ll have the chance to advance your teaching career, whether by gaining experience in a new educational setting, developing new skills and techniques, or taking on leadership roles

Shanghai offers a vibrant and exciting lifestyle, with a thriving arts and culture scene, incredible food, and endless opportunities for adventure and exploration. On top of all of that, Shanghai offers very competitive salaries for English teachers.

So if you’re looking for a chance to challenge yourself, expand your horizons, and have the adventure of a lifetime, teaching English in Shanghai is an opportunity you don’t want to miss!

How do I qualify to teach English in Shanghai?

What are the general specifications needed to work in Shanghai?

Visa requirements

TEFL teachers need a valid work visa (z-visa), which requires a Bachelor’s degree and two years of work experience.

TEFL certification

Most schools and language centres require a TEFL or TESOL certification. A Level 5 TEFL course from The TEFL Academy provides you with a solid foundation in teaching English as a foreign language. The Combined Course further gives you practical teaching experience, or you can do the Teaching Observed Practice Course for online teaching practice. 

Bachelor’s degree

Because of the visa requirements, a Bachelor’s degree is required by employers. Your degree doesn’t need to be in teaching or education, as long as it’s a Bachelor’s degree.

Experience

There are many schools that are willing to take inexperienced teachers. If a school requires teaching experience, this doesn’t always have to be formal teaching experience, it can be tutoring or babysitting.   

Insurance

Most companies provide health insurance for their employers. However, you can also use the public hospitals at a reasonable price.

Start-up capital

Your start-up capital depends on your job benefits. Generally speaking, you need to pay for your flights and accommodation for the first month. Flights may be reimbursed after a probation period or at the end of your contract and accommodation may be provided.  

Types of English teaching jobs in Shanghai

There are several types of English teaching jobs available in Shanghai, and the average salaries and benefits vary depending on the type of institution and the teacher’s qualifications and experience.

Private language schools

These schools cater to students of all ages and are the most common type of English teaching job in Shanghai. You would also find adult English learners here. Average salaries range from ¥15,000 – ¥30,000 ($2,200 – $4,300 USD) a month, and many schools offer benefits such as housing, paid vacation time and airfare reimbursement.

International schools

These schools follow an international curriculum and often require a teaching license or certification. Salaries for teachers in international schools can range from ¥20,000 – ¥45,000 ($2,900 – $6,600) a month, and many schools offer benefits such as housing allowances, health insurance and paid school vacations.

Corporate Language Training

Many companies in Shanghai offer English language training to their employees. Salaries to teach Business English can range from ¥20,000 – ¥30,000 ($2,900 – $4,400) a month, and benefits may include paid vacation time and health insurance.

Private Tutoring

Some English teachers in Shanghai offer private tutoring services, which can provide a higher hourly rate than traditional teaching jobs. Teachers usually charge around ¥200-¥400 ($29 – $59) an hour. However, private tutors are responsible for finding their own students and may not receive benefits like paid vacation time or health insurance.

Overall, the demand for English language education in Shanghai is high, and there are plenty of opportunities for qualified and motivated teachers to find a position that suits their skills and interests.

How to get a Job teaching English in Shanghai

  1. Research and apply for job opportunities: Start by researching job opportunities online, and looking for job postings on jobs boards and websites. You can also reach out to language schools and universities directly.
  2. Prepare your documents: You’ll need to prepare a CV, a cover letter, and copies of your degree, TEFL certification, and any other relevant documents
  3. Visa and work permit: Once you’ve been offered a job, you’ll need to apply for a work visa or residence permit in order to legally work in Shanghai.
  4. Live in Shanghai: Once you’ve signed your contract and obtained your visa, it’s time to move! You’ll need to find housing, set up a bank account, and take care of other logistics before starting your new job.

What is the cost of living in Shangai?

Wondering how much dim sum you can afford on a teacher’s salary? Look no further! Here’s the average cost of living in Shanghai.

Accommodation

  • One-bedroom apartment in city centre: ¥7,300 ($1,050)  
  • One-bedroom apartment outside city centre:  ¥4,000 ($580)

Utilities

  • Gas, electricity, water, garbage disposal:  ¥450 ($65) a month 

Food and groceries

  • Monthly shop:  ¥1,000 ($144)
  • Meal at an inexpensive restaurant:  ¥37.50 ($5.44) 

Transport 

  • Monthly pass: 247 ($36) 
  • Single bus or subway trip: 4 ($0.50) 

Is it possible to save as an English teacher in Shanghai?

Yes, it is possible to save money as an English teacher in Shanghai. The cost of living in Shanghai varies depending on your lifestyle, but it’s generally lower than in other major cities like New York or London. English teachers in Shanghai typically earn a decent salary that covers their living expenses and leaves room for savings. 

Moreover, some schools offer additional benefits like housing, airfare reimbursement, and health insurance, which can further reduce your expenses. With some budgeting and smart financial planning, it’s definitely possible to live comfortably and save money while teaching English in Shanghai.

What's it like to live and work in Shanghai?

Living and teaching English in Shanghai is an incredibly exciting and enriching experience. Shanghai is a vibrant city that seamlessly blends traditional Chinese culture with modern amenities and global influences. As an English teacher in Shanghai, you’ll have the opportunity to work with students from diverse backgrounds and ages, from young children to adults. The work culture in Shanghai can be fast-paced and demanding, but also rewarding and fulfilling.

 Outside of work, you can explore Shanghai’s rich history, go visit famous places like the Bund or the Oriental Pearl Tower, try delicious street food, or shop at bustling markets. Shanghai is well-connected to other parts of China and Asia, making it easy to travel and explore other historical sites. 

Living and teaching English in Shanghai is a unique and unforgettable experience that only China can give you.

Begin your teaching journey by signing up with the world’s most accredited TEFL course provider today!

Contents

Are you looking for an exciting adventure that will take your teaching career to the next level? Look no further than Shanghai! One of China’s most dynamic and rapidly evolving cities, Shanghai is a hub of innovation, culture, and opportunity. 

Here you’ll have the chance to work with motivated students of all ages, and explore a vibrant metropolis with a unique character all while immersing yourself in one of the world’s most fascinating countries. 

Interested? Let’s talk Shanghai, from dumplings to Disneyland!

Why Start Teaching English In Shanghai?

There are countless reasons to consider teaching English in Shanghai, but perhaps the most compelling is the opportunity for personal and professional growth

By living and working in a foreign country, you’ll develop a new perspective on the world and gain valuable cross-cultural communication skills. You’ll have the chance to advance your teaching career, whether by gaining experience in a new educational setting, developing new skills and techniques, or taking on leadership roles

Shanghai offers a vibrant and exciting lifestyle, with a thriving arts and culture scene, incredible food, and endless opportunities for adventure and exploration. On top of all of that, Shanghai offers very competitive salaries for English teachers.

So if you’re looking for a chance to challenge yourself, expand your horizons, and have the adventure of a lifetime, teaching English in Shanghai is an opportunity you don’t want to miss!

How do I qualify to teach English in Shanghai?

What are the general specifications needed to work in Shanghai?

Visa requirements

TEFL teachers need a valid work visa (z-visa), which requires a Bachelor’s degree and two years of work experience.

TEFL certification

Most schools and language centres require a TEFL or TESOL certification. A Level 5 TEFL course from The TEFL Academy provides you with a solid foundation in teaching English as a foreign language. The Combined Course further gives you practical teaching experience, or you can do the Teaching Observed Practice Course for online teaching practice. 

Bachelor’s degree

Because of the visa requirements, a Bachelor’s degree is required by employers. Your degree doesn’t need to be in teaching or education, as long as it’s a Bachelor’s degree.

Experience

There are many schools that are willing to take inexperienced teachers. If a school requires teaching experience, this doesn’t always have to be formal teaching experience, it can be tutoring or babysitting.   

Insurance

Most companies provide health insurance for their employers. However, you can also use the public hospitals at a reasonable price.

Start-up capital

Your start-up capital depends on your job benefits. Generally speaking, you need to pay for your flights and accommodation for the first month. Flights may be reimbursed after a probation period or at the end of your contract and accommodation may be provided.  

Types of English teaching jobs in Shanghai

There are several types of English teaching jobs available in Shanghai, and the average salaries and benefits vary depending on the type of institution and the teacher’s qualifications and experience.

Private language schools

These schools cater to students of all ages and are the most common type of English teaching job in Shanghai. You would also find adult English learners here. Average salaries range from ¥15,000 – ¥30,000 ($2,200 – $4,300 USD) a month, and many schools offer benefits such as housing, paid vacation time and airfare reimbursement.

International schools

These schools follow an international curriculum and often require a teaching license or certification. Salaries for teachers in international schools can range from ¥20,000 – ¥45,000 ($2,900 – $6,600) a month, and many schools offer benefits such as housing allowances, health insurance and paid school vacations.

Corporate Language Training

Many companies in Shanghai offer English language training to their employees. Salaries to teach Business English can range from ¥20,000 – ¥30,000 ($2,900 – $4,400) a month, and benefits may include paid vacation time and health insurance.

Private Tutoring

Some English teachers in Shanghai offer private tutoring services, which can provide a higher hourly rate than traditional teaching jobs. Teachers usually charge around ¥200-¥400 ($29 – $59) an hour. However, private tutors are responsible for finding their own students and may not receive benefits like paid vacation time or health insurance.

Overall, the demand for English language education in Shanghai is high, and there are plenty of opportunities for qualified and motivated teachers to find a position that suits their skills and interests.

How to get a Job teaching English in Shanghai

  1. Research and apply for job opportunities: Start by researching job opportunities online, and looking for job postings on jobs boards and websites. You can also reach out to language schools and universities directly.
  2. Prepare your documents: You’ll need to prepare a CV, a cover letter, and copies of your degree, TEFL certification, and any other relevant documents
  3. Visa and work permit: Once you’ve been offered a job, you’ll need to apply for a work visa or residence permit in order to legally work in Shanghai.
  4. Live in Shanghai: Once you’ve signed your contract and obtained your visa, it’s time to move! You’ll need to find housing, set up a bank account, and take care of other logistics before starting your new job.

What is the cost of living in Shangai?

Wondering how much dim sum you can afford on a teacher’s salary? Look no further! Here’s the average cost of living in Shanghai.

Accommodation

  • One-bedroom apartment in city centre: ¥7,300 ($1,050)  
  • One-bedroom apartment outside city centre:  ¥4,000 ($580)

Utilities

  • Gas, electricity, water, garbage disposal:  ¥450 ($65) a month 

Food and groceries

  • Monthly shop:  ¥1,000 ($144)
  • Meal at an inexpensive restaurant:  ¥37.50 ($5.44) 

Transport 

  • Monthly pass: 247 ($36) 
  • Single bus or subway trip: 4 ($0.50) 

Is it possible to save as an English teacher in Shanghai?

Yes, it is possible to save money as an English teacher in Shanghai. The cost of living in Shanghai varies depending on your lifestyle, but it’s generally lower than in other major cities like New York or London. English teachers in Shanghai typically earn a decent salary that covers their living expenses and leaves room for savings. 

Moreover, some schools offer additional benefits like housing, airfare reimbursement, and health insurance, which can further reduce your expenses. With some budgeting and smart financial planning, it’s definitely possible to live comfortably and save money while teaching English in Shanghai.

What's it like to live and work in Shanghai?

Living and teaching English in Shanghai is an incredibly exciting and enriching experience. Shanghai is a vibrant city that seamlessly blends traditional Chinese culture with modern amenities and global influences. As an English teacher in Shanghai, you’ll have the opportunity to work with students from diverse backgrounds and ages, from young children to adults. The work culture in Shanghai can be fast-paced and demanding, but also rewarding and fulfilling.

 Outside of work, you can explore Shanghai’s rich history, go visit famous places like the Bund or the Oriental Pearl Tower, try delicious street food, or shop at bustling markets. Shanghai is well-connected to other parts of China and Asia, making it easy to travel and explore other historical sites. 

Living and teaching English in Shanghai is a unique and unforgettable experience that only China can give you.

Begin your teaching journey by signing up with the world’s most accredited TEFL course provider today!

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