Before I went to China I had no idea about what was a good deal or an average salary for a teaching job, so I just agreed to the terms. Now I wish I would have known the following information so I could have discussed some terms.
First of all, this is my experience in the city Chongqing. Other cities might have different benefits or numbers, but I think the list below is safe to go by.
As an English teacher you often get:
- Housing ( 1500- 2000 rmb, furnished)
- Medical insurance
- Salary of 13.000rmb (in Shanghai and Beijing this amount is higher, but living costs are higher as well)
- Amount to ship some of your belongings to China(7000rmb)
- Reimbursement of your plane ticket to China (until 6000rmb) Usually after 6 months of contract
- 10.000rmb bonus when you renew a contract(sometimes even when you complete a contract)
- Help with and payment for your visa, foreign expert certificate, health check.
Other possible benefits:
- Return planeticket home each year
- 5 extra days off per year, the longer you stay with a school the more days you get
- Bonus system per term or three months
- Bonus system for children who resign a year classes with you(training school)
- Laptop from work
Good things to know:
- As a foreign teacher you have status. Parents might chose the school because you are there. Sometimes they even make banners of you…without asking or checking the English spelling.
- I pay my own service costs (400rmb), utilities(about 200rmb), and taxes (about 1000rmb) each month.
- They help you to find an apartment. Make sure you get offered a few options. Good chance the interior is bright golden with hilarious flower curtains. Check out the wallpaper, best patterns ever!
- Workethic is quite different. I will blog about this soon.
- You get the Chinese holidays, but usually have to compensate the free time during the weekends.
- After a while there is room to negotiate, for e.g. Christmas or Easter day off
- Having 2 days off per week is a luxury, since most Chinese staff don’t get this
- Don’t say yes to everything because you’ll find yourself working 60 hours a week without extra pay.
- Some schools may take away a part of your salary when you take sick days.
- When you actually have a teaching degree they desperately want you!
- Working visas are harder and harder to come by for non-native English speakers.
- You don’t need to speak Mandarin to teach English to Chinese children. Communicating with colleagues and parents however is more complicated.
- Training schools have work-and textbooks to teach from. In schools you generally have to make your own materials
I wish you good luck and lots of fun in your new job! It is the most beautiful profession in the world and Chinese kids are the cutest!