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China: on an upward or downward trend?
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Kalkstein



Joined: 25 Aug 2016
Posts: 65

PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2018 1:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Unheard Utterance wrote:
What can one expect (roughly speaking) in terms of salary with Delta, CELTA and BA? I'm pretty much a Jack of all trades but master of none. I've been doing Military English for a while as the students are generally good, but open to other ESP or EAP teaching contexts.

I'd rather not be running around town scavenging for work like one has to do in some places in Asia. Any salaried jobs? That's what I've got now. To be honest, going back to per hour wages isn't a pleasant thought.


Depends on what you want to do. The CELTA isn't really valued here so it won't be much more than what anyone else makes, if you have a PhD you can get an OK salary at a university, if you have a teaching license you can get a good salary at an international school but competition has been getting fierce.

In your case if you want to teach at a university 7-10k RMB/month. At a school probably 15k/month. It's also worth noting in big cities living costs are quite high, so it doesn't go as far as you think. I personally think China is at its peak and it is only down from here.
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CNexpatesl



Joined: 27 May 2015
Posts: 193

PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2018 2:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

They're not really ''cracking down''. I still see tons of non-natives, usually Eastern Europeans and Russians, in WeChat job groups. And Chinese agents helping them get jobs over native English speakers. It's pretty ridiculous, actually.

I also heard in Beijing 90% of the 'teachers' in training centers are from Eastern Europe and Africa because nobody wants to go there. lol
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Voyeur



Joined: 03 Jul 2012
Posts: 431

PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2018 4:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

At the moment, getting the current Z Visa is very hard, as much because nobody really understands the system yet as due to the requirements being harder.
So at least for now, the market for Z Visa teachers looks good. So good that qualifications past the Z Visa min. don't really add much value for most jobs. This isn't to say they wouldn't help for some very competitive positions, or in the future, if things change.
I think you should be able to get at least 20,000 RMB a month from a Z Visa job if you look around and are willing to be on site for relatively longer hours.
It's not that hard to make 25k to 30k even in Tier 2 cities if you are willing to take the risk of taking a lower paying Z visa job with efficient hours and supplementing with side work.
As for crack downs and risks, it is all relative. Clearly, a massive amount of technically illegal teaching is still going on. As to what actual risk levels are, and whether they have been increasing, it is hard to say.
Personally, I think the risk levels for such activity have increased and will continue to do so; but that doesn't mean they are now at or will get to 'unacceptable' levels for many people. Defining 'unacceptable' is of course an individual matter.
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Unheard Utterance



Joined: 02 Aug 2018
Posts: 34

PostPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2018 1:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

CNexpatesl wrote:
They're not really ''cracking down''. I still see tons of non-natives, usually Eastern Europeans and Russians, in WeChat job groups. And Chinese agents helping them get jobs over native English speakers. It's pretty ridiculous, actually.

I also heard in Beijing 90% of the 'teachers' in training centers are from Eastern Europe and Africa because nobody wants to go there. lol


Reading between the lines then would it be fair to say that the Chinese are trying to lower costs by giving more jobs to non-native speakers at lower pay rates?

Would you say Chinese value native English teachers or just put them in the "they're just speaking their own language and there's no skill in that" category?

From my dealings with Chinese, I conclude they're cut-throat businesspeople who try and cut costs at every turn in order to increase profits.
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Voyeur



Joined: 03 Jul 2012
Posts: 431

PostPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2018 1:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

China is always very hard to read. Typically, there are multiple factors--some even contradictory--at play.
China realizes that to a great extent, going to the best universities are just a sorting mechanism--students having increasingly higher Gaokao scores due to massive tutoring expenses and efforts doesn't really make for smarter or better or more productive workers.
But it's always in a student's interest to put in such effort if everyone else is; the only way to slow it down is to try to make everyone stop. So efforts are being made to curb all the Gaokao tutoring (which essentially starts in Primary school), and this can have a splashover effect on the ESL market.
Then there is the general tightening under Xi. People in charge of enforcing rules that have always been on the books now feel more pressure not to let things slide.
Or perhaps no real sea change is at hand, and this is just more window dressing enforcement that will revert to normal. It's always hard to know what is what in China.
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CNexpatesl



Joined: 27 May 2015
Posts: 193

PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2018 10:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Unheard Utterance wrote:
CNexpatesl wrote:
They're not really ''cracking down''. I still see tons of non-natives, usually Eastern Europeans and Russians, in WeChat job groups. And Chinese agents helping them get jobs over native English speakers. It's pretty ridiculous, actually.

I also heard in Beijing 90% of the 'teachers' in training centers are from Eastern Europe and Africa because nobody wants to go there. lol


Reading between the lines then would it be fair to say that the Chinese are trying to lower costs by giving more jobs to non-native speakers at lower pay rates?

Would you say Chinese value native English teachers or just put them in the "they're just speaking their own language and there's no skill in that" category?

From my dealings with Chinese, I conclude they're cut-throat businesspeople who try and cut costs at every turn in order to increase profits.


Actually, now I'm starting to see these Chinese agents and schools offering up the same hourly wages and salaries to the Eastern Euros and Russians etc, so I don't know what's going on. Maybe they're lying in their ads to try and entice them into applying. Or maybe there's another reason. Seems stupid though if they're trying to cut corners.

There's also the belief that these training centers only hire good looking young people, thinking it'll increase sales and Chinese parents (mothers) will buy more classes for the kiddies if a teacher is handsome. Maybe they think native Brits, Americans, Canadians et. al aren't attractive enough for these menial white face dancing monkey jobs. lol
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RiverMystic



Joined: 13 Jan 2009
Posts: 1956

PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2018 2:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

double post

Last edited by RiverMystic on Tue Sep 25, 2018 2:35 pm; edited 1 time in total
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RiverMystic



Joined: 13 Jan 2009
Posts: 1956

PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2018 2:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It’s hard to say what the overall future of the market is, exactly. But I’d be surprised if it got bad. There are so many opportunities here, in ESL and beyond. But not if you are an unqualified drunk who is unwilling to to invest in his own future. Seriously. If you have half a brain and a little ambition the possibilities here are immense. I take home 40K from my day job doing what I love. Then I do stuff on Skype in another area which brings in a little more, again doing something very meaningful to me. Then I have a school in another city, again a very exciting possibility; in its infancy. I have no idea where that’s going to go, but as far as I can see, there’s huge poetential there. Then finally I have my writing. I’m getting some of my books translated into Chinese.

But the main thing is I’m having a ball, I’m growing as a person and I feel what I’m doing is of great benefit to China and its people. What’s the point of “prosperity” if it doesn’t make you or the world a better place?

Nothing comes without a price. But if you are willing to work both hard and smart, if you are willing to be bigger than the small people you will inevitably cross from time to time, and bigger than the slings and arrows that life flings at you at irregular intervals, and if you just keep going, then China can provide you with a very good life, for the short or long term.
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Voyeur



Joined: 03 Jul 2012
Posts: 431

PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2018 1:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had to abandon all my Skype teaching when I got to China because the overseas connections are so erratic.
But I imagine online teaching within China would be fine--China to China internet is not Korea, but it's OK. China to anywhere outside of China really sucks, even for connections not requiring a VPN--by design.
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Unheard Utterance



Joined: 02 Aug 2018
Posts: 34

PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2018 10:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As expected, I've gotten different responses due to people's current lot in life.

What concerns me is the fact that, not only is there competition from native speakers of English, but non-natives as well. It might seem that language centre work is the main way of getting in and lower-paid non-natives are being preferred.

I came across this board a year or two ago, and back then people were saying uni work is the way to go with privates on the side. Is this no longer the done thing? Is this because privates are illegal now or the authorities are cracking down on it?
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nimadecaomei



Joined: 22 Sep 2016
Posts: 437

PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2018 11:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Unheard Utterance wrote:
... back then people were saying uni work is the way to go with privates on the side. Is this no longer the done thing? Is this because privates are illegal now or the authorities are cracking down on it?


The posters have simply changed. A uni job can offer housing, flight, and such. I would never recommend a training center. The pay is higher, but vacation and benefits tend to be worse (Not in all cases though). It is better to live comfortably then to have a higher salary.

I would say, after being here for a decade +, that it takes some time to realize the void that is best to fill. Once you get a grip on that your pay will increase. Privates are still a possibility, but nothing there that can go on a CV as experience. Experience inside China does hold credibility. That is especially true if you can hold out at a place for a few years. It is logical, a company/school will look poorly upon you if you are a permanent job shifter.

For reference, about 40k was reimbursed to me when I moved to my new job in the summer of 2017. Housing/flight/shipping/visa/finger printing/criminal check/authentication of documents, all costs paid. I was moving to a new employer after 9 years with another employer though. Solid record and fit the bill. They know I will stay long enough to get returns on the investment.
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Unheard Utterance



Joined: 02 Aug 2018
Posts: 34

PostPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2018 8:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

nimadecaomei wrote:
Unheard Utterance wrote:
... back then people were saying uni work is the way to go with privates on the side. Is this no longer the done thing? Is this because privates are illegal now or the authorities are cracking down on it?


The posters have simply changed. A uni job can offer housing, flight, and such. I would never recommend a training center. The pay is higher, but vacation and benefits tend to be worse (Not in all cases though). It is better to live comfortably then to have a higher salary.

I would say, after being here for a decade +, that it takes some time to realize the void that is best to fill. Once you get a grip on that your pay will increase. Privates are still a possibility, but nothing there that can go on a CV as experience. Experience inside China does hold credibility. That is especially true if you can hold out at a place for a few years. It is logical, a company/school will look poorly upon you if you are a permanent job shifter.

For reference, about 40k was reimbursed to me when I moved to my new job in the summer of 2017. Housing/flight/shipping/visa/finger printing/criminal check/authentication of documents, all costs paid. I was moving to a new employer after 9 years with another employer though. Solid record and fit the bill. They know I will stay long enough to get returns on the investment.


As I'd be a China newbie, I'm not sure if it's a great idea going to China, which is a country I'm very unfamiliar with. Do I really want to start over from scratch again? I've had 6 jobs in 12 years of teaching. It sounds a lot I guess, but I left for the right reasons each time: outgrew the place, a lack of opportunities, or, in need of a change. Changing jobs/countries may not look great on your CV, that's for sure. However, hopefully some employers might see it as a positive; "that person has been around". It also depends if you've gone from entry-level job to entry-level job, or, if you've gotten a better job each time. For the most part, I have.

These discussions have been very interesting and thought-provoking. Where exactly is the TEFL Shangri La? China? Perhaps; perhaps not. Getting a good job comes down to qualifications, experience, contacts and reputation. Starting from scratch in an unknown land? Sometimes it's better the Devil you know.
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isitts



Joined: 04 Jun 2010
Posts: 173
Location: Korea

PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2018 3:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Unheard Utterance wrote:
As I'd be a China newbie, I'm not sure if it's a great idea going to China, which is a country I'm very unfamiliar with. Do I really want to start over from scratch again? I've had 6 jobs in 12 years of teaching. It sounds a lot I guess, but I left for the right reasons each time: outgrew the place, a lack of opportunities, or, in need of a change. Changing jobs/countries may not look great on your CV, that's for sure. However, hopefully some employers might see it as a positive; "that person has been around". It also depends if you've gone from entry-level job to entry-level job, or, if you've gotten a better job each time. For the most part, I have.

These discussions have been very interesting and thought-provoking. Where exactly is the TEFL Shangri La? China? Perhaps; perhaps not. Getting a good job comes down to qualifications, experience, contacts and reputation. Starting from scratch in an unknown land? Sometimes it's better the Devil you know.

You’re thinking too much. Just look for a job posting that looks mostly decent and apply for it. Get hired, work there a year and see how you like it. Six jobs in twelve years is not bad. You’re averaging 2 years per job. That’s fine.
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Unheard Utterance



Joined: 02 Aug 2018
Posts: 34

PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2018 11:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

isitts wrote:
Unheard Utterance wrote:
As I'd be a China newbie, I'm not sure if it's a great idea going to China, which is a country I'm very unfamiliar with. Do I really want to start over from scratch again? I've had 6 jobs in 12 years of teaching. It sounds a lot I guess, but I left for the right reasons each time: outgrew the place, a lack of opportunities, or, in need of a change. Changing jobs/countries may not look great on your CV, that's for sure. However, hopefully some employers might see it as a positive; "that person has been around". It also depends if you've gone from entry-level job to entry-level job, or, if you've gotten a better job each time. For the most part, I have.

These discussions have been very interesting and thought-provoking. Where exactly is the TEFL Shangri La? China? Perhaps; perhaps not. Getting a good job comes down to qualifications, experience, contacts and reputation. Starting from scratch in an unknown land? Sometimes it's better the Devil you know.

You’re thinking too much. Just look for a job posting that looks mostly decent and apply for it. Get hired, work there a year and see how you like it. Six jobs in twelve years is not bad. You’re averaging 2 years per job. That’s fine.


You're probably right. But, heading off to a new country isn't perhaps what I need at this stage of life. It's sometimes best to stick with the devil you know. It usually takes 2-3 years to find a good job in a new country. It takes time to network and build a reputation. Can I be arsed starting over in China? We'll see.
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