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Best Explanation About Salaries 4 Foreign Teachers in China
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Javelin of Radiance



Joined: 01 Jul 2009
Posts: 1187
Location: The West

PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 7:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kev7161 wrote:
Isn't "Burke" just "B4UGO" with a different name?

Yep Laughing
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vikeologist



Joined: 07 Sep 2009
Posts: 543

PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 8:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

At first i thought not, but looking at his posts agin, and the fact they're all from today, I've changed my mind. He might be.

Not so sure. B4UGO seemed to have a distinctive writing style. 100 different personalities, but 1 style.

Anyway, that's my psychological profile cents worth. As I said in a different thread, pretty sure he was No Longer Amused, and I wouldn't be surprised if he was the legendary MrDiMarco, but we can't accuse everybody who mentions CFTU of being B4UGO. (Even though I'm the one who started it). Razz

But B4UGO will be back in a new guise I'm sure, so don't let me stop y'all playing.

There hasn't been a man with this many hats (and lives) since Martin Wolff.
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fat_chris



Joined: 10 Sep 2003
Posts: 3135

PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 10:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

vikeologist wrote:
There hasn't been a man with this many hats (and lives) since Martin Wolff.


Shocked

The horror! The horror!

What a shyster! A Wolff in Sheep's Clothing.

That guy! His whereabouts nowadays?

Warm regards,
fat_chris
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vikeologist



Joined: 07 Sep 2009
Posts: 543

PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 10:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

fat_chris wrote:
vikeologist wrote:
There hasn't been a man with this many hats (and lives) since Martin Wolff.


Shocked

The horror! The horror!

What a shyster! A Wolff in Sheep's Clothing.

That guy! His whereabouts nowadays?

Warm regards,
fat_chris


He died last year.


Last edited by vikeologist on Tue Jan 29, 2013 10:38 am; edited 1 time in total
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fat_chris



Joined: 10 Sep 2003
Posts: 3135

PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 10:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

vikeologist wrote:
Dead apparantly.


Oh wow. I wonder what did him in.

Warm regards,
fat_chris
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Burke



Joined: 22 Nov 2012
Posts: 42
Location: Beijing

PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2013 4:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Forgot to ask... Does anyone know of a place where they have a list of legitimate, honorable agents who don't change their name and numbers every month? I rest my case. 99% of them are scum and it finding the other 1% is not worth the effort. It is the 99% that create this bullshit about the "average salary in china". I would bet that anyone who got their own job in China probably makes at least 5,000 more than anyone who used a recruiter.
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Fanyi



Joined: 01 Nov 2011
Posts: 47

PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2013 4:01 pm    Post subject: Agents Reply with quote

There's nothing wrong with using agents for the average job-seeker who already has some experience in China, or for newbies that understand that a school advertised as 'Beijing Kindergarten 9000 RMB per month' probably will not be able to deliver a legitimate visa, as long as one keeps in mind that the only thing an agent should be used for is to get the contact information of schools. Many people blame problems with schools on agents, when in fact contracts are signed with the school. ANY negotiations should be done directly with the school, or at the very least, the results of any negotiations should be confirmed with the school. Promises, advice or information given by agents should all be taken with a grain of salt, a job-seeker should be prepared for their agent to make mistakes, and anything vital to employment should be confirmed with the school and in the contact.

I used to be an agent, and its amazing, and a little sad to me, how many things go wrong for job-seekers in China due to their expecting more from agents besides the contact information of a school. There are exceptional agents out there, ones who will go above and beyond their duty in helping job-seekers, but no job-seeker should ever assume this; on the contrary it's in a job seeker's best interests to prepare for the worst from both agent and school. So having worked in the field, my advice is:

Use agents if you want, with the express purpose of being put into touch with schools that you otherwise may have difficulty getting in touch with. (as to whether or not its advantageous to use agents from a time/opportunity stand point, that really depends on factors such as how much time one has to devote to your job-search, years of teaching experience, the location you'd like to teach in, ability to read Chinese, etc.)

Don't pay money to agents, or sign a contract with an agent.

Once an agent puts you in contact with a school, treat the school EXACTLY the same way you would a school that you found on your own. This usually means having had telephone conversations, sending multiple emails, perhaps taking a look at the schools credentials for hiring foreigners, AND chatting with 1-2 foreign teachers currently working at the school, before signing a contract. If you use the agent to negotiate, make sure that the fruits of said negotiation are confirmed by the school in written form. (and obviously in China even this may not be enough).

Remember that there are lots of schools that don't have the qualifications to hire a teacher, and you should never take an agent's word for the qualifications of a school. Especially beware of traps (regardless of whether you use an agent or find a school on your own) in which a school contracts an agent or another school to book your visa-this is almost always illegal, your visa must be through your school!

Don't rely on just one agent or spend too much of your time dealing with one agent, and by all means also look on your own for jobs. Remember, the goal of using an agent is to find a good job, and you don't owe any agent your loyalty.

You do however owe them your respect and honesty. In contrary to what has been said here, 99% of agents are good people. Good people can make mistakes, and good people can even be incredibly inept at what they do.

So again, I say use agents, but only with the goal of getting contact information for a school, after this your negotiations/fact-checking to confirm that your school is a legit school-and that the people you're talking to do indeed represent the school (and newbies, you MUST do this fact-checking-if you don't know how, ask on the forum)-, should be centered between you and the school, and contracts and visas and their terms should involve you and the school only.

There are plenty of reasons for a foreign teacher to feel that they've been mistreated/deceived by schools in China (as with employers anywhere), but there is almost no good reason to feel the same about an agent after you've read this, as the only reason to use one should be to get put into contact with schools that you would otherwise have difficulty getting into contact with.
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vikeologist



Joined: 07 Sep 2009
Posts: 543

PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2013 11:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

pbdecker04 - Good to hear from you.

You say that "the only thing an agent should be used for is to get the contact information of schools."

So, the job of an agent is to give applicants the email addresses. We can get that information from http://en.chinatefl.com/TeachinChina/.

People sometimes say that some schools only go through agents. They also say this is simply so the school FAO can take a little money for themselves. No idea if this is true.

If the agent isn't going to be responsible for negotiations with schools, what's the point of the agent? If you have to take everything the agent says with a grain of sand, what's the point of the agent?

If the agent is going to put applicants in contact with schools that they know to be bad employers or unable to employ them legally, what's the point of the agent?

I appreciate that agents bear no responsibility. That's why they lie, probably to both sides. Without accountability, there's no responsibility.

99% of agents are good people? You're certainly not making yourself seem like one of this mythical 99%.

Teachers - If you want to come to work in China, agents and recruiters will not have your best interests at heart. You can find employers yourself, and you really should.

I am the DOS at a University, and I take the happiness and welfare of my teachers extremely seriously. I doubt that any school will suit averybody. For instance, our Uni isn't really suitable for people who want to come to China just to experience living here for a year, and believe it doesn't matter whether or not they're good teachers. They're not bad people. In fact that's probably quite a healthy attitude to take to teaching in China. It just doesn't work at our Uni, because we're trying to create something different. The only people I trust to ensure a good match are the teacher and us.

Anyway, pbdecker04 has had his / her say. I've had mine. Make your own mind up.
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Fanyi



Joined: 01 Nov 2011
Posts: 47

PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2013 3:33 am    Post subject: Response Reply with quote

Vikeologist- Good to hear from you. Hope you have another look through what I wrote and note that at no point did I say that agents shouldn't assume responsibility for their work. I was making a very different argument-that job-seekers should assume thatagents (and schools) are flawed entities that can make mistakes/give misinformation; being cautious when dealing with both agents and new schools is really the best way for a teacher to ensure that they wind up at a legit, quality institution and not in a bad situation.[ And I DO believe that agents should assume a great deal of responsibility for both the schools and teachers they work with, but again, that's really a separate question.]

I agree with you in one area, if I was conducting hiring for a school, I would not hire teachers through an agent unless absolutely necessary (i.e. lack of qualified applicants or needed teacher ASAP and had no applicants) or unless an agent presented a candidate that was clearly a cut above the ones I could find on my own (although I would still have an email box set up for agents to send candidates information to, as backup), for simple reasons of economics: it costs money to hire a teacher through an agent. However, many schools, for lots of different reasons (of which Kickbacks are form only a small subset) do indeed use agents; some to find better qualified teachers, some because they're in rural regions, etc. etc.

That site you posted looks good, but its not a comprehensive list of every job offered in China. If I was looking for a teaching job now I would make use of Dave's, the site you posted, eChinacities, theBeijinger and 1-2 agencies to give myself the best chance of finding the best position out there. I'd take the best job I found (factoring in pay, location, etc.), regardless of whether it was from an agent or I found it on my own.

As for my 99% comment, I think that 99% of people everywhere are basically good, and I don't see why this would change when people become employees of an agency. If you disagree with me on people being basically good, that's fine, but I don't see why the 'goodness' of people working for an agency would be different than the 'goodness' of schools' FAOs.

While at the agency I saw colleagues go above and beyond what was needed to simply make money nearly daily in support of teachers they were working with. I also saw some of my colleagues make pretty dumb mistakes. While at the agency I worked with some great Foreign Affairs Officers for schools. I also worked with some FAOs whose ineptness could really have put teachers in bad situations.There are many good agents and FAOs out there, but the cost of being misled by either one is so high in China that it is best to serve as one's own advocate and do ample fact-checking of schools, regardless of whether found by oneself or through an agent. This is good advice, not a condemnation of either FAOs or agents.

Almost every agent in China provides services to foreigners free of charge, so I'm not sure why its unreasonable to look at agents primarily as vendors of contact information for schools first and foremost?
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Lancy Bloom



Joined: 23 Nov 2012
Posts: 124
Location: Hong Kong

PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2013 4:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What I find amusing is that these companies advertise here and other sites with different names but they are based in the same place.
It is the fautl of the lao wei because they make the recruiters corrupt.
They come here with money and take work away that Chinese teachers have paid to do. The lao wei has bad thoughts and won't share them with us.
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El Macho



Joined: 30 Jan 2006
Posts: 198

PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2013 8:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Agents should always be avoided. If you have "some experience in China", all your jobs should be coming through connections. If you've been in China a few years and don't have a good network of people who can feed you work, you've been doing something seriously wrong.

Another site that seems good for salary information is http://foreignteacherpay.com. Since the data is all anonymous submitted, I think that they can be trusted. Seems like a smart idea, and something that will be useful for teachers looking for new jobs.

It seems like the info they have is limited to certain provinces and cities (Kunming has a whole bunch of data, for some reason), so it's certainly not a complete data set. But, it's better than trusting all those ads.
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Denim-Maniac



Joined: 31 Jan 2012
Posts: 1238

PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2013 10:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just spent 5 minutes browsing through that site, some interesting reading. The forum voices often say never accept less than XXX per hour / per month, but it would appear actual boots on the ground often report lower salaries.
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GreatApe



Joined: 11 Apr 2012
Posts: 433
Location: South of Heaven and East of Nowhere

PostPosted: Fri Mar 15, 2013 12:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for posting the link to the Teacher Salary website, El Macho!

It's interesting and useful.

--GA
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Burke



Joined: 22 Nov 2012
Posts: 42
Location: Beijing

PostPosted: Sun Mar 24, 2013 11:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

El Macho wrote:
Agents should always be avoided. If you have "some experience in China", all your jobs should be coming through connections. If you've been in China a few years and don't have a good network of people who can feed you work, you've been doing something seriously wrong.

Another site that seems good for salary information is http://foreignteacherpay.com. Since the data is all anonymous submitted, I think that they can be trusted. Seems like a smart idea, and something that will be useful for teachers looking for new jobs.

It seems like the info they have is limited to certain provinces and cities (Kunming has a whole bunch of data, for some reason), so it's certainly not a complete data set. But, it's better than trusting all those ads.


I visited this website and it is compiled from teachers who obviously used agents so these figures are not the real salaries paid by the schools but what the teachers were paid. Yes I know, the public universities and public schools in China pay and average of 8,000 yuan per month, but if you hook up with an international school, do SAT/TOEFL/IELTS training, or can find an honest private school, you should be in the 20,000 range for full time work, assuming you do not use an agent.

If anyone read the contract of China ESL (one of China's biggest and greediest agents) at this link, you will see that they took 10,800 of a 15,800 salary from teacher Cox as their fee. This is 66% of her paycheck! http://www.thebeijinger.com/forum/2013/01/31/beware-chinaesl-scam-alert-rebecca-tang-will-rip-you#comment-604678

Also take a good read of the rebuttal from China ESL where they openly admit charging money for both the invitation and release letters, and even charge rent to the teachers. To add insult to injury the teachers are threatened with being "blacklisted" for violating a contract that is illegal to begin with.

So yeah, I agree - agents should be avoided completely but when 6 agents basically control the first two pages of google with their lo-ball salary ads, newbies still overseas, actually believe the most they can earn in China is 10,000 rmb per month. If they get to page three or ffour on Google they may find the truth at chinascambusters. com or maybe stumble upon this link http://www.tefl.net/forums/viewtopic.php?f=21&t=5688

There are other reasons to avoid agents aside from their monthly fee since quite a few of them sell files of expat teachers to identity thieves
http://www.cleverchinacheaters.com/2012/09/10-reasons-why-you-should-never-use.html. And using this form letter I found at another site might help in getting the really no-BS details from the recruiter - if you really insist on using one

http://www.meualbum.pt/GroteFoto-HAA4N7SZ.jpg


Last edited by Burke on Sun Mar 24, 2013 11:50 am; edited 4 times in total
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Denim-Maniac



Joined: 31 Jan 2012
Posts: 1238

PostPosted: Sun Mar 24, 2013 11:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Burke wrote:

I visited this website and it is compiled from teachers who obviously used agents so these figures are not the real salaries paid by the schools but what the teachers were paid.


And you know this how? Or is this another ridiculous assertion?

I entered my details on that site about two years ago when someone posted a link to it on this forum. I have never used an agent or recruiter.
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