Teaching in an International School in China

China plays home to more than 500 international schools. Teaching opportunities in these schools have been a motivating factor for most teachers outside China. Working as a teacher in international schools in China is an incredible experience that has changed the lives of many talented teachers – in the best ways.

International schools in China play a significant role in serving ex-pat students, wealthy Chinese students, and international students who immigrate to China.

International schools in China follow a curriculum model from the UK, USA, France, Canada, Australia or New Zealand. This means there are great opportunities for teachers from outside China to join their workforce. 

Most job boards and recruitment agencies advertise jobs to attract teachers to international schools in China. For example, you will see job ads like “Teach English in Beijing.”

The best part about teaching in international schools in China are the perks that come with the job. Good revenue tops the list. The demands for a teaching job in China are still on the rise, and this article aims to shed light on what you need to know about teaching in an international school in China.

What are the Benefits of Teaching in an international School In China?

Teaching in international schools in China has proved to bring better perks to individuals who invest and take advantage of China’s teaching jobs. Even though there have been previous misconceptions of such opportunities, it is evident that using the proper channels proves beneficial.

Here are some advantages;

  1. Good salaries.

One of the catches of teaching in international schools in China is the salaries. On average, teachers in international schools in China have a starting salary of $4000 every month. Compared to the United States, this is $1,000 more. The money factor has played a motivating role in attracting more teachers.

  2. Excellent teaching conditions.

Other than the pay, the teaching conditions in international schools in China are remarkable. Teachers have access to the best resources and a certain number of students. A good example is that teachers are assigned a small group of students, which facilitates maximum attention to every student.

  3. Exposure to different cultures – multiculturalism.

As international schools in China cater for different nationalities, teachers get to experience a diverse learning environment. Most teachers find the involvement with different cultures fulfilling.

  4. Great perks.

This includes perks like suitable housing, health insurance, mandarin lessons, and return plane tickets.

What Qualifications Do You Need To Teach in International Schools In China?

To be accepted as a teacher for an international school in China, one must have specific qualifications. For example, most international schools in China require that you meet at least one of these qualifications.

  • For a language teacher, let’s say English, one won’t need the experience to qualify. Still, it would be best if you had a TEFL qualification, and a bachelor’s degree or higher
  • You must be a qualified teacher in addition to a bachelor’s degree. If you are a school subject teacher, no experience is required.
  • You must have 2+ years of certified teaching practice. In those two years, you must be teaching with a bachelor’s degree.

What Are The Requirements for Teaching In International Schools In China?

Like any other job, teaching in an international school in China requires you to meet certain conditions. Unfortunately, knowing the requirements and familiarizing them can be challenging. Here is a synopsis of what is needed;

  • For English teachers in International schools, a teacher must have at least 120 hours of TEFL certification. This certification can either be awarded through online or in-class sessions. This requirement is only set for English teachers and is a China government requirement. 
  • If you are a man, 60 years or less, you must obtain a work Z visa and a residence permit for China. The exact requirement applies to women who are 55 years or younger. There is usually some adjustments that allow teachers over 60 to work, so long as they are a subject teacher with experience
  • Another requirement is that the subject teacher must have an undergraduate degree. For example, BEd degree, Masters in Education, PGCE, PGDE, and BA such as Math, business, and history.
  • English teachers are required to be native English speakers. This requirement is always looked at closely as some individuals have good English speaking and writing skills even though they aren’t native speakers.
  • At least two years of teaching experience. This qualification is necessary for significant locations across China. To teach English in Beijing, you require five years of teaching experience.
  • Even though some teaching positions are available without experience, you might be required to have experience teaching the specific age range you are assigned.
  • You need to have 2 or 3 references.
  • You must pass a medical exam.
  • No criminal record.

The Chinese embassy reviews all documentation, qualifications, and legalities for authenticity.

Tips and Tricks to Find A Teaching job in an International School in China.

  • Using recruitment agencies is one of the best ways to learn and sign up for teaching jobs in China. Recruitment agencies clarify the job position, making it easier to know what you are applying for.
  • Check on job boards. Most job boards display opportunities for teaching in international schools in China. Keeping an eye on different job boards and setting alerts would help land opportunities once they are displayed.
  • Sometimes, it helps to research teaching opportunities from the school’s website. If anything, this is the safest way. 
  • Teaching English in Beijing is always on the rise. If you don’t meet the conditions for the first time, it would be best to invest in getting the right experience then trying to reapply the next time the jobs are posted. Realistically, in a year or two.


Even though teaching in international schools in China can be a life-changing opportunity, it would help if you paid attention to the unending scammers on the internet. Many teachers have fallen victims to internet fraud.

This article acts as a support and reference to help you understand what it takes to teach in an international school in China.

Furthermore, there is additional information to prepare for than the job itself. It is essential to equip yourself with knowledge on immigration interviews, how to get a passport/visa, and general knowledge about China.