Realistic Chinese TEFL Salaries

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John V55
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Realistic Chinese TEFL Salaries

Unread post by John V55 » 31 Aug 2017, 12:13

Away from the anonymous fantasies, let’s briefly give a low down on salaries, because that seems to be one of the scam baiting points around the Internet. Most won’t do this, except with fantasy figures, because it means sticking your neck out and there’s always someone who will say; I got more/less/different, so this is simply a rough guide.

In the middle of the worst recession in a century and in a developing country, as a newbie expect around 6 to 7,000k Yuan ($1061, or 823 GBP). Too low? Let’s do the math. Add onto that free accommodation, Internet connection, health insurance, holiday pay, free holiday air flight … and it’s suddenly become around 9k Yuan ($1364, or 1059 GBP). Still too low? The Chinese cost of living is probably three to four times as low as the west (let’s say 3); in other words, your $1364 or 1059 GBP buys you the equivalent of around $4000, or 3000 GBP of goodies per month and paying 4 to 5% tax. For a starter, with a bog standard degree and a new TEFL certificate, you’ve now got the life style of a highly taxed, qualified western teacher.

State school, with experience? Around 10 to 12,000 Yuan, with the previous add-ons, plus an additional food allowance. That’s my bracket, working nine x 40 minute lessons a week (same as the Chinese teachers), which usually goes up to 10 a week as the semester goes into full swing. Out of that, I save around an annual 60,000+ Yuan without even trying, which when taken back to Thailand is around 300,000 Thai Bahts. Those who have lived or worked in Thailand will know that there are very few teachers in Thailand, if any, saving that kind of amount.

Private? Yes, 15,000 to 20,000 is attainable with experience, but it comes with a catch. For that they will work you into the ground and after you add up all the hours you’ve worked in a month, including the exam prep, marking, extra activities … you’ll be so burned out, you probably won’t notice that you earned what the state school teacher did, but got twice as much because you worked double the hours! Yes, I’ve been there and never again!

Private schools are businesses, so too are recruiters. Just as your aim is to make as much as you can, so is theirs and this sector of the market is where the majority of scams arise from. Using the above maths; a monthly salary of 30,000 Yuan would imply the recruiter is trying to sell you for 40,000 and unless you’re a qualified teacher in your own country working for International schools, 30,000 Yuan a month would put you in the equivalent of an annual western teacher lifestyle of $216,000, or 162,000 GBP a year! It’s an absolute nonsense.

That is why trying to compare a highly taxed western qualified teacher salary with a TEFL certificate in a developing country is misleading at best. There is no comparison, except to use comparable lifestyles.

If you ordinary members of the forum found this post useful, feel free to comment, because I’m getting tired of the linkers, their baiting and agendas being the only response.
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Norman
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Re: Realistic Chinese TEFL Salaries

Unread post by Norman » 02 Sep 2017, 06:44

Someone else said it before but it bears repeating... in 2017 if anyone wants you to work for less than 10,000rmb a month there is some middle person planning to skim from your real salary. If you are a native English speaker from America, Canada, or the UK you can easily get 18,000 - 22,000 a month from a private school Universities have salary caps of 12,000 but they save you 3,000 to 5,000 a month by giving you a furnished apartment. If you are black or a person of color (Latinos, Arab, Indian, Phillipino, etc) you will be offered the least amount of salary because China is obviously a racist country. Here are some websites to bone up on so you don't fall for all those low-ball offers John is apparently trying to justify for some reason. Maybe he is also a recruiter earning commissions for referrals? (just guessing).

http://chinascamwatch.org

http://www.chinascambusters.com

https://www.reddit.com/r/ChinaTeachers/ ... _salaries/

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Re: Realistic Chinese TEFL Salaries

Unread post by John V55 » 02 Sep 2017, 23:52

Not a recruiter, no commissions (I wish) and no affiliation to unions or scam websites, (which is why I don’t link to them). No criminal record, no deportations and no midnight runs. Boring eh? Pluses: Instead of years of endlessly complaining, bought a house, car and have a nice bank balance.

It’s the jealousy and greed thing surfacing. Forget the complaining and whining, get yourself a job, settle down, stop comparing yourself to everyone else’s fantasy salary and lead a comfortable lifestyle.

If you’re looking solely for money forget TEFL. The piece of paper that it takes forty hours of classroom work to complete, or buy under the table for many, doesn’t make you worth what you think you’re worth. The greedy are the people who the scammers target, the gullible are the ones they’re now deporting and the scammy websites are where it all stems from.

Put it another way; what are you, or were you, worth in your home country?
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Re: Realistic Chinese TEFL Salaries

Unread post by John V55 » 03 Sep 2017, 00:40

On average, I save between 60 - 70k Yuan ($9-10k) a year and that’s not even trying, which when I take back to SE Asia probably trebles in dollar value. That’s a lot less than I previously earned in the west, but far more than I was able to save. If you can save that back in the US, then there’s no need for you to be in China, is there. In my school, the average Chinese qualified teacher salary is around 7k Yuan, with bonuses around 9K. What makes you think you’re worth four to five times that? What special skills have you got, aside from a bog standard TEFL certificate, that puts you in a Chinese school director salary bracket? Not one of you has written anything about teaching, probably because you’d be unable to, it’s just a never ending complaint about salaries.

I suspect many of you now complaining couldn’t even get a job back in your home countries, but given the general gullibility of Americans, are convinced you’re suddenly worth top end salaries elsewhere, because someone told you. "Look, it says on this website here I’m worth …" or "It’s not fair, everyone else is earning treble what I get … " :lol:

Have you noticed that the vast majority of these sites are run by Americans, for Americans? Do you think there’s a reason behind that? Hopefully, not to many people will be fooled by all these scam links that many of you are putting out and at the end of the day, if you think you’re not getting what you’re worth in China, return to your home country and see if you can do any better there :)
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Saturn
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Re: Realistic Chinese TEFL Salaries

Unread post by Saturn » 07 Sep 2017, 18:05

Some people like to live frugally and others want to enjoy life and explore new countries good restaurants etc. My salary in China has never been less than 12,000 rmb per month and if you live in Beijing or Shanghai, renting an apartment eats half of this amount. I do not want roommates like everyone is forced to do in China because I want my own peaceful space when I get home and not in just a bedroom. Native English speakers I know that are teaching, are all earning more than 16,000 a month and since John is working in Mongolia I can understand why he is not earning this much. Salaries vary by region, but do not come to China for saving money - especially if you a student loan to deal with. You can survive here but you will not save much money unless you are super thrifty.

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Re: Realistic Chinese TEFL Salaries

Unread post by John V55 » 10 Sep 2017, 01:08

I don’t have ‘room mates’, unless you count my wife :) No one I know in state schools get room mates, that’s for the bottom end private sector, where they’re trying to save money. I also get free accommodation, electric, water, Internet connection and food allowance. State schools or universities don’t get the promised salaries of private ‘schools’, but conversely, the various scams that go with them either.

My teaching hours are currently under ten a week (40 minutes), later this will go up to a maximum 10. With the add-ons and if I go by the hour, my pay scale is excellent. Living normally, without even trying to save, plus paying for my dependent wife, I put away 60 to 70,000 Yuan ($9,200 – 10,800) a year. In other parts of Asia, this trebles in value, so in America that would be the equivalent of saving $30K a year. It’s why I always advise not to chase money and try for state education that comes without having to ‘perform’, or where your employment is dependent on ‘customers’.

It’s harder to get into state education (no flash cards here) and the criteria and PSB interviews are strict, but I’d advise anyone to try it. Private language ‘schools’ are the bottom end of TEFL and not where anyone with a minimum degree, a bit of experience and a basic TEFL cert’ needs to be.
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Re: Realistic Chinese TEFL Salaries

Unread post by Grizzly » 15 Sep 2017, 02:38

I cannot agree that anyone will make a lot or save a lot of money in China. You will make enough to live comfortably in China, but not enough to buy a car or rent an apartment in Beijing or Shanghai without roomies. I think people need to be realistic with their expectations of China and read up here before they come http://www.chinascambusters.com

You will have fun for sure in China but do not come if you have a student loan or bills to deal with in dollars back home. You will get paid in rmb which now equals 6 rmb to $1 usd.

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Re: Realistic Chinese TEFL Salaries

Unread post by John V55 » 16 Sep 2017, 12:24

You couldn’t resist getting at least one of these scam site links in, could you. "To make the most money in China you need to work for a private international school … " ‘Private International school’ is exactly the type of place the vast majority of scams are occurring in, which leads to other sites that tell you the fantastic salaries you should be earning and dazzled by the riches … eventually you’ll be redirected to the scam offers, with every possibility of becoming a victim yourself (and you know which one I’m talking about don’t you, Grizzly & co). No one will have any sympathy for you if you believe that you should be earning 20K minimum and the "we’ve got just the job for you" lead.

Do your homework and avoid these scam links, try to get into a public school and don’t listen to what others say you ought to be earning and try to get you to join their sites.

To others reading this, don’t get involved with these links. Stick to reputable recruiters!
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Grizzly
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Re: Realistic Chinese TEFL Salaries

Unread post by Grizzly » 17 Sep 2017, 00:14

I really don't know why you are pushing recruiters so much John. 90% of them are crooks and it is easy as pie to find your own teaching job. Here you can get a free database of China employers that have been doing business for years (an indicator they are not a fly-by-night) operation. https://www.reddit.com/r/TEFLScams/comm ... sing_your/

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Re: Realistic Chinese TEFL Salaries

Unread post by John V55 » 17 Sep 2017, 11:15

Oh give up Grizzly, it’s so obvious. Are you a volunteer, or are you getting paid for it? You know who is behind the links on here, so do I and so does the owner of this website. I’m not pushing any recruiter and after 2.5 years on here you don’t even know which company I work for. I know who’s pulling your strings though and where it all eventually leads back to. The sooner half a dozen of you get your scam links banned here the better.
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Saturn
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Re: Realistic Chinese TEFL Salaries

Unread post by Saturn » 22 Sep 2017, 05:54

What's the big fricking deal here guys? John makes less money than the rest of us and he is okay with it. So what? Some folks don't like to negotiate and others do not need a lot of money because they have pensions or have other incomes. John's idea to use a "reputable recruiter" is okay so long as you can find one and you sign your employment contract directly with the school and not the recruiter. I personally go the DIY route and only contact employers on the SAFEA registration list so I know my employer is legally allowed to hire foreigners, and if they somehow try to play games with my pay or benefits, I have legal recourse through SAFEA which is part of the Chines government.

Depending on where you work in China and for who, along with your real qualifications and negotiating skills will determine how much you earn teaching. None of my American and Canadian friends earn less than 16,000 except one and she is from the Ukraine with an accent. She cannot pass herself off as a native English speaker but she is still earning 12,000 a month. Personally, John, I think you should chill with the allegations. People are allowed to disagree you know and the demand for native English speaking teachers now is the highest it has ever been imo.

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Re: Realistic Chinese TEFL Salaries

Unread post by John V55 » 22 Sep 2017, 12:53

Disagree? Certainly. It’s not about disagreement though is it. It’s about your little clique posting out links to your CFTU and affiliated sites. Do you realise (of course you do, because it’s become so obvious), that this must be the first post you’ve ever written that isn’t linked out to some scammy site? Don’t play feigned innocence Saturn, the only help you’ve ever provided here are a barrage of links to those sites you’ve been told to.

Don’t try to guess anonymous Saturn. I don’t have a pension yet, or other income, it’s why I’m still working and you don’t know who I negotiate with. We both know who’s pulling your strings though. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that since I started to warn others about your scammy sites here, I have been trolled elsewhere by the same anonymous people as yourself, with the same sort of allegations. I'm not the first one to have gone through it either.
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Saturn
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Re: Realistic Chinese TEFL Salaries

Unread post by Saturn » 25 Sep 2017, 01:37

Stop John. I do not now, nor have I ever belonged to any teacher group in China. Focus on the issue of salaries in China. Even the China Daily newspaper disagrees with your comments and supports what others in this thread have been telling you for two months already http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2015 ... 384900.htm

The Huffington Post says the same thing and it the Huffington Post salary chart that the CFTU just clipped and pasted on their website. So you should be criticizing the Huffington Post, not those who merely cite them. Here's another 20 China teachers who disagree with you also https://www.reddit.com/r/ChinaTEFL/comm ... _teachers/

So maybe it is just time you negotiate yourself a better-paying contract or find a new employer who appreciates your true value as a veteran native-English speaker? If you were in Beijing or Shanghai instead of Mongolia Berlitz or another top end school would be paying you 20,000 yuan per month John.

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Re: Realistic Chinese TEFL Salaries

Unread post by John V55 » 26 Sep 2017, 04:31

:lol: You all have at one time anonymous Saturn and most of you have admitted it and almost definitely still are. Who else would spend their time posting out an avalanche of links as an excuse for trying to ‘help’ people. I do focus on salaries and not scammy links. I negotiated a deal that I’m satisfied with and of course everyone wants more, but without the need to be drawn into these links that you’re told to post. Funny you should mention China Daily, that’s where I’m getting trolled at for posting the same as I do here, but that’s just a coincidence?

Yes, if I was in Beijing or Shanghai in bottom private tier employment, I agree I’d be earning far more, but also paying higher tax, paying for accommodation in a private ‘school’, paying for utilities … and open to all the scams you people are complaining about and offering advice to draw them in.

If I work out my hourly rate for what I actually do and subtract the cost of living, I’m probably on double those at Shanghai or Beijing! I’ve been here at the same state school for six years. I’ve never been scammed, I’ve never run around chasing higher salaries and done it all myself, without having to direct anyone to Reddit, scam busters, China cheaters, CFTU … and all their other affiliated sites.
You Saturn and your ‘volunteers’ here have never posted anything else other than to direct people towards them. No one is pulling my strings Saturn and that’s the difference between us. :)
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Re: Realistic Chinese TEFL Salaries

Unread post by Murphy » 28 Sep 2017, 02:54

I seem to recall that you are the one who started this thread John. And I am sure you did so with the intention of "helping people" right? I mean I don't see anyone else here in the thread saying they are replying to "help others". I think it is more likely they are just expressing their own opinion to disagree with you and most people stated why. So I think you should respect the right of people to disagree with you, just as I think most all of us respect your tight to comment as well. So can we just agree to disagree John? On a lighter note here are sone teachers in China earning over $10,000 usd a month and they are not even teaching classes! http://opnlttr.com/letter/china-foreign ... g-many-new

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Re: Realistic Chinese TEFL Salaries

Unread post by John V55 » 28 Sep 2017, 03:53

I start these threads to counter the spam links coming out of here. I have never stated that people should not disagree and if Admin doesn’t mind, feel free to keep the links going. What other people are earning doesn’t interest me and nor do the Reddit, opnlttr, and all the scam buster replicas you and the half dozen here are told to constantly direct the gullible towards. Feel free, in return I will ‘help people’ by warning them to stay away from them and not be drawn into the greed and dissatisfaction by those with an agenda.

I’m very unlikely to earn your promised $10,000 a month without even teaching, by claiming the reward for turning in the greedy and frauds, as I don’t work with those kind of people. When you personally start making $10,000 a month, instead of directing to sites that link out to the usual scam ones. you will give me a shout, won’t you. :)
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Re: Realistic Chinese TEFL Salaries

Unread post by Murphy » 28 Sep 2017, 04:33

Whatever John. I think you are seeing conspiracies everywhere you turn like some of the articles you wrote on your signature website (some are very intriguing but conspiracy-based). Anyway, back to the China salary issue. You are working in a Tier 2 or 3 city so you will never earn what you could and should be earning in Beijing or Shanghai AS A NATIVE ENGLISH SPEAKER - 20,000 a month. Someone else pointed out that not everyone comes to teach in China for the money. I originally came for the adventure after watching the Beijing Olympic (amazing memory for me). Now I have a Chinese wife an a great-paying job BY CHINESE STANDARDS. You are happy with your income, and I am happy with mine.

But people coming to China should compare salaries in two categories... (A) Those jobs they find and negotiate on their own, and (B) Those they get from a recruiter, most of which will be skimmers. Yes, I know there are still some honest job agents out there but they are probably less than 10%-15% of the total. We are just two of over 30,000 people arguing about $1,000 -$2,000 a month. Here are more teachers with their own opinions on the subject. https://www.reddit.com/r/ChinaTEFL/comm ... _teachers/

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Re: Realistic Chinese TEFL Salaries

Unread post by John V55 » 28 Sep 2017, 05:20

When a handful of posters start to send out never ending links, to the same type of sites, all at the same time, it stops being a conspiracy. Strange you should say that you have a great paying job and you’re happy as you’ve just had a good rant about how no one told you your rights, you were exploited and used on, ‘The truth behind scam links thread.’

Of course Murph, no one will ever know for sure, because between the anonymous handful of you, no one will ever know who or where you are, or even if you’ve ever been to China. It’s why I take the whole bunch of you with a pinch of salt, same as the spam sites of Reddit, scam busters and opnlttr ones you link to. Me, I just try to tell people not to get into the sort of employment you lot do, keep well away from ‘unions’ and to stay away from your spammy links. Each to their own, you don’t mind me saying that do you? At the end of the day Murph, it’s not me that is complaining of scams, not knowing my rights and comparing my salary to everyone else.

Now here are some links for you Murph, better than all your spam sites put together, no conspiracies and maybe some real help to those considering coming here. Now when I see you doing this, I’ll be the first to tell you you’re ‘helping people’. It’s never going to happen though, is it. :)

http://changemyworld.forumotion.com/t6-tefl-job-seeking
http://changemyworld.forumotion.com/t18 ... efl-resume
http://changemyworld.forumotion.com/t17 ... l-syllabus
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Re: Realistic Chinese TEFL Salaries

Unread post by John V55 » 28 Sep 2017, 06:08

You know how it works right? The recruiter makes a private deal with your employer, the details of which you’ll never know. They agree on a price which is way above what you’ll get, because out of that your recruiter will take a monthly cut. You will be offered a salary, minus that cut and the cost of the insurance and all the rest of the freebies. These ‘perks’ aren’t free, they’ve already been included in the price.
You make, the recruiter makes and the school gets a teacher.

Cut out the recruiter and make a deal with the school. The ‘private’ school take into consideration how many customers they have, your salary will be based on that, minus the freebies agreed in the contract. A recruiter or adopt a DIY approach, you may get equally scammed by the school, or a recruiter. All this happens because teaching is the last any of you are thinking about, as you’ve just entered the murky world of business and just as you’re trying to make more, the recruiter or school are also trying to do the same and they will win, bet on it.

That’s my point; at the level of the foreign performing monkey business, you’ve just entered the scam market and it’s why at 20K, with all the add ons and profit seeking, you’ve just realistically priced yourself into the 30, or 40K bracket and you’re simply not worth that. Having worked that lot out, you’re now on a crusade for even more? Do you think there might be a correlation between greed and scams, because deal with a recruiter or direct with the school, at the private level based on salary amounts is where it’s all coming from.
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Re: Realistic Chinese TEFL Salaries

Unread post by Murphy » 29 Sep 2017, 06:54

Great - we finally agree that recruiters take waaaaay too much for what they do. Your explanation is right on the money John and I am glad you took the time to explain it. In every other country, the recruiter just takes one month's salary. They tell you the same thing in China but that is BS. It is just as John explained - they take a slice every month and in many cases it can be as much as 50% if you are earning less than 10,000 a month. As for the real salaries offered by schools, before any skimming takes place, see here https://www.reddit.com/r/ChinaScamCentr ... _esl_tefl/ and remember you always make more money in Tier 1 cities than in the countryside.

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