I'm currently teaching English in a very small tuition centre in Yuen Long. I've been here for nearly three years now. I'm asian but a british citizen with authorisation to work and live in HK indefinitely. Currently working 6 days a week, but teaching about 23-24 hours per week (NOT including time used for preparation of materials)
Having the CELTA can get you a teaching job in Hong Kong. You're also a native speaker, have a degree and more importantly caucasian. So finding a job in a local tuition centre would be no problem at all. Have a look at HK jobs websites and you'll find lots of opportunities. (JobsDB)
NET scheme - I tried this year and only heard back to say they received my application.
Apply early. The current closing date is the end of January 2013 for 2013-2014 applicants.
Important note - HK schools will take on those with 2 years teaching experience in a public school environment. i.e. They take on those with a Postgraduate Diploma in Education.
If there are not enough of these candidates, then NET teachers with a caucasian look AND some teaching experience would be considered.
If there are still places left, then you'd probably be considered. After that, the HK schools will consider asian looking NETs but by that time they're probably full.
But you are correct, apply nonetheless. The NET scheme is very attractive and is probably one of the better teaching schemes in HK. Schools would probably arrange all VISA requirements and fund towards your living expenses. As you may have already assumed, the NET scheme is HIGHLY competitive.
There are many, so if you don't get onto a NET scheme, you should find it quite easy to get a job in a tuition centre.
They can pay from $175-250 per hour (maybe more) and you would be expected to teach classes ranging from 2-8 students. Tuition centres love caucasians and sell this fact to parents when getting students. I believe some centres arrange visa's for you but you would have to check with them. Taxes are low in HK so as long as you work enough hours (20-30 hours per week), you should be able to sustain a good standard of living.
Monday - Thursday usually results in less teaching hours.
Caucasians seem to get better benefits than asians here. So if you wanted to call in sick, it wouldn't be too big a problem. Remember, being caucasian is a massive selling point to the tuition centres, so they'll try to keep you happy at all costs.
Check your contract. Some centres keep you on a 1 or 2 year contract. Breach this you'll lose most of your salary.
You are expected to teach students from Kindergarten to Secondary school (the more flexible you are, the easier it will be for you to get a job). Your classes in one day could range from a phonics class, a play group and then a grammar class to secondary students.
Be expected to work when the students don't attend school. So your working hours are usually in the mornings or late afternoons to the evening ON WEEKEDAYS. (e.g. for me, I work from 9-11 am, then 3-7pm). Don't expect to have breaks inbetween lessons (but if there are no lessons for you to teach than this can count as a break for you)
Your busiest days are from Friday evening to Sunday. These periods are the times where the tuition centres make most their money and they will hope to get you to work during these periods.
Potentially, you could be working from 3-8pm on Friday, 9am to 7pm on Saturday and finally 9am to 5pm on Sunday (you'll get a lunch break inbetween).
These are the times where many caucasian teachers "call in sick" and substitute teachers are called in to cover lessons.
Sometimes, you'll be teaching a phonics class when your boss comes in and adds another student to your class. This student will not be here for phonics, but you'll be expected to teach him 'something' nevertheless. Be prepared because this happens a lot.
Female Native English teachers are easier to recruit students than male teachers. This is because HK parents are worried that male teachers may take advantage of their kids.
However, male teachers with a good relationship with parents can also get private tuitions. It's just easier for females.
Don't worry about not knowing Cantonese/Mandarin. Unfortunately, most HK parents believe that if you speak English to their kids, their kids will pick up English perfectly ... which is not entirely true ...
Private tuition rates can be from $200-400 per hour. Being caucasian, I would definately start around $300. If you're brave enough you could even start higher and let the parent negotiate a rate later on.
Your rate depends on your experience.
Sometimes, the parents may stand next to you when you teach. Worse case scenario would be that they offer suggestions to you midway through your teaching (which is really annoying).
The parents may cancel a lesson at short notice. This is particularly annoying since you'll lose your tuition fee.
Former Native English Teacher in Hong Kong for 3 years.
British Born Chinese.