What are the requirements to teach English in China?
Generally speaking, you must meet the following requirements to teach in China:
- You’re a native English speaker from USA, Canada, UK, Ireland, Australia or New Zealand
- You’re under age 55
- You’ve got a bachelor’s degree
- You've got a TEFL certificate (unless you have an education degree)
- You’ve got some work experience
- You’ve got a clean bill of health and don’t have any criminal convictions.
The requirements can differ slightly between schools and provinces. For example, some schools may accept native English speakers from South Africa.
To find out if you can teach in China with us, simply use the eligibility checker. It only takes a few seconds!
You need a TEFL qualification to teach in China.
Don't have a TEFL certificate?
If you don’t have a TEFL certificate, you can still apply to teach in China.
Just sign up for a discounted TEFL course for teaching in China as soon as you can (you'll need to get your certificate legalized as part of the Z visa process).
The minimum TEFL you need for China is 120 hours. It can be done entirely online, entirely face to face, or a combination of the two.
Read more about getting TEFL certification for China.
Don't have a degree?
You need a degree to teach in China as a fully paid, legally employed teacher.
If you don't have a degree and still want to teach in China, you could consider an internship (like this program offered by ImmerQi).
Note that internships may require you to pay a program fee, and the salary is generally very low.
You need a bachelor's degree to work in China as a fully fledged teacher.
Do you need to speak Mandarin to teach in China?
Not at all. You'll be speaking English 100% of the time at the school.
You're likely to pick up some survival Mandarin while you're there, including some really useful phrases that will help you outside the classroom.
Many schools offer free Mandarin lessons as part of your teaching contract.
Do you need to have teaching experience to teach in China?
Although it helps, you don't need any prior teaching experience to teach in China.
Having some general work experience, in any industry, is all you need. The most important thing is having the right attitude.