China without any doubt is one of the fastest growing economies in the world, if not the fastest., China’s economic policy is slowly opening out to the world and as a result, there is a growing exchange of people between this country and other countries of the world. As a result, there are some great jobs in China for Americans who want to live and work abroad.
If you are an American willing to get out of your comfort zone and explore the world, enjoy new things in life and at the same time build a good career for you and your family then China provides quite the opportunity. There is growing demand for various types of professions including business professionals as well as technology and computer engineers. Interestingly, there is also a big demand for foreign models in this country to help diversify the look of advertising and appeal to local Chinese consumers who are interested in foreign brands.
While there is no denying the fact that for all the above professions are popular and can be quite lucrative, the ability for local Chinese people to master the English language is of vital importance to their own career ambitions. Therefore, one of the hottest job in China for Americans is to become an English language teacher.
While the demand for English teachers in China welcome anyone from a native English-speaking country, there is a very specific desire for American speakers. American slang, music and the pop culture of America has a great influence on the young Chinese population. Therefore, many Chinese people have a preference to speak and understand the American form of English. And a number of schools in China are specifically looking to fill their teacher rosters with Americans to meet the demands of their students.
So if you are an American with a desire to live and work in China, chances are pretty strong that you will be able to land a job teaching English if you are up for it!
Now that we have a reasonably good understanding about the demand for English teaching jobs in China for Americans, let’s talk about the requirements to obtain those positions. As you can imagine, a solid understanding of the English language is a core requirement, as well as the ability to speak slowly and clearly so your students can understand you.
It’s also important that you be engaging in the classroom and have high energy and enthusiasm for the role. To assess these skills, most schools will ask potential teachers to do a short “mock class” or “demo” lesson during the interview process. If you are not in China, then you will do this via Skype or just send over a video.
When it comes to legal requirements to obtain a working Z visa for China, applicants must also hold a bachelor’s degree (in any subject). Further, if candidates did not study teaching in school then they must also obtain a TEFL / TESOL certificate that certifies they understand basic methodologies of teaching English as a second language. These TEFL certificates can be done in-person or online, and are widely available for reasonable fees.
Candidates who are interested in getting a teaching job in China can often apply before completing their TEFL certificate, which allows them to confirm what programs are accepted by their schools as well as taking advantage of some reimbursement offers or special discounts on select TEFL programs.
Check out our discounted TEFL program partners here
Lastly, prior teaching experience is typically not required to teach English in China! While there may be some schools, provinces, or higher level teaching jobs that do require 2 years of experience, there are a significant number which do not. This makes teaching English in China a very attainable job option for many Americans looking for a job in China.
Understandably, this is a good question to ask. For the most part, jobs in China for Americans (and other foreigners) do not require them to speak or understand Mandarin. Many of these jobs available are at international companies where overseas business is usually done in English.
When it comes to English teaching in the classroom, classes in China are ideally an immersive in style – where the class is only conducted in English. This means that the teacher technically doesn’t need to speak any Mandarin in order to conduct the class. In some situations, such as primary schools, schools will provide a local Chinese teaching assistant, who can help clarify and manage class behavior in their local language.
Moving thousands of miles away isn’t worth it unless the benefits outweigh the costs. One of the first things people look at is the salary of the jobs in China for Americans. Within China, the relative pay of a foreign teacher is actually quite high a good, livable salary. However, many Americans will look at the salary amount alone and think that it is lower compared to back at home in the States. But this doesn’t take into account a very important concept – cost of living.
Overall the cost of living in China is significantly lower than in the USA. Hence, it is possible for Americans in China to work as a teacher, have a good lifestyle and even save some decent money. Even if you work for four or five years in China and then go back home to the States, you could have saved a good sum of money which could help you more ways than one.
Additionally, China has lot to offer in terms of tourist attractions and the Chinese people are by nature soft and quite welcoming. They have a rich culture and history behind them and are proud to show it off to others. This enables many foreigners to have a rich cultural exchange, which is a wonderful benefit to living and working abroad.
Another benefit for Americans getting a job in China is that during holidays it is easy to travel both within China as well as to nearby Asian countries. Imagine just popping on a plane for a long-weekend in Thailand, spending the Chinese New Year holiday in Bali, Indonesia or traveling in India or Nepal. For many Americans, getting a job in China is the chance of a lifetime to be able to explore far off places in the world quite easily.
For those who are career oriented, working in China can really enhance their resume too – yes, even if you are an English teacher! Mastering skills like cross-cultural communication, problem-solving, or even learning some Mandarin could well position Americans for future job opportunities. In fact, there are many Americans who have ended up getting much better jobs after they have spent a few years teaching English in China. Sometimes, those jobs are in China or back in the States.
If you are ready to take the next step and browse available jobs in China for Americans, then be sure to check out our jobs in China page. We have hundreds of job opportunities that we are actively hiring for in cities across China. While you will find mostly English teaching jobs, we do offer some other higher level education jobs and even some non-teaching jobs.
Take a look and if anything looks interesting, don’t be shy about uploading your resume to get started. Our team is happy to talk with you more and answer any questions you may have.