teach English in China

Is it possible to just show up and apply for jobs to teach English in China? Will you be offered jobs at Shenzhen International Airport?

TEFL Campus grad, Arthur Manso, teaching English in China.

Unfortunately, or rather fortunately, things have changed for the better since the wild days of the ‘70s, ‘80s, and ‘90s. In fact, it was just recently in 2016 when China overhauled their visa requirements to weed out unqualified teachers and expose fraudulent Chinese schools.

So to keep things brief and straightforward for you, teach.fm’s visa specialist has summarized the requirements to teach English in China as a Native English Speaker and Non-Native English Speaker. They are:

Native English Speaker:

Non-Native English Speaker:

  • Bachelor’s degree from a Native English-Speaking Country
  • Clear Criminal Background Check
  • TEFL/TESOL or CELTA Certificate
  • 2 years of teaching/tutoring or work experience

If you meet these requirements, then you are legally qualified to teach English in China. Congratulations! Expect a handsome salary and benefits package.

You can also obtain a core-subject teaching job in China – for example, you can be a physical education teacher or a German language teacher.

For these positions, you will need:

  • Bachelor’s degree or higher with a major matching the type of teaching position
  • Clear Criminal Background Check
  • 2 years of teaching/tutoring or work experience – in your local country or internationally

Additionally, China provides opportunities for PhD holders. Usually, these positions are provided by universities.

If you don’t meet these requirements and would still like to pursue an English teaching career in China, you can read teach.fm’s posts about teaching English in China without a degree and non-native English speakers teaching in China on Medium.com. In short, you can still find positions but at your own risk.

If you have got any questions, please sign up for 100% free career consultation and receive interview invites within 24 hours.

This article was written by a visa specialist at teach.fm—an online platform that matches teachers with TEFL positions in China. Having taken an Airbnb style approach, they match your profile with the best employers throughout China.

Eric Haeg


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