Eastland Teaching Jobs Abroad

Teach English in China or Taiwan

What are the requirements to teach English in China?


Teaching jobs in China or Taiwan all have different requirements, so not everyone will qualify for every position. Those who wish to apply must have these minimum qualifications:

Bachelor’s degree

That’s a four year degree from the US and Canada and usually three years in the UK and Australia. A graduate degree might open more doors for you, but only if it’s a TEFL or education related degree. Teachers with many years of experience and such a degree are highly sought after for management positions, especially in China (not so much in Taiwan, where the locals have management responsibilities). However, the minimum requirement is a Bachelor’s degree in any subject. The one exception is a teacher with a AA degree in an education related field and at least two years of classroom experience. For more on this, see our Teaching in China without a degree page.

120 hour TEFL or a teaching license in your home country

For China and Taiwan, it does not matter if your course is online or in class. Online classes are much cheaper and acceptable. While you won’t gain any practical experience, understanding the theories of teaching English as a foreign language is essential. The local government offices in most provinces of China do require this course, but not all and the government of Taiwan does not require it. However, many schools in both countries do. We require a 120 hour TEFL for all positions for two reasons: first, it opens up more options; second, you will be glad you took it once you are in the classroom. Many of our teachers who did not take this course before we required it reported problems that would have been easily solved with some basic TEFL knowledge. Teaching in a foreign classroom is different from teaching at home, so we even recommend certified teachers take a 120 hour online TEFL course. For more information, please see our TEFL page for details.

Teaching Experience

We receive many applications every day from people who have never taught, but for some reason think that moving across the world to start is a good idea! It isn’t always, but with a school that provides excellent training it can be a great experience. Spending a summer or two as a camp counselor is great, as is any volunteer work with children (we will verify this). Tutoring is fine, but do not put this on your resume without a reference-many applicants make up volunteer and teaching experience, so without a verifiable contact, it will not count. Keep in mind that the government will not count volunteer or tutoring experience as teaching experience. Those who already have experience teaching overseas are obviously going to have an easier time getting a job, but entry level positions with excellent training are available to those without direct experience.

Professional, mature and energetic personality

Schools are looking for extroverts, not introverts. Be outgoing and friendly! Chances are that if you are teaching children, you will probably be asked to do silly things. We want people who look forward to this and who are not embarrassed to sing, dance, dress silly, be laughed at, and just have fun. At the same time, this needs to be tempered with professionalism and maturity. Hint: we delete people who write emails that read more like Twitter posts. If we are going to introduce you to our partner schools, you need to demonstrate professionalism with us, or we simply will not pass you along.

Native English Speaker

The governments in both China and Taiwan will want to see a passport from a native English speaking country. Generally, only passports from the US, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and Ireland count. Please note that this is a government rule and we have no control over which countries the Chinese government decides are native English speakers. Teachers’ native English skills will also be evaluated in the interview with Eastland Recruiting and also with the school. Eastland Recruiting and our partner schools cannot override the government to make exceptions to the passport rule.

That’s it! If you have these basic requirements, feel free to apply!

7 thoughts on “What are the requirements to teach English in China?

  1. Pingback: Can I teach English in China without a degree? | Eastland Recruiting

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  4. Hello,

    For teaching positions in China is two years of experience required for them to help process your Z-Visa or is it recommended?

    In other words, will a 4-year B.A. degree, and 120 hour TESOL certificate suffice, or will I need two years of teaching experience?


    • Hi Zachary,

      It’s a misconception that you need 2 years of experience to teach in China. In some provinces, they require this for a work permit (which is required for a Z visa). However, in some provinces, your qualifications will work just fine as long as the school is licensed with the foreign expert bureau. For example, your qualifications would be just fine for a Shanghai school that is properly licensed; however, in Beijing you wouldn’t qualify because they do require the 2 full years. China’s visa regulations are decided at a local level. I highly suggest applying so that we can look at your qualifications and advise you what areas you qualify for.


    • The Chinese government will only approve work permits for people from native speaking countries. This is out of our control.