90,000 ntd vs. 68,000 ntd salary--help!


#1

Hi everyone,

I just got a job offer from two schools in Taiwan.
However, I’m not sure if it is hard to find a teaching job in Taiwan that offers 90,000ntd/month or not. Here are some info:

  1. private preschool (3 year olds) (90,000$)
    8:00am-6:30pm
    10 hours /day with 1 hour lunch break
    30 min. Prep time included
    10 children
    Helper–with Taiwanese teacher 1
    Paid vacations / holidays

  2. public school (Gr 1-5) (67,000$)
    8:00am-5:00pm
    8 hours / day with 1 hour lunch break
    No prep time included
    Around 30 children
    Coworker–Taiwanese teacher 1
    Paid vacations/ sick days/ annual leave/ etc.
    Airplane ticket 40,000 and another 40,000 for return
    5,000/month housing stipend

I have a BA/ TESL certificate/ 1 year of classroom teaching/ teacher license/ 3 years of other teaching experiences.

What would you choose if you guys were me?
Any reasonable ideas?

This is my first time teaching in Taiwan and I really dont know if these salaries are suitable or not. Thanks for your help!!!


#2

3 year olds? As far as I know teaching Kindergarten in Taiwan is illegal for foreign nationals or something along those lines, which would be any child under 5.


#3

At 90,000, you would be living the really really good life, especially if it’s out of Taipei. I know very few people (local or Taiwanese) doing any kind of job who make that much!

However, the hours sound exhausting. I’m no expert on teaching, but it seems that dealing with 30 elementary-schoolers for 1 hour per class would be much easier than dealing with 10 3-year-olds for 9 hours. With the former, your job is to teach. With the latter, your job is to teach and babysit.

For comparison, average monthly salaries last year according to a random blog (I’m too busy to check against gov’t data right now, but this looks about right)…
Age 20-44: NT$35,659
National: NT$35,986
Proportion of workers paid more than NT$70,000 a month: 5%
More than NT$50,000 a month: 17.4%

Wow, reviewing these numbers again, I really am happy I decided to leave Taiwan behind…

Here is how I was spending when in TW to give you an idea. I had an office job that paid well, but not as well as either of your offers. I’m very very frugal, so it doesn’t need to be this cheap.

Rent: NT$7,000 for a room in someone else’s apartment (Zhonghe, New Taipei)
Food: NT$9,000 only eating out, never had time to cook
Transport: NT$1,000 on the metro and buses; about 1/4 that if the weather permitted biking
Phone: NT$1,200 for unlimited 3G data
Total: NT$18,200 for my basic expenses

If you lived like I did, and were paid NT$90,000 a month, you would have NT$72,000 of disposable/savable income. That’s US$2,300 each month. So the pay is quite good, yes.


#4

[quote=“boyshcat”]Hi everyone,

I just got a job offer from two schools in Taiwan.
However, I’m not sure if it is hard to find a teaching job in Taiwan that offers 90,000ntd/month or not. Here are some info:

  1. private preschool (3 year olds) (90,000$)
    8:00am-6:30pm
    10 hours /day with 1 hour lunch break
    30 min. Prep time included
    10 children
    Helper–with Taiwanese teacher 1
    Paid vacations / holidays

  2. public school (Gr 1-5) (67,000$)
    8:00am-5:00pm
    8 hours / day with 1 hour lunch break
    No prep time included
    Around 30 children
    Coworker–Taiwanese teacher 1
    Paid vacations/ sick days/ annual leave/ etc.
    Airplane ticket 40,000 and another 40,000 for return
    5,000/month housing stipend

I have a BA/ TESL certificate/ 1 year of classroom teaching/ teacher license/ 3 years of other teaching experiences.

What would you choose if you guys were me?
Any reasonable ideas?

This is my first time teaching in Taiwan and I really dont know if these salaries are suitable or not. Thanks for your help!!![/quote]

10 hours a day with 3 year olds? That sounds insane. The same 10 kids every day for 10 hours? :loco:
So just to get this straight, you are going to have to work 50 hours a week to get $90k? How many of those 50+ hours will be actual teaching hours?

I do $100k+ a month, get paid for 30 hours per week, but only actually teach 24. The teaching hours drain energy and a heavy lesson planning load can and will lead to burnout. 50 hours a week seem completely freakin crazy.

BTW, the public school job sounds normal with pretty decent pay and benefits.


#5

I’d go with the public one, although it’s a tough call…


#6

Thank you all!! This will help me! I understand that the preschool job is teaching + babysitting. It does look hard.


#7

And probably illegal. Plus it’s always a plus to work for the Administration… plus they already acknowledge the possibility of going home once a year, and they even pay for that… not bad :slight_smile:


#8

My gut says the 90k per month job sounds like BS.

But, here are some questions I would ask about a public school job: The kids are out for summer, are you still paid? Is there an options for summer school? If you are not paid and the kids are out, what about your visa? I would guess you are going to get paid full salary for 10 months and nothing for 2 months, but they will keep your visa active for 12 months.


#9

Cooperations brings up a few good things to follow up on for the public school job but before that…

Have you ever taught 3 yr olds? Are you COMPLETELY SURE that you would like to teach 3 yr old for half a day (much less 10 hrs/day)?

Yes, it is illegal but there is no amount of money that I could be paid to teach 3 yr olds. However some people (some are friends) love teaching that age group and do it really well. I subbed a couple of times in a kindy and I made it through the 2 hr session (not really a class) but I knew that I never wanted anything to do with kindy after that. Regardless of the illegalities.

You will live well in Taiwan with a 67K/mo salary and 5K housing allowance. That is getting towards the upper end of the standard buxiban payscale as a comparison.

As an FYI - buxiban teachers = after hours (2pm-9pm) tutoring classes (8-20 students). You will certainly be exposed to one big frustration as a public school ESL teacher. The M distribution of students. You will have many students (buxiban students) that know everything that you will teach them because they are years ahead of the material being taught. And you will have many students that don’t go to buxibans and have no chance to learn at the pace of the class.


#10

I started my current position (originally as a proofreader) at $69,000 and saved half of my income. I’m working as a curricular director now, which entails more money, but honestly makes no real difference in my spending habits. In other words, after about $65,000, I personally would have to throw cash on the streets to spend it all, or to be at any real risk of not saving between 40% and 60% of my monthly income.

I also proofread masters theses for friends of friends (mostly Latinos) in my spare time, at a hobbyist’s rate, but I blow the cash I make per project in one Saturday.

My expenses are as follows:
Rent: I spend $8000 on average.
Internet/Phone: I got on an infinite data plan from 台灣大哥大 for $999, and I use my smartphone as my hotspot for my laptop.
The Rest: I budget to spend 50% of the remainder on daily expenses (transportation, food, nightlife, etc.). Recently, I’ve been spending more than my allotted budget, but then I re-downloaded MoneyWise (not the pro version) and have been more obedient.

I live in and work around Da’an (大安區).

The $90,000 offer sounds like one of the following three things:
a.) a lie,
b.) a high estimate, or
c.) a miracle.

My bet’s on (b). Without a guaranteed minimum salary, you’ll probably be facing all sorts of hourly cuts and other bullshit from people who care more about profit than ethical treatment of foreigners or contractual commitments. My security is worth that kind of “pay cut,” but others are willing to take the risk. For instance, I know of only one instructor who, until recently, was making six figures teaching our company’s materials. But, money like that is the exception, not the rule.

(It’s good to know I’m in the top five percent of income earners.)


#11

I would take the public school job rather than do sort of hours with pre-schoolers. I usually get far less than either job offers but I work a lot less hours (20-25) in a bushiban (private cram school) these days.

Abacus’ post is on the nose.


#12

3 year olds sounds more like babysitting/daycare to me.


#13

Parents are not spending megabucks for daycare. I would not dismiss the skill needed to provide a stimulating early childhood development program. At the same time the OP should question whether or not he has any of those skills or is willing to self learn those skills. He is a certified public school teacher with elementary (?) classroom experience. Handling and developing 3-5 yr olds is an entirely different ballgame.


#14

Are the initials of the 90k school HK by any chance?

If yes, I would definitely consider it. It’s a very well-organized setup, where the kids learn a lot of English through playing and having fun. You will probably be with your 3yo group until around 4pm and then elementary until 6:30.

I am in no way affiliated to this school, but I know someone who works there.


#15

What job did you end up taking?