Being Picky - Teaching Jobs

Hi all,

In your experience, do you think a non experienced English teacher coming over to Taiwan for the first time can or should be picky about jobs with regards to wage/salary, location etc?

Or can one only be picky after they have gained some meaningful experience?

Would like to hear your thoughts.

Do you have any TEFL qualifications? Are you particularly charming or attractive or persuasive? Do you have any meaningful professional connections in the country? Were you simply born to teach and it shows?

If you’re not exceptional in some way, have no experience, and hold a bachelor’s degree and nothing else, you’re probably not going to get to be very picky.

I have a TEFL. I guess i’m a kind and outgoing person who is above average in attractiveness lol. Don’t really have connections. Don’t know if i was born to teach since i’ve never done it…

Salary and perks come with expectations. Working in Taiwan can be brutal for an American. In Taiwan the boss has a lot more power and they usually micromanage everything. The culture shock will leave you hating your job regardless. Teaching well takes a lot of practice so be prepared for a bumpy road. It was wise to ask us salty dogs what you should expect.

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I am aware of the differences in working culture with regards to the treatment of employees by management. I can’t say its very ideal from my own perspective but it is what it is i guess…

The price to pay for living in an ultra convenient, relatively affordable and safe country.

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It goes beyond typical employee treatment. Imagine yourself more of a tourist. People love to take advantage of tourists.

I guess i better stay alert and diligent then.

Any major things to look out for in contracts?

you may get some idea by reading threads with #breaking_contract tag on this forum.

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I was in a similar position when I started. I wasn’t picky. Chain schools should give you a little bit more per hour, maybe 20NT, on account of your TEFL qualification. Being kind and outgoing won’t add much.

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It can be very difficult to protect yourself from exploitation. Always err on the side of caution but don’t put yourself in a situation where you rely on trust.

  1. Don’t spend your own money on teaching material
  2. Monitor your paycheck very closely, keep record of hours worked.
  3. Beware of any money kept as the 18% tax, sometimes it is never reported

That’s all I can contribute. Don’t get overly paranoid though. It’s not a good look to be overly suspicious. Keep in mind also that you are paid very well relative to your Taiwanese coworkers. Any Taiwanese co-worker will feel it completely justifiable to saddle you with obligation or responsibility in accordance to your pay.

and skin color matters too… being dark regardless of nationality or teaching ability is a huge minus here…

Yes. Well said

Just for the record I’m Caucasian.

Bringing the typical hourly rate to what, then?

If you believe what is perpetuated on PTT, $1020/hr…

Ah, hilarity ensues.


And how far is that from the actual rate?

It’s about 10x what I tell my students I get paid. It aint that tho.

You can try your luck, but with no experience that’s all you’ll have. Apply to a couple dozen buxibans (you’re not going to get anything else) and then compare the ones that seem interested.


It seems to be about 600 to 700 these days. That’s only from what I hear, though.