How Much to Charge for Private English Lessons in Taipei?

Hi all,

I was wondering what’s an average rate to charge per hour for private English speaking practice in Taipei? I’m an American with a M.A. and tons of experience but first time doing this in Taiwan and would love to know what the range in rates is and what’s the standard.

Thanks for any help!


Charge however much you think you’re worth. But if the student can’t recognize the “tons of experience” you have, you probably won’t find anyone willing to pay your rate. Try $1,000/hour to test the waters.


if you have an open work permit or work right, whatever price you want. if not, you should not charge anything.

The reality is… it depends. I’ve stopped all of my tutoring now but I used to charge 1500 per hour.

That sounds about right, assuming a very short trip or online. The only tutoring gig I currently have is $700/hour (actually $1050 for 90 minutes), but it’s online, and has been on and off (lots of off!) for around ten years now. That’s the same rate I charged in Tainan over twenty years ago, and I certainly would ask more from a new job these days.

Covid kind of dried up a lot of this stuff … I think I suggested $1500/hour, for two hours, for one possible student, because it was a heck of a trip. The student said no and I was fine with that: the time spent going back and forth wouldn’t have been worth it for me.

I’d consider distance and “bulk” for the money: for example, $1000 per hour, or $1800 for two hours.


I charge 1,500 for strangers, about 800 or so for friends or for former/current students who want extra help outside of class hours.


An American with an M.A. in…

TEFL? Education? Charge more.

An American with an MA in something useless, like waste management, charge less.

Not knowing you cannot actually weigh experience on a scale to see how many tons you have: charge less.
If you have experience that applies: charge more.

I’m being a headache just out of jest and to have fun. But honestly, it is hard to know what to ask for because your post is so vague. I would pay more for someone with no degree and a CELTA than I would with a person with a Master’s Degree in political science from Harvard. You might have “tons of experience,” but did most of that include you teaching at Joy or Sesame Street or William’s English School? If so, I would not count it. If “tons of experience” means you spent your time getting teacher training, professional development, and really developing curriculums or plans for the classroom, that would mean more.

If you’re someone that can really say, “I am qualified to teach, here is how I will come up with an individualized plan for you, and here is how I can show I am a qualified teacher,” a private lesson could easily run into the $1000NT range or more. If you’re someone saying, “I have an MA, I am American, and I have experience teaching,” I guess you could try for $550NT an hour.

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I wouldn’t go less than 700 otherwise you attract cheapskate flakes that will cancel on you at the last minute

Anyone I charged higher was generally more serious. Anyone that I charged $500 or $600 cancelled all the time, not serious, or was a general pain in the ass


Similar to @DrewC, my rate depends on any previous relationship: $1,000/hr for new students and $800/hr for those I taught before when I worked in a buxiban.

I’m in Taoyuan; I have no idea if the rates would be higher in Taipei.


I wouldn’t do it for less than 1500/hr. Too much prep and effort for one-on-one. Even then, I’d probably still not do it. But I’m old and decrepit.
Unless they’re really hot.


Be aware that a Taiwanese college student paid to sit next to a child doing their homework will usually make at least 400/hr. That’s sitting next to the person and giving occasional homework help, nothing else. So make sure you do not go below that no matter what! Tutor rates tend to go up as the age of the student goes up. This is pathetic, given the younger the student, the more qualified the individual in language acquisition should be, but too many people think you don’t need professional teachers in anything until adolescence or college…

I agree that you will need to elaborate (to your student, you don’t need to on here) on your “tons of experience”. For me, I have an undergrad in linguistics, an ESL and Chinese teaching license, a masters in education, speak and read Chinese at a very high level, worked in the public schools here for a number of years, and spend a lot of time reading about language acquisition. With that, I charge 1800/hr. That’s also because I have a full time job that pays me well, so I have to make it worth it for me to work during my time off. Most people laugh in my face when I tell them my price. Why? There are in person and online cram schools that don’t even charge that much for a full month of unlimited classes “with a foreign teacher”. Those are people I will never teach again — they think tutoring is just talking to someone for an hour, so they immediately accuse me of ripping them off. The students i do work with stick with me for a long time and see enormous improvements over time.

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This is way too low in my opinion. I charged 800 an hour 15 years ago. Only lasted a few months because the extra 150 an hour above my newbie cram school wage wasn’t worth the extra prep.

I also got 1000 an hour to play with two kids back then too. Literally play. The mom wanted me to babysit the kids. The problem was that I spent most of the time stopping them fighting. On a Sunday morning, after drinking on a Saturday, this turned into hard work.

I have one student now. 2500 for two hours, once a week. We talk about movies, world news, her fave YouTube channel etc. if I had to prep, I would charge more.

My daughter used to go to dance classes and a lot of the parents were pretty well off. They were paying 2000 odd an hour for dance classes, the same for piano classes. One girl had two English tutors. One foreigner and one Taiwanese. Both were getting 1500 an hour.

Charge more. I really don’t see the point in anything below 1000 when you can just take a few more hours at a cram school instead.

I would charge an ex student less if I knew they were nice and hardworking.

I would charge a friend/distant family member more. You know it would be more hassle and they would expect more from you.


If anyone here is dumb enough to charge less than 400 NTD an hour, then I’m getting them deported out of principle. :stuck_out_tongue:/s

You do get what you pay for. I sometimes can’t believe some of my students are Buxiban English teachers. I wouldn’t trust them to coach a 5-year-old on writing a letter to Santa Claus.


Not really, no. Probably the opposite.

Many people would be surprised to learn that college teachers are professional because they are paid, not certified in pedagogy (or, andragogy, if you prefer). Most people who teach in higher education are not qualified as teachers in any way (except HEA, which is relatively new). Even professors of education sometimes haven’t learned about the basics even though they teach those things to students who are training to teach children. In most of the world being a content expert is considered enough.

It is strange that people who teach children are expected to have higher qualifications, because it isn’t really necessary, and this is especially true for language learning. Maybe it makes sense when you consider that the people teaching people to teach children might not be qualified either, but they figure it out.

Of course, the OP should charge based on their qualifications, but I don’t think they need to worry too much about the specifics of their education with respect to the age of the people who they tutor. If it were me and I needed the money, I would teach any age and charge as much as people would pay me based on how well I sell my qualifications to them

Like many of you, though, I don’t need or want to. I have guessed I would start at 1000 per hour on another thread for this question, but seeing the answers here that is probably too low

I assumed my students in the buxibans, especially the international students, are very low paid. Any idea what they get?

I just don’t teach friends at all. Children of friends, sometimes. But they usually tell me I don’t charge them enough, so they end up paying me in food that they know I’ll eat or dinners out (sans their children)

It’s the fact that people who teach most things don’t have any qualifications that has lead to this conclusion. There is a HUGE difference between being an expert and being able to teach something. If expertise in the language (aka, fluency) was the only thing needed to teach anyone well, Taiwan would have been fluent in English starting 30 years ago. All the 阿呆外國人 filling the cram schools (and now public schools) would have magically made the kids fluent by proximity. There is ZERO correlation in Taiwan between native speakers in the classrooms and English outcomes.

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I didn’t say this

I didn’t say this either. But hey, all of those students have also had lots of “qualified teachers” and that hasn’t magically solved the problem, either. This isn’t the place to get into the details on these things

My point for the OP was, sell your qualifications, but don’t worry about the age of the students. If you prefer younger learners and there is business there for you, don’t charge less because you don’t have an ECE qualification, charge what your time is worth to you and the customer. If you have an ECE, sure, hype it.


I agree this isn’t the place to get into the details on these things. I don’t know what I misunderstood in your post, but it looked to me like you were saying there’s no need to be qualified to teach children (or even college students – I have some choice words I’d like to share with my college Chinese professors specifically and their total incapacity to teach the Chinese language, and they were all published linguists on top of being Chinese teachers). As for the “professional teachers” kids have been getting, I think I’ve gone on quite enough about how little opportunity to be a professional teacher those of us with qualifications in the FET program were given.

You said younger children need teachers who know more about language learning, I reponded with a link about critical period. It doesn’t mean that qualifications can’t sometimes be helpful, but that the older language learners are the more helpful those qualifications become.

As for college educators, you mentioned how people think they need to be professional teachers, and I was pointing out that all around the world most of them are not trained. A lot of people don’t know this.

Yes, the system is backwards. I believe that after the critical period there is more need for “professional teachers” (this was your expression, by the way), not less.

I meant the Taiwanese teachers who have degrees in education

This part I can relate to. When I first got to Taiwan a mother paid me $600hr to basically babysit her kid for two hours in English while she got some rest.
The kid was a very hyper child with ADHD and would run around. If I tried to stop him he would try to hit me, kick, and occasionally bite. Only when his violent father would come home would he fall into line. I only did that job for two months, couldn’t deal with that