Is NT$41,000/ Month Too Low To Be Teaching English?

You can live cheap anywhere, Canada included. Food can be cheap in Canada, if you stick to the nutritional equivalent of a cheap take out lunch box.

Once you start to live the lifestyle equivalent of your colleagues in Canada or many of your friends and colleagues locally you will find that the cost of living is not so cheap - almost all of the non-essentials that we have purchased recently are far more expensive here than elsewhere.

Not sure if this has come up in the thread, but the minimum salary for a foreign devil is around 48,000. However, a job that pays less than 55-60 is probably not worth your time.

Pretty sure this doesn’t apply to teachers, but rather white-collar office workers. And yes, it was discussed further up.


Yeah, I think this is the best idea you’ve had so far! You should do it immediately. Let us know how you get on. Bon voyage!


…OK, OK, OK, now I’ll give a run down, when I first arrived here 17 years ago, the monthly salary was typically 60, 000ntd’s, today it’s still there for most schools, back in 2001, 60,000ntd’s was a strike/hit gold, the COL was a lot lower than today’s COL obviously. I could typically save after expenses, utilities etc paid out, 30,000 a month, today, I can only save around 13 or 14000ntd’s if I’m careful. I’m not an extravagant spender, i don’t drink as i used too, or do drugs, (which i never did btw) etc, for a packet of cereal, say, Muesli, it cost me back in 2001 here, 95ntd’s, now its double that price, even half again on top, like total 226ntd’s about. We should be getting 90,000ntd’s these days minimum, to weigh in with the COL of today.

To weigh in with the COL of today, everyone’s salary including locals should have increased by 150%, or 30000ntd.

Should have gone up like Korea but didn’t.
Very unfortunate for millions.
Cost of food has gone up a lot for sure.

Sadly 60k mth is still a decent salary in Taiwan.

1 Like

I used to work in Korea. Salaries are stagnant there as well. At least in the teaching industry.

I’m sure everyone everywhere shares the same view.

Short version: Me, too. Not absolutely, one hundred percent sure (especially because I don’t know Chinese), but pretty sure.

Long, long version:

About five years ago, I made the mistake of indicating that the minimum wage for cram school teachers might likely be NT$47,971.

Someone expressed doubt about that, and upon taking a look at the relevant laws and rules, I admitted that I had been wrong to use the NT$47,971 figure.

Then, someone mentioned the NT$47,971 figure again, to which I responded, “Now I’m really confused!” but subsequently that person amended his earlier opinion, and stated that the minimum wage for cram school teachers was NT$18,780 (which has been increased since then).

There’s a document called “Qualifications and Criteria Standards for foreigners undertaking the jobs specified under Article 46.1.1 to 46.1.6 of the Employment Service Act ( 2017.07.26 Modified ).” I’m not sure whether it’s a legislative act or an administrative rule, so I’m going to refer to it as a “document.”

The English translation of Article 8 of that document says the following:

The wages or remuneration for foreign employees who, or foreigners who, according to the contract for the business lines allowed under international treaties, undertake the jobs specified in Article 4 should not be lower than the amount published by the central competent authority.

The English translation of Article 4 of that same document says the following:

“Specialized or technical work” mentioned in Article 46.1.1 of this Act refers to the following work that requires specialized knowledge, expertise, or techniques for which a foreigner is hired to perform:

  1. Civil engineering or practice of architecture;
  2. Communications and transportation;
  3. Tax and financial services;
  4. Practice of real estate agency;
  5. Immigration services;
  6. Practice of attorneys, or of patent attorneys;
  7. Practice of technicians;
  8. Health care;
  9. Environmental protection;
  10. Culture, sports, and recreation services;
  11. Academic research;
  12. Practice of veterinarians;
  13. Manufacturing;
  14. Wholesales; or
  15. Other work designated as per the joint consultation of the central governing authority and the central competent authorities.

The words “this Act” in the English translation of Article 4 of the document refer to the Employment Service(s) Act.

So it seems to me that, according to the English translation of Articles 8 and 4 of the document, the minimum wage for foreigners is limited to “‘Specialized or technical work’ mentioned in Article 46.1.1 of the Employment Service(s) Act.” But in the list of occupations described as “specialized or technical work” in Article 4 of the document, I don’t see anything that looks like the work performed by cram school teachers. However, cram school teachers can be found elsewhere in Article 46 of the Employment Service(s) Act.

These are, I think, the pertinent parts of the English translation of Article 46 of the Employment Service(s) Act:

Unless otherwise provided in the Act, the work that a foreign worker may be employed to engage in within the Republic of China is limited to the following:

1.Specialized or technical work.

. . .

4.Full-time teacher teaching course(s) on foreign language(s) at a short-term class registered for supplementary schooling in accordance with the Supplementary Education Act.

So it seems to me that Article 46.1.4 of the Employment Service(s) Act refers to cram school teachers, and that cram school teachers, therefore, are not doing the “‘Specialized or technical work’ mentioned in Article 46.1.1 of” the Employment Service(s) Act, and are therefore not subject to the minimum wage requirement of Article 8 of the document.

1 Like

I believe you are correct. :slight_smile:

As buxiban (cram) school teachers are subject to the Labor Standards Act, their minimum wage is the Basic Wage, currently $21,009 per month or $133 per hour, rising to $22,000 per month or $140 per hour on Jan 1.

And I would call it a subsidiary regulation of the Employment Service Act, fwiw.

1 Like

Thanks! :slight_smile:

Then it’s just the English teaching industry.

If 3013271.34 KRW/Month to 3332086 KRW/Month is an increase, Taiwan’s total wage is also increasing from 40289NTD/month in 2006 to 46919NTD/month in 2016.

Since people have re-opened this topic…

Update: I have been living and teaching in china (Im using a vpn) for a month. I live in a big apartment (4x’s the size in Taiwan) and I don’t pay for housing and utilities and i eat at my school which means free food!
All the teachers are nice and helpful. The principal has taken us out to eat a few times. I have a 3 day weekend and the job is not stressful at all. Plus, I’m learning Chinese!

1 Like

I compared Korea and Taiwan wages previous(y.
The main difference was Korea’s wages shot up in the 2000s while Taiwan was utterly stagnant for much of the period from 2000 to 2017.

That site is quite a load of bull.

Here is the average salary according to the figures of Korean official site (2015 census):

But of course people don’t get paid according to the COL, in the private sector at least. People get paid according to their value and/or what they are able to negotiate. What teachers should be getting paid is irrelevant. What is relevant is the supply and demand of teachers and students combined with the weak negotiating position of many teachers.

I can tell you there are very large salary differences in Korea between people who work for the big enterprises and SMEs and then others , especially older people in precarious employment.

I recall graduates salaries are something like two or three times level of Taiwan.

There also seems to be a big gap between male and female average salaries. Korea is a tough place rife with discrimination.

Certainly my Korean colleagues should get paid substantially more than my Taiwanese colleagues, although my Taiwanese ecolleagues get paid well for Taiwan.

They definitely get paid more but I don’t think they are happier, seems even worse than Japan to me!

I wonder what the process is for the central governing authority (would that be the government agency relevant to the work? or something else?) and the central competent authority (the Ministry of Labor) to get together and designate a given kind of work as eligible for the published wage.

Here’s the Chinese: