Pay Rates

I don’t intend this to be a cock measuring contest, and I realise that there are many factors to way when deciding on a place of employment, but salary is pretty important. I see that according to the Joy website they offer a pay of 530 an hour, which I though was pretty good for a chain considering all the negative feedback I’ve heard. Would anyone else like to share what they’ve ‘heard’ other schools pay. I’ll start the ball rolling by saying that last summer I went to two Kid Castle interviews, one offering 600, the other 650 which I thought was pretty sweet. Anyways…

There’s a difference between chains and franchises and some are a mix of both. So Hess is a chain only and their pay rates will be the same, although I guess they vary a bit for location and experience. Kid Castle on the other hand is mostly franchise so it’s up to the individual boss to decide how much to pay.

The lowest basic starting rate will be about 500, but slightly lower at some places. A few places will try to pay even less. This is pretty normal for a beginner teacher with no experience, but you could get lucky and get a more normal rate of about 600 and with some experience 650. Jobs higher than that are rarer and harder to get without luck and experience, but even someone FOB could be very lucky. Then there’s a few schools that pay 700, 800 or even more for good teachers with a lot of qualifications and or experience. 1000 an hour jobs are rare but available. These would mostly be specialised positions. 1000 an hour is quite doable for private students or at a school for a couple of hours a week or something, but it’s difficult to put this together to make yourself a fulltime schedule and you’d probably earn more with less stress doing bulk hours in one place for 600.


It is worth considering how many hours you will be getting each month. It would obviously be no good landing a plum job that paid NTD700-800 an hour if the school was only able to offer a few hours a week. Also if you have to run all over town to earn this you may find that the job paying a lower rate but offering good block hours in one location may be the better choice.

There’s a sweet way to increase your pay and that is to go out on corporate assignments where they pay you a tax-free travel allowance. Depending on distance and who you work for, allowances can range anywhere from NT270 - NT600 or so an hour. Take public transport instead of a taxi and you keep most of it in your pocket.

BTW, you “weigh” factors, not “way” them.

Generally between 500 and 800/hour. Of course, you need to consider a whole bunch of other factors such as prep time, number of hours, whether management is supportive, etc etc.

Some people brag about how they’re getting over a 1000/hr at a certain school. In most cases, a very high rate per hour means you don’t get manyhours at that particular school so you have to do a lot fo running around between different schools.
Block hours at a school with good students and good management is the way to go, even if that means slightly lower pay.

There are no beginner teachers only foolish job hunters. When you step off that plane you tell whomever that you’ve been teaching in your home country for at least a year or two. Even Joy has a clause that states that they will pay experienced teachers more (I got 600 to start). I am so grateful that someone in the know pulled me aside my first week and set me straight on this way of thinking.

If you are a new teacher (once again - don’t tell them) you will want to look over their instructional materials as you will need all the help you can get for at least the first six months. Joy’s teaching guide is hands down better than Kid Castle. Hess is another matter as for some odd reason they pile on the “out of class” work which you do not need.

I hoping theze sugjgestions kan helped ewe wheayighay da oddz mucha bedda.

Ditto that about the homework grading at Hess. On a Wed or Sat you might have an hour’s grading to do after six hours of teaching, possibly more if there’s been a quiz or a test. It’s tediious stuff and you don’t get paid for it.

I don’t think it is appropriate to condone lying. If you are a new teacher, admit it. I’m sure if the boss or managers don’t pick it up, your co-teacher or co-workers will. If you mention you are a new teacher, then you will get help and some leeway from those around you. When I first came to Taiwan to teach, I made known I was new at this (tutoring is way different than teaching a class of non-English speakers). So, I got to lean on my co-workers a bit until I was a bit more experienced and confident.

I’m sure you can get higher pay in other ways rather than saying you “taught” back home. For an interview, have a resume and dress appropriately. Sometimes first impressions can determine pay. If an interviewer sees that you are professional, eager and do have a knack or love for kids, then they will definitelyconsider giving you more pay rather than let some other school grab you. I really suggest that you be honest…karma backlash in exchange for a meager 50NT or so raise?

No one should take less than NT600/hour -period-

Most of the places offering less than 600 will have a program that merely requires you do what you’re told, and provide no input into curriculum planning or design. Therefore they see all foreigners as pretty much of a muchness, and see no reason to pay for skills or experience they don’t need. If they’re paying upwards of 700 they may require you to advise on materials or curriculum, and if you’re an FOB and lie about your experience you may get caught out.

Another problem with long hours at low pay is it may leave you too tired for higher paying privates who will demand more preparation.

It’s not necessarily true that schools desire experienced teachers. Quite a few buxibans don’t want teachers that are too experienced. They want gullible newbies that are more easily exploited. Experienced teachers can be a pain because they usually have their own ways of teaching that don’t toe the company line, and complain too much about all the extra-curricular demands & such that newbies who don’t know any better put up with.

I agree with mod lang. Demand respect upfront rather than worrying how to get it later.

Regarding the “karma backlash” comment… WTF? This is Taiwan, not India (or Mt. Shasta California) - get with the program - aren’t you college educated? The law of karma does not mean that if you do something “bad”, something “bad” will happen to you. What it means is that if you do something “bad”, then the “bad” results of that action are your responsibility. Of course, as this is nothing more than a concept and not an absolute then WGAF? Come on… this is basic World Relgions 101 stuff…

Hopeefuly I’ld not offenseive to thoze who hate the spellener erororz.

Disagree. If you’re worth respecting, then you’ll get it once it’s proven. Demand respect upfront and you might get shown the door. Lots of schools have dealt with teachers who’ve demanded respect upfront only to show later that they weren’t, in fact, worthy of even the least bit of respect.

Anything over 500 is probably acceptable for an absolute beginner. Think about it: are you even worth the 500 they are offering?

600 is relatively easy to get if you are clean, have an open mind and are willing to learn. 700-800/hr jobs often require basic Chinese ability. Lacking basic Chinese ability automatically disqualifies you.

Actually, what I meant was that you wouldn’t even get your foot in the door. It sounds strange but apparently experience is actually a negative in quite a few schools. I remember one poster on this site who claimed that he had a bit of a hard time finding decent work after several years working here. Every time he handed in his resume listing all his experience teaching in Taiwan he got turned away. So he started lying and saying that he was fresh off the boat, and presto, the job offers started rolling in.

I don’t know why this is. There are two possible explanations, the one I offered above about how newbies are more exploitable. The second is that there’s a prejudice against ‘old-timers’, that we’re all losers and/or crazy to stay in Taiwan for more than a year or two. Thirdly, I suspect the looksism factor that’s so prevalent in companies in this country (they can openly discriminate for shallow reasons as race, gender, and beauty the way that businesses can’t back home) is also a factor. When it comes down to a choice between a long-termer who’s 30 or beyond and one of these baby-faced Ken & Barbies in their early 20s, to lots of schools it’s a no-brainer.

The only teachers that have given me any sort of grief have been the ones with “experience”. Probably just a coincidence… :?

Very new teachers and very old teachers give me the best value for my money. It’s those suckers in the middle that you have to watch out for.

Perhaps you’ve been here too long. You’re starting to sound like a typical discriminatory buxiban owner who only looks at superficial stereotypes. Let’s see, how many times have I heard that line over the telephone, “But we’re looking for a female teacher…” And of course there’s the North American accent discrimination, and the ageism, and the “you don’t look like a real foreigner because you’re an ABC” discrimination, or even worse if you happen to a little on the too-brown side.

But thanks for confirming my suspicion that such active discrimination against long-timers exists. Perhaps I’ll do an experiment and pretend to have just arrived in Taiwan and watch the job offers roll in. :smiling_imp:

I think it depends what people do with their experience. If they use it as an excuse to do bugger all because they “know it all already”, that’s one thing, but if they’re actually constantly examining whether or not what they are doing is effective, then they’re putting their experience to good use.

Hey, I don’t have a problem with getting laid off from a school if things don’t work out, or getting turned down after a demo. It’s schools that take one glance at your resume and one glance at you, and you’re not even given a chance after that 5-minute “interview”. But that’s life, I guess. I also dislike the fact that if a school has a problem with you or your teaching, 90% of the time you’ll never get any honest feedback. I’ve always appreciated it when a boss sits me down and discusses problems & how I could improve my teaching. Schools that provide that kind of honest environment I’ve never had a problem with. But most Taiwanese schools I’ve worked at aren’t like that - if there’s a problem, they’ll never tell you what the real problem is, they’ll just pawn off some little white lie to save face/keep the harmony. It’s incredibly frustrating.

Mod Lang; I think you’ve picked up the wrong impression here. DB is an intelligent and successful businessman. Thus, whatever he does is to help his business thrive. If it is his experience that a lot of teachers who have been here for a year or more are not worth the money that they demand, then we must take that seriously. We can discount the notion that it is some kind of age discrimination because he said that the ‘very old’ longtimers are worth the money. Simply, if a teacher teaches the curriculum demonstrably effectively, and does not cause unnecessary problems by being late for work, being very careless about personal appearance, or completing necessary paperwork badly or not at all, a school owner is getting his/her money’s worth. The trouble is that so many teachers in Taiwan don’t even come up to this minimum standard.

Of course it’s a generalization - I’m sure that if a reasonable teacher, enthusiastic, not too arrogant and willing to be trained in DB’s specific methods and systems turned up at DB’s schools, he would be welcomed and offered a job. But I can well believe that the majority of ‘experienced’ teachers here are not like that.

Hexuan is absolutely right. But how many teachers that you know in person here really go through that process? I can think of two apart from myself. I know plenty, even some who have teaching qualifications, who don’t bother trying to improve, because it isn’t demanded of them.

An example;
Our school needed a cover teacher and chose a particular one because she had several years’ experience here. Not only did she skip all preparation time, she actually turned up late for class every day for a week. She complained about the fact that she was supposed to keep a record of the new vocabulary, materials used etc. for each lesson.

I know that this is only one case, but I do think it’s representative of the general attitude of a lot of teachers here. Of course many teachers are at least somewhat more conscientious and punctual than this, but as for teachers who make a conscious effort to reflect on their teaching and improve; very few.

Of course there are a lot of useful discussions in this section of Forumosa, so perhaps we can presume that posters here are generally more conscientious and thoughtful than the majority of English teachers in Taiwan.

Oh, and I think that the reason that ‘fresh-off-the-boat’ teachers are generally less trouble is that they are enthusiastic, conscientious and willing to be trained, and have not yet picked up the slapdash, careless approach that is so common here.