Teaching English Requirements

Hi everyone,

If i have an undergrad degree (mine just happens to be in economics), plus a TOSEL certificate, what is the likely hood i can find a job as an English teacher in Taiwan? Are there opportunities in all of the main cities (Taipei, Taichung, Kaohsiung, Tainan…) ?

Also, it might be worth mentioning I’ll have an APRC through marriage. In addition to this, i hold an Australian passport.

I think yes. Australian passport, undergrad degree, and TOSEL cert should be enough to get an English teaching job.

The legal requirement is cleared by an ARC you will get through marriage with a Taiwanese citizen. You need 5 years on ARC before you can get APRC.

If you don’t have any past criminal convictions in your background, you should be able to get an entry-level cram school job.

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I was forgetting about the criminal background check. If you want a job at a buxiban, you need the document regardless of your nationality, iirc.

I do not have a criminal record.

Also, what would the average monthly salary be for teaching in a cram school? Is the average monthly salary enough to live a comfortable life from your knowledge or in your experience? (i do not have any children).

I’m not sure what the average is. I make about 65k NTD a month at my Uni, and I’ve heard cramschool salaries are around the same. My wife is also a teacher. We have a daughter and we do okay with rent and other expenses in Kaohsiung. Without a child, I think you’ll be fine. Just don’t expect a western salary. Cost of living is cheaper, but wages here are stagnant.

Around NT$65,000 is pretty standard for a fresh teacher, but you can make a lot more if you put in overtime. With your background (Australian national, degree, APRC, etc.), not only should it be easy for you to land a teaching job, but you should also be in a position where you can be picky and only go for jobs that have the option of doing over-time (if you want it).

As for whether or not you can live “comfortable life” on that salary… In Taiwan, the answer is a definite yes. You won’t be able to save up for a good retirement, or save up a fat load of money to take back to Australia within a short space of time, but you’ll definitely be comfortable while living in Taiwan, especially if you don’t live in Taipei City.

What kind of hours is the ~65k salary for? Because for full time that’s considerably below typical hourly rate I see advertised.
Also apart from going to Tealit and facebook groups are there any good places to look for jobs? I mean there must be about 10 buxibans within a 3 minute walk from my apartment here in Hsinchu so I’m sure there’s no shortage of jobs however there never seems to be much advertised anywhere outside Taipei

Think of it in terms of average monthly income as opposed to salary. 600NTD for each hour teaching probably working out to around 60k or so a month is typical for a new start. As it was 15+years ago. Bear in mind that you will be taxed 18%, although you may get some of this back. In southern cities you may struggle to get teaching hours.

Only speaking for myself… 65k is shit and it annoys me that I make less than I did in the states or in Korea. On the other hand, I only teach 16 hours a week with no desk-warming, and I have 4 months paid vacation a year. So that’s nice compensation. But I was still making more a decade ago than I am now, which is not ideal. Oh well, such is life in Taiwan.


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Degree + JFRV or APRC = a job much higher than 65000.

Stay away from buxibans. The 65000 or lower paying jobs are crap. You can do better. Many private schools are hiring right now for the next school year.

You have plenty of options in the private school sector that will pay 75,000 entry level + bonuses + paid vacation. You will teach around 20 forty minute periods a week. They are real teaching jobs, so expect real work and real expectations.

Sounds like kindy. Apart from paid vacation.

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I’ve worked at private schools and you couldn’t pay me 200k a month to go back to that hell. I’ll stick with my low-paying Uni gig, thanks. :smirk:

Plus isn’t the paid vacation just a couple weeks? Thought you lot got stuck doing summer camp busy work.

That sounds like a pretty good deal to me. I imagine it wouldn’t be too hard to find another source of income with all that free time.
But honestly, and I’m just thinking about how it is back home (Australia) for me, with the amount of money you can save here on food, rent, not having to own a car and so on, not to mention the significantly lower tax rate, I imagine it balances out pretty well. There is the lack of super and other benefits to consider though.

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No, its not Kindy. Its teaching in legit bilingual private schools.

YMMV, it depends on the school and the position you take. Summer and winter camps tend to be for elementary students. If you teach junior or senior high, the chances of a summer or winter camp are much lower. Camps range from 2 weeks to a month, depends on the school. Some schools require all teachers to attend, other schools dont. Again, YMMV.

I started at 70,000 at a private school and have worked my way up to 85,000 without increasing my work load. IMO it is much better than buxibans and kindys.

I meant the deal sounded like a kindy. Similar kind of contract. Probably more contact hours in a kindy.

I get that. It just seemed like you were throwing some sideways shade at me about only making 65k a month. I agree the pay sucks. But the working conditions are much more chill than a private school environment. When not teaching I can come and go as I please, and you really can’t beat getting paid leave from June to September (plus mid Jan to mid Feb) every year. So it makes up for the extra 10-15k others may be making.

And tbh, I’m not sure OP can get even a private school gig out the gate. His degree is in economics. It’d probably depend on whether he has prior teaching experience which he didn’t mention in his post. If not, he’d probably need to start at a buxiban and work his way up.

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The OP can’t get a full time uni job without a post grad degree. I always thought the private schools tended to look for qualified teachers, but if it’s possible to land a job with open work rights then that seems a logical way to go.

As you say, doing a year or so of buxiban feels like the most likely outcome. Make contacts and move up.

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Not at all. Apologies if it came across that way.Nothing wrong with being in a job you enjoy, that is part of the elusive complete package…actually enjoying what you do and where you do it.

You might be surprised. Many places prefer FOBs because they are fresh, not tainted with sour grapes about teaching conditions from prior schools and FOBs are trainable to fit into any particular school’s system of doing things.

I know quite a few people, coworkers and teachers at other schools who were FOBs, without degrees in teaching or subject specific, when they got their jobs like mine.

It really is easy to land a private school job when the timing is right…and the right time is right now.