Why is the pay so low in language schools?

So I’ve been wondering why? :thinking:

My tutoring rate is over 1k/hr, but most language schools would only offer me around 600-800/hr. I mean, it’s not like they couldn’t afford a 1k/hr teacher. Even the most esteemed American styled language schools would only pay for 40-50k for full time Taiwanese teachers. I had better offer as a newbie when I was working in the electronic industry. I thought teaching English is a skill that worths something.

The funny thing is, buxibans (升學補習班) might be able to offer a better package. But those are not my first choice though. I simply don’t believe in that system. I’ve seen too many students with flying colors yet couldn’t even mutter out a simple sentence.

What do you think? How much do you get paid now? And I know this one is a bit unPC, but it’d be nice if you could tell me what ethnic group you belong to. Since I’ve got people saying to my face that I would never get paid more than a Caucasian teacher, regardless of my teaching skills and experience… :nauseated_face:

I’ve been told the same thing … On this forum too … So, I’ve been thinking about setting up an agency to bring in unemployed 20-year-olds from Ukraine, Turkey, Iran, Palestine and Russia - and make them teach English in places like Taiwan, Japan, Korea and Hong Kong.


Lol. Count me in :joy: :joy: :joy: :joy: :joy:

To answer the thread’s question:

  1. Profit for the laobans who just want a white face and don’t care if they know what they’re doing or if children learn anything
  2. It’s actually quite expensive to run a school. The private (day) school I teach at has been in the red since they stared. One way to make up that difference is to expect many more teaching hours than can be managed by a human being while also paying insanely low wages.
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supply, and demand


Well, the market enables them to get teachers at that rate, so they consider it a bad business practice to pay more than that, even if it means they may be getting less qualified teachers or have to replace teachers relatively frequently. I wonder if some schools might even prefer it on the grounds that a long-term teacher is more of a risk to jump ship and start a new operation which will attract their students.


That actually make some sense!

But even if it’s 600/hr, it’s still so much better than sitting in the office taking shit for 8 hrs everyday only getting 40k per month. Why would anyone do that…? that said, it seems like a lot of teachers are happy with it = =

Every time when the interviewer tries to convince me to take the full time job I look like this =_=

This whole industry doesn’t make sense to me…

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It’s also really hard to find part time job in Taiwan too. Almost every job wants full time commitment. I think a big part is lack of requirement for companies to pay for health coverage (NHI isn’t tied to work like insurance is in America), and so for employers it seems like a better deal for them to hire you full time then make you sit in an office more than 8 hours a day being unproductive. Just speculations though, no idea the real reason here.

Any part time jobs I have seen are all service industry paying minimum wage or slightly above.

Not relevant to this discussion, but I was surprised to learn that the rate for native Mandarin tutors is <= 300/hr at almost all Mandarin language centers. And most tutors have to do a decent amount of prep before the classes…

Isn’t there a passport requirement for English teachers?


300??? In 2021???

Seriously a college student could get at least 350/ hr tutoring elementary school kids. And if you’re from a decent college then you could even get something like 800/hr. Wtf is wrong with this industry.

Enroll them in a cheap university then they could get a job with student VISA. Problem solved lol. You might even be able to get them to work for free as interns. :smiling_imp:

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I assume just supply and demand. And at the end of the day, it’s mostly unskilled labour, isn’t it? Most of the “English teachers” here have absolutely no qualifications or training. They have nothing other than the fortune of having been born in an English-speaking country.

Not attacking you personally, but ask yourself how much you think you’d be able to charge for your English teaching services in the UK.

Some kid behind the counter at 711 is earning 140/hr, and that’s a pretty tiring and difficult job IMO. If you think about it, 600-800 is still quite privileged.


Not a business major?

It’s 160nt/hour now.

Yea, it’s essentially a job that you’re hired to do because you appear to be from an english speaking country. Truth is english education here is mostly just play acting, it’s not teaching. If you weren’t teaching english back home because you weren’t qualified to teach, then why do it here?

And in many ways working at 7-11 is harder because you have a lot of stuff to do, yet they make 1/5 what english teacher makes even though both are unskilled work.


Foreign teachers are a product not sales staff. If your customers are looking to put their money toward a product, you’ll make sure you have the product that is available in order garner profit from your business. I’ve yet to hear of cram schools started in the last 12 years that run at a loss year on year.


What good would that possibly do? The OP noted that they get ~$1000 for privates and is asking why pay for classes is relatively low. This is a reasonable question unconnected to other things being mentioned here.


I’d say also above average.

And tempogain is right. Your question is a bit irrelevant.

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