How much can I earn teaching English in Taiwan?

Taiwan is an increasingly popular teaching destination as it offers good salaries and a relatively low cost of living, as well as a highly developed infrastructure and a stable economy. If you are a native English speaker with a TESOL certification you should have no problem landing a teaching job in a public school or a privately owned language academy. Positions can be found in all parts of the country, but the largest markets are in big cities such as Taipei, Kaohsiung, Taichung, and Tainan.

What are TESOL salaries in Taiwan?

Your expected salary in Taiwan will be heavily influenced by your qualifications and your previous teaching experience. It is quite common to pay an hourly rate rather than a fixed salary, with rates starting at around 600 NTD (currently $20 US). If you have plenty of experience, you might be able to earn up to 1,300 NTD ($40) an hour. It is also relatively common for teaching contracts to include bonuses such as return airfares, paid accommodation, health insurance, and a bonus on completion of the contract.

Who are the main employers of English language teachers in Taiwan?

If you are lacking classroom experience, a network of privately run 'cram schools' known as bushibans are a good way of getting your career started. There are hundreds of these schools spread throughout the country and they are always looking for native English speakers regardless of experience in many cases. Average pay in these schools is around $20 US per hour, with a typical workload of four teaching hours per day, five days a week. Another big employer of teachers in Taiwan are kindergartens who offer similar working hours and pay as cram schools. If you have some classroom experience, you might want to look out for foreign run bushibans as these pay a higher rate of around $30 to $40 US per hour plus bonuses. As the rewards are very good, these positions have high expectations when it comes to your teaching skills and you might even be expected to have a good understanding of Mandarin.

Who else employs English language teachers in Taiwan?

There are also opportunities for teachers within the public school system in Taiwan. Salaries in these jobs range from around 60,000 to 70,000 NTD (currently $1,900 to $2,200) per month. Most of these positions are at high school level and require longer hours and more administration work than language schools. A typical working day in a public school is from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. International schools offer the highest salaries in the country, potentially up to 200,000 NTD (over $6,000) per month. These opportunities are small in number and require a high standard of teaching based qualifications and extensive experience.

What is the cost of living for English teachers in Taiwan?

Taiwan offers a perfect combination of high salaries and a relatively low cost of living which makes it possible to live comfortably and save a good amount of your income. Eating at local restaurants and using public transport are both very cheap, although rents can be high at around 5,000 NTD to 15,000 NTD per month for a shared apartment. However, as many jobs include free housing, this is not a problem for most teachers.

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