Teaching English in Taiwan is a popular job for many travelers. Part of a string of islands off the coast of East and Southeast Asia, Taiwan is one of the most popular travel destinations in the world. The essential Shilin night market, numerous kinds of street foods, and bubble teas (or boba) are just a few that makes Taiwan a foodie wonderland. The culture is incredible, and the people are welcoming and friendly.
Taipei, Tainan, Kaohsiung, Tienhsian, and Taichung are the top five cities to visit in Taiwan. Many people who teach ESL in Taiwan end up in one of these cities. It neighbors several other popular travel destinations, including South Korea, Hong Kong, Japan, the Philippines, and Vietnam. Most of these countries are also great places to teach English.
If you are looking for an incredible Asian travel destination with a reasonable balance between salary and the cost of living, Taiwan is the right place. Read more to learn everything you need to know about Taiwan English teaching jobs.
Teaching English in Taiwan
Although Taiwan might have stricter standards when it comes to recruiting teachers, there is a high demand for English teachers throughout the country.
Recently, Taiwan adopted a policy to become a bilingual nation by 2030, making Mandarin and English the national languages. English has long been the most famous foreign language in Taiwan, but it needs improvement. The Taiwanese government is increasing budgets for English education, but English teachers in Taiwan are still scarce.
Therefore, qualified English teachers who love to travel have a great opportunity to find a job in Taiwan. Does this sound like you? Then, continue reading to find out more about teaching in Taiwan.
If you are interested in learning about other Asian countries to teach ESL, check the list of the 10 best countries in Asia to teach English.
Requirements for Teaching English in Taiwan
Similar to teaching in other countries around the world, there are some necessary requirements you have to meet to teach in Taiwan. Use the following requirements as a checklist to see if you are a qualified English teacher in Taiwan.
The requirements include:
- Must be a native English speaker from an English-speaking country (the U.S., Canada, the U.K., Ireland, Australia, South Africa, or New Zealand)
- Must have a bachelor’s degree (some jobs can require a master’s degree)
Depending on the job, you might also need:
- A TEFL certification
- Teaching license from home country
- Certified criminal background check
You can still find a job without the additional requirements, but the job won’t be as high-paying.
Salary and Benefits for ESL Jobs Taiwan
The official currency in Taiwan is New Taiwan Dollar (NTD). On average, English teachers in Taiwan make between 60,000 – 70,000 New Taiwan dollars, equivalent to 2,000 – 2,400 US dollars per month.
Check out the average monthly salaries of English teachers in Taiwan.
- Cram Schools (Buxiban) – 49,500 NTD or 1,600 USD
- Chain Kindergartens – 44,500-49,500 NTD or 1,500-1,600 USD
- Public Schools – 60,000-70,000 NTD or 2,000-2,400 USD
- Foreign-run Buxibans – 40,000-62,000 NTD or 1,300-2,100 USD
- American Schools – 200,000 NTD or 6,700 USD
- Colleges and Universities – 52,000-6,2000 NTD or 1,700-2,100 USD
In addition to the base salary, many schools in Taiwan will offer benefits such as severance pay (roughly one month’s pay at the end of the contract), housing, and flight allowances.
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English Teaching Jobs in Taiwan
Go through this list of institutions and find the best place for you to start your teaching career in Taiwan. Some institutions have additional requirements for English teachers that you must check before applying.
Cram Schools (Buxibans)
Cram schools, also known as chain schools or buxibans, are after-school programs for additional education. Buxibans are mainly treated as test-prep schools to get students’ grades up to a very competitive level. Students often attend buxibans to prepare for university entrance exams or TOFEL tests. Both Taiwanese and foreigners can own cram school companies. Some examples of chain schools are Kid Castle, Hess, Joy, American Eagle, and Kojen.
Buxibans are an excellent place for English teachers to start their careers, especially if they do not have a lot of teaching experience. You do not need a bachelor’s degree to teach at a cram school. However, depending on the school, you might have a large class of 200 students. On average, teachers at buxibans work 15-20 hours a week. Keep in mind that teachers will only get paid for the actual teaching time. In other words, teachers do not get paid for the time spent on grading or preparing outside of the classroom.
Although the work can be exhausting compared to the compensation, the upside is that the barriers are low. Buxibans is commonplace for foreign teachers to begin their teaching careers in Taiwan.
Kid Castle is a popular option for teaching in Taiwan. It was founded in 1986 in Taipei, one of the most famous cities in Taiwan. There are approximately 250 Kid Castels around Taiwan and Mainland China. Kid Castle encourages students to only use English in the class as the school focuses on spoken English.
Teachers at Kid Castle work 30 hours per week. Around 30% of this time, teachers work outside of the class to prepare or finish other administrative duties. On average, classes are made of 15 to 20 students between 3 and 12 years old. A benefit of working at Kid Castle is that the school supplies teachers with lesson materials.
These institutions are very similar to cram schools and are often owned by the same companies. The difference is that you will be teaching younger students, and the salary will be lower than the regular cram schools. Most parts are identical to the regular cram school’s system, but kindergartens tend to focus slightly more on arts and music. Also, the classes employ a 100% English method, but speaking basic Mandarin will help manage young students.
Public school jobs are primarily available at the high school level. At a lower chance, you might be able to find a public school job at the elementary or middle school level. On average, teachers are expected to work 15 hours a week. However, for most schools, teachers are required to stay at school from 8:30 a.m. until 5 p.m. for grading, class prep, and other administrative work throughout the week.
Most schools only pay for the teaching hours, but some schools might pay for work outside the classroom, such as preparation and grading. The classes at public schools are expected to be conducted only in English though some use of Mandarin is accepted.
American Schools (International Schools)
The most challenging institution to find a teaching job in is international schools. English teachers at international schools get paid the most among all the other institutions on the list. So, the competition is high, the job requirements are strict, and teachers work longer hours than they would in different types of schools. You will need prior teaching experience and a teaching license in order to find a job in an American school or an international school.
Most of the students at international schools are foreign students from English-speaking countries or wealthy Taiwanese children. Like the schools in your home country, classes are delivered in English. Another great benefit of international schools is that the school covers the costs of flight, housing, and visa.
Colleges and Universities
Finding a teaching job in colleges and universities can be quite challenging because of the high competition. You will also need more than a bachelor’s degree. Often prior work experience and a master’s degree are required at the very least. If you have a Ph.D., it doesn’t only make you a stronger candidate but also guarantees a higher salary.
Unlike public schools or buxibans, the work hours for colleges and universities can vary every week depending on the course load.
Things to Consider When Teaching in Taiwan
You might have already chosen a city and a type of institution that you would like to teach English in Taiwan. However, there are a few more things to consider before you really make up your mind.
- Language barrier – You will have difficulty communicating with locals in English, even in the major cities of Taiwan. Taking Mandarin lessons to learn the basics could be a good idea.
- Start-up money – Even if the compensation covers your housing, you are strongly recommended to have around 2,000 USD to set yourself up in a foreign country.
- TEFL certification – Although it isn’t a must-have-requirement, having a TEFL or equivalent certificate will make your job search process way easier. Learn more about taking an online TEFL course.
FAQ About Teaching English in Taiwan
Here is a quick guide to some commonly asked questions about being an English teacher in Taiwan.
What is the average salary for ESL teachers in Taiwan?
As an English teacher in Taiwan, you can expect to make around 60,000-70,000 NTD or 2,000-2,4000 USD. But keep in mind that salaries vary among different types of institutions.
Can I save money while teaching English in Taiwan?
Depending on the type of institution, your employer might cover the costs of flight and housing. If not, don’t worry because Taiwan is an affordable place to live compared to other Asian countries. In general, English teachers can save around 800 USD. If you are willing to work extra hours to save more money, private tutoring is always an option.
Is teaching English in Taiwan hard?
If you don’t speak any Mandarin, you will experience language barriers. But it is a chance to learn a new language and become friends with the welcoming locals. The workload and class size highly depend on the type of school, so be sure to find the right place for yourself.
What qualifications do I need to teach ESL in Taiwan?
You must hold a passport from an English-speaking country (the U.S., Canada, the U.K., Ireland, Australia, South Africa, or New Zealand). At a minimum, you will need a bachelor’s degree. Often schools will look for TEFL certifications and prior work experience. Criminal background checks, health checks, and Alien Resident Certificate (ARC) are also required.
Teaching English in Taiwan: Join the Conversation
What are your thoughts on teaching English in Taiwan? Is it the right place for you, or are you looking for another top-paying country? If you are looking for other options, neighboring countries like Japan or Hong Kong are also fantastic places to teach English. Leave a comment below and let us know what you think. We’d love to hear from you.
Last update on 2022-05-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API