How Much Do Teachers Get Paid?

As the old adage goes, “teachers shape the future.” Unfortunately, the reality is that the teaching profession is not always valued as it should be. This can be seen in the often low salaries that teachers receive, especially when compared to the impact they have on students’ lives. In this article, I will take a look at how much teachers get paid in schools in the UK and USA relative to ESL teachers in China. I believe that this will demonstrate to you why teaching English in China can benefit you financially, and in your future career. So let’s find out: how much do teachers get paid in China, the UK and the USA.

Teacher’s Starting Salary: UK and USA

In the UK, teachers’ salaries are determined by a complex pay scale that takes into account experience and qualifications. The starting salary for a newly qualified teacher (NQT) in England and Wales is around £24,000 (approximately $32,000 USD) per year. This increases to around £30,000 (approximately $40,000 USD) for teachers with more experience. In Scotland, the starting salary for an NQT is around £32,000 (approximately $43,000 USD) per year, with more experienced teachers earning up to around £40,000 (approximately $54,000 USD) per year.

In the USA, teachers’ salaries vary widely depending on the state and district in which they work. According to the National Education Association, the average starting salary for a teacher in the USA was around $41,000 per year in 2021. However, in some states, such as New York and California, the starting salary for a teacher can be as high as $55,000 to $60,000 per year.

How Much Do Teachers Get Paid in China?

TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) teachers in China can earn significantly more than their counterparts in the UK and USA. The average salary for a TEFL teacher in China is around 10,000 to 15,000 RMB per month (approximately $1,500 to $2,200 USD). However, many TEFL teachers earn more than this, with salaries of 20,000 RMB per month (approximately $3,000 USD) or more not uncommon, especially for those teaching English in Shenzhen and Guangzhou. In addition to a competitive salary, many TEFL teaching positions in China also offer benefits such as free accommodation, flight reimbursements, and paid vacation time.

There are several reasons why teaching English in China can be a great career choice. Firstly, as we have seen, the salary can be significantly higher than what is offered to teachers in the UK and USA. This can be especially appealing for those who are just starting out in their teaching careers and want to earn a good income. Secondly, teaching in China offers a unique cultural experience that can be both exciting and rewarding. China is a country with a rich history and culture. TEFL teachers have the opportunity to immerse themselves in this culture and learn more about it.

Another advantage of teaching English in China is the high demand for TEFL teachers. As China’s economy continues to grow and the country becomes more connected to the rest of the world, the demand for English language skills is increasing. This means that there are many job opportunities available for TEFL teachers, and that competition for these positions is relatively low.

Final Thoughts on Teachers Salary

I think that it is very true to say that teachers in the UK and USA may not always receive the salaries they deserve. It is equally true to say that TEFL teachers in China can earn a competitive income while also experiencing a unique cultural adventure. The demand for English language skills in China is high, meaning that there are many job opportunities available for those who are interested. If you are a teacher who is looking for a new challenge, or if you are simply interested in exploring a new culture, teaching English in China may be the perfect opportunity for you.

Tom Bogues

Tom is the Director of ESL Job Center. He has been working in the TEFL industry in one form or another since 2016 and is now using that experience to match quality teachers with quality schools across China.

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