Teacher Pay

What do teachers get paid for teaching English in Taiwan?  Unlike most jobs, you won’t get paid considerably more if you are more qualified.  This isn’t to say that you won’t make more money, but usually the extra amount you get paid is minimal compared to the time and cost of obtaining those extra qualifications in the first place.

Kindergartens

Kindergartens usually offer the lowest of pay ranges in Taiwan.  Many schools start teachers off at 550NT to 600NT per hour.  Unless you are working both kindergarten and cram school, I personally wouldn’t recommend accepting any job that pays less than 600NT an hour.  Kindergarten classes usually run from Monday to Friday and anywhere from two to four hours a day.

Kindergartens usually offer raises every three to six months and have a ceiling on the hourly pay around 650NT – 700NT per hour.  The longer you stay at a school the more you will be paid, but only slightly more.

Cram Schools

Most cram school teachers start off at 600NT an hour.  However, it is not uncommon to see cram schools advertising positions and only offering 550NT per hour, sometimes even less.  I would strongly recommend that you don’t take any job that offers less than 600NT an hour as the starting rate.  Cram school classes usually run Monday to Friday and from 5pm to 9pm.  So you would be working four hours a day.

Like kindergartens, cram schools usually have a ceiling around 700NT per hour for teachers.  Raises are given every three to six months.  Some cram schools may offer slightly higher than 700NT per hour, but the majority of schools pay around this.

Public Schools

Many public and private schools will pay teachers a monthly salary and not by the hour.  The exact rate will vary depending on the school, however, once you take into account the amount of so called “office hours” and extra work that may be required, public and private schools typically pay around the same as what cram schools do.

Universities

Universities will usually pay slightly more than cram schools.  Expect a university position to start off around 650NT an hour.  This is only a slight increase over what cram schools pay but to work at a university you must have at least a Master’s degree.  The time taken and money spent earning the Master’s degree isn’t shown in what university teachers get paid.  Don’t expect to be paid considerably more in Taiwan just because you hold extra teaching or education related credentials.

{ 63 comments… read them below or add one }

admin January 24, 2012 at 1:58 am

@Mark,
You are basically correct. You won’t be able to teach in a university or the public school system without the right credentials. However, you will be able to teach in cram schools, as many as you like, without worrying about applying for a work permit etc. This is possible because if you are married to a Taiwanese you have the same work rights as a Taiwanese person, so you can work anywhere you want provided you meet the requirements for that position (hence needing at least an MA for universities and a teacher’s license for public schools). I hope that helps. Good luck!

Brian January 27, 2012 at 9:10 pm

I have been offered a job in a Teaching Village. I see from some of your posts that you are weary of these types of schools. Could you elaborate please? Thanks a bunch!

admin January 28, 2012 at 1:52 am

@Brian,
I am more wary of the recruiters than the actual schools. The English villages are good in theory, but they very quickly become nothing more than repetitive drilling lessons. You do the same “lesson” again and again, which is good if you don’t like the idea of any prep etc. I shouldn’t say they are BAD, but from the people I have spoken to who have done them before they quickly become very boring. If you accept the job and don’t expect much and focus more on enjoying Taiwan, then I think everything will be fine. Remember, all posts on this site are my own thoughts and views, I could be very wwwwwwrong ;). Good luck!

kit January 29, 2012 at 1:29 pm

Hi,
Thanks for this website.
I’ve been an ALT in Japan for a year and have worked for a language school as an instructor for about eight years.
I’m thinking of working in Taiwan.
I have blonde hair, blue eyes, fair skin and am an Australian female with a CELTA.
However, I am in my late 40′s .
I haven’t found any comments about whether or not Taiwanese people, companies and schools will hire people my age.
Any insights would be appreciated.
Thanks in advance,
kit

admin January 29, 2012 at 4:13 pm

@kit,
Hmm, the comments are on this site BUT they are probably buried on page 50 and not easy to find. Are you too old to teach English here? Yes and no. It depends on where you teach it. If you were a public school teacher then I’d say no, but for cram school jobs you are definitely getting close to being classified as undesirable. You aren’t too old, but there are many “young” people here who can do the job just as well and obviously have an edge over older teachers. However, being a women it will make it easier to find work.

Long story made short, I think you could still land a job but don’t be surprised if people turn you away based on age. My comments here and on the blog may sound a little pessimistic, but I think you shouldn’t have any major problems if you plan to come and stay short term. If you are planning on staying long term, and by this I mean several years, then I honestly think you’ll find it increasingly difficult to find work once you hit 50. I’d recommend you find a place you like working at and stay there if you want to hang around for a few years, because I really believe it is going to become much more difficult to find work in the coming years with the flood of economic migrants from the USA and UK looking to Asia for greener pastures. Best of luck and I hope my muddle brain reply answered your question :)

Natalie February 7, 2012 at 8:00 am

How much is fair pay to tutor English at a company in Taiwan?
I’m currently in a small city (population around100,000) and there is a large foreign company here where I help tutor their workers to improve their English. I am to prepare the material at home, drive to the company myself, and only get paid if I go to teach). I teach one by one to 18 students for 30 mins each.

I wanted to know what’s a fair hourly pay from them.

I’ve been tutoring in Taiwan for 7 years and 3 in North America. I am legal to work anywhere in Taiwan and am not bound to a cram school or anything so there are few like me out there where I am.

I have helped students with Canadian homeschooling here get A’s and B’s, helped several students pass GEPT tests, and I’ve helped a child who goes to an English school here, who has failed a proficiency tests several times, pass (much to his parents surprise) after I helped him for several months.

I have taught in group classes and one by one with students ranging from kindergarten age to working adults.

admin February 7, 2012 at 8:56 am

@Natalie,
I understand the situation you find yourself in. What do you think you are worth? You have to prepare the material yourself, drive to and back from work and then do the actual teaching. There’s a very easy way to solve this. How much do you get paid teaching in a cram school or similar place? I know the work you do and one reason I don’t do it is because of this very problem. A fair price would be 1000NT or higher, but is the company willing to accept this? Only you will be able to judge best what to charge, because you know how much work is involved. If you accept anything less than 1000NT an hour I think you are undercharging them. Best of luck with everything.

xiaozhu March 14, 2012 at 10:02 am

My question is very similar to Natalie’s. I have had a few emails about tutoring kids privately. Usually the parents only want the session to run for 1-1.5 hours and only once a week. They have asked me to write a curriculum and source all my own resources. The families all live quite far from me so it would mean lots of travel time on Metro. I have been saying $1000NTD ph but I’m not sure what the standard is. I based this on the fact that I could get $600NTD ph in a cram school which often offers classes of 2hrs. What would you charge? Or is this simply too much work for what it’s worth?

admin March 14, 2012 at 1:51 pm

@xiaozhu,
I really can’t say much beyond what I did to Natalie. How much is your time worth? Do you really need the extra money? How bad do you need it? I’d say you would probably spend at least 30 minutes traveling back and forth and at least 30 minutes preparing for the lesson. So, if you taught for 1 hour, you are looking at around 1 hour prep/travel and then 1 hour teaching. If you charged 600NT, then you just made 300NT an hour. Of course this depends on what the student wants (prep wise) and how far it is from your home, but I would say that for every hour you teach, you probably spend at least 30 minutes traveling and planning. I can’t say if it’s not worth doing, because your own situation is completely different to mine. You just need to decide what your time is worth and how bad you need the money.

domi May 7, 2012 at 6:03 pm

domi May 5, 2012 at 5:34 pm
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

hi ! i never thought of typing on here now and sharing my experience in taiwan as filipono english teacher. Of all your advice, i am triggered to tell u my situation here now. tell me if the following aspects are bearable:
1. we have 2 contracts. one signed by taiwan labor, and the one our employer is insisting us to follow. they let us signed the second because they will not get us ARC if we will not. we signed to it however, the labor of taiwan doesnt know about this copy.its only between us with our employer.

2. in Legal (the one signed by labor) contract says 20NT starting salary. when of all your advice to inquiries, cram school english teacher should not at least be paid lower than 550NT/hour.

3. its our 2months stay now in the cram school. we came here march 2. but out first salary was given april 15. and its not 20NT, but only half of it which is 10NT.

4. We have punch in and we are required to come at 10am to school but we are not allowed to do punch out when we go out from school, at 11pm or sometimes 11:30 pm. Isnt it too long of staying at school. though we teach 3 hours every MWT starting 4:30 pm and 6 hours straight teach on Fridays from 4:30 pm to 10pm .

5. It is a small cram school only so empoyer ask us to clean after we teach. Mop floors,wipe glass windows, clean toilet, clean kitchen sink of the school and clean classrooms.

6. on saturdays, we do telephone teaching and do other required materials and works our employers asked us to do and accomplish for checking the next day you get in school.

7. they said we are not exceeding with the time because we only have 3 hours teaching hours evry MWTH, and only straight teach on friday of 6 hours. our employer said, our stay in school without teaching hour is not included in our time. imagine? from 10am to 11:30 pm??

we asked for adjustment already for the time but still they tend to implement it.

whats the best thing to do? they said if we will go home, we will pay for damage to them, that is indicated in the contract which they let us signed but is not indicated in the legal contract sighed by Taiwan labor dept.

looking forward to your reply..thanks

admin May 8, 2012 at 4:51 am

@domi,
I sent you an email, but it seems you did not get it or it probably went into your spam box where you cannot see it. I’ll paste it here instead. I don’t know your situation 100%, but I would say you are being exploited and are definitely working illegally in Taiwan. Do you mean the contract with Taiwan Labor says a minimum of 20k a month, but you are getting paid only 10k? Either way, your boss is making your work overtime and you are being exploited. How bad do you want to stay in Taiwan? I am also fairly sure that your work is illegal, because only passport holders from English speaking countries can work legally in cram schools teaching English. So, I would say that the contract with the Labor Department is for a job that is unrelated to English teaching, but your boss is making you teach. Again, if you want to leave I would report your boss to the CLA, but you will be out of a job and may be deported because you are working illegally (teaching English when you shouldn’t). Would love to hear what you decide to do. Thanks.

deb March 20, 2013 at 4:49 am

I am a 55 year old woman from Canada, who has a PhD in English and has been teaching for 15 years at a Canadian University. What are my chances of finding teaching employment in Taiwan?

admin March 20, 2013 at 11:56 pm

@deb,
With a PhD you will be able to teach in universities and shouldn’t find it THAT hard to find a job, simply because university positions in Taiwan don’t pay as much as those in Korea or Japan. I assume you don’t have a teaching license, so you will be limited to university jobs. What are your MA and PhD in? They need to be language and/or English related. If they are, then it is probably much easier to find a job in Taiwan than Canada, but just be aware that you will be teaching classes of highly unmotivated students who just want to pass and don’t care much about studying.

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