With a highly developed infrastructure, a stable economy, plenty of job opportunities, high salaries, and a relatively low cost of living, Taiwan has become an increasingly popular destination for teaching English abroad. Native English speakers with a TEFL certification should have little trouble finding a suitable position in a public school or a privately owned language academy. Teaching jobs can be found right across the country but are most numerous in large cities such as Taipei, Kaohsiung, Taichung, and Tainan.
What are TEFL salaries in Taiwan?
There are several types of schools that employ foreign teachers in Taiwan, all of which offer various salaries depending on your previous classroom experience and level of teaching qualifications. Many positions are paid on an hourly rate that starts at around 600 NTD (currently $20 US), and can rise up to 1,300 NTD ($40 US) for those with extensive experience. In addition to your salary, many teaching positions also include significant added benefits 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?
For many first time teachers in Taiwan, a network of privately run 'cram schools' known as bushibans offer a good entry point into teaching English abroad. Throughout the country there are hundreds of schools (many part of large chains) that are keen to employ native English speakers for around $20 US per hour. Typical working hours are four teaching hours per day, five days a week. There are also a large number of kindergartens throughout Taiwan that offer similar hours and pay. For teachers with previous experience, a more lucrative option is offered by foreign run bushibans. Language schools in this category pay anywhere from $30 to $40 US per hour plus bonuses, so competition for available positions can be fierce. Although the pay is considerably more than a standard language center, expectations are also much higher and a good understanding of Mandarin may well be expected.
Who else employs English language teachers in Taiwan?
The public school system also offers plenty of opportunities for foreign teachers. Salaries range from around 60,000 to 70,000 NTD (currently $1,900 to $2,200 US) per month, with the majority of positions available at high school level. Working hours are often more than in private academies as extensive lesson planning may be necessary. Foreign teachers are also expected to perform extra duties so a typical working day can be from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The biggest salaries on offer for English language teachers in Taiwan can be found in international schools that generally follow an American based curriculum. These positions are small in number and usually require a high level of teaching qualifications. Applications for available jobs are highly competitive as salaries can be as high as 200,000 NTD (over $6,000 US) per month.
What is the cost of living for English teachers in Taiwan?
A combination of high salaries and a low cost of living in comparison to many western countries make it possible for foreign teachers to live a very comfortable lifestyle during their stay in Taiwan. Eating out at local establishments is very cheap, as is transport around the country. The biggest expense is likely to be rent which can range from 5,000 NTD to 15,000 NTD per month for a shared apartment, depending on location. However, many teachers will find that housing expenses are included in their contract making it possible to save a considerable percentage of your salary every month.