Teaching English in Taiwan

By | January 9, 2017

Taiwan is a state in East Asia and its maritime neighbours include China, Japan, and the Philippines. Taiwan claims to be a sovereign state; however China refuses to recognise it as independent.

Over the course of the second half of the 20th century, Taiwan went through rapid industrialisation and economic growth and it became known as one of the four Asian Tiger states. The country currently has the 19th largest economy in the world and has become an integral part of the world’s economy because of its high tech industry.

Taiwan is constantly ranked very highly for good quality health care, high standards of education, human development, economic freedom and the freedom of the press.

Read more about Taiwan from Wikipedia.

Why Teach English in Taiwan

Taipei Street Scene

Taiwan is considered by many teachers to be one of the best places to teach because of good working conditions, relatively high salaries, the ability to save money, and the fact that it is fairly easy to find work. There are many teaching jobs available and the demand for native English speaking teachers is high.

When you’re not teaching you can explore modern cities, stunning coastline and beautiful mountains. Many teachers take the opportunity to learn Chinese whilst living in this Chinese speaking state.

You certainly won’t be stuck for something to do when you’re not teaching and you should also earn enough money to be able travel when you’re not in the classroom.

Where to Teach English in Taiwan

You will find that the majority of opportunities for teaching are in Taipei. Some other cities including Hualien, Kahsiung, Tainan and Taichung also have opportunities available.

Types of Teaching Jobs in Taiwan

Private Cram Schools

Taipei Rush Hour

Taipei Rush Hour

Almost all new teachers will start working in what is called a buxiban. These schools are for children who learn English outside of their normal schooling. It is relatively easy to find a job in one of these types of schools and they will generally offer between 15 and 25 hours per week.

You could be teaching all ages and all levels. Schools have varying requirements, moreover the salary on offer can also vary from school to school.

Public Schools

The public schooling system also employs native English speaking teachers. Depending on the school, you might be required to perform a range of duties on top of your regular teaching hours which is usually around 25 hours per week.

Public schools often pay higher salaries than the buxiban schools, but the rate of pay can vary from school to school.


Universities also offer English classes for their students. Their requirements for teachers are usually much higher and you will often need to be well qualified. However, they do offer a higher salary than most other teaching jobs.

Private Tutoring

Although teaching privately is illegal, some teachers do supplement their income with private lessons. You won’t usually be able to do this full time and in most cases teachers only take a few classes.

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Teaching Requirements and Qualifications

To be provided with a work permit you will need to be a university or college. Taiwan used to be known as a place that employs just about any native English speaker regardless of their qualifications, but this is no longer the case.

You might find some jobs that don’t require that you have a teaching certificate, but these jobs are becoming few and far between. Most schools require that their teachers are TEFL, TESOL or CELTA certified.

Not all jobs require that you have experience. Taiwan is still a popular choice for new teachers because inexperienced teachers can still find a number of job opportunities.

Expected Salary and Living Costs

[sociallocker id=”2095″]Salaries normally range anywhere from $2000 to $3000 (USD) per month. Some schools may pay less and others more, but most will be in this range.

You will be required to pay income tax on your earnings.

As is the same with most countries around the world, it is usually the teachers that have good qualifications and recent experience that will get paid the higher salaries.

Teachers that stay in Taiwan for a number of years can even earn up to $4000 per month. However, almost all new teachers in Taiwan will not earn anywhere near this amount and will usually earn around $2000 (USD) per month.

Some schools will also offer additional benefits for their teachers including subsidised accommodation, contract completion bonuses, insurance and in some cases you might get reimbursed for your flights.

All schools are different, some don’t offer any benefits and others have great benefits.

The cost of living in Taiwan isn’t as cheap as other places, but with a salary of at least $2000 per month, you will earn enough to cover your living costs and a little more. It is possible to save money at the end of each month. Obviously, the higher your salary, the more you can save!

Read more about the cost of living in Taiwan from Numbeo.[/sociallocker]

Visa Requirements

To work legally, you will need a work permit and it can be difficult to arrange. Your employer should help you to arrange one because it can be very difficult to arrange on your own.

You will also need an Alien Resident Certificate (ARC) which will need to be applied for within 15 days of receiving your resident visa.

Visas and work permits can be quite complicated and you are only allowed to work for the employer that sponsors you. If you change schools, you may need to rearrange your visa. For more information about visas and work permits, take a look at the website for the National Immigration Agency.

How to Find a Job Teaching in Taiwan

Taipei by Night

Taipei by Night

A number of teachers are recruited online before they arrive. You will find many jobs advertised online and the recruitment process can usually be completed online.

Employers will either advertise directly, or they may go through a recruitment agency.

However, schools that offer the better working conditions and higher salaries don’t often go through recruitment agencies and often employ directly.

Try to search on ESL jobs boards or look for ESL teacher recruitment agencies to find positions before you arrive in Taiwan.

If you are already in the country, you can apply directly to schools via email, telephone or in person.

Teach English in Taiwan

Taiwan is a popular destination for TEFL teachers and competition for jobs is steadily growing, although finding a job still isn’t all that difficult. You will earn enough to cover your basic living costs and it should be enough to save money.

However, the jobs market for teachers has changed over the last decade and it is no longer the mecca for saving money that it once was.


Although I have never worked in this country, every effort has been made to ensure that this information is correct. This blog post has been written after extensive research online, interviews with teachers who have worked or are working in the country, and local schools have been contacted. If you have any questions, please leave a comment below. If you have worked or are working in Taiwan, we would love to hear from you, so please leave a comment and share your experiences with us.

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