Teaching Careers in China

See Michael’s journey from applying to be a teacher with EF to his first two weeks in China

About EF English First

Teaching at EF English First

Join our growing community of teachers


EF English First, a division of EF Education First the world’s leading privately owned education company. Founded in 1965, EF operates in over 50 countries around the world. We have vacancies for teaching positions across China so if you prefer the fast paced city life like Shanghai, or want to be immersed in the more traditional culture of a smaller city, we probably have the position for you. We have both Kids & Teens schools and Adult schools in over 60 Cities in China.

At EF English First, you’ll be provided with the resources to become the best teacher you can be. Our new and colorful classrooms offer state-of-the-art technology including Internet connected computers, interactive whiteboards or touchscreen TVs and iPads. We also offer a world-class teacher development program with certification courses exclusively for our teachers to help them move into more senior positions within EF.

Join a supportive community of EF staff and teachers from day one. We’re here to provide the support you need every step of the way, from preparing your legal work visa to airport pickup. Learn how to order food in Chinese with our free language classes or attend a company sponsored social or cultural event. There’s so much to experience living abroad and you’ll experience it to the fullest with EF.

-  A Bachelor’s Degree

-  A TEFL Certification (EF TEFL sponsorship available)

-  Passport holder from UK, USA, Canada, Ireland, Australia, South Africa or New Zealand

-  The ability to obtain a clear background check

-  Ability to live abroad for at least one year

  • 13,000 - 15,000 RMB monthly, based on qualifications
  • 8,000 RMB annual flight allowance
  • Performance bonus after 6 months up to 1,950 RMB per month at our Kids & Teens schools
  • Sponsored legal Z work visa
  • 10,000 RMB salary advance available
  • Health insurance
  • 10 paid annual leave days plus 11 national holidays
  • Airport pick-up upon arrival
  • Free hotel for your first two weeks at EF English First
  • Sponsored accreditations including Cambridge TKT, Trinity CertTESOL, Trinity DipTESOL and DELTM
  • Free Mandarin Chinese lessons
  • Weekly EF sponsored social & cultural events
  • Employee discount scheme
  • Job rotation scheme


Explore China through our gallery below

"At EF, we tend to share the same sense of adventure and community. We talk about new places to visit and things to do. Being a teacher is not a desk job. It’s hectic and can be hard work, but also fun. There's something that surprises me every day working in China that I know I wouldn't find anywhere else."


Do I need to be able to speak Chinese?

No. We never use Chinese in the classroom, don’t worry if you think that sounds strange, when you do our sponsored TEFL course it will become clear how we do this. Most cities in China have English road signs and English metro stations. Most restaurants have food in English, if not they generally have pictures. Learning some basic survival Chinese when you arrive, such as addresses for taxis and some food is recommended though just to make things a bit easier. In most large cities you can even order food using apps in English.

Will I be able to save money?

Yes, although it does depend on your lifestyle. The salary in RMB is above average for China so there’s normally some left at the end of the month to save or to pay off student loans. If you share an apartment with other teachers and eat Chinese food you will have more left than if you have your own place and eat western style food every day.

I don’t have a teaching background, can I still apply?

Yes. Previous teaching experience is not necessary, but is valued if you have it. We will give you all the skills you need to help you feel confident standing in a classroom. As long as you have a bachelor’s degree in any subject we can help you with the rest.

I have never lived abroad before will it be difficult to adjust?

It shouldn’t be too difficult to adjust, we have a community of over 2000 English teachers in China who help and support each other. We have our own social network for teachers to ask questions and look for assistance. Along with that we have organized social and cultural events for our teachers most of which are free, to help them meet other teachers and to understand Chinese culture.

I have more questions, what should I do?

Don’t worry, everybody has questions it’s understandable. The best thing to do is apply so that we have all your details and can make sure you meet the visa requirements. Once we know that, one of our recruiters will contact you for an initial chat before moving to interview. This is the best time to ask those initial questions, others can be asked at interview.

Frequently Asked Questions


46,500 – Number of EF staff, faculty and teachers

1965 – Year EF was founded

539 – EF schools and offices worldwide

5 – Percent of staff who relocated overseas last year to EF schools around the world

1 – Amazing career

116 – Number of countries with EF operations and partnerships

Teach English, travel and train with EF English First.

London (UK)

EF Education First

22 Chelsea Manor Street,

London SW3 5RL. UK.

Tel. +44 (0)7341 8638

+44 (0)207 341 8500

UK office hours.

Boston (USA)

EF Education First

1 Education Street,

Cambridge, MA 02141 USA

Tel. +1 617 619 1000

USA, East Coast office hours.

Shanghai (China)

EF Education First

1st Floor, Jiu An Plaza,

258 Tongren Road,

Shanghai, China 200040.

Tel. +86 (21) 6039 5868

China office hours.

Official Language Training Supplier to 6 Olympic Games

Winner of the Highest Employee Satisfaction Award by China Business Journal 2015

National Five Star Gold Teacher Team Award from

Recipient of the China Charity Festival's Innovative Charity Award

Holder of 2 Guinness World records

EF English First is a division of EF Education First Worldwide

Copyright© EF English First BV. All rights Reserved.