Who are your English students in Taiwan?
English language teaching assignments in Taiwan give ESL teachers the opportunity to work with students from all different levels in this culturally rich subtropical country. The teaching may vary, but the majority of foreign English teachers in Taiwan work in language schools (Bu Xi Ban) that teach students from primary age up until high school. English language kindergartens are technically illegal, but enough find the loopholes to operate and often look for native English speakers to teach. Other teachers can expect junior high school age students, adults, business teaching, and at times university level. But, the majority is for young learners.
Teaching work can be found in bl-lingual schools around Taiwan, but more and more of these positions require teaching certificates or a Master’s Degree. If you want to teach English at a public school in Taiwan, you must have a teaching license from your home country. University jobs require at least a Master’s Degree.
Basic Requirements to get a teacher work permit in Taiwan
Requirements to attain an ARC (Alien Resident Card) through a licensed school include a bachelor’s degree (you need a copy) and a clean background check from your home country. ARCs last a year and are tied directly to your school. Once attained, an ARC ensures you have Taiwan’s National Health Insurance. An ARC is legal from a minimum 15 hours a week of work. It is possible to have more than one school tied to your ARC in order to boost work hours to a more full time schedule.
Do you need an English teaching job secured before you arrive in Taiwan?
It is not necessary to secure an English teaching job in Taiwan before you arrive. There are plenty of chances to do so, but you can also arrive on a 2 month visitor visa and shop around for a job you like. Websites like www.eitesljobs.com have Taiwan job postings. Some schools will interview online and offer you a position. This entails you getting the required documents together and still coming over on a visitor visa.
Once you arrive in Taiwan, you will need to get a health check at a local hospital and this report is sent in with your other documentation to the Ministry of Education. The health check takes 10 days to get a report and the ARC process can take up to 14 days. Your employer should handle the ARC application paperwork.
What is the salary of English teachers in Taiwan?
Many language schools will pay you per teaching hour. According to the labor law, you must also be paid for class prep work if a school requires you to prepare. Hourly pay can vary from 550NT/hour (low) to 750NT/hour for most schools. The range generally falls in the 600NT/hour range. Depending on the number of hours you teach per week, your salary will be anywhere between 60,000NT per month to 90,000NT. You could be teaching anywhere from 15 hours per week up to 30 hours or more. According to the labor law, 15 hours per week is the minimum “full time” teaching job
Many schools, like public schools, now offer a full time monthly salary for teachers usually around the 60-70,000NT/month range. In these cases you are viewed as a full time employee of the school and will be expected to spend full time hours at the school whether you are teaching or not.
Taxes for teachers range between 18% for your first 6 months of a calendar year in Taiwan, and then drops to 5% for the remaining months of the calendar year. When the new calendar years begins, your tax is back to 18% until you reach the 6 month 183 day mark when it drops to 5% again. This is quite strange and confusing. Your school is responsible for figuring this out and you should expect a generous tax return when you file at the end of the year.
Salary and geography when teaching in Taiwan
Where you live can make a difference on salary. A more expensive city like Taipei may pay you a bit higher salary than other smaller cities. (Then again they may not.) If you are making 620NT/hour in Taipei, but also the same salary in Kaohsiung City (much less expensive), your salary is going to go farther for you in Kaohsiung. But just because Taipei is more expensive to live in, don’t expect the salaries to match. You could work in a city like Kaohsiung and make more than you would at a school in Taipei City.
Most teaching jobs are in the cities. City parents are more willing to spend for their children to learn English outside of the public school program. Taipei has a lot of jobs, and a bigger population of students. Living there, however, has a higher cost of living. Cities like TaiChung, Tainan, and Kaohsiung have teaching markets as well, but lower rents and living costs. Some teachers look for work in even smaller, more Taiwanese cities and towns. There are jobs, albeit fewer, but the quiet, more Taiwanese lifestyle appeals to some. Depending on what kind of teaching job or quality of life you are looking for, Taiwan has many choices.
Good luck in your search for an ESL teaching job in Taiwan.