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Home / Teach English in Hong Kong the Complete Guide for TEFL Teachers | Reviewed May 2022

Tefl Jobs In Hong Kong

Overview

Would you like to teach English in Hong Kong, there are a few things to consider! Read this extensive TEFL guide to learn more. Hong Kong was a British colony until 1997. It is now a Chinese Special Administrative Region, but don’t anticipate teaching English in Hong Kong and living here to be anything like life in China. People in Hong Kong speak Cantonese, which is an entirely distinct language from that of mainland China. Hong Kong’s official language is English, which is spoken by just under half of the population, roughly the same proportion of individuals who also speak Mandarin Chinese. If you speak another foreign language, such as French or Spanish, you have a strong chance of being recruited at a prestigious international school in Hong Kong that provides linguistics classes.

Speaking English is a top goal for Hong Kong residents, with some sending their children as young as six months old to classes teaching English in Hong Kong, implying a high need for qualified TEFL teachers. If you would like to teach English in Hong Kong, remember that exam preparation programmes are the most common in the private language school industry, but there are also a lot of business English classes. Make sure to invest in IELTS or TOEIC preparation courses to earn more. Hong Kong emphasises that English is taught widely from childhood onwards in order to compete effectively on the global stage.

Teach English in Hong Kong: Types of jobs available

Private schools

In Hong Kong, the majority of teaching English jobs in Hong Kong are accessible at private language schools. Students of different ages attend these schools, from toddlers to seniors, but the majority are high school students studying for examinations. In addition, international and local chains (such as Berlitz) are well-represented across the city. Also, they offer a lot of opportunities for people wanting to engage the services of an English teacher in Hong Kong.

While English teachers in Hong Kong make up the bulk of foreign teachers, certain private language schools are looking for teachers of other languages, such as Spanish and French. Moreover, learners in this international metropolis with a robust worldwide industry seek a variety of languages.

Public schools (Private and public schools)

Foreign English teachers working abroad in Hong Kong frequently share the classroom with a local teacher in public schools. The NET (Native English Speakers) Scheme is a government-run programme for foreign instructors that employs competent and experienced foreign English teachers for two years. The goal is to support local teachers and encourage kids to enjoy learning English.

Female teachers are frequently assigned to occupations working with young children, a practice that is neither unlawful nor discriminatory in Hong Kong.

University or colleges

Teachers with significant experience and qualifications may be able to find work in a university or college. However, these are difficult to obtain unless you have prepared for an academic career and already have experience.

A master’s degree and experience are the minimum qualifications, but a PhD is more typically required. In addition, only academically-oriented teachers should apply for English teaching positions at Hong Kong universities or colleges.

International schools

Hong Kong is a worldwide financial centre with a large expatriate population, many of whom send their children to foreign schools. Teaching employment in foreign schools is not limited to English as a second language; if you are qualified to teach math, physics, or other disciplines, there may be opportunities for you to do so.

Schools follow many worldwide systems, such as in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia. Non-Hong Kong citizens will make up the majority of students, but not all. One of the most significant advantages of foreign schools is the diversity of their curriculum.

Finding a job teaching abroad

When to apply for jobs in Hong Kong

Because Hong Kong is such a popular destination for foreign teachers, you’ll have a better chance of finding a position there if you’ve gained some real-world teaching experience. Of course, it is preferable if this is in English, but as long as you have a TEFL, other subject experiences will count.

In Hong Kong, the school year begins in August. In the months preceding up to this, particularly in the spring, recruitment takes place. Contracts are typically one or two years long, with completion bonuses included to entice you to stay.

How to apply for jobs in Hong Kong

Third-party organisations can assist teachers in finding teaching positions in Hong Kong and are required if you wish to participate in the NET Scheme.

You can apply for some jobs directly with the school, such as teaching jobs at foreign schools, which are posted on numerous international teaching job websites and publications.

What you need to know about teaching English in Hong Kong

Popular destinations to teach in Hong Kong

Hong Kong is a small region, yet it contains a lot of diversity thanks to its 18 administrative regions. Moreover, teachers in the NET Scheme may not have a choice where they work because the public school system’s requirements in various locations will be appraised and teachers assigned accordingly, so bear that in mind before you apply. Therefore, a sense of adventure and flexibility is essential when deciding to teach in Hong Kong, but lots of people love the experience and lifestyle!

Visas & sponsorship

Working as an English Teacher in Hong Kong requires a work visa. When you’re offered a job, the school or company will handle all of the paperwork; all you have to do is present them with originals or copies of important documents, such as your certificates.

Work culture in Hong Kong

A typical day for those who teach English in Hong Kong starts at 8 am and concludes at 5 pm. Elementary schools are frequently divided into two sessions, with one running from 7:30 am to 1 pm and the other from 1:30 pm to 6:30 pm.

In Hong Kong, homes (apartments) are typically small. Teachers are usually supported in obtaining adequate housing. Single teachers may have to share a room. Because Hong Kong is such a large city with so much to see and do, you will have no trouble filling your free time! In Hong Kong, eating and drinking out is a popular hobby.

Classroom etiquette 

The majority of Hong Kong children are well-behaved and eager to learn English. Along with their colleagues, English teachers will frequently be asked to assist with extracurricular activities and clubs. Teachers’ dress codes are often formal, similar to business dress codes, so be sure to pack appropriate clothing.

Safety in Hong Kong

Hong Kong is a very safe city, far safer than cities of comparable size in North America. Pickpocketing on crowded public transportation is one of the riskiest crimes. When out late at night, stick to well-lit places with a lot of people. Apply usual big-city precautions, and you are likely to have a good and safe stay in Hong Kong.

Although Hong Kong’s tap water is usually clean, you should avoid drinking it if you have a sensitive stomach, especially when you first arrive. Also, before flying to Hong Kong, make sure you have all of your expected travel vaccines, such as those for hepatitis and typhoid. Check with your doctor well in advance because some vaccines need to be given well ahead of your travel date. 

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LIVING COSTS

Hong Kong is the world’s fourth most expensive city and Asia’s most costly. Because rent is so expensive, getting a job teaching English in Hong Kong that includes housing is a huge plus, even if it’s a shared flat. If you need to find a place to live, flat-sharing services like AsiaXpat or GeoExpat can assist you in finding something suitable for your needs. Although there is no shortage of rental housing in Hong Kong, with supply meeting demand, you may discover that the most economical options are cramped and run-down. You can get a better value in the older, less fashionable parts of town. IKEA is the most cost-effective way to equip your apartment, but some rentals may come with what you need to get by.

You won’t face too much cultural shock in Hong Kong. It’s a popular cosmopolitan city where you’ll be able to meet ex-pats from all over the world, yet due to the rapid turnover, anticipate making new friends frequently. Foreign foods and products are readily available, but buying and dining like a native will provide the best value for money. In addition, Hong Kong boasts a vibrant nightlife, a diverse range of outdoor activities, excellent public transportation, and cuisine that many Westerners find far more approachable than mainland Chinese cuisine.

  • Accommodation: £2,235–£4,136/€2635–€4700
  • Utilities: £131/€155
  • Health insurance: Cost of a typical visit to a GP: £39/€48
  • Monthly transport pass: £51/€63
  • Basic dinner out for two: £36/€44
  • Cappuccino in ex-pat area: £4.02/€5.02
  • A beer in a pub: £6/€7
  • 1 litre of milk: £2.22/€2.88
  • Accommodation: £2,235–£4,136/€2635–€4700
  • Utilities: £131/€155
  • Health insurance: Cost of a typical visit to a GP: £39/€48
  • Monthly transport pass: £51/€63
  • Basic dinner out for two: £36/€44
  • Cappuccino in expat area: £4.02/€5.02
  • A beer in a pub: £6/€7

Tefl Jobs In Hong Kong : KEY POINTS

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AVERAGE SALARY

£1,550–£6,300

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EDUCATION NEEDED

Bachelor's degree or higher

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TEFL CERTIFICATE NEEDED

120-hour TEFL qualification

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MAIN JOB TYPES

Private & Public Schools, Universities, Kindergarten, International Schools, Freelance, Voluntary.

KEY FACTS

  • Popular locations for TEFL jobs: Hong Kong is both a country and a city–positions available across Hong Kong.
  • The average salary for EFL teachers: The basic monthly salary for full-time positions is likely to be in the region of HK$16,000 to HK$65,000 (£1,550–£6,300/$2,000–$8,380) per month. HK$100–$550(£10–£50/$13–$70) per teaching hour for freelance work
  • TEFL qualification requirements: A 120-hour TEFL qualification will be required for most positions.
  • Prerequisite university degree: You need a degree to work in Hong Kong. Some international schools and university positions require degrees in specific fields, or higher qualifications such as an MA, PGCE or PhD.
  • Term times: The school year starts in August.
  • Currency: Hong Kong Dollar (HKD
  • Language: Cantonese and English
  • Teaching programmes: Private Language Schools, Public Schools, Universities, Kindergarten, International Schools, Freelance, Voluntary.
  • Age restrictions: Under 60
  • Previous teaching experience: Applicants for most jobs will find more success if they have a year or two of experience

With the exception of the Chinese New Year, private language schools recruit TEFL teachers throughout the year in Hong Kong. However, the most significant time to look for work teaching English in Hong Kong is in May/June because summer is a very busy time for learning centres, and there is a significant surge in demand for TEFL teachers as a result. If you want to begin the academic year at an international school, though, you should start looking early in the new year from January. Students in private language schools often span from young children to adults and from beginners to advanced levels, with a strong emphasis on exam preparation sessions so you can have plenty of variety when teaching English in Hong Kong.

TEFL teachers operate as teaching assistants in public schools under the NET (Native English Speakers) Scheme, where they support a local teacher. The Hong Kong government created this scheme, which is a major employer of foreigners in the public school system. Both professions require native or fluent speakers with TEFL experience, a BA and a TEFL certificate, as well as other qualifications depending on the post. Working for the NET system is by far the most profitable job for English teachers in Hong Kong that we’ve identified, while many overseas schools are likely to pay a similar wage.

Facts about Teach English in Hong Kong the Complete Guide for TEFL Teachers | Reviewed May 2022

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LANGUAGE

Cantonese and English

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POPULATION

7.4 million

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TEFL TEACHERS DEMAND

High

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CURRENCY

Hong Kong Dollar

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CAPTIAL

Victoria

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OUR HONG KONG TEFL RATING

4/5

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Tefl Jobs In Hong Kong : FAQS

Q:

Can I teach English in Hong Kong without a degree?

To teach English in Hong Kong, most schools will require you to have a bachelor’s degree and either TEFL/CELTA certification or prior teaching experience. Working with a volunteer organisation, on the other hand, can provide classroom experience without a degree.

The average salary for teachers of English in Hong Kong is $2,300-$3,500 per month.

Hong Kong is the world’s fourth most expensive city and Asia’s most costly. Buying and dining like a native will provide the best value for money. Try to look for jobs teaching English in Hong Kong that include housing to save money.

Hong Kong is both a country and a city–positions are available across Hong Kong in a variety of busier and quieter settings depending on what you think suits you best.

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