Brand new ESL teacher looking for your first real-world teaching experience? Or experienced teacher, qualified in your home country, searching for your next move? No matter what stage you are at in your teaching career, with such a high demand for foreign teachers in Hong Kong, you shouldn’t have much of a problem finding a job.
But you should know that Hong Kong, unlike many other countries in Asia, is much more of a career country than it is a turn-up-and-just-teach destination. This means that if you don’t have a degree, any teaching experience, or you’re just looking for a short-term teaching gig to fund your travels, you might want to consider somewhere else. However, if you’re hoping to stay for a year or, even better, two, you’ll find a good range of teaching jobs in Hong Kong.
English Teaching Programmes in Hong Kong
The most popular teaching programme in Hong Kong is the government-run NET (Native English Speakers) Scheme. Just like JET in Japan and EPIK in South Korea, the NET programme helps to place teachers in local schools, with the aim of improving English proficiency among children. NET is extremely popular with foreign teachers, in part because of the excellent salary and benefits package – it’s one of the most lucrative teaching jobs you can land in Hong Kong. A monthly salary for a NET teacher starts at HK$31,750, rising to HK$73,775 (approx £3,000-£6,800/$4,100-$9,50), with the added benefit of a monthly housing allowance, usually HK$20,989 (approx £1,950/$2,700).
TEFL teachers on NET are placed in public-sector primary and secondary schools, and usually assist local teachers for a 2-year contract. There is often a tendency to favour female teachers for positions with young children, but this is seen as normal and not discriminatory in Hong Kong.
NET teachers will need a bachelor’s degree and a TEFL certificate as a minimum but those who have previous teaching experience will find it much easier to secure a job.