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Teaching in Guangzhou

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by kateagos, Jan 8, 2019.

  1. kateagos

    kateagos New commenter


    My husband has received a job offer for a teaching post in Guangzhou. It includes medical, housing, annual flights home etc. and the salary is 29,000 (rmb) a month gross.

    Is this enough for a family of 6 to live on comfortably out there? I am also a teacher, but we have young children so am planning on topping up with some English tutoring for a year or two and then I would work too.

    We have to know this is viable to before accepting, uprooting 4 children is a big thing! I've read some varying things about what is a 'good' salary out there.

    sneesam likes this.
  2. cardelle

    cardelle New commenter


    I worked at an International School in GZ two years ago and can confirm that wage is very low. Please note I was at the time in my 4th year teaching and earning 32,600CNY as a single occupant and was given a three bedroom (huge) apartment, annual flights and medical on top of a lovely bonus after two years.
    Look I saved half my wage (and could have saved a whole lot more too). But if you are moving to China, then it has to be absolutely worth it - ie top school, with excellent pay that should be expected in China.
    You also should check out *** which is a schools review page by teachers for teachers to get a feel for your school you are considering. I'm now moving onto my fourth International post and can tell you if this is your first time, make sure it is definitely the right one. Because, if it is - you and your family will absolutely love it!

    All the best and I hope this helps.
  3. february31st

    february31st Established commenter

    I would say you could live on that salary very well but you would not be able to save any money.

    Better is you could both work as teachers and then hire a fulltime home help for the child care as required.

    It is becoming very difficult to earn money doing black economy style jobs and the new Banking regulations means you will have to be paid in cash. Bank accounts linked to tax payments and work visa.

    Check out eslcafe.com for some legal employment opportunities if you want to earn extra cash.
    Helen-Back likes this.
  4. sid1913

    sid1913 New commenter

    I've been offered 31k in Shanghai which includes housing which I am going to have to turn down as I have a partner and daughter. I was holding out for the boring witch school but didn't get past the interview. They had a good package. What other schools in China have a very healthy package? Barring Beijing
  5. SecondPlace

    SecondPlace Occasional commenter

    Have a look at Suzhou and Nanjing. Cost of living is a little lower also in those cities. Not a lot, but a little.
    grdwdgrrrl likes this.
  6. february31st

    february31st Established commenter

  7. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    kateagos, I have sent you a Conversation thing. Mrs Hippopotamus and I were round the corner in SZ for five years.
  8. edmundstavros

    edmundstavros New commenter

    Hi Hippo, would it be OK to start a conversation with you as well? My partner and I have been offered a job in China and it would be great to ask you a couple of questions, if possible.
  9. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    Yes, of course. That is fine, edmundstavros. I must just add that Mrs Hippo and I were in Shenzhen, not Guangzhou. But they are not so very far from each other and fairly similar sort of places in many ways.

    Now that it is freezing cold and wintery here in Sofia, this old hippo is quite nostalgic about his five years in the Middle Kingdom. I can almost taste the dumplings and that Tsingtao. And of course Chinese students are so sweet and polite and hard-working. Well, mine were, most of the time!
    iskamdazamina and edmundstavros like this.
  10. Ms_Love_

    Ms_Love_ Occasional commenter

    Nihao from Guangzhou!

    This is my first international placement and we are loving GZ so far. A few things to note;

    - the city is quite expensive as it is a first-tier city. We live in the suburbs so the cost of living is very cheap but in the hip districts like Tianhe etc you will be paying London prices for everything
    - you might be quite isolated without having a full-time job. No one speaks English here outside of our work colleague bubble. I'm learning Mandarin but it is difficult to make Chinese friends outside of work
    - I would advise against tutoring English as some dodgy agencies will just take advantage of you and it is a bit of a grey area when it comes to tax
    - Good advice to get a full time job as well and get help with the kids as this isn't a wage that would support a family comfortably. Chinese nannies are cheap and super helpful and with both salaries you will be able to save more as well as travel.

    I have found the Chinese to be welcoming and positive people, always willing to help. The culture is fascinating and the children are a joy to teach.
    iskamdazamina and grdwdgrrrl like this.
  11. venny414

    venny414 New commenter

    Sorry to hijack this thread, but I too have an interview with a school based in Guangzhou and was wondering if I could PM anyone to see if they've heard of the school/company.

    Thanks in advance all!
  12. makhnovite

    makhnovite Established commenter

    Just left GZ after several years send me a pm if you wish.
  13. g_l_martin

    g_l_martin New commenter

    Hi all,

    So I’ve been offered a position teaching PYP drama in Guangzhou. They’ve offered 24,000 RMB plus 2000 RMB living allowance. Would you say this is reasonable for a single person ?
  14. february31st

    february31st Established commenter

    The salary is about as good as it will get even for Shanghai. Without my spreadsheet to hand over the year you will pay approximately 17.5% tax. You start by paying 3% tax on your first couple of months salary going up to 25% at the end of the year.

    Looking at the housing allowance I will deduce that the school has the word ”Bilingual” in its title, 2k rmb is what Chinese national receives (1500rmb actually).

    Basically you can have a good lifestyle and save 20% of what you earn.
  15. g_l_martin

    g_l_martin New commenter


    In comparison I have been offered 27,000 before tax with 9000 housing allowance in Shanghai. Nursery teacher. With great benefits.

    How can one company offer that abount and another less in snorer tier city. I thought bring a subject Teacher you are to be paid more , taking into consideration qualifications and experience ?
  16. makhnovite

    makhnovite Established commenter

    'How can one company offer that abount and another less in snorer tier city.'

    Market forces!

    PS: good typos btw, too many sundowners?
  17. g_l_martin

    g_l_martin New commenter

    Predictive message errors. A general mistake many of us humans make.

    I meant how can one school offer a greater amount than the other, being both in first tier cities.
  18. february31st

    february31st Established commenter

    I have just received an email from an agent today outlining 50 jobs all over China in tier 1,2 and 3 cities. Salaries range from 13 to 35000rmb per month with know reason behind the wide range. Some of the lowest salaries are on offer in Beijing.

    But some of the lowest seem to be in Chinese state schools offering English taught by western staff, so the salary is the same as the locals. School fees in the private wing of a state school are about 40000rmb/year.

    Chinese private schools have their fees capped by local/state government so can only charge 120000rmb tuition fees, so can not pay the same as western international schools. The new bilingual schools seem to be offering a market rate salary or as little as they can get away with so the low to mid 20k/month.

    The bilingual schools that cater for the 15 to 18yr olds have school fees that match the western international schools so they should be paying the same, but are not as they are owned by Chinese businessmen/women.
  19. g_l_martin

    g_l_martin New commenter

    Are most school contracts for 2 years ?
  20. g_l_martin

    g_l_martin New commenter

    Can someone shine some light on this message ?

    Your total income is 28000 before tax ( includes housing ). Every month, you can provide a rent fapiao as reimbursement, the amount is 40% of your gross salary.Then the 60% is taxed. This is the way how we help the foreign employee to reduce the tax.

    How much would the salary be PM after Tax ? This is so confusing.

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