Monday, December 31, 2012

How Much Money Do Foreign Teachers In China Really Earn? The truth about salary, wages, pay, earnings in 2013 and the scam agents & fake recruiters who try to steal them!

(If you are visiting this site from inside China, you will need a VPN in order to view the photos, charts, and tables. Sorry)

First you need to ignore any and all comments about teacher wages and earnings that are posted by,, and any other forum or website that makes money doing teacher placements and/or selling resumes. They have a huge conflict of interest since they profit from teachers in a big way.  They are sly and devious scammers who want to program you to believe that the most you can earn in China is 4,000 to 10,000 yuan per month as a teacher. THIS IS A BIG  LIE! But if they can get you to believe this, they will take 20%-60% of your wages every month for a year! These fraudsters are not all Chinese, but 80% of them are. You can get a list of all these scam and fake agents at:

2018 China Employer Blacklist For Expat Employees & English Teachers

And our own 2017 CTA blacklist is here:

China Teacher Alliance Blacklist - 2017

Remember - Agents and recruiters will only tell you what they want you to know and not all that you need to know. They will hide all the negatives and keep you focused on just the tip of the iceberg. Once they get you working with a contract they will evaporate. In 30-45 days, you will learn the truth - on pay day.

In reality, if you find work directly with a school or training center, your wages can go up to 20,000 yuan per month, but never with a university. To make the most money in China you need to work for a private international school. But the agents will not tell you about this because they want you to take ANY job that gets them paid, even if they get you hired by an unregistered and unlicensed school, or one of the many that will use, abuse and exploit you.  One big problem is that roughly 40% of all teaching jobs are now obtained through agents. This allows the minority to artificially control the labor rates for the majority.  In effect, the laziness of a few is costing us all serious money. Read this article so you know what you are up against...

What the agents don't tell you are all the horrible things they don't want you to know because then you would not even think about working as a teacher in China. The one thing they never want you to see is the annual report from the China Foreign Teachers Union which you can read here...

92% of Agents & Recruiters in China are not licensed.
They will use any lie to get you to sign a contract to collect their fee.
Once you sign their contract they care nothing about your fate nor problems.

Likewise they do not want you to read these below articles neither. This is why they spend a lot of money on SEO to make sure their propaganda ads gets on the first page of Google - hoping you never go to page 2, 3, 4, or 5, and learn about the suicide rate, rapes, and other horror stories of foreign teachers in China, including the murder of  American Darren Russell - a teacher in South China.

The more you read independently the faster you will learn the truth.  The hustlers who earn thousands of dollars every month from bringing teachers to China not only sell your resumes and do placements, but many also sell books, tapes, visa services, travel packages and even your personal data to identity thieves. They want you to think China is paradise for teachers. It is all a crock of BS and a  very well-orchestrated racket that has been going on since 2007.  Read and learn or you will be victimized and forfeit a huge part of your earnings which they take not once - but every month from your paycheck.  In fact, many of them collect your paycheck for you because they do not want you to know what they are taking from your salary. And for God's sake - don't fall for the Z Visa bait trick.

Another Dirty Secret?

Guess which is the foreign teacher above?

Not only will the agents/recruiters exploit and cheat you, but even your own employers will cheat you as well as 52% of foreign teachers have reported. The CFTU received over 700 complaints in 2011 and 845 in 2012.

But if you still want to work as a teacher in China, be sure you read these articles first, so you don't make some very costly mistakes as most all teachers did when they first came to China.  We learned the hard way - you don't have to!

Here is the shortlist of the very worst agents and websites to avoid like the plague. The complete list can be found on the website of the China Foreign Teachers Union at

Jeff Gao a.k.a Jeff Sya  (Chongqing)

Eric Liu  (Beijing)

Amy Zhang  (Beijing & On-Line China-Wide)

Danny Liu  a.k.a  Danny Lu  a.k.a. Danny Lau  (Beijing)

David Brenar a.k.a. Daniel Brenar (Online)

Rebecca Tang (Beijing)
Jieling Chen
Frank Zhang
James Zhang
Cecille Bautista a.k.a Cecily Bautista

Allan Zhang aka Alan Zhang
Sang Xing
Anthony Martin

Angelina (Angelina's ESL Cafe)
Paul Adler
David Smith

Jimmy Liu
David Valley
Peter Zheng
Zheng Tian Ying
Michael Simpson

Rosie Tang aka Rose Tang
Malcolm MacDonald

Yuri Khlystov aka Sergei Khlystov
Tim Chen
Jeff Chen

For details on actual complaints filed against the above people, visit the web site of the CFTU at:

These shysters use numerous telephone numbers, emails and websites. Here are just some of them... (not a scam - just greedy agents)

Also beware of the infamous CUCAS scam which is the most sophisticated scam in China run by a former Chinese official using fake domains. Read about the CUCAS study abroad fraud at this link:

Read a confession of a typical scam agent/recruiter that was caught red-handed for yourself here:

So then, what is the solution?

Find Your Own Job And Ignore The Lure Of Agents & Recruiters!  It is soooo easy...

There is nothing that they do that you cannot do yourself - even with the language barrier. Just visit the the "Jobs" section of the below web sites and you will find hundreds of jobs every week for every major city in China... 
You should also check the user names blacklist at
Also be weary of teaching job ads at which is a haven for scam agents and phony recruiters. Read this article for some insight into that forum: 

Just remember that agents and recruiters often disguise themselves as "direct employers" and place their own ads here as well. You can weed them out two ways:

1.  If the job being offered is less than 12,000 yuan per month it is almost always an agent or a university, so just ignore it.  Forget the "free housing" BS as you will be sharing space in a box with one or two roomies.

2.  Ask the person on the phone to give you the website of the company offering the job and their own email address. If they cannot give the website or a company email address like they are agents.

One last thing and we won't bore you any longer... Never ever give copies of your passport nor visas to anyone by email, or you have a 20% chance of becoming a victim of identity theft. Only give these copies (never originals) to actual employers who have made you a written offer of employment. There are hundreds of miserable foreigners now struggling to restore their credit and living near poverty levels because they fell for this clever ruse. When you teach in China you are truly rolling the dice if you do not heed the above warnings.

2018 UPDATE:

 Copyright 2012-2018- China Teachers Alliance


  1. nice hate site with a sprinkle of fear mongering and sales for good looks. But, to be honest the international schools are looking for real teachers that have degrees in teaching and education and real teaching experience. Everyone else, that have degrees in fine arts or something else not teaching related and a cheap TEFL certificates that think they are teachers but don't have a clue what real teaching is get the ESL jobs. Please don't make the mistake in thinking that ESL teaching anywhere is real teaching. It's not Math, not science, not biology and definitely, not linguistics. Anybody that can speak English as a native language can teach it. As a native English speaker you have been speaking and practicing it your whole life and if you have a firm grasp on on the grammar you can teach it with various different methods ideas and philosophies you could study up online, go ahead, Google it. ESL teachers are like your standard run of the mill karate instructor, they think they're masters but put them where it matters they get their asses kicked, nothing special.

    ...this article above, that some of the people currently teaching in China think they are teachers is insulting to the Chinese people.

    Oh but wait, you don't want to hear this, probably because you're one of the thousands of ESL teachers that have been or currently is in China thinking that duck duck goose is a miracle teaching tool and singing the ABC is real down and dirty teaching. While I'm not denying there are a lot of scammers out there, you're only painting half a picture here. There are also as many dodgy ESL teachers out there that are trying to take as much advantage posing as teachers but have no clue at all trying it on at unrealistic salaries of 12000 and over. Get real dude!

    1. Negative bull from someone who sounds full of himself. Alot of good people wa t to teach with only esl cert like myself. Get over yourself

  2. Thanks for sharing this. This would be a big help but I think writing an essay for college application needs only determination. If you are determined enough to enter college.
    salaries and wages

  3. UPDATE: China Daily Mail is very active again in recruiting for China ESL (Email harvesting and data mining) from their blog site. Be super careful of any unsolicited emails that leads to a phone call with a smooth-talking Australian who invites you for coffee or a Skype interview with his "colleagues" who always have high-paying jobs with great benefits. This is their M.O.

    But we have received information that Craig is now doing more than just recruiting. Our sources tell us that he is peddling the personal data of expat teachers to whoever wants to buy them for $500 a file. Once we confirm this we will post another update accordingly. - Ming

  4. In this site we expose most popular scam companiese of china
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  5. Thank you for waking me up to the realities of China's employment market, at least as it related to the teaching profession. I had a gut feeling my recruiter was not being up front with me and now I know why after reading this blog. I am going to send this link to everyone of my colleagues and uni classmates thinking about a China job.

  6. Note: of Beijing is NOT an NGO but registered as a private "for profit" company that was using the license of Kaplan for many years under the name of China-Bilingo. Even the Cuban-American Teaching Director that all the students loved had nothing good to say about this outfit that went through 21 teachers in just one year. Biggest gripes are unpaid overtimes, unpaid last wages, and sudden schedule changes.

  7. I love this idea to reinforce and practise using English. I am considering doing volunteer work in my community by teaching ESL and hadn't even slightly thought of using games

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  8. I appreciate language learning experiences. The fact that i read so much, and so profoundly, demonstrates the high level of your English.

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  9. hello everyone my name is David Valley I am THE David Valley and am indeed a real person to prove it here is my private Facebook account that has been active since 2007 to prove I didn’t just make it up: , also people say there are bad reviews from people in regards to how they feels towards chinaESL well here is some good reviews that I did come across to balance everything out for you guys: . I wanted to publicly announce on the internet that Dr. Rebecca Tang was and still is a close friend of mine but after long thought she decided to step down and go into other ventures for two reasons number one: she recently had a baby girl and would like to spend time with her child, husband, and family, and number two: there was too much internet conflict so we hired a new HR manager to take her place, her name is Rachel Chen who will be assisting any new workers from now on. Well to add to everything I am the owner of Valley Organization who is genuinely hiring people proving: a fair base salary, Z visa, airfare return bonus, and free accommodation, but people do have to understand when you sign a contract you do get these things included, but if the contracts do get breached in anyway, then the contract does get nullified and some privileges don’t get paid out such as final pay, and return airfare bonus, it’s important that people do honor their contracts rather than run off to something they feel is better, that’s not good character or honorable in anyway, however I understand a family emergency may come up, such as someone is terminally ill or someone died, of course with the proper documentations like death certificates and a doctor’s note to verify your claim then of course we will be reasonable and make an exception to your situation, also to make it clear with you people reading this, it’s not beneficial on either side to bring a teacher out here for nothing and rip them off, the real profitability is in teachers going to work and finishing out their contracts, because if we bring teachers out here for nothing then it costs us money to put people somewhere to stay

  10. English teachers is very important to the students in order for them to have a fluent mind in using English language that would help them to have an effective communication to the foreigners.

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  11. Green Gables is the Best International School, Cbse School and one of the Best International Schools in Hyderabad

  12. It is really an ideal thing that our children will have to learn all the basics of English language. It's because, this is the most number one thing that we will have to use for further communication.

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  13.  I appreciate language learning experiences. The fact that i read so much, and so profoundly, demonstrates the high level of your English. 

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  14. One of the most vile and reprehensible things any Ryan Eagle Scammer can do in World of Warcraft is to steal something from someone and then turn around and try to resell it.

  15. if you are not interested to teach you could join other careers related to the English Language such as interpreter, journalist,reporter, news caster, public relation officer and others which the English use is in high demand.

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  16. Please add Shenzhen Yaohua Experimental School to the list. This school is one of the worst places to work as a Chinese or Foreign teacher in Shenzhen, China. Please see these two blogs as examples:

  17. At Green Gables, we believe education is a natural ‘give and take’ where we learn as much from children as they from us; that our children transform us as we transform them.
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  18. Can someone clarify validity of this school
    Hangzhou Jiangnan Experimental School of Zhejiang.

  19. How about the shnycomn english school?is it a scam?

  20. How about the shnycomn english school?dave sperling/eslcafe is it a scam?

  21. I was using astrill vpn and cant load your site. Thanks to pure china vpn server.

  22. Thanks for sharing your thoughts here.

  23. Two other sites that is updated more often to check for the latest news and scams are:

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  25. Usually I do not read post on blogs, but I would like to say that this write-up very forced me to try and do it! Your writing style has been surprised me. Great work admin.sKeep update more blog.
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  27. Good news for every China job seeker...

  28. thank you for sharing such a useful information. where we rarely find the true facts about it. find some information about jobs here hr jobs in hyderabad .

  29. Is the desert recruitment service and Beijing Raymond international fake as well?

  30. This is probably the most hated website by all the China job agents and recruiters or maybe tied with this one

  31. Thanks for sharing,
    I am an Australian citizen, and due to isp throttling I am using Australian VPN, and it is working fine.

  32. This comment has been removed by the author.