Teach English in Taiwan

The mountainous island of Taiwan has been drawing teachers to its adventurous landscape and liberal communities for decades- and it’s not hard to see why. Those who teach English in Taiwan can cycle down roads with the Pacific Ocean on one side and volcanic rainforests on the other!

Here, enthusiastic students and welcoming locals combine with a mouthwatering fusion cuisine to create a truly unique TEFL experience in East Asia. 

The Taiwan English teaching experience may be one of the most desirable, but it comes with requirements. To teach English in Taiwan and explore one of Asia’s most diverse destinations, there are things you should know first. 

Requirements for Teaching English in Taiwan

Before you start searching for flights to Taipei (we know it’s tempting), there are requirements to note before teaching English in Taiwan. Many of these include admin-related to getting your work permit, alongside certain qualifications. 

For most people seeking to teach English abroad, the first requirement is related to having a degree, and Taiwan is no exception.

To land a job in a Taiwanese public school, applicants need a bachelor’s degree or higher- preferably in education. However, degrees in other fields are also accepted, providing you have a minimum of 1 year’s teaching experience in your home country. 

So, to secure a job teaching English in Taiwan via private education, you should have a degree in education, or if not, any bachelor’s degree alongside a record of previous teaching experience. By contrast, private schools are less strict when it comes to the classification of your degree. They’ll accept a bachelor’s in any field, as long as you have the TEFL certification to go with it. 

This brings us to the next part of the criteria: For teaching English in Taiwan, the main requirement is holding a TEFL certificate or similar certification.

While this isn’t part of the same legal criteria as having a degree, most private schools will require their teachers to have some relevant training.

If you haven’t secured your TEFL yet – fear not! The type of course required by Taiwanese schools (100 hours minimum) is easily completed online while you begin your TEFL Taiwan job search. 

As of 2019, the Taiwanese education department also requires a clean criminal background check for any teaching applicants. You’ll need to show this document before taking up any teaching position. However, getting this document is easy and inexpensive in most countries. 

Types of Teaching Jobs in Taiwan

In Taiwan, the huge demand for native speakers in schools where learning English is compulsory has created a wealth of opportunities. Luckily for us TEFLers, teaching jobs in Taiwan come in various forms: so there’s something to suit everyone.

From tutoring hyperactive grade one’s in a public school, to helping teenagers prepare for uni in private academies: there are myriad types of teaching English jobs in Taiwan.

Teach English in Taiwan at Public Schools

If you’re a qualified teacher with previous experience, the best teaching jobs in Taiwan can be found in the public school system.

Teachers here can expect to work a cushy 15-20 hour workweek during their 12-month contract and will need to stay on-site for the full working day (8:30 am – 4:30 pm). This allows plenty of time to work on those all-important lesson plans and ensure your evenings are left for relaxing!

Taiwan TEFL jobs in government-funded schools also give out an array of benefits. These range from overtime pay, leave, holidays and vacations.

If this wasn’t enough, there’s a performance bonus to be claimed at the end of the contract, where you can earn up to a full month’s wage: so teach your heart out!

Teach English in Taiwan at Private Schools

For those who aren’t yet qualified to teach: don’t worry! There are plenty of jobs available at private language academies in sought-after areas like Taipei. Teaching jobs in Taiwan at private schools don’t require their employees to be TEFL-qualified or have previous experience. However, you must have a Bachelor’s Degree. 

A typical private school job will have you working around 25 hours per week. This is slightly higher than in public schools. However, the benefits you’ll receive as a teacher in this sector more than make up for it; think reimbursed airfare, overtime pay, and accommodation assistance. 

At both public schools and Buxibans (private schools in Mandarin), those teaching in Taiwan can tutor students from kindergarten age, right up to high school level. And, if you wish to teach at a Taiwanese university, this is also possible provided you have a Master’s Degree in education and teaching experience. 

Universities in Taiwan usually hire foreign teachers to hold their English night classes, which attracts both students and business people.

So, if you’re looking to teach adults, have previous experience, (and are a night owl by nature), this could be the perfect type of English job in Taiwan for you!

When to Apply for Teaching English Jobs in Taiwan

Deciding to teach English in Taiwan is a monumental, and hugely exciting life change that shouldn’t be rushed. With this in mind, it’s best to apply for English teaching jobs in Taiwan a few months before jetting off! This gives you ample time to complete your own research, interview with companies, and secure your work permit. 

Hiring Seasons & the Academic Year

The school year in Taiwan is divided nicely into 2 semesters. The first begins in late August/early September and runs until the winter holidays in January. After a well-deserved Lunar celebration, students return to school in February until the summer holiday begins in July.  

With this in mind, those planning on teaching English in Taiwan should start the process in June/July.

If you’re reaching out to schools independently, this gives them plenty of time to complete the hiring process. And, this allows you to compare them with other schools in the meantime! 

However, looking for jobs in June/July is particularly applicable for those wanting to sign a 12-month contract.

If you’d rather commit to one semester and go with the flow, you should look for a job before the start of each semester. So, you can base your search in either June or October/November in prep for the second semester. 

National Holidays

For those wanting to teach in Taiwan after Christmas, it’s important to get your paperwork finalized before the Lunar New Year. This is the craziest, liveliest time of the year in Taiwan and the mother of all public holidays. 

Rather than having just one day off, the entire country grinds to a halt for 7 days of celebration. Everyone, including your future employers and those working in the embassies, will spend time with their families. So, make sure to get everything done before January! In 2023, the Lunar New Year began on January 22nd- a date for applicants to keep in mind. 

What Do I Need to Know About Teaching English in Taiwan?

Taiwan has historically been an Island that opens its doors to immigrants of different nationalities and cultures- including foreign teachers! This fusion of  Taiwanese, Japanese, and Chinese cultures means that those teaching English in Taiwan have the joy of experiencing multiple countries in one! 

Saying this, Taiwan is as rich in heritage as it is in modernity. Those who have secured their Taiwan TEFL jobs often praise the country for its high standard of living and desirable salaries.

However, working out your potential earnings when teaching in Taiwan can be tricky, as it depends on your experience, schedule, and the type of school you apply for.

For instance, someone with a bachelor’s degree and no prior experience will find work easily in Training Centers: a type of private school in Taiwan. 

These are attended by kids and adults seeking extra English classes in the evenings and typically offer between $USD 2,000-2,500. As they don’t adhere to the typical 2-semester schedule, work is available all year round!

Alternatively, those with more experience wanting to go down the private school route can apply for an International School.

These prestigious academies are attended by the children of wealthy locals and expats. As a result, they pay a higher monthly rate of around $3,000 and require a minimum of two years of teaching experience. 

Another great option for experienced TEFL teachers in Taiwan is working for a Public school. They offer a salary of around $2,500, a tonne of great benefits, and are notoriously competitive.

While Taiwanese students are generally enthusiastic, in public schools they are particularly well-behaved, which makes for smooth-running lessons! These jobs are also the best option for those enticed by big cities like Taipei or Kaohsiung. 

Where Should You Teach English in Taiwan?

Which brings up another important point to consider: where should you choose to teach in Taiwan

For those with a thirst for towering cityscapes teeming with street food, the capital of Taipei is a natural first choice. Here, you can secure a swish apartment with a view of the vibrant metropolis and the mountains surrounding it! 

However, if you hear the ocean calling your name, heading east is your best move. Hualien city is a popular teaching destination famed for its laid-back lifestyle and meandering coastline. You’ll have the Pacific Ocean in your line of vision, amazing seafood around each corner, and a buzzing expat scene. 

How much money can you make teaching English in Taiwan?

New teachers on the block earn around $600 NT per hour (about $20 USD). This equates to roughly $60,000 NT or about $2,000 USD. However, if you’re highly qualified, you can expect a monthly figure of $70,000 (around $2,400 USD). 

Are English teachers in demand in Taiwan?

Over the last 10 years, the demand for those teaching English in Taiwan has risen greatly. You’ll be able to find work throughout the year, often at “buxiban” schools which offer students extra English lessons. 

Is teaching English in Taiwan worth it?

Choosing TEFL in Taiwan is a completely worthwhile pursuit! You’ll get to experience a tropical island culture that’s unique to anywhere else in East Asia. What’s more, you’ll be opening new doors for Taiwanese students by teaching them English!

Can I teach English in Taiwan without a degree?

To work legally while teaching English in Taiwan, you’ll need to hold a Bachelor’s Degree. Many public schools may even ask for a master’s. Due to visa regulations, it’s nearly impossible for those without a degree to secure a teaching job in Taiwan. 

What is a good salary in Taiwan?

A good salary for those teaching English in Taiwan is considered to be anything above $USD 2,000. This figure is the typical salary for a teacher finding their feet. However, to live with many comforts, you’ll need to earn $USD 2,500 or more. Providing you’re a qualified teacher, this is very possible!

Is there an age limit to teaching English in Taiwan?

In Asia, the typical retirement age for teachers is between 55 and 60. So, providing you’re younger than 60, you’re good to go! There can be many benefits for older teachers, too, as Taiwanese society reveres the experience that comes with age. 

Do you need a degree to teach in Taiwan?

You’ll need a minimum of a bachelor’s degree to teach English in Taiwan, and this is a pretty strict requirement. It’s also important to note that public schools often require a degree in education, or even a master’s. Universities may ask applicants for a master’s or even doctorate-level degree. 

What’s it like living in Taiwan?

Teachers in Taiwan often praise the island for being one of the safest countries in the world. It’s LGBTQ+ friendly, low in crime, and offers an impressive standard of living. Plus, it’s easy to explore. The high-speed train services can link you from the city to the mountains in just a few hours!

How much can I save teaching English in Taiwan?

Those teaching English in Taiwan can live comfortably while putting some money aside each month. Many teachers report that, after the first 2 months, there’s the potential to pick up more hours and save between $USD 500-1000!

Why should you want to teach English in Taiwan?

Nowhere else in East Asia will you get to experience an island lifestyle while surrounded by both cultural and financial wealth. There’s something for everyone who wants to teach English in Taiwan, and you’ll be helping appreciative students along the way!

How much does it cost to live in Taiwan?

While not as cheap as in other Asian countries, living in Taiwan is very affordable, especially considering the high pay. It also depends on where you live: someone based in Taipei will pay around $USD 750 per month for rent, while those in coastal towns only pay around $ USD 350. On average, teachers can expect to pay around $USD 800 per month.


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