can i save money whilst teaching in china?

Saving Money

For these three pillars, we are going to show you how three different types of people that have found a position through HiredinChina can have a fantastic time in China teaching whilst saving money. We have taken the average salary on our website of 22,000RMB a month and broken down the monthly costs. We have three personalities to illustrate our example, ‘Saver Sally’, ‘Traveler Tom’ and ‘Spender Simon’.

Saver Sally has come to China to take the opportunity of the extremely low living costs whilst fully knowing that the average income in China is around 4,000RMB, less than a fifth of what she’ll be earning when she’s teaching. She likely to explore the culture of her local city, eat out with friends locally and use the metro to travel to work.

Traveller Tom is about exploring Asia and wants to see something new every weekend. He’ll use Etravel Club on the weekends and fly somewhere for the national holidays. His focus is on travelling, so he’ll be saving like Saver Sally, only eating out a few times a week.

Spender Simon wants the highest living conditions available, spending nearly triple the national average on accommodation and monthly expenses combined. Fine dining, hotels in major cities, travelling, and shopping at international supermarkets for imported produce are things Spender Simon allocates his finances to.

Saver Sally


Income Tax: 3,295

Living Expenses: 2,500

Renting & Bills: 3,000

Commuting to Work: 100

Sim Card: 65

Travelling: 1,000

One Month's Savings: 12,040

Total Yearly Savings:


This is approximately £16,000 or 21,000USD

Traveler Tony


Income Tax: 3,295

Living Expenses: 3,00

Renting & Bills: 3,500

Commuting to Work: 100

Sim Card: 65

Travelling: 5,000

One Month's Savings: 7,040

Total Yearly Savings:


This is approximately £9,600 or 12,200USD

Spender Simon


Income Tax: 3,295

Living Expenses: 6,000

Renting & Bills: 5,000

Commuting to Work: 900

Sim Card: 160

Travelling: 3,500

One Month's Savings: 3,145

Total Yearly Savings:


This is approximately £4,300 or 5,400USD

Income Tax

Regardless of your earnings, 4,800RMB of your monthly salary is exempt from being taxed. From there, China’s government uses a progressive scheme that increases the percentage of your tax the higher your monthly salary. Take a look at the chart and examples below to get a better understanding.

Chinese Income Tax Chart

Here are two examples to help you understand the calculations needed to work out your income tax:

Example 1: Monthly income 20,000RMB, tax rate 25%, specific counting 1005. Tax= ((20,000-4800)*.25)-1005

Example 2: Monthly income 13,000RMB, tax rate 20%, specific counting 555. Tax= ((13,000-4800)*.2)-555

Licensed Teachers and IB International Schools

We offer a variety of roles that offer the earning potential of up to 31,000RMB monthly for certified teachers who are licensed in their own country. If you were to consider the same spending habits for the three pretend people highlighted above, Saver Sally would save 225,000/yr, Traveller Tom would 165,000/yr and Spender Simon 118,000/yr.

ESL Job Board

Access all our Teaching Vacancies in China on our ESL Job Board

Your FAQs

We’ve put together a Resources Page to answer your most frequent questions. From Saving Money, to Getting Your Z-VISA, we have gone into detail there.

Your school will apply for your VISA for you to work directly for them. We’ll be with you every step of the journey. We’ve created our own VISA Support Page. Remember, the VISA you’re applying for is a Z-VISA.

You will have a minimum of a one-year contract, that will be full-time. You can save a lot of money teaching in China, and we’ve put together more information for you to read.

When you are directly employed by the school, they will offer you insurance. This means private level care. Be sure to check your contract for sick days.

You will have to go through your bank to legitimately send money home. To do this, follow the steps they give you. Your school will help support you and will be able to translate anything you need.

That is fantastic news! Not speaking Chinese is great for your students, as you will be able to immerse them in English more. We’ve also put together an Essential Mandarin Guide, and Benefits For Learning Mandarin when you’re exploring.