Teaching English in Hong Kong

Living and teaching English in Hong Kong is like a kaleidoscope of life – a sophisticated fusion of East meets West and a city of diversity where new meets old.

Overview
Schools Icon
Schools
Salary Icon
Salary
Certificate
FAQ Icon
FAQ
Facts Icon
Facts

Overview

Teaching English in Hong Kong can reel in some of the highest salaries in all of Asia but it’s not the reason you go. You go because Hong Kong has a good vibe to it with some genuinely friendly people. It has an education culture to it so the demand for English teachers is high.

Salary are some of most lucrative compared to the global standard. But because the cost of living is also high, it takes a bit away from your savings. This is especially true for its sky-high rents (despite the small living spaces). The consensus from foreign teachers is that Hong Kong is very rewarding, but challenging experience.

There are some nice pockets of nature around Hong Kong. It’s safe and convenient to travel around on the MTR. The expat community is large and welcoming in Hong Kong to make you feel like you’re home. But pollution can be overbearing at times.

Schools

A Bachelor’s degree is a requirement for teaching English in Hong Kong. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a Bachelor’s Degree in Education. Instead, it can be any type of degree.

Employers check for TEFL certification, which helps you become a proficient teacher abroad. The two types of English teaching jobs are mainly in a language school or Hong Kong’s Native-speaking English Teacher (NET) program.

Native-speaking English Teacher (NET) – One of the top teaching programs to work for in Hong Kong is Native-speaking English Teacher (NET). This program recruits qualified candidates to assist in teacher and curriculum development in public-sector primary schools.

NET Hong Kong logo

Public school system recruiter that requires a bachelor’s degree, teacher training, and TEFL certificate.

JobsDB HK logo

Find English teaching jobs based in Hong Kong public schools and academies using JobsDB catered to native speakers of English.

TEFL Thumbnail TTA

Join the #1 ranked certificate program today, The TEFL Academy, for job placement opportunities.

Salary

You can earn a lot of money when teaching English in Hong Kong. No other country pays English teachers as much as Hong Kong.  You can make anywhere between HK$30,000 to HK$62,000 which is approximately $3,600-$8,000 USD.

But the downside is that it’s expensive to live in Hong Kong. Renting can cost a minimum of 15,000 HKD (2,000 USD) per month for a simple one-bedroom apartment. Everything costs more here so you can’t save as much as you’d hope.

But there are also a lot of benefits teaching English in Hong Kong. For example, it’s common to get bonuses for completing contracts, health coverage, and getting your flight reimbursed.

Certification

TEFL Thumbnail TTA

The only certification recognized in both the UK and USA for job opportunities.

TEFL Thumbnail Premier TEFL

An internationally recognized program with recruitment partners and internship.

TEFL Thumbnail myTEFL

An accredited TEFL certificate training institute with virtual and on-site training.

TEFL Thumbnail ITA

A top-rated TEFL provider with lifetime job search and alumni support services.

TEFL Thumbnail TEFLPros

An accredited TEFL program clearly focused on classroom teaching and lesson planning.

TEFL Thumbnail ITTT

A long-standing certificate provider with 20+ years of experience in TESOL.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much money can you make teaching English in Hong Kong?

Hong Kong is one of the top destinations for salaries. You can earn anywhere in the range of $3,600-$8,000 USD (HK$30,000 to HK$62,000).

What are the requirements to be an English teacher?

A Bachelor’s degree and clean criminal record are necessary. A TEFL certificate not only prepares you to teach English in a classroom, but it also helps you find a job in Hong Kong.

How bad are the crowds?

There are crowds everywhere in Hong Kong. You wait in a line for everything you do (buses, subways, at restaurants).  Hong Kong is densely populated and this can be an issue for people who don’t like confined spaces.

How expensive is it to live in Hong Kong?

Rents are sky high in Hong Kong. The bare minimum it costs for a rental apartment is at least $2000 USD. The average cost of food in Hong Kong is HK$200 per day, which equates to about $25 USD.

Are there riots happening there?

Yes. There are occasional riots directed to the north.  This adds fear and uncertainty for English teachers in Hong Kong. Try to avoid any areas of rioting and get into contact with your embassy if you run into any issues.

How bad is pollution there?

Depending on the wind direction, air quality index (AQI) can be hazardous (>300). But it averages about 80 AQI, which is still relatively poor.

Do you have to speak Cantonese to teach English in Hong Kong?

You don’t have to speak Cantonese to be an English teacher in Hong Kong. Although it’s a difficult language to learn, it’s helpful in the classroom and to talk to local people.

Facts

  • Hong Kong has the most skyscrapers in the world (Nearly twice the amount of New York).

  • Cantonese and English are the two official languages.

  • Hong Kong’s bun festival challenges participants to climb a tower to snatch a steamed lotus seed bun.

  • The Tsing Ma Bridge is the world’s longest road and rail suspension bridge.

  • Hong Kong has more Rolls Royce’s per person than any country in the world.

  • Despite being highly developed, 40% of Hong Kong is made up of parks and nature reserves.

  • Hong Kong means “fragrant harbor” in Chinese.

  • Dim sum is associated with Hong Kong and means “touch the heart”.