Teach in Chengdu: The Complete Guide

Learn about the leisure and comfortable city of China and what to expect teaching here

Chengdu at a Glance

Where Is Chengdu

Chengdu is the capital city of Sichuan province. Geographically, Chengdu is in the center of China, far away from any ocean or border with any country. It is this distance from ports or different nations and cultures that has allowed Chengdu to develop traditions and customs that have stayed consistent for thousands of years.

Chengdu is located within the Sichuan Basin. Chengdu sits atop a plain, surrounded by mountains. While this has led to Chengdu’s flourishing of culture and civilization, it traps in cloudy weather and pollution that takes away from an otherwise vibrant city history and lifestyle.

the location of Chengdu
Distance from Chengdu to Shanghai

What Languages Are Spoken in Chengdu

The Sichuan dialect itself is highly diversified. In Chengdu, there has evolved a Chengdu-Chongqing dialect (成渝; 四川话) on the street. Official language Mandarin (普通話; Pǔtōnghuà) is used in workplace and for official communications.

Population of Chengdu

Chengdu's population is around 16,581,000 inhabitants. Based on the calculation of the number of resident permits, around 18,000 of these residents are foreigners.

In general, Chengdu's population has been growing steadily for the past two decades due to economic development and an excellent reputation for lifestyle and culture.

Weather in Chengdu

Overall, Chengdu is muggy in summer and cold in winter. The wet season is from May to September, while the dry season is from October to April. In general, during the entire year, the temperature in this city varies from 37°F to 87°F.

weather in Chengdu
Chengdu Temperature
(Photo from Weather Spark)

In 2019, Chengdu has 287 days with good or excellent air quality, which accounts for 78.6% of the whole year.

Teaching in Chengdu, China

Teaching Jobs in Chengdu

Chengdu Statistical Bulletin of 2019 on National Economy and Social Developmentshows that by the end of 2019, there were 56 universities and colleges, 87 secondary vocational education schools, 621 middle schools, 607 primary schools, and 2,630 kindergartens in Chengdu.

Teaching jobs in Chengdu are easy to find, and sizable expatriate groups in Chengdu offer supports to incoming foreigners.

While the pay for top teaching jobs is less than top salaries in other tier-1 cities, and average salary is somewhat lower than Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Tianjin, etc., many people find that the low cost of living and relaxing lifestyle allows increased savings and quality of life than these other big cities.

Average Salary in Chengdu 

Salaries vary drastically between different teaching jobs.

Some management positions, such as principals of international schools or well-compensated heads of studies, can make close to ¥40,000 ($5,744) a month. Teaching jobs make less if it works on reduced hours, for a public school, or training center. The average salary for most teachers in Chengdu is ¥17,829 ($2,564) per month.

Types of SchoolAverage Teaching Salary 
Preschool/Kindergarten¥13,500 - ¥19,333 per month ($1,933 - $2,768)
Public Schools¥7,000 - ¥11,200 per month ($1,000 - $1,600)
International Programs and International Schools¥16,500 - ¥23,000 per month ($2,363 - $3,294)
Private Language Schools¥13,688 - ¥19,938 per month ($1,960 - $2,855)
University and College Teachersup to ¥12,000 per month (up to $1,700 ) 

Part-Time Jobs in Chengdu

Part-time teaching jobs such as tutoring kids' homework, teaching spoken English to both children and adults are easy to find in Chengdu. The hourly salary satisfies most teachers, and are usually enough to cover their living cost in such a low-cost, relaxing-paced city.

Chengdu University Jobs

Chengdu attaches great focus onto higher education field. While there are not as many universities as Beijing or Shanghai, at least ten major universities on campus with a solid domestic and international reputation settle in Chengdu.

These universities include:

Sichuan University, University of Electronic Science and Technology in China, Southwest Jiaotong University, Southwestern University of Finance and Economics, Southwest Petroleum University, Chengdu University of Technology, Chengdu University of Information Technology, Xihua Technology, Chengdu University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Sichuan Normal University.

Some schools mentioned above are comprehensive universities that teach a range of subjects. Others focus on a few specific fields, like science and technology, information technology, and petroleum engineering, etc.

As far as formal teaching programs, many universities (for instance, Sichuan University), have foreign studies departments and/or programs that provide formal approaches to recruiting and retaining Western teachers. The best way for people who wish to work in universities is to visit and ask around campus for hiring information.

There are also formal recruitment programs, both with the university, businesses affiliated to the university, with professional recruiters serving as helpers.

Like other regions of China, university teaching jobs offer ¥7,000 - ¥14,000 ($1,000 - $2,000) a month, housing accommodations, etc. In exchange for this rather mediocre pay, there comes prestige, tremendous academic freedom, and lots of free time to enjoy the world around you.

Chengdu International School Jobs

According to 'Chengdu City & Salary 2020 Research Report', there are 47 international schools. International schools usually recruit ESL teachers, subject teachers (humanities & social science), and subject teachers (science & engineering). An ESL teacher can earn an average of ¥19,750 ($2,840) a month. But the average monthly salary of subject teachers is a bit lower than that of ESL teachers.

While such jobs may seem attractive with the combination of salary housing, medical and educational benefits is attractive, they often have stricter requirements.

Click and check more information about these top international schools with TTJ:

Chengdu International School Jobs
Chengdu international schools
(Photo from Beanstalk International Bilingual School Chengdu)

Chengdu Public School Jobs

Public school prepares students for official tests. Specifically, the ZhongKao (High School Entrance Examination) in 9th Grade and GaoKao (College Entrance Examination) in 12th grade determine whether a student can go to high school and university, and which school can they apply to register. These tests are high stakes, as they often determine future career design, job opportunities, social standing, etc.

Recently, there have been independent businesses that run enrichment programs at these high schools. While it is rare for a foreign teacher to be employed directly by the government as a public school teacher, it becomes a common case for a foreign teacher to work at a public school with an office at campus, teach all students at that school, in the ZhongKao or GaoKao curriculum, and yet simply be paid and managed by a private company.

Like regular Chinese public school teachers, a Western teacher who works at a public school will commonly have 10-12 classes, each with up to forty public school students each. While the curriculum is standardized, the personalization of teaching style is a challenging task that distinguishes good teachers from ordinary ones.

Training Centre Jobs in Chengdu

Extra off school study has always been expected for students in Asian countries. Typical families in China are willing to spend huge percentage of their income on children's education from their very early years as a supplement to school education. Thousands of training centers providing extra curricula sprout up every single city of China.

Quality of teaching, management, and salary vary among different training centers. Yet almost all training centers follow a strict “pay for performance” plan. Teachers who perform well command high wages per hour, whereas less effective teachers are often asked to find other employment. Based on 'Chengdu City & Salary 2020 Research Report', training centers in Chengdu mostly recruit ESL teachers, who can make around ¥16,813 ($2,418) per month.

Keeping the students happy is often of paramount importance. Often, this is done through a combination of being personable with students, as well as sticking to the enforcement of the English curriculum (which often has lots of homework).

Many training centers can obtain work visas for teachers who come from one of the nine native speaking countries. Many training centers also employ people (illegally) on a part-time basis and often come from countries outside these native countries. Either way, it is crucial to be a top performer. The teacher is productive and successful by being prompt, having a thorough knowledge of the material, teaching with organization and enthusiasm, and being very personable to these often-over-worked students.

Like any other big city, Chengdu has a mix of both big training schools and neighborhood centers. Well-known large companies like Wall Street English, EF, Longman, etc. have a corporate feel to them, and often have dress codes that reflect such things. Smaller neighborhood schools often have a more relaxed vibe, and can sometimes be a better fit than big-name places.

Chengdu City&Salary Report

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