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Why Teach in Vietnam?

Hong Kong

Why Teach in Hong Kong?

Hong Kong is more than just a commerce hub and investment channel for Asia; it’s also a vibrant hotspot for the expat community. This tiny island boasts scenic hiking trails for nature lovers, water sports for adrenaline junkies, an international party scene for night owls and offers some of the best culinary experiences in the world. Unsurprisingly, Hong Kong has become a magnet for expats with some estimates suggesting that the western expat community is now pushing 1 million members.


Along with the fun-filled lifestyle that Hong Kong offers, the promising teaching opportunities are what make this island such an attractive place for teachers to settle down. You've got the option to teach in universities, language schools, international schools and public schools in an array of subjects like English, math, french, art. There's something here for everyone. 

While the initial cost of living may seem higher than most other Asian countries, there is definitely savings potential for those who land teaching jobs here. Teaching salaries are competitive and benefits make up for those costly expenses. There are even long-term opportunities that boast some of the highest teaching salaries in Asia...you're going to want to check it out. 


All in all, many teachers find that Hong Kong is a wonderful home away from home for both long-term places to raise a family and short-term teaching contracts to get a taste of the good life. 

Qualifications to Teach in Hong Kong

Public School

Native English Speaker: Required

Bachelor’s Degree: Required (preferably with an English major and recognized teacher training)

TEFL Certificate, CELTA Certificate or Equivalent: Required

Teaching Experience: Preferred

Criminal Background Check: Yes

Health Check: Not required

Public School MPS/NET Scheme


Native English Speaker: Required

Bachelor’s Degree: Required (preferably with an English major and recognized teacher training)

TEFL or CELTA Certificate: TEFL qualification with at least 250 contact hours + 20 practicum hours

Teaching Experience: Preferred

Criminal Background Check: Yes

Health Check: Not required

Private Language Centers

Native English Speaker: Required

Bachelor’s Degree: Required

TEFL or CELTA Certificate: Not required (but competitive)

Teaching Experience: Preferred

Criminal Background Check: Required

Health Check: Not required




Native English Speaker: Required

Bachelor’s Degree: Required

Masters Degree: In TESOL or Linguistics and/or Teaching Certificate Required

TEFL or CELTA Certificate: Required

Teaching Experience: Required

Criminal Background Check: Required

Health Check: Not Required

Don't have a TEFL yet? We can fix that.

If you want to get your TEFL quickly via the easiest course online, iTTT TEFL is the way to go.

This 120-hour TEFL Certificate can be finished as quickly as 4 weeks online. 


  • Become a highly competitive candidate with a TEFL degree under your belt

  • Increase your value as a teacher and thus increase your salary

  • Open the doors to landing a teaching job in practically any country in Asia

Important Note: Online TEFL Certificates are great for Language Schools and Private Academies; but for Public School Positions- you'll need an in-class TEFL Course!

Use our link and automatically get a 5% discount off your online course or a 5% discount off a 4-week TEFL course in Asia- applied at checkout!

How to Find a Job in Hong Kong

It's easy to find a teaching job in Hong Kong even before you step foot in the country- especially with private language academies. Some of the more prestigious teaching positions, such as University roles and public school jobs, however, are easier to lock down once you're in the country. 

Here are your options when it comes to landing a job in Hong Kong. 



Option 1: Apply to Teaching Positions Online



Revise your resume or CV to be as teacher-friendly as possible and apply directly to job listings online. Some schools post their teaching jobs directly and other schools use an agency.

You can find teacher positions in job forums here...

Or apply directly to some of the biggest English and International schools here...







Option 2: Go to Hong Kong and Search

You can easily enter Hong Kong on a tourist visa and shop yourself around to schools in Hong Kong.

The benefit here is that you've got an advantage by being able to interview in person! You can win the schools over with your charm and since you're already in Asia, you've made yourself a much more attractive candidate than strangers abroad.

Use the list of Private Language Centers and International Schools above to contact them directly online, letting them know that you're already in town. 

With the Private Language Centers, you can just show up, ask for the director or manager to introduce yourself and drop off a CV.

You've got nothing to lose!

Option 3: Take a TEFL Course and Land a Job


Immerse yourself in Hong Kong culture while you earn your TEFL degree!


The on-site TEFL Course in Hong Kong via Love TEFL offers you a once-in-a-lifetime experience to ease you into Hong Kong culture, language, and customs. You'll study in a classroom with other aspiring TEFL teachers from around the world and by the end... you'll come out TEFL certified and connected to a teaching job in Hong Kong. 

Sign up, and you can be in Hong Kong as quickly as next month or schedule your course 6-months down the line. 

Ps. When you apply through our site- you get a 10% discount!

What's Included in the Job

No teaching job is the same in Hong Kong- it all depends what kind of school you're teaching at and under which contract. However, as Hong Kong is a generally well-off district, you can expect your school to be able to provide ample classroom resources and materials across the board.


Typical teaching hours in Hong Kong are around 30 teaching hours per week (the universal norm) with about 10-15 office hours per week- no matter which school you work at. The difference will fall under the benefits you receive and expectations with which you must comply. 


Public School


There are 2 options when it comes to public school teaching jobs in Hong Kong: work directly for & get paid by the public school or work for the government & get paid by the government.

Public School Option 1: Work Directly for the School

This is simple. You apply to any public school position in Hong Kong, get hired, secure a work permit and begin teaching. Standard benefits are as follows...

Average Monthly Income: $2,500 - $6,000 USD (depending on qualifications)

Housing: Depends on the school- some provide a housing allowance and some don't

Flights: Provided.

Bonus Flights: Some schools provide flights home in between a 2+ year contract

Medical Insurance: Provided

End of the Year Pension or Bonus: Provided.

Vacation Time: Provided- National Holidays + School Term Holidays usually provided. That said, it is not uncommon for teachers to be required to occasionally perform school duties during school holidays. You should check your contract!

Contract Commitment: 1 year or more

Family Sponsored Visas: Provided.


Public School Option 2: MPS Plan or NET Scheme Jobs as a Government Teacher

Feast your eyes on the highest-paid teaching job in Asia- and in much of the world. Teachers who work their way to the top the EDB NET scheme are looking at a gig rounding up to hefty $150,000 USD per year with flights, bonuses and retention incentives. 

With the MPS Plan, you will still teach in Hong Kong's public schools, but because of your qualifications that allowed you to apply to an MPS position, you will be on the "MPS" (Master Pay Scale) track to receive generous raises and cushy benefits just like a resident teacher in Hong Kong.

Average Monthly Income: $4,500 - $8,000 USD

Housing: Monthly allowance (commonly around the tune of $1,050 USD)

Flights: Provided for you and your family

Bonus Flights: Provided - flight home every two years for you and your family.

Medical Insurance: Provided.

End of the Year Pension or Bonus:  Provided with a 20% bonus upon completion of the contract.

Vacation Time: Provided- National Holidays + School Term Holidays usually provided.

Contract Commitment: 2 years

Family Sponsored Visas: Provided


Some notes about MPS/NET Scheme positions


The Native-speaking English Teach (NET) Scheme was masterminded by the Hong Kong government to attract high quality public-sector teachers at both primary and secondary levels.

Teachers on this generous and prestigious track are paid like a government employee on a scale that increases your pay and benefits the longer you teach.

Some perks...

  •  Receive a pay raise for each additional year that you teach (until you top out at $120,000 USD).

  • Receive salary increments for recognized, relevant experience. You will be required to provide evidence of this experience.

  • Return flights home every two years for you and up to 4 family members

  • Build a retirement fund.

  • Receive a housing allowance.

  • Bonuses of 15-20% of your earnings every two years.


The catch?

It can take up to 3 years to receive MPS status. To get started, check to see if you qualify and then complete an official application form


Language Centers


Average Monthly Income: $2,200 -$3,000 USD

Housing: Typically Provided (If your contract doesn't include housing assistance, proceed with caution. You’ll need to make sure that the salary is high enough to cover your cost of living!)

Flights:  Typically Provided. (If you're school isn't flying you out, this is a red flag).

Bonus Flights: Not provided.

Medical Insurance: Provided – some offer a co-pay plan to join national health insurance system

End of the Year Pension or Bonus: Depends on the School

Vacation Time: National Holidays

Contract Commitment: 1 Year

Family Sponsored Visas: Not Provided

Visas for Teachers in Hong Kong

The process of getting a visa your General Employment Policy (GEP) visa for Hong Kong can be a bit tedious, but you've got your employer to guide you through the process, handling most of the paperwork and paying visa fees!

Your GEP visa will be valid for 1 year, but is super easy for your school to extend. 

Here's what to expect when applying for a teaching visa in Hong Kong...



Criminal Background Check

Copy of your Education Degrees

Offer of Employment

Completed Employment Visa Application Form

Passport with a minimum validity of 6 months

2 Recent passport size photographs

Travel & Medical Insurance (your school will handle this)



Step 1: Land a job!

Step 2: With the help of your school, begin gathering the above documents immediately. 

Step 4: Your school with submit all of the above  to the Hong Kong Immigration Department

Step 5: Wait around 4-8 weeks for your visa to be processed and then it will be ready to collect! 

Step 6: You will then be required to do a visa run from Hong Kong – to validate the visa. The easiest way to do this is to take the short ferry ride to Macau and back. This can easily be done as a day trip, or even within a few hours if necessary (make a day out of it if you can, Macau has a lot to offer too).



Step 1: Land a job!

Step 2: With the help of your school, begin gathering the above documents immediately. 

Step 3: Take these documents to your nearest Chinese Embassy to submit your forms.

Step 4: The embassy will process the documents and have your visa back to you within a week. If it has to be referred to the Immigration Department, it is likely to take 4-8 weeks.

Documents Required for a Hong Kong Visa

Steps to Apply for the GEP Visa while in Hong Kong
How to Apply for a the GEP Visa before you come to Hong Kong
Cost of Living in Hong Kong

Hong Kong offers some of the highest wages in Asia for English teachers- up to 120,000 USD per year. Unfortunately, it is also a seriously expensive area to live so don't plan on banking that entire salary just yet.

Rent is expensive compared to other teacher havens in Asia and that 'dining-out, bar hopping lifestyle' can add up if you've not careful. 

That being said, how much you spend and how much you save is totally up to you. It's possible to blow your whole paycheck partying and it's also possible to live a sensible, yet social life once you get your bearings. 

Here's what to expect in terms of cost of living in Hong Kong

(Prices are in USD roughly according to numbeo.com and individual research– Updated August 2017)




Day to Day Expenses




Compare your current cost of living to Hong Kong here.

1 bedroom apartment in the city center: $2,086

1 bedroom apartment outside of the city center: $1,385

Utilities: $165 

Taxi (1km): $1.50 

Local Transport 1-way Ticket: $1 


1 Dozen Eggs: $3

Chicken Breast (1kg): $6 

Loaf of Fresh White Bread: $2

Draft Beer (pint): $6 


Casual Restaurant Meal: $6.70

McDonald’s Combo Meal: $4.50


Cinema- International Release (1 Ticket): $23

Gym Membership (monthly): $75 

The Low Down on Hong Kong

Language: Cantonese and English are the official languages. Mandarin is also widely spoken.

Currency: Hong Kong Dollar (KRW rate here)

Type of Government: Hong Kong is a special administrative region of China.

Crime: Very Low! Check some stats here.

Public Transportation:  A commuter paradise! There are taxis, MTR (the railway), buses minibuses and ferries available to take you almost anywhere. They’re super easy to navigate and the Octopus Card (which has you covered for the MTR, buses, ferries and trams) is easy to top up everywhere!

Gay Friendly: Relatively. Gay pride parades occur yearly and gay clubs exist in the city, however social acceptace is still developing with more traditional-minded locals. 

What's it like Living in Hong Kong

Put a big tick in the 'pros box' of living in Hong Kong if food is your thing. Those of you that are after (arguably) the best Ramen, steaks or tapas bars in Asia – then consider Hong Kong a strong contender. And for you fancy pants...you can dine at world renowned Michelin star restaurants. Craving a bit of home? Some of the best western style food that I have ever encountered came from Hong Kong. The burger scene is unexpected and new pubs are popping up all the time as the expat population grows. No matter your taste, the food scene here is unreal! There are expensive restaurants, but it is also so easy to find incredible food on a budget.


The island itself is breathtakingly beautiful, too. Marinas, mountains, sparkling skylines- Hong Kong looks like a mini version of Seattle at times. While only 426 square miles big, there is plenty to do on this little island. Lang Kwai Fong (or LKF as it is affectionately known) is a party suburb where teachers and expats love to let loose. With heaps of hiking trails and water sport activities, it's easy to play up your adventurous side here.  


There are SO many expats living in Hong Kong so it’s easy to network. Getting bored of the usual suspects? There are always tourists coming in and out of Hong Kong, so finding someone who speaks your language and is up for a drink is a breeze.


Did we mention that the geographical location of Hong Kong is phenomenal? You can jump on a ferry to Macau, a train to mainland China, or a flights to practically anywhere in the world- especially in Asia for a weekend getaway. Flights leave frequently and budget flights are not difficult to come by.

All in all, get ready to live the high life as a teacher by day and an international mingler by night. 

What's to Love about Hong Kong?
  • Opportunity for long-term teaching positions with incredible salaries and benefits

  • The income tax rate here is low – just 5-17%

  • Expect an average of 16 paid public holidays per year

  • HK has one of the highest number of restaurants and cafes per capita in the world

  • Tons of hiking opportunities with 40% of its total territory being comprised of protected parkland

  • Diverse international expat community

  • Convenient location for international travel

What's to Dislike about Hong Kong?

  • Not a very car-friendly city due to parking spaces that cost a fortune

  • Serious air pollution, to the point where those with asthma should steer clear

  • Supermarkets are known to be a bit lackluster