There are several kinds of teaching positions available in Taiwan, with varying amounts of hours worked. They are as follows:
This is the most common employer of English teachers. Buxibans are privately owned after-school schools for children. They are generally open between 2 p.m. and 10 p.m. These schools will offer a teacher up to 30 (and occasionally more) teaching hours per week. Full-time work at a buxiban is considered 25+ hours per week.
Probably the second most common employers of English teachers, which are unfortunately illegal. The law states that children are not allowed to learn English before Grade 1. Kindergartens are occasionally raided, and teachers occasionally deported, but for the most part schools know in advance about raids (through connections), or will have a plan in case of a raid. Kindergartens generally operate from 8 a.m. to 3:30 or 4 p.m., but starting and ending hours may vary. Kindergartens, despite their illegality, are commonplace and often are able to give teachers work permits through association with a buxiban.
Many teachers prefer private students because the money is good and they are less stressful to teach than large classes of children. The hourly wage tends to be better as it is negotiated directly with the student or the student’s parents.
Teachers generally find private students by advertising on the Web, handing out business cards, and through personal connections.
Public school teaching jobs are harder to come by and generally better than other buxiban and kindergarten jobs. They usually offer above average pay, better benefits, and are tax-free (though this is not always the case.) Some have been known to offer half-pay for summer holidays. Public Schools are generally open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and usually offer teachers more hours than other jobs. Although some public schools require a teaching degree, most positions are open to any native speaker with a BA degree, or preferably an MA degree with experience.
These are very coveted and hard-to find jobs, generally filled by long-term expatriates. They normally pay much better than average wages and require a minimum of a Master’s Degree. The hours are extremely variable, including weekends.
Salaries and wages in Taiwan
The normal starting wage for an English teacher in Taiwan is NT$600 per hour. Some schools will start teachers at up to NT$700 per hour or more. A very few long-term teachers make in excess of NT$1000 per hour. If on a salary then expect to make around NT$65000 – NT$75000 monthly, depending on the type of school.
Foreign travelers may obtain tourist visas if they hold foreign passports or travel documents valid for more than six months in the Republic of China for purposes of sightseeing, business, family visits, study or training, medical treatments, or other legitimate activities.
Nationals from the USA, UK, Canada, Ireland and NZ are allowed to stay in Taiwan without a visa for up to 90 days. Nationals from Australia are allowed a stay without a visa for up to 30 days.
ARC is the name for the work permit in Taiwan. This is what you need to legally teach English in Taiwan. Many people still work as English teachers in Taiwan without having an ARC, but I don't recommend it. If you get caught working without an ARC in Taiwan, you could be deported on the spot and find it vary hard to make your way back here.
If you’re thinking about moving to Taiwan then the Alien Resident card (ARC) opens a lot of things previously unobtainable, allowing you to register for cell phones and library cards, sign a lease on an apartment, buy a scooter and more. Taiwan's ARCs are given on a yearly basis, meaning that the one you get first will expire on that same day the following year, and you will have to re-apply at that time.
Unfortunately, once you find a job, it's not as if the Taiwanese bureaucratic machine will automatically take care of everything, and then find yourself magically holding a shiny blue ARC in your hand…. you will still have a decent amount of work to do.
These are things you need to do and the documents you need to take to get your Taiwan ARC:
Health Check: In order to qualify for a visa, you need to pass a health check administered by the Taiwanese government. The health check is very basic and straightforward, making sure you don't have HIV or grave health problems. The cost of health checks seems to increase every year, and is currently at NT$1160. It will more than likely be conducted at a major hospital. You will need two 2x2 passport photos for the check; many hospitals have instant photo booths inside to accommodate this need.
1. Original passport and a single copy of it.
2. Two 2x2 passport photos.
3. Letter of Employment: Your school will need to draft a letter to the
government demonstrating that you are going to be hired as a full-time
employee, or that you have been approved as a college graduate.
4. NT$1,000:The fee for the Taiwanese ARC application is currently NT$1,000.
5. Marriage certificate, if applicable.
6. Birth certificate(s) of children, if applicable.
7. Some things in Chinese: Have a friend or local write your residence address
and Chinese name in Chinese if you're not comfortable explaining it or
writing it yourself. This will save you some headache during the application
Foreigners working with an ARC in Taiwan will have their wages taxed at a rate of 20% until they have stayed more than 183 days during a tax year. After 183 days, the government reduces your rate from 20% back to the regular rate. Which for most teachers this amount should be around 13%. As for the 183 days that you paid 20%, which is 7% more than the normal rate ,you will get this difference back when you file your taxes.
The tax rates in Taiwan are like most countries and depend on your total income for the year. Refer to the table below to see which tax rate you fall into. If you are single and unmarried the first 74,000 you earn is not taxed. If you arrive in Taiwan after July 2nd, there are less than 183 days left in the year. Therefore your employer will deduct 20% until the end of the year. No matter how small of an amount you earn you will still have to pay 20%, and you can't get a refund since you will have been in Taiwan less than 183 days in the year.