How to Become a

Chinese Instructor

The complete career guide to be a Chinese Instructor: salary, job growth, employers, best schools, and education you may need to get started.

Why We Love It

  • $69,520
    Potential Avg. Salary
  • 11%
    Job Growth Rate
  • Growing Demand
    Job Outlook
  • Dependable Daily Workload
    Career Attribute

As a Chinese instructor, your main role is to successfully educate different types of students such that they can have a fluent conversation in the language. In beginner level classes, you would focus on teaching simpler aspects of Chinese, while at advanced stages, you would also make students aware of the cultural elements of the language.

Recommended Schools

What is a Chinese Instructor?


As a Chinese Instructor, you are expected to perform the following tasks on a day to day basis:

  • Contribute to the development of the Chinese program which involves creating or updating courses online, advising tutors, working with student organisations or programs when required.
  • Make use of various media and training techniques online and in the classroom, such as interactive video, mentoring scenarios, international broadcasts and workshops.
  • Accurately review and grade regular homework for students, discuss and give feedback on exams or quizzes that support Chinese language learning.
  • Deliver on additional responsibilities like planning yearly course content, reviewing existing curriculum for different language levels and support study abroad opportunities.
  • Undertake the teaching of first and second year transfer-level courses in Chinese (Cantonese and/or Mandarin) from beginning to advanced intermediate levels, with conversation courses at various levels.

Day In The Life

As a professional Chinese instructor, you are responsible for directing or supporting teaching programs that provide professionals from different fields with foreign language communication skills and a good understanding of cultural dynamics, especially in the case of adult learners planning to work abroad. You will have the opportunity to pick and choose clients in the case of an independent business, otherwise you will be working with assigned classes at a private agency. You might also work as a school level teacher, in which case you will be spending the day planning class content and interacting with students of varying ages.

Work Schedule

As a Chinese instructor, you might be working in a classroom or if you are teaching private pupils, at their office or home. Usually, you will work at a climate-controlled environment with no exposure to any safety risks. If your place of work is a school, then timings are regular, between 9 am to 4 pm for a five day week, i.e. 39 weeks of the year with the rest as holiday. However, you will be marking from time to time, and that means longer hours. If you are part of a private language organisation, timings can vary widely. Most teachers have the liberty to make their own schedule based on the number of clients and their preferred timings. Teaching a group of adults is hard work but it is not as exhausting as working closely with groups of children.

Growth Of The Job

Language instructors advance to related positions such as a teacher trainer that guides other instructors on language theory and practice. The demand for teachers will increase steadily between 2014-2014, especially since many schools lack adequate foreign language instructors. Job prospects will be more promising in urban areas, where there are greater requirements for expert language professionals in various fields.

Typical Employers

Private language agencies and different types of schools are the most common employers of language teachers including Chinese instructors.

Recommended Schools

How To Become a Chinese Instructor

There are a few solid ways to build your professional credentials as a Chinese instructor. Firstly, the most convenient way to do it is by studying abroad for a semester or living abroad – in this case, travel to China. Irrespective of whether you stay with a host family or at a dorm, you will find various opportunities to have a close look at your adopted culture’s history, people, literature and art. In terms of educational qualifications, becoming a licensed teacher is necessary to teach at a public school. You must also be either a native speaker or fluent and literate in Chinese.

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, you can become licensed by successful completion of a Bachelor of Science degree in education or in Chinese instruction. Once you’ve completed your college degree, you may consider a master’s degree in the foreign language as well. There are specific states that will also need you to hold a master’s degree for licensure, and you will have to possess additional classroom experience or education requirements for states that don’t require master’s degrees. On an individual level, you must demonstrate oral proficiency in Chinese along with a familiarity of what teaching methodology works in the classroom.

Chinese Instructor Salary Data

We’ve provided you the following to learn more about this career. The salary and growth data on this page comes from recently published Bureau of Labor Statistics data while the recommendations and editorial content are based on our research.

National Anual Salary

Low Range




High Range


National Hourly Wage

Low Range




High Range


How do Chinese Instructor salaries stack up to other jobs across the country? Based on the latest jobs data nationwide, Chinese Instructor's can make an average annual salary of $69,520, or --- per hour. On the lower end, they can make $45,630 or --- per hour, perhaps when just starting out or based on the state you live in.

Salary Rankings And Facts

  • #202 Nationally for All Careers

  • Above Average Salary Nationally

Programs and Degrees

Here are the most common degrees for becoming a Chinese Instructor. a is usually recommended and specifically a degree or coursework that prepares you for the particular field, see below.

Highest Education Among Chinese Instructors

  • 43.3%   Doctorate
  • 35.7%   Masters
  • 16.2%   Bachelors
  • 2%   Associates
  • 2.4%   College
  • 0.2%   High School
  • 0.2%   Less than High School

Job Growth Projections and Forecast

2014 Total Jobs


2024 Est. Jobs


Job Growth Rate


Est. New Jobs


How does Chinese Instructor job growth stack up to other jobs across the country? By 2024, there will be a change of 4,100 jobs for a total of 41,300 people employed in the career nationwide. This is a 11% change in growth over the next ten years, giving the career a growth rate nationwide of Above Average.

Growth Rankings And Facts

  • #160 Nationally for All Careers

  • Above Avg. Growth Nationally

What Companies Employ The Most Chinese Instructors

Industry Current Jobs New Jobs Needed % Increase
Colleges, universities, and professional schools; private 14,100 1,900 2%
Colleges, universities, and professional schools; state 11,900 500 1%
Junior colleges; local 4,700 600 1%

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