Become a successful Native English Teacher (NET) in Hong Kong. Familiarise yourself with the basics of Hong Kong's education system and language policies. Here you will find an overview of the education landscape in Hong Kong and some useful information pertaining to teaching English in the city. Scroll down to view more details, or submit your CV right away!

About NETs and ESL teaching in Hong Kong

With both Chinese and English being the official languages in Hong Kong, the Government invests heavily in helping students to attain a high level of proficiency in English. One of the many important measures taken is the introduction of the Native-speaking English Teacher (NET) Scheme by the Education Bureau (EDB), which benefits public sector primary and secondary school. With the support from different sources of funding such as Government Additional Funds, Parent-Teacher Association and school sponsoring bodies, the recruitment of native English teachers (NETs) has also been made possible in all types of schools. In fact, many schools in Hong Kong hire NETs to support and enhance English Language learning and teaching. The recruitment of NETs is not limited to public sector schools registered with the government NET Scheme, as many kindergartens, nurseries and private schools hire NETs too.

Where can graduate teachers find ESL teaching opportunities in Hong Kong?

Talented ESL teachers are greatly sought after in both local schools and international schools in Hong Kong. While there are schools which directly employ their own NETs, a large number of institutions recruit NETs through agencies.

Overseas ESL job seekers and inexperienced ESL teachers are advised to seek help from a well-established agency that offers work visa sponsorship, sufficient placement support and career advice.

Graduate teachers tend to find more opportunities in the following types of institutions:

– Kindergartens/Nurseries (for students from 2 to 5 years old)
– Primary schools (for students from 6-11 years old)
– Secondary schools (for students from 12- 18 years old)
– Privately-owned and commercially operated learning centres (for students from various age groups)

What are some common job titles ESL teachers in Hong Kong are given?

ESL teachers in Hong Kong are often hired under the following job titles in local schools:

NET– Native-speaking English Teacher
ELTA – English Language Teaching Assistant
GELTA – Graduate English Language Teaching Assistant
GELT – Graduate English Language Tutor

Despite the variations in job titles, the job nature and major objectives of the above positions are more or less the same – to provide an authentic environment for children to learn English and arouse their interest in the language.

What is the salary range for
entry-level NETs in Hong Kong?

Monthly Salary Up To

HK$ 18000

The monthly salary range of a full-time entry-level/fresh graduate NET (with less than 2 years of local teaching experience) is from HK$20,000 to HK$25,000 (approx. USD$2,500 – USD$2,900). 

Click here to view more full-time job openings.

Hourly Salary Up To

HK$ 250

For NETs who teach short-term courses or projects on a non-regular part-time basis (e.g. after-school/weekend courses and private tuition), the hourly rate ranges from HK$250 to HK$350 (approx. USD$30 – USD$45).


What are the career prospects for NETs in Hong Kong?

After gaining 1-2 years of solid teaching experience in local schools, some NETs will make their next step up in their career by applying to the Education Bureau Native-speaking English Teacher Scheme (EDB NET Scheme), which offers a relatively more attractive remuneration package. Becoming a registered EDB NET is seen by many NETs as a good opportunity for career progression.

HK$ 20000
starting monthly salary of a registered Government NET in primary schools
HK$ 20000
starting monthly salary of a registered Government NET in secondary schools
HK$ 20000
monthly housing allowance for eligible government NETs

The monthly salary range of a primary school EDB NET (PNET) is from HK$28,725 to HK$58,345 (approx. US$3,867 to US$7,480) per month, and the monthly salary range of a secondary school EDB NET (SNET) is from HK$30,165 to HK$70,090 (approx. US$3,867* to US$8,986*) per month, depending on the candidate’s qualifications and post-qualification teaching experience. EDB NETs are also entitled to a housing allowance of HK$20,989/month and various fringe benefits if their normal place of residence is established to be outside Hong Kong.

Read more about the Government’s NET Scheme: http://www.edb.gov.hk/en/curriculum-development/resource-support/net/index.html

How can we help our NETs become an EDB NET?

While the popularity of the Government NET scheme in Hong Kong is reaching an all-time high, a lot of candidates have found the application and waiting process exhausting.

ESLteachers has partnered with an experienced recruiter, Eureka Language Services, who has made it their mission to help curate projects and opportunities that allow teachers to reach their goals in teaching—one of those goals being to get registered on the EDB NET Scheme. We are also proud to have witnessed a number of teachers successfully entering the EDB NET Scheme through Eureka. 

Eureka’s key types of career support include:

– Teacher training sessions

– Job interview advice

– Job opportunities in local schools that will allow teachers to acquire invaluable experience and knowledge of the Hong Kong education system

– A letter of recommendation for eligible candidates who have performed satisfactorily in their year(s) serving Eureka and its client schools

Who is eligible to become a NET in Hong Kong?

Entry-level native English teachers (NETs) in Hong Kong normally have to be:

For English teachers who are seeking visa sponsorship, the following documents are required:

Who is eligible to become an EDB NET in Hong Kong?

An applicant to the EDB NET Scheme should be a native speaker of English or possess native-speaker English competence. Preference will be given to applicants with at least 1 year’s post-graduate experience of teaching English (preferably as a second or foreign language) at primary/secondary school level or above.

Based on our experience, teachers with 1-2 years of ESL teaching experience at local schools will have an advantage.

Please visit the EDB’s official website for the detailed requirements:

Qualifications for Appointment of Primary NETs:


Qualifications for Appointment of Secondary NETs: https://www.edb.gov.hk/en/sch-admin/admin/about-sch-staff/net-scheme/recruitment-secondary-net.html

How can prospective ESL teachers apply for current job openings?

Check out our job board to see what ESL teaching opportunities are available. Submit an application if you are interested! Don’t worry if your ideal job isn’t on our job listings, we always welcome speculative job applications. If you fit all the requirements and we see you a potential candidate for future opportunities, our recruitment team will  arrange an interview (Skype/in-person) with you to assess your suitability and discuss options.

How many school holidays do local school teachers normally enjoy?

Schools in Hong Kong generally start in September and end around mid July. There are approximately 90 school holidays in a school year, including long holidays such as Christmas break, Easter break and Chinese New Year. To get a better idea of how a typical school calendar looks like, check out this sample calendar from the Education Bureau website: Calendar_1718_Eng

Local School NETs VS Learning Centre NETs:
how do they compare?

Non EDB NET Scheme NETs in local schools

EDB NET Scheme NETs in local schools

Learning centre NETs


Kindergarten, Private/Public Primary or Secondary Schools, etc.

Only Government Primary or Secondary School


Typical teaching hours

8am - 5pm

8am - 5pm

Vary from centre to centre. Full-day Saturday work is often required.

Typical working days

Monday - Friday; occasional Saturdays (e.g. Parents' Day, Open Day, special events, etc)

Monday - Friday; occasional Saturdays (e.g. Parents' Day, Open Day, special events, etc)

Vary from centre to centre. Full-day Saturday work is often required.

Paid holidays

Public holidays + School holidays (e.g. Christmas and New Year break, Easter break, etc)

Public holidays + School holidays (e.g. Christmas and New Year break, Easter break, etc)

Public holidays + Annual leave (approx. 7-14 days)

Starting salary

Approx. HK$20,000 - HK$23,000

HK$28,725 (PNET)/HK$30,165 (SNET) with housing allowance

> HK$23,000 

Teacher-to-student ratio




*The above table is for general reference only. Actual salary, working schedules and hours may vary from school to school.

Being a NET in a local school and being one in learning centre are two different kinds of experience. In terms of starting salary, learning centres are often able to offer more than local schools. Depending on the scale of the learning centre, the class sizes in learning centres are also usually smaller than those in local schools. If you are more salary-driven, or prefer to teach smaller groups of pupils, teaching at a learning centre might be the better option for you. However, do take note that you may not be able to enjoy as many holidays and weekend time off as you do in local schools. This is due to the commercial nature of learning centres, and also the fact that long school breaks (e.g. Christmas, Easter, Summer, etc) are the peak seasons to their business. 

Teaching in local schools, on the other hand, allows considerably more days off and relatively more regular working hours. If you are a wanderluster who intends to travel to different places while you are in Hong Kong, teaching in a school would give you more flexibility in terms of planning your vacations. Also, if you are planning to become a Government NET, definitely seize every opportunity to teach at local schools, as local school teaching experience is considered more significant.