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.

About NETs and ESL teaching in Hong Kong

Hong Kong has always been a popular destination for ESL teachers looking to teach abroad. The bilingual metropolitan is home to a large international expat community. The city uses both English and Chinese as its official languages. It offers access to a whole world of experiences and cross-cultural work opportunities for expats and the like. Hong Kong is an ideal place for teachers who wish to teach somewhere culturally different while still keeping some of the comforts and familiarity of home.

Why are ESL teachers in demand 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 schools. 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) is also 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 and private schools hire NETs too.


Is it easy for graduate teachers to find ESL teaching opportunities in Hong Kong?

As long as you have the right qualifications, skills and personality, the answer is yes! Even better if you have the right network of people and are represented by a reputable recruitment agency. Teachers with native-level English proficiency are immensely sought after in Hong Kong. Graduate teachers are more likely to find themselves in positions of Native-speaking English Teacher (NET) or English Language Teaching Assistant (ELTA) at local kindergartens/nurseries, primary schools and secondary schools. As private tutoring is commonplace in Hong Kong, some graduate teachers are also hired by parents to tutor children after school hours. 

With a large number of schools and language centres hiring through agencies, there are many benefits to connecting with an agency that has a large clientele and is experienced in working with foreign teachers. Job hunting in a new city and negotiating with employers can be daunting for graduate teachers who are just starting out in Hong Kong. Registering with the right agent makes all these tasks considerably easier. A good agency would provide their teachers with work visa sponsorship, sufficient placement support, career advice and even free training opportunities. 


Is teaching in China the same as teaching in Hong Kong?

Hong Kong is a Special Administrative Region of China. However, it is also an international city with a mixture of influences from all around the world, which has cemented the importance of the English language in its society. Because of this, Hong Kong’s education system, curriculum, school holidays and language policies are vastly different from those in Mainland China. While any previous ESL teaching experience would be helpful for developing your teaching career in Hong Kong, teachers who have taught in Mainland China should definitely not expect a similar experience in Hong Kong. Do keep your mind open and try to embrace the unique culture and education landscape that Hong Kong has to offer!


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$3,200). 

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).


Who is eligible to become a NET in Hong Kong?


As a requirement of the Hong Kong Police Force, teachers in Hong Kong should also complete a Sexual Conviction Record Check (SCRC).

Click the following links to learn more about the SCRC and its application procedures:


What are the career prospects like for NETs in Hong Kong?

After gaining 1-2 years of solid teaching experience in local schools, some NETs will choose to climb the career ladder by applying to the EDB NET scheme, which offers a more attractive remuneration package. An EDB NET is also known as a government NET. Becoming a registered EDB NET is seen by many NETs as a good opportunity for career progression.

HK$ 20000 /mo
Starting Salary of an EDB NET

The monthly salary range of a primary-school EDB NET (PNET) is from HK$31,750 to HK$61,415 (approx. US$4,080 to US$7,890) per month, and the monthly salary range of a secondary-school EDB NET (SNET) is from HK$31,750 to HK$73,775 (approx. US$4,080 to US$9,480) per month. The actual amount of pay is dependent on the candidate’s qualifications and post-qualification teaching experience. 

EDB NETs are also entitled to the fringe benefits (including Special Allowance, Passage/Baggage Allowance and Medical Insurance) if their normal place of residence is established to be outside Hong Kong.

For the latest information about the EDB NET Scheme, please visit the Government’s website: https://www.edb.gov.hk/en/curriculum-development/resource-support/net/index.html


How do we help our NETs become EDB NETs?

To be eligible for the NET scheme, teachers will need to meet certain teaching requirements. The number of these requirements you meet will have an impact on the priority you are given when schools look for teachers. Generally speaking, preference will be given to applicants with at least 1 year’s post-graduate experience of teaching English in local/public primary and secondary schools.

ESLteachers have partnered with an experienced recruiter, Eureka Language Services, who has a proven track record of helping its NETs enter the EDB NET Scheme. Eureka helps promising teachers pave their way for the EDB NET Scheme by offering a variety of career support, including:


Strategic job matching

Free teacher training

Ongoing career advice

A strong letter of recommendation

I worked as an ELTA with Eureka for three years before successfully applying to be an EDB NET. Of particular value to me was the training they provided at regular intervals. I’m grateful and thankful for Eureka for getting me started in Hong Kong.
— Jonathan B.

Watch these videos to learn more about the success stories of Eureka’s teachers!

How can prospective ESL teachers apply for current job openings?

Head over to 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. For an example of a school calendar, you may visit the Education Bureau’s website.