A Guide to Becoming a Teacher in Hong Kong

For decades, Hong Kong has been known for its bilingual education system, attracting quality education professionals from around the world. This unique proposition has opened doors for talented individuals seeking a career in teaching. The HKSAR government currently provides financial aid to 594 primary schools, 512 secondary day schools and 63 special schools in the 2023/24 school year. Further still, as in September 2023, 71 schools are beneficiaries of the Direct Subsidy Scheme (DSS), a long-standing initiative aimed at enhancing the quality of school education. Under this scheme, schools have more room to design their own curriculum, set fees, and establish entrance requirements - global talents like yourself can often benefit from the agile structure of DSS schools.

Teaching Positions in Hong Kong: Opportunities and Responsibilities

Currently, public schools in Hong Kong actively seeking qualified individuals to fill teaching positions, including Assistant Primary School Master/Mistress (APSM), Graduate Master/Mistress (GM), and Native-speaking English Teachers (NETs) in aided schools, as well as Graduate Teachers in DSS Schools. There are also various teaching roles available in private schools. While responsibilities vastly differ across roles, all teachers, regardless of nationality, are expected to coordinate and fulfil professional duties in addition to classroom teaching. The multicultural and highly individualised learning environment also requires teachers to be agile and get creative to meet the diverse needs of students.

Requirements and Qualifications

To work as a teacher in Hong Kong, certain requirements must be met. While possessing a recognised and relevant Bachelor's degree from a local university or its equivalent is a common prerequisite, a local Teacher's Certificate or Post-graduate Diploma/Certificate in Education is also a mandate for those who wishes to teach in primary schools. Applicants for teaching positions should be prepared to demonstrate their teacher training experience, and language proficiency. As for talents with non-local qualifications, they must be assessed by the Hong Kong Council for Accreditation of Academic and Vocational Qualifications (HKCAAVQ). Additionally, anyone who wishes to teach in any aided primary or secondary school, or any DSS school, except those who wish to take the NET role, shall complete the Basic Law and National Security Law Test (BLNST).

Integral to accelerating the development of digital economy, the education system has placed unprecedented emphasis on STEAM development amongst students. Per the Education Bureau's policy updates, talents who hold a STEAM-related Bachelor’s degree can apply for APSM without prior teacher training under a Pilot Scheme. For more details, please refer to the Education Bureau.

Schools provide a diverse range of teaching positions, carefully deployed to meet specific needs and foster a comprehensive learning environment. However, it's crucial to acknowledge that these roles can differ significantly from one school to another, with additional institution-specific requirements. Therefore, it is highly advisable to consult individual schools for comprehensive details regarding the specific roles and responsibilities they offer. See the table below for a glimpse into some of the common roles typically found in schools:

Roles Requirements
Assistant Primary School Master/Mistress (APSM) in aided primary schools
  • Bachelor's degree from a local university or equivalent
  • Completion of the Basic Law and National Security Law Test (BLNST). For more details about the BLNST requirement for newly-appointed teachers, please refer to the Education Bureau website.
Teacher training in primary education or equivalent
Graduate Master/Mistress (GM) in aided secondary schools Preference will be given to applicants with a Post-graduate Certificate in Education or equivalent

Native-speaking English Teachers (NETs) in aided primary/secondary schools

Applicants should be native English speakers or possess native-speaker English competence.

For details of the qualifications for appointment under the NET Scheme in aided primary/secondary schools, please refer to Native-speaking English Teacher Scheme.
Other teacher roles in private schools To obtain specific information about these additional teacher roles in private schools, it is advisable to directly contact each individual school

Anyone who wish to understand more about the requirement and qualifications of the teaching role in Hong Kong, please refer to the provided details here.

Attractive Compensation and Career Prospects

Recognising the value of teachers, Hong Kong offers an attractive compensation structure for public and subsidised school teachers, while private and international school teachers enjoy even more competitive packages. An APSM working at a public school can expect a salary range from point 15 to 29 of the Master Pay Scale set by the Civil Service Bureau, equivalent to HK$34,060 - HK$68,875, or approximately US$4,358 – US$8,813; while a GM can earn from point 15 to 33, equivalent to HK$34,060 - HK$79,135, or approximately US$4,358 – US$10,125 respectively, depending on qualifications and teaching experience.

Hong Kong - A Prime Destination for Teaching Careers

If you aspire to work in a dynamic school environment with brilliant students and broaden your horizons in a world-class city, Hong Kong should be one of your top career destinations. Job-seeking resources are abundant, making it more accessible for individuals seeking opportunities from around the world. In addition to job-seeking platforms and local newspapers, you can also explore our Hot Jobs section or seek advice from our designated partners through our Supporting Services platform.

Your global perspective and passion for teaching are highly valued in Asia's World City and will play a crucial role in shaping the next generation of Hong Kong. Start planning your teaching journey today, and we look forward to seeing you in the classroom!