since 2009 (my first teaching job) until now my salary has quite literally doubled this was from a kid with 1 semester of college to a BA in education and 7ish years of experience.
my chinese wife since I have met her, was a basic CC making 2000/m + bonuses for recruitment. now making 5000 base salary as a marketing director
@Tigertiger: We are talking about 2 different things. I'm talking about the economics behind the salary development, you're talking about personal experience from a moral stand-point. Considering you and me are not the only ones working in Kunming/China, we shouldn't put emphasis on our individual experience when discussing about country-wide developments.
At macro-level, most English teachers work here because of the relatively high salary (coupled with lack of other viable options). If their salaries for English teaching, in terms of PPP, would be much higher back home (or anywhere else for that matter) we would see teachers fleeing China and settling elsewhere. That's obviously not the case because, even with the slow annual increase, the English teacher's salary is highly competitive; especially considering how little it takes for one to become an English teacher in China (read: non-Asian looking face, preferably white).
WTF are you going on about? Rhetorical, please don't answer. I think you are overthinking. Be careful or you will be accused of being someone else.
Salaries in China for ESL are low compared to many other places. The advantage in China is that its probably easier to find a job here than anywhere else I would imagine.
I'm not sure 'most' English teachers work 'here' (I assume you mean China, not Kunming; & as opposed to where?) because of the salary - perhaps. I know a fair number of people who are teaching English in Kunming because they like living here.
although KM is a bit expensive for basics (food & lodging) - it's still less expensive and survivable on the current salaries for many (not most, but many) and the quality of life on those driveling salaries is sufficient - especially since most supplement with private tutoring/consulting, etc.
Even univ professors (domestic) supplement their incomes with private consulting gigs, although that was banned by Beijing - so they just call it something different to comply...