In recent years, many foreigners have flocked to Beijing to look for a job. More than half end up with English-teaching jobs that tend to pay more than most; a few find work with Chinese companies that pay Chinese wages; and the lucky few land jobs in non-Chinese companies that offer expat packages.
- English Teaching Jobs
1) Full-Time Jobs
The biggest names in English education in Beijing are : EF (English First), Wall Street English, and Disney English. These companies have branches all over China and have a solid recruitment process. They support your visa application and some of them have housing plans as well. Salaries range from RMB 8000 – RMB 20,000 per month ($1,240 ~ $3,100) which puts you in the upper middle-class range.
The biggest inconvenience may be the working hours. Most centers open after 11am and go on until 10pm, and weekends are peak days. However, with bigger companies, you’ll be guaranteed a 40hours/week schedule or whatever was stated in your contract. (Don’t forget to read your contract closely!)
Application : It’s safe to apply for jobs with such bigger companies online. A few of them prefer candidates with at least 2 years of work experience and having a TEFL certificate means you start at a higher pay scale.
2) Part-Time Jobs
A lot of expats find that part-time 1-on-1 English tutoring is the way to go. It’s not hard to find a center that will pay RMB 200/hr ($32) and you’re in charge of your own schedule. Summer is peak season and recruiters put up job posts on any expat sites (e.g. cityweekend Beijing, thebeijinger, etc.)
A lot of people find that they make more money working part-time for two centers than a full-time job. The only downfall is that many of these centers will not support your visa.
- Non-English Teaching Jobs
If you’re starting out from overseas and submitting job applications online, chances are, you’ll be doing that for a few months before realizing that without any GUANXI (connections), there’s very little hope.
Most expats in Beijing will tell you to bite the bullet and just get to Beijing to look for a job. The truth is, the job market for expats in Beijing is expanding but the competition is also very very steep. However, you’ll probably find a job you’re satisfied with in the first two months of your search. Finding the IDEAL job, however, is another story…
THE KEY : Attend all networking events in Beijing. The more popular networking groups are :
Internations : http://www.internations.org/
FC Club : http://www.fcclub.com/clubs/fcclubbeijing/
Chamber of Commerce groups
Even if you’re just out of college, MAKE A BUSINESS CARD for these events. Talk to anyone and everyone.
Here are some links to look for job posts:
TIP : When discussing salary, find out your monthly payment after taxes. Some foreign companies also offer health insurance and a roundtrip ticket home every year. If you’re also allowed a housing stipend – good for you.
Please feel free to post questions on this post. We love giving free advice!