Jobs Abroad in Shanghai, China

A Guide To

Working Abroad in Shanghai


90 Jobs Abroad Programs in Shanghai, China

Get Paid to Teach in China! Airfare and Housing Included on this Adventure of a Lifetime!

A job teaching English in China is a fantastic way to live overseas and get paid to travel the world! Armed with an International TEFL Academy TEFL/TESOL certification, you will be able to work abroad teaching English while getting paid. After taking our course, you can quickly begin working in major cities throughout China, Asia and around the world. Teaching English overseas not just an op...

TEFL Course Followed By Job in China

Global Training Academy’s TEFL course in Shanghai is the course to take if you are interested to teach in China. Not only does it meet the visa standards set by the Chinese government, the seasoned staff has more than four years of experience in the local education industry and can help you find the best jobs in the Middle Kingdom.

Au Pair in China

Indulge in the uniquely-remarkable Chinese culture through this job post offered by Smaller Earth. Based in China, participants may choose from around five program locations where the employment opportunity is available. As an au pair, part of their everyday task is to mentor the children of the English language in order to broaden their cultural education. Work as an Au Pair for up to 25 hours...

Teach English in China with LanguageCorps

As a LanguageCorps TeachChina English Teacher, you receive TESOL Certification, a guaranteed paid job, and unique training and services empowering you to thrive as a professional abroad. Learn and apply new skills while developing a wider perspective about the diversity of cultures and populations around the world all within the security of a guaranteed paid job, a highly organized system, a...

Knowledge Must

China has captivated the minds of people around the world for thousands of years. In recent decades, China has been widely acknowledged as a global powerhouse, from cultural exports to business prowess, from the fine arts to technology. Chinese organizations have long understood the value of foreign employees for enhancing the effectiveness of their work. With an increasing number of multinatio...

Working with Chinese children through LoPair Au Pair China

Do you think you are a children person? Kids always like you? Seeing children grow and be a part of that is one of the most exciting things in the world? Come and join LoPair Au Pair China program and stay with one of our amazing Chinese host families. Be the big brother/sister to your Chinese host kids, share your language & culture with them, and get to know the most authentic Chinese lifesty...

Au Pair Program in China

Are you dreaming to visit China but you still haven't made it come true? Now it is the right time! Au Pair Shanghai, an agency located in Shanghai,a member of IAPA and WYSE, offers au pair programs all over China. You can choose big international cities or smaller Chinese cities where you can get in touch with a real Chinese culture. You will stay with host families that we carefully choo...

SNMandarin Chinese Academy

Take part in a part-time Chinese study program offered with student visa support. The program is ideal for individuals interested in studying Chinese for business and communication purposes, but cant attend classes everyday. The Part time 12 Chinese course is offered three days per week, with four lessons each day. The Chinese lessons are scheduled on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Stud...

i-to-i TEFL

As a TEFL tutor, there may be a placement for you where you'll work closely with young students. Therefore, you'll need to adapt your teaching methods to meet the requirements of your students, so it's vital that you have an understanding of the specific needs of the age groups you'll be teaching. This course will prepare you for the many challenges and rewards of teaching young learners. Th...


China's legal world is an incredibly exciting and ever-changing landscape and there is a lot to learn from the differing and interesting ways in which the Chinese conduct business within this industry. A sound understanding of Chinese law is essential for successfully conducting business in China! An internship within the legal industry could land you in various roles. You could find yoursel...

Kaya Responsible Travel

Undertake worthwhile work experience relevant to your studies or future career and take part in this NGO and Community Service Internship in China through Kaya. Your internship will be tailor-made to your interests and the needs of the NGO. You will intern for a small to medium sized organization in Beijing or Shanghai. This is a brilliant opportunity to develop a deeper understanding of Chines...

Topview International Education (TopEDU)

Securing the perfect job in a foreign country like China is no easy feat. That's where we come in. Through our Corporate Recruitment Program, we help you navigate through the unknowns to get the job offer you deserve in your field in Beijing or Shanghai, possibly elsewhere. Our exclusive agreement with China's largest HR service provider for foreign-based companies gives Topview Internation...

Business Internships in China

CRCC Asia specializes in matching students, graduates and young professionals with over 400+ leading Chinese and multinational companies in their fields for one, two, or three month internships. As featured on The BBC and The Wall Street Journal, the CRCC Asia China Internship Program provides motivated students and graduates with invaluable international work experience in the second greate...

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Working Abroad in Shanghai

Shanghai beckons international job seekers from a variety of fields. Though business savvy folks might be at the front of the pack, designers, journalists, humanitarians, bankers, teachers, and others are trailing close behind. The expat life in Shanghai is sweet; a low cost of living coupled with competitive global salaries makes for happy employees (and a significant xiaolongbao budget!). But don’t let that fool you, because succeeding in the Chinese workforce requires resilience, determination, and most days, a sense of humor. Brush up on your chopsticks skills, pack your best business casual, and put your best guanxi forward and begin your search for jobs abroad in Shanghai!

Jobs Abroad in Shanghai

The expansion of China’s economy has led to more and more expats jumping at the opportunity to live and work in Shanghai. It is the commercial and financial center of mainland China, having achieved status as a Special Economic Zone as of 1990 and a Shanghai Free Trade Zone as of 2013. Both initiatives aim to allow ease and accessibility for foreign investments and convenient trade. Not to mention Shanghai’s location on the the mouth of the Yangtze River and proximity to the East China Sea have made it a popular trade port since the 1800’s.

The city’s booming financial sector as well as multinational and local technology companies are quick to hire skilled expats to fulfill high-need jobs in Shanghai. Professionals young and old interested in the fields of business, development, finance, law, education, advertising, and communications will not only be able to land competitive and fast-paced jobs in Shanghai, they will also benefit from exposure to other hard-working expats and local professionals in their field.

You do not need to speak Chinese to work in Shanghai, though it is highly encouraged that you memorize a number of key phrases to help you navigate the everyday workings of life in China. When applying for jobs in Shanghai, express early on your preferred working language. Don’t be afraid to search for job opportunities in Shanghai that will utilize your Mandarin skills, if you have them, especially if you are keen to work for a Chinese owned-and-operated enterprise.

Life in Shanghai

Shanghai is MASSIVE (think: nearly twice the size of New York City with three times as many people). The city is divided into two large areas by the Huangpu River, namely Pudong and Puxi. Pudong is the yin to Puxi’s yang; old Shanghai and new Shanghai meet in the middle at the infamous Bund.

Pudong, the largest district in Shanghai, lies along the east bank of the Huang Pu and is home to many of Shanghai’s esteemed parade of skyscrapers. In the early 1990’s, the area was largely farmland. Today, it’s China’s biggest commercial and financial center (talk about bringing home the bacon!). Most people who work abroad in Shanghai find job opportunities in the Pudong district.

Within Pudong there are several smaller neighborhoods: Lujiazui is the financial neighborhood (the Wall Street of Shanghai, if you will) with most commercial and international banks, as well as the Shanghai Stock Trade Center, the World Financial Center, and Jin Mao Tower setting up shop here. Jinqiao is the more suburban, residential neighborhood within Pudong, with plenty of international schools, Fudan University, trendy restaurants, and spacious parks.

Puxi, the smaller of the two main districts, is comprised of popular neighborhoods amongst expats, each offering their own unique look into Shanghai living for foreigners and locals alike.

Huangpu is known as the heart of Shanghai. The People’s Square, where the Grand Theatre and Museum are located, and Nan Jing Road, a famed shopping district, are found in Puxi. Neighborhoods Xuhui and Luwan make up the former historic French Concession area of Shanghai. This area is a fusion between French and Chinese, and despite renovation into a popular commercial center, maintains a unique pseudo-European flavor and architecture.

Living in Shanghai can be a dream for one person and a nightmare for another. But no matter if you are a big city slicker or not, those who work in China are most definitely privy to interacting with one of the most interesting cultures and peoples on the planet. Confucian values infiltrate everyday life, and from one street corner to the next you will weave seamlessly between old and new. A well-dressed Chinese businessman will pass while talking furiously in his smart phone followed by a parade of neighborhood chickens.

China surprises and delights (and sometimes confuses) foreigners without fail. Those who obtain jobs in Shanghai will not only be exposed to an unusual environment outside of the office, but also within. Practicing good guanxi (saving face) will be essential for you to succeed in the Chinese workplace. If you obtain a job in Shanghai at a Chinese-owned and operated company, you will have an exceptionally steep (but absolutely rewarding) learning curve to overcome.

Salary & Affordability

Your level of pay will vary considerably from company to company, based on your job, skill set, experience, and negotiation skills (you know, what you bring to the table). Potential hires are advised to treat their interview for a job in Shanghai with the professionalism necessary for any serious business venture.

To increase your financial worth when searching for jobs in Shanghai, consider: learning Chinese to be able to work bilingually, seeking jobs with foreign companies versus Chinese ones, and finding a job from outside of China rather than from within. The good news is that most expats earn higher salaries in China than locals. Generally speaking, pay for ESL teachers hovers around $20,000 annually. Those who work in advertising and marketing earn between $30,000 and $40,000 per year, while workers hired in finance can earn $50,000 and upwards.

The cost of living in Shanghai is relatively low compared to many places in the world. Breakfast in the form of a trio of delicious steamed buns may set you back only a dollar. Since China is a center of manufacturing, you may even find items of high quality, such as leather wallets or tailored suits, at a much cheaper price than you ever would at home. Just be sure to ask questions, because knowledge of Mandarin or Cantonese will get you far (or a friend) in Shanghai.

At the same time, Shanghai is still one of the more expensive cities in all of China. Depending on the neighborhood, apartment rent can hover easily around $1,000. However, daily necessities and basic amenities, such as utilities, internet, food, and transportation, tend to be very affordable.

Accommodations & Visas

Navigating housing can be tricky in Shanghai. Luckily, many employers are aware of this and will either provide temporary housing upon arrival, housing assistance, or a permanent place for foreign workers to stay. If you are left to your own devices when organizing accommodations in Shanghai, check out online expat networks or chat with colleagues to get insider tips on affordable neighborhoods or reliable real estate agencies.

Visas are notoriously difficult for foreigners to obtain for work in Shanghai, and China in general. You will typically need to visit the Chinese consulate in your home country, or submit a packet of documents (outlined exactly as demanded) well in advance of your move overseas.

Most companies will coordinate a Business (Z) visa for the duration of your job in Shanghai, if it exceeds six months, and demand a employment license from the Chinese authorities. Short term jobs in Shanghai will require a commercial (F) visa that is accompanied by an official invite from an associated company. The cost of work visas in China are around $140.

It is important to contact your placement provider or employer to navigate the in’s and out’s of Chinese visas and to find out how they can help you obtain the correct visa.

Benefits & Challenges

Navigating a culture as foreign as China’s is tough. Add that to the steep learning curve of adjusting to a new workplace (and new cultural expectations in said workplace) makes working in Shanghai doubly tough.

That being said, living and working in Shanghai can be incredibly rewarding. You will challenge yourself in unforeseen ways, grow in self-confidence, and truly experience one of the planet’s most fascinating and historic cultures.

When not killin’ it in the office, you’ll be free to explore the burgeoning cosmopolitan delights of the city. Hop on a train to visit picturesque Hangzhou or get your dose of tough-to-swallow history at the Nanjing Massacre Memorial Hall in nearby Nanjing. Just don’t be too hard on yourself when the majority of your paycheck goes to financing your new silk robe obsession.

Lastly, as one of the most cosmopolitan cities on the planet, Shanghai is no stranger to a foreign face. However, don’t be alarmed when the occasional Chinese tourist asks to have their photo taken with you!

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