Make it easier for foreigners to work and live in China
Help Chinese enterprises to recruit global talents
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Benefits Of Working In China
Working in China is a big step for many people, but it can be well worth it considering the financial benefits offered by employers and the government. High salaries and generous benefits packages are one way to attract top talent from abroad, and the low cost of living makes it easy for the smart you to save money.
It's no secret that the majority of expats working in China are teachers. It's no secret that foreign teachers tend to be paid more than their Chinese counterparts.
The lowest salaries for teachers tend to be around 5,000 RMB (US$721) per month. However, such work usually requires very few class hours. For example, it is not uncommon for university teaching positions to require only two days of work per week.
The highest salaries for teachers, mostly in international schools, are around 30,000 RMB (US$4,312) per month. In the middle are training centres (private educational institutions) and private schools in China, with monthly salaries ranging from around RMB 12,000 (US$ 1,725) to RMB 20,000 (US$ 2,875).
Don't worry if teaching doesn't work for you. Countless Chinese companies are also looking for expats to work as copywriters, editors, IT technicians, etc. Also, considering the entry-level jobs many expats get in China, they will be paid more in China than at home for the simple reason that being a foreigner is a commodity here.
Neither employers nor the Chinese government see the huge cost to expats of moving to China. As a result, they often don't begrudge financial benefits beyond wages.
In my previous job as a teacher, I had a 6,000 RMB ($862) bonus every six months to pay for airfare back home. Many other schools offer free accommodation or a monthly accommodation allowance.
In my current hometown of Shenzhen, my employer can reimburse me for airfare, accommodation, meals, Chinese language training and even laundry expenses as required by the city government. Employees can be reimbursed up to 40% of their monthly salary upon presentation of official receipts. For employees who move to Shenzhen with their families, they can also be reimbursed for their children's education expenses.
As a special economic zone, Shenzhen's government regulations on expatriate reimbursement are designed to attract foreign workers. Other cities have their own rules about what benefits are available and be sure to check them out.
Ultimately, before accepting a job in China, you should check the benefits package on your employment contract. Your monthly salary may seem attractive, but take into account the monthly bills and accommodation costs, as well as the cost of airfare home each year. Many employers will be willing to offer you benefits other than the high monthly salary, so look for the best deal you can get.
Cost Of Living In China
Maybe you don't get paid as much to work in China as you do at home, but considering the cost of living in most of mainland China, the cost of living in mainland China is still very low compared to developed countries.
The overall cost of living in China is on average 44.87% lower than in the United States, and of course, there are differences in the cost of living in different cities. The average rent for a one-bedroom apartment within a Chinese city is estimated at RMB 3,531 (US$508), compared to RMB 6,877 (US$989) in Shanghai.
Wages and benefit packages in Shanghai, Beijing, Shenzhen, and Guangzhou (the four most expensive cities in China) are likely to be higher than in second- and third-tier cities.
How much salary you can save while working in China will also depend on what kind of lifestyle you want to lead. In the long run, buying food at the local market, cooking your own meals, or eating at a cheap local restaurant will help you save a lot of money. However, eating Western food at expat bars and restaurants can be about the same price as in your country.
Of course, financial efficiency should not be the only factor in your decision to work in China. If you've been miserable the entire time you've worked in China, the high monthly salary won't comfort you. But on the other hand, if you end up eating up your savings, a fulfilling cultural experience may not be worth it.
When considering any job or life change, you have to look at everything in a balanced way. But given the efforts of the government and employers to attract overseas talent, many economic benefits await those who make wise employment decisions in China.