How do I find a non-English teaching job in China?

It's a common misconception that all foreigners in China work in the education sector. In this look beyond the chalkboard, I'll show you a few more occupations in China that pay well and are easy to come by for foreigners living in the country.


Chinese employment opportunities for foreigners in the entertainment industry are on the rise. As recently as a few years ago, music jobs for foreigners were confined mainly to the larger, more developed cities. To be successful in this industry, you'll need a combination of talent, experience, and opportunity, as with most other expat jobs in China.

Those who have already performed in their home countries should anticipate a higher salary and more prospects in China than those who are just starting out. Over the course of a weekend, a DJ with the appropriate credentials can earn tens of thousands of RMB. Other "enthusiastic amateurs," on the other hand, may take home a few hundred dollars or even just a few free beers from the bar for their efforts.

A more "professional" field, such as the music industry, would require a more methodical and structured approach to job hunting than what you'll find in China. Local expat magazines and websites, as well as bars and clubs, can be a good starting point for musicians looking for work. It is common for foreign acts to be hired to perform in hotels and clubs for a six-month period. These are the most visa-friendly positions in the music industry.

As an actor and a model

Expats in China can expect to find a lot of casual work in the modeling and acting industries, just like in the music industry. It is common for people to get paid "under the table" for a single day's work.

When it comes to making money, just like in the music industry, experience and reputation play a big role. If you have a good name in the West, you can expect a higher salary and even a job offer that includes a visa.

You can easily find modeling and acting jobs, both long-term and short-term, on expat websites or just through word of mouth. In many cases, being a "foreigner" with "blonde hair" suffices. There are occasions when actors are required to speak at least a basic level of Chinese in order to work in the Chinese film industry. The search for models or voice actors sometimes involves scouts roaming places with a high concentration of foreigners, such as colleges, and short-term contracts may occasionally lead to long-term commitments.

Managerial Positions

Managerial positions in big international corporations with a presence in China were traditionally filled from the Western headquarters. In the wake of Covid, many firms are looking to expatriates already residing in China for help with visas and inbound travel. Relocation costs and the cost of a decrease in performance induced by recruiting someone who has to adapt to Chinese work culture are also avoided by hiring locally.

Sales, marketing, and production are some of the primary concerns of these types of management positions. If you're looking for a long-term solution to your immigration woes, these solutions are a lot better bet than the alternatives above. A starting salary of 25,000 RMB should serve as a guideline for what you can expect to earn.

It's easy to find these kinds of jobs. Recruiting agencies may contact you if they locate your resume on an expat or recruitment website and want to speak with you about a position. However, it's not quite as simple to get your hands on them. At this level of employment, experience, education, and maybe Mandarin language abilities are often required.

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