Beijing is a truly cosmopolitan city with plenty of opportunities for native and foreign workers. The easiest work to find is teaching English, either independently or through a school. There are also many sites and expat resources to find work.
Expat and social forums are another resource for job seekers.
Teaching English is one of the most common jobs for a new expat. Qualification requirements vary considerably, from city to city and among different employers. For many institutions it is possible to teach without a degree or teaching certificate, but beware of doing so illegally as penalties can be severe.
The easiest way to get started teaching English is to find a school. The best situations are companies that pay adequately and aid in getting visa paperwork completed. These positions may be difficult to come by and there is fierce competition in some cities.
Applicants usually submit their resume and application, and if the school approves, the applicant will be asked for an interview. The interview may consist of a sample lesson or a grammar test. Some schools will throw teachers right in for a 90 minute class where the school observes and either offers the job, or does not.
It is common for new teachers to only receive a few classes at first. If they are able to prove them self reliable an be able to handle a class, they will gradually be given more classes. Many teachers work at two schools or also give private lessons.
These courses tend to be expensive, but in a competitive market they will make you a more desirable candidate.
It is also an option to work for yourself. Private Lessons are usually more profitable per hour, but a lot more work finding customers. The best way to get private students is to post advertisements in business newspapers, on bulletin boards, or offer your resume on expat site's like Easy Expat's job listings. Having basic native language skills will help expand your clientele as you can then work with beginners.
Private lessons in technical and business English at private companies is the most lucrative strain of teaching. These jobs are hard to come by without experience. Teachers must provide valid permits for these positions.
TESOL (also known as TEFL) is the acronym for Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. A TESOL certificate is the most common qualification required to teach English abroad. There are a wide variety of TESOL courses available, ranging from 4-week intensive, classroom based TESOL courses with TEFL International, to TESOL courses studied online. It is even possible to combine a period of online study with a shorter classroom based course. In addition to standard TESOL certificate courses there are also more specialized courses such as courses for teaching business English, or teaching English to young learners. There is also the more advanced TESOL diploma course.
To legally work as a teacher in China you need either a Foreign Teacher's Certificate (FTC) or a Foreign Expert's Certificate (FEC). Both are issued by the State Administration for Foreign Experts Affairs (SAFEA). In practice, most people get the FEC. Whether this is enforced depends on where you are, how well-connected your school is, and how much trouble they are willing to go to.
If you are planning on teaching, you should be strongly advised to enter the country on a Z visa. Some schools recommend entering on a tourist visa which they will convert, which is very difficult and you cannot work on a tourist visa. Working visas can only be obtained outside of China and require an invitation letter from the prospective employer. A health certificate will usually be obtained in your home country. The physical includes: EKG, chest x-ray, sonogram of heart and stomach area, blood test, and urine screen. Make sure to have the form stamped with the official seal of the hospital.
If you are caught working illegally, the fine is up to 500 RMB per day. Upon receiving a FEC, a Residence Permit should be easy to get.
An employment contract is standard for any working environment and in the case of student or short-term work, a student employment contract may be used. This usually imposes a time-limit between a student and an employer, with the student getting a salary for his/her work. Making a formal student work contract is not mandatory (it is possible to sign a standard employee contract instead), but may have additional benefits for a student position.
Showing the Expert's Certificate may entitle you to a teacher's discount on some products and services including domestic flights.
ISE Card (International Student Exchange Card) - An internationally recognized identification card with thousands of discounts in over 80 countries, it is valid for one year from date of issue. Students of ANY age are eligible, as well as faculty members and children to young adults from 12-25. The price is $25 and you can purchase it online at:
SIC (International Student Identity Card) - Full-time students 12 years and older offers discounts on travel rates, accommodations, shopping, entertainment, basic sickness and travel insurance, and inexpensive international phone calls. A passport sized photo is required and the card costs about $25 and is good through December 31st of each year. It can be purchased at:
IYTC (International Youth Travel Card) - A discount card for travelers under 26 who aren't enrolled in school, this card offers a smaller range of youth travel discounts. The card costs $22 card.
Visas are usually arranged by the program or company that arranges for your employment. If you are finding work independently, make sure to investigate your options and consult the embassy about your options. For more information on visa, consult the section on Passport and Visas.
|You will find information on voluntary jobs or internship abroad in our other articles on the left column of this page.|
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