Updated 9 months ago

Beijing is the capital of China and, quite understandably, the city that offers an abundance of professional opportunities for both locals and expats. Before moving to Beijing and starting an active job search, take some time to learn about the city’s employment market and potential career options.

Despite Beijing’s popularity in expat circles, the city has recorded a drop in new arrivals, and a large number of residents have left the city because of increasing pollution. If you have respiratory or cardio-vascular problems, it is recommended to consider other cities for permanent residence.


Beijing, first and foremost, is China’s political centre, which is reflected in the city’s economy, media and educational establishments. Its economy is mostly based on the service sector, accounting for 71.3% of the country’s 2.49 trillion yuan GDP. High-end manufacturing, IT, media and tourism are some of the key contributors as well. The city is home to Chinese headquarters of multinational companies as well as local enterprises.

Due to proximity to governmental offices, Beijing also houses regulatory financial institutions and market watchdogs. It is also home to the headquarters of the People’s Bank of China, the country’s biggest banking institution. Beijing has a highly-developed technical base and attracts a large number of high-growth startups as well as venture capitalist firms and investors. Agriculture plays an important part in the economy with the major farming areas located outside the urban districts and focusing on the cultivation of wheat and corn.

Job-hunting in Beijing

With Beijing’s important status and stable economic development, the city is in constant demand for high-level professionals in various fields, namely new technologies, engineering, pharmaceuticals, R&D, finance, intellectual property, media, education and others.

Marketing, advertising and consulting are also popular areas of expat employment. Naturally, China’s capital is a favoured destination for expat professionals and competition is high. Those possessing a mix of technical, bilingual and communication skills will have the biggest advantage. While being fluent in English is highly important to get a good job in Beijing, having a decent level of Mandarin can also be really useful in your career advancement.

Beijing is home to some of the best educational establishments in the country, namely Tsinghua University, Beijing University, Beijing Institute of Technology and others. There is also an abundance of private schools and language training centres in the city offering plenty of opportunities for those in the teaching field.

To find a job in the city, consult one of the many job hunting websites like Thebeijiner.com, Echinacities and others. Make sure your Linkedin profile is updated to reflect your latest experience, and current location in China -- a lot of big companies and head hunting agencies use the network to search for international candidates. You can also contact the city’s employment agencies and consultant companies (like Michael Page) directly to find a suitable position. Network in Beijing’s expat groups, attend business conferences and professional events.

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