Finding engineering work in China

Hi my name is Darius,

I am still living in South Africa but I am planning on moving to China in the second half of 2022. My partner is a Foreign English teacher in Xianyang. I would like to try and find Engineering work in China before I come. If anyone has information on this please assist. Thank you so much.

Hoping all works out

Hi Darius
As someone who has been living in China for 20 something years also working in a specialized field, aviation, I can only tell you that it will be extremely difficult for you to get on with a Chinese company simply because of the language difficulties. In a field like yours where a thorough understanding of both written and verbal communication is critical how will you deal with documents you might need such as schematics or blueprints or any other type, etc. being only available to you in Chinese? When you attend business meetings your colleagues are all going to be speaking Chinese. Chinese companies are normally hesitant to take on foreign employees because they may not have the desire or ability to have things translated for you constantly.   If you wish to work in China in your field I suggest you look for foreign firms that have offices in China. These companies often have difficulties finding foreign employees willing to relocate to China. So if you come along and you can match their requirements you may be an easy fit. And they can also help you to get the required documentation like visas.
Good luck and happy holidays
Bob C

Hi Bob,

Thank you so much for your reply and for the advice. I will consider checking foreign companies. The language barrier will be a problem as I don't know how to speak Mandarin. I am keeping my opinions opened. With the Pandemic it's made it more difficult but we hope for the best as time goes on.

Take care and regards
Darius C

I can tell you that it will be difficult for you to practice engineering inside of China. I know, as that is that I tried to do around 20 years ago when I first came to China. It didn't happen. My language skills were not up to par, and I was unwilling to accept the decrease in pay level.

Your best bet is to network with colleagues  who know people inside of China, and then try to arrange a work arrangement that way. It's difficult but not impossible. In the meantime, you must be studying Chinese 24-7 before you try to work in China. It's difficult, but not impossible, as I have said. Just keep doing it.

What many of us have done is taking on teaching roles. Teaching Chinese ESL pays better than Engineering, and it is easier to obtain a position. You might be able to work out a "package deal" with your partner's school.

Your appearance and accent (being from SA) would give you advantage in Marketing for the teaching role. Take advantage of it. And in all cases, please take care, be safe and welcome to China.

Hi Vannrox,

Thanks for the message & advice. I will consider this and plan before I come that side.

Best regards

Hi, well , i guess it depends on what Engineering you are doing in China . I have been here for 16 years or thereabouts and teaching English would not pay what i earn . Actually it might be better to look  through foreign engineering agencies that are operating here in China
So it depends what you do . I have many expat friends doing engineering making $ 1600,000-300,000 a year USD .  there is a lot of opportunity here for expats .
Keep Trying and Good luck .
Regards Sean

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