Working in Shanghai

Hey guys, I'm going to finish my master program soon and looking to find a job in Shanghai. Any advice about the working visa and maybe recommend some firms to start? Im thinking to apply at Foster+Partners.

Apr 21, 14 11:45 pm

My suggestion is, if you can afford it, go for a week or two for vacation/interviews. If you're more adventurous, buy a one-way ticket. Don't worry about the visa: any company worth working for will have the process down and help you through it. 

Shanghai is amazing. I worked there for 3 years (2010-13). Feel free to message me with any specific questions. 

Do your research, there are a lot of resources out there on working in China. You may want to start with the following threads:

Apr 22, 14 2:53 am

Thanks for the suggestion man.. Those threads really helps... I appreciate it.. Do you know anything about the salary? I just have one year working experience in Taiwan when i was an undergraduate student. 

Apr 22, 14 10:45 pm

The question of salary is a really tough one in Shanghai. For someone right out of a masters program, I'd expect to see offers from 8,000 rmb/month to 20,000 rmb per month, then stepping up a few thousand for each year experience. The size and type of company you decide to work for will probably make the biggest difference in pay, with larger, international companies paying more. Unfortunately, there still seems to be some difference between "local" and "ex-pat" salaries, though I believe it's more equal than it was 5 or 10 years ago, and respected international companies will have policies against pay discrimination. 

Whether you can survive on 8,000 or 20,000 a month is up to you. I believe it would be hard to survive on less than 12,000 if you're accustomed to a "western" lifestyle, or if you have any student loans to pay back. Plan on paying 2000+ for rent in a shared apartment, 6000+ for a one bedroom. Prices on everything vary wildly depending on the type of place - a bowl of noodles and some dumplings at a small hole-in-the-wall restaurant could be 20 or 30 rmb, vs an entree at a western (or fancier chinese) restaurant could easily be 150 or much, much more. Nightllfe prices are on par with any major city in the world, with cover charges in the 10-30 USD range for dance clubs, beers at 60-100 rmb, cocktails generally around 100 rmb. It's all a little absurd.

Apr 22, 14 11:08 pm

Hi Evan,

I will have interview via skype with international office in Beijing next week for internship position (have a plan to be a permanent junior architect in that office after 6 months). I just finished my MA in Architectural Design in UK and have 1.5 years experience.

How much is the salary range for me? Im an Indonesian citizen (foreigner)

Im expecting at around 6000 - 7000 rmb for the first 3 months and then 8000 - 10000 for the months after. What do you think?

May 10, 14 11:16 am

Hi Edvan, 

Which firm are you going? Im an Indonesian as well, currently on master program in Taiwan, and hopefully I'm going to finish it in the end of June.. After that, I'm thinking to go to China to look for a job. You said you have a plan to be a permanent junior architect, do have the license of architect from indonesia? if you do, I will be very grateful if you willing to share some experiences about it..

May 13, 14 4:29 am

Hi fellow Indonesian! I just sent a message to your inbox...

May 13, 14 5:35 am

hi, are you interesting to talk to us? we are looking for an architecture designer in Shanghai.

Talk to me and send me resume if you were interesting.

our company website:

my email:

my skype:

my WeChat: +86 159 2114 0062

Shirley from TAG Architecture Design

May 13, 14 8:59 pm

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