Shanghai is a global financial center and one of the most important transportation hubs, with the busiest container port on the planet. The city is located in the eastern part of China in the Yangtze River Delta. In addition to the material benefits, working in Shanghai for foreigners in 2024 will not only provide invaluable professional experience in the country with the most powerful economy, but also provide an opportunity to learn the history and culture of this ancient Asian state.

Work in Shanghai

Modern Shanghai combines in an amazing way the western way of life and specific Eastern traditions. This beautiful city is called by locals and immigrants alike as the "Pearl of the East", the "Gateway to the World", the "Dragon's Head", the "Paris of the East". The active attraction of foreign investment and the development of international business and trade relations have greatly expanded the Shanghai labor market. Below, let's outline the specifics of labor migration, job search options, available vacancies and salaries in Shanghai in 2024.

Labor migration to Shanghai

Shanghai has a population of 24.2 million in 2024. By some estimates it is the largest city not only in China but also in the world. As in the vast majority of the country, the lion's share of local residents are Chinese (98.8%). In addition, about 150,000 foreigners, mostly citizens of the United States, Japan and South Korea, officially reside in the city. In reality, the numbers can be much higher.

In the last two decades, Shanghai's economic development has been going on at a stellar pace. In particular, industrial production growth is recorded, a favorable situation in the financial and banking services market, high technology and innovation are actively applied. All this causes a keen interest of job seekers from different parts of the world, who seek to find a job in Shanghai.

The problems of the megalopolis that migrant workers may encounter are water and air pollution, overpopulation, large-scale traffic jams and high demand for real estate. But on the whole, it is quite safe and comfortable to live and work in Shanghai. The city has an excellent infrastructure, low crime rate, a lot of historical sights and places for interesting leisure activities.

Labor migration to Shanghai

Employment in Shanghai is attractive not only for foreigners but also for Chinese citizens who live in less developed cities or rural areas. In addition, today's local young people get higher education in prestigious European or Chinese universities and are highly qualified. Therefore, the competition for jobs, especially those with high salaries, is enormous here.

The procedure for applying for an official job in China is very complicated. The main task is to find an employer in advance, which bears the brunt of the responsibility for hiring a foreign worker. By analogy with European countries, it is the Chinese company that applies to the local authorities for issuing a work permit and work visa (type Z) to the applicant.

Not many people can figure out Chinese labor laws on their own, that is why you should focus on searching for a job in Shanghai, actively cooperate with the employer and representatives of Chinese diplomatic department in their country. Additional consultations with subject matter experts might be required. One of the important conditions is a medical examination.

How to find a job in Shanghai

The largest number of migrant workers is concentrated in the business center of Shanghai, the Pudong district. There are up to 800 financial institutions in the city, about 170 of which have foreign investment. The Shanghai Stock Exchange ranks third in the world in terms of trading volume. In many large Chinese firms more than half of the managers are hired from abroad. For example, in North America and Europe such employees do not exceed 25-30%.

Prestigious and well-paid jobs in Shanghai in 2024 in the position of manager or specialist in the field of industry, information technology, medicine and so on, requires a high level of qualification, professional experience and skills. In addition, local companies are hiring less and less foreigners without knowledge of the Chinese language. For international companies at least English should be at an advanced level.

In order to find a job in Shanghai you need to be a true professional in your craft as well as take into account the culture and mentality of the locals. First of all, pay attention to major Chinese and international companies located in this city. For example, Baosteel Group, Jiangnan and Shanghai SAIC Motor Corporation, which partners with Volkswagen and General Motors. Write job offers to employers directly.

Search for jobs in Shanghai

A well-known newspaper in Shanghai –

Professional social networking site –

Popular job search sites in Shanghai

Be active on the Internet, visit thematic forums, groups in social networks and analyze information on specialized sites. If you can't find a job in Shanghai on your own, contact a trusted recruitment agency. Ideally, visit the city as a tourist to look around, try to establish business relationships and communicate with migrant workers.

Jobs and wages in Shanghai

Jobs and wages in Shanghai

Shanghai is the biggest commercial and financial center in China and the fourth biggest in the whole Asian region after Singapore, Hong Kong and Tokyo. Even despite a slight slowdown in the Chinese economy in recent years, there are jobs for applicants from abroad in such fields as biomedicine, microelectronics, high-tech, IT, education, retail, industry and the financial services market in Shanghai.

In the field of unskilled labor to find a legal job in Shanghai is almost unreal and also very risky. In addition, there is no financial gain from such employment. Jobs in Shanghai for students are available as volunteers, interns in Chinese companies or participants in the Au Pair program. Sometimes teachers and lecturers are needed. Often jobs in Shanghai are offered for girls with European appearance who can find jobs in modeling, television and entertainment business.

A significant incentive for labor migration to Shanghai is that salaries in this city are among the highest in the country. Unlike some other regions in China, the Shanghai municipal government raised the monthly minimum wage from 2,590 yuan to 2,690 yuan ($375) effective July 1, 2023. The average wage in Shanghai in 2024 is 10,967 yuan ($1,520). Skilled workers average more than 11,000 yuan ($1,525).

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