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Working Hours Of Popular Jobs In China For Foreigners

Working Hours of Popular Jobs in China for Foreigners

Over the years, more and more foreign workers have decided to take the opportunity and come to work in China. This decision may consist of adjusting to different working schedules in contrast with their home countries. English teaching, Information Technology, Engineering, and Advertising positions among others are part of the main niche for foreign workers in China. Throughout this article, we will discuss the different working hours for some of the most common careers for foreigners in China.

On average, workers in China work around 8 hours a day, 44 hours per week regulated by the Labor Law Department of the People’s Republic of China. Although the government regulates the legal working schedule, all workers are expected to work overtime. With the recent news and declarations made by Jack Ma Alibaba’s CEO about the popularly known 9-9-6, technology companies are implementing this approach, but this may not be the case for other industries.

Following, you will find some information about what should employees expect in relation to the working hours in China for the next job occupations:

  1. English Teaching
  2. IT
  3. Engineering 
  4. Advertising 

1.English Teaching and related working schedules

As stated before, English teaching has been the most popular profession for foreigners in China. There are two options for foreigners in the field; to work for a public school which includes from primary schools to universities. The second option for foreign English teachers in China is training centers. These are independent institutions that provide English courses principally in the afternoon and weekends. These two different institutions require different working hours and schedules as follows:

 Public Schools: 

–    Up to 16 hours a week Monday – Friday

–    Overtime is required and consists of attending conventions and in-school activities, commonly without additional pay.

     Training Centers:

–    Up to 20 hours per week Monday – Sunday

–    Overtime is sometimes required and paid,  consisting of additional tutoring for students and company advertising.


2.Working hours for IT professionals in China

Secondly, Information Technology careers are one of the other top markets for foreigners or expats in China. This market is constantly increasing because of the fast-growing rate that the technology field is having. The desire of the Chinese government to develop the tech industry to reach a higher global presence. This situation has created an increase in the industry that has not been fulfilled, creating a high demand for specialists in the field. Specialists in the field are scarce, corporations have found the need to hire foreign workers. Although, the so popular 9-9-6 is commonly used. There still are some tech companies following the traditional 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. work schedules. These positions are well paid for both local and foreign workers. Following is approximate of what a professional in the field should expect:

– Average 45 working hours a week Monday – Friday

– Overtime during the week and weekends is expected.


3.Engineering in China and related working hours

Thirdly, Engineering careers is another popular niche among foreigners and expats. You may ask yourself, why is it that there are jobs available in the engineering market for foreigners if China is an engineer maker? The reason is that Chinese companies are looking for engineer professionals from western countries that specialize in certain areas that local workers have had trouble accommodating too. Following is approximate of what a professional in the field should expect:

– Average of 40 working hours per week Monday – Friday

– Overtime is a common occurrence – by most local companies pay, among international companies vary.


4.Average working hours for Advertising Professionals 

Last but not least, as commonly known Chinese based companies are focusing on reaching outside markets and advertising has become a big factor for companies to develop. For this reason, companies are recruiting foreign professionals with experience in the western markets. Advertising professionals locals and/or foreigners  should expect the following:

– Average of 40 – 45 working hours Monday – Friday

– Overtime is expected



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