Tuesday, March 20, 2012

What is a good salary in China?

What is the cost of living in Chengdu?

Living in Chengdu, I have met so many people from all walks of life!!!  My social life is booming.

Rent in Chengdu ranges from 200-2000 RMB/month ($32-320)

200 RMB is for a room in a three bedroom apartment (800 RMB/month; $130) where each bedroom is lived in by a different family/person and the kitchen and bathroom are shared.  This apartment is up by the train station, a not very safe location and probably very very old apartments.  Two people live in one of the rooms- a mother who is a motorbike pedicab driver who earns 3000-6000 RMB/month ($475-950) and even has time to play mahjong in the afternoons and her daughter who works in a clothing store who makes about 3000 RMB and gets two days off per month.

One of my friends, a college graduate, who worked for a tourist magazine lived in a furnished room that was 600 RMB ($95) in an apartment that she shared with one other stranger.  Her salary was super low at only 1500 RMB ($238) and she decided to quit to return to Suzhou, a much better paying place.

I heard that hairdressers make about 3000 RMB ($475) per month.

Teachers at my school make about 3000-4000 RMB ($475-635) and some of the teachers pay an apartment mortgage of 2000 RMB ($320).

I met an 18 year old student who still hasn't graduated from high school.  She makes 3000 RMB ($475) and is given free housing at her place of employment- a cigarette and alcohol shop that is open 7 days a week from 9 am-11 pm.  She gets 2 days off per month and gets 20 RMB ($3) per day for food.

The salary at the KFC in Gansu was 4 RMB ($0.63) per hour.  Here in Chengdu it is more like 20 RMB/hr ($3.17).

As a PCV, my living allowance is 1500 RMB ($238) but of course I don't pay rent.  Also, we get that special bonus when we return to the USA with the readjustment allowance.  Plus we aren't trying to support a family or think about future security.  1500 RMB is a sweet deal; although, it feels weird that an 18 year old non-high school graduate is making more than me.


mick241602 said...

... so what would you say is a comfortable salary? I am thinking of teaching in China but I want to be able to afford rent, clothes and a decent life style (nights out, western food if needed etc).

mick241602 said...

...so what would you consider to be a comfortable wage? If i want to work in China and afford western food, decent clothes, nights out and a bit of travelling... how much am I looking at?

王美安 said...

I have lived on 2500 RMB to 7000 RMB in China. A really nice wage is from 7-10,000 RMB. I was able to save 2/3rds of my salary eating out every day in a rural city that had western food.

If you want to regularly travel to the USA or Europe, you will need a salary around 10,000 RMB or more.