The spring of new professions

Updated: 2011-04-06 16:19

By Wang Chao (

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Zhang Lei has a bachelor's degree in architecture, but he is yet to design a building. Instead, as part of his job he visits newly decorated apartments to inspect the heating systems, gas pipes, sewage systems, window glasses and even the air quality in rooms.

Zhang says that he is not an interior designer or a sanitary inspector, but a property condition inspector at Home-brains, a leading property inspection company in China.

His job is not something that one finds being advertised frequently on job boards or newspapers. Rather they are part of the growing number of odd or niche jobs springing up, thanks to the diverse economy and growing purchasing power.

New professions are blossoming in China as the traditional job market is getting increasingly saturated. Job seekers are now turning to niche jobs fuelled by the growing penchant for personalized services. Demand for personal and luxury services, skills training and a host of other sectors are also galloping in tandem with China's strong economic growth.

In 2004, the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security came out with a list of nine new professions approved by the Occupational Skill Testing Authority Center (OSTAC) affiliated to it. Between 2004 and 2010, the ministry added 11 batches of new jobs, taking the total to 122.

Most of these jobs like locker repairer, jewelry designer and call attendant do not sound strange now, but were perceived as exotic back then.

To read more, please get a copy of China Daily European Weekly due to be published on April 8, or visit on the same day.


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