Mr. Chou received his preliminary education under private tutorship and joined the Middle School of Suzhou (Soochow) University in 1914. He graduated from Soochow University with Bachelor of Arts degree in 1921. After teaching at Shanghai Baptist College for two years, Chou Chung-chien went to America as a private student (1923). He received his Master of Arts degree from the School of Economics, Columbia University in 1924.
After his return to China, he joined the Shanghai Trading Company as vice-manager and concurrently held the following positions: professor at Government Chinan University and Shanghai College of Commerce, lecturer in Southern University, adviser to the Finance Department of Jiangsu (Kiangsu) Provincial Government and adviser to the Special Commissioner of Foreign Affairs for Jiangsu (Kiangsu) in 1925-1927.
Then Chou Chung-chien was appointed Head of Luxury Tax Department, Shanghai Surtax Bureau in 1927-1929. He served as a secretary of Finance Bureau, Special Municipality of Nanjing (Nanking) and member of Planning Committee, Ministry of Labor and Commerce in 1931.
He took the post of a secretary to Jiangsu (Kiangsu) Zhejiang (Chekiang) Fishery Administration in 1931 and joined the Bank of East China, Shanghai, as chief secretary and head of Business Department, since 1931. In 1933 he was elected supervising director of the same Bank.