Mr. Ch’i Yao-lin became a Chin-shih, or Metropolitan, graduate in 1894.
Mr. Ch’i started his official career as magistrate in several districts in the Province of Zhili. In February 1908 he was appointed Taotai of the Yungting Ho, one of the five main waterways of Chihli. In January 1910 Mr. Ch’i was promoted to be Chief Justice of Chihli later called Judicial Commission.
In the early part of 1911 Mr. Ch’i was provincial treasurer of Jiangsu and in November became provincial treasurer of Honan. Before he arrived at the new post, he had been appointed Governor of Honan. In March 1912, when the Revolution was over, Mr. Ch’i was appointed the Tutuh or Governor of Honan. He held this position only for one month and then resigned. In June 1913, when the administration of military and civil affairs was separated, Mr. Ch’i was appointed Mingcheng-ching or Civil Governor of Kirin, his native province. In May 1914 he became Hsunan-shih, the new designation for civil governors.
In July 1914 Mr. Ch’i was transferred to be Hsunanshih of Jiangsu. In July 1916 the designation for civil governors was changed from Hsunanshih to Shengchang; thereupon Mr. Ch’i beecame Shengchang of Jiangsu. From July 8th to August 6th, 1917 he acted concurrently Tuchun of Jiangsu, being preceeded by Feng Kuo-chang and succeeded by the late General Li Ch’un. In September 1919, Mr. Ch’i was conferred the First Order of Wenfu. In 1920 there was some misunderstanding between Mr. Ch’i and the Jiangsu Provincial Assembly. The latter impeached him in the Assembly Hall and the former had to give up the post. He was, officially relieved of the post of Sheng-chang on September 18, 1920. Ever since that time, Mr. Ch’i was a resident in Tianjin.