Are you looking for jobs in Russia? This guide will give you tips on how to find jobs in Moscow and St. Petersburg, what the employment field is like, how to get Russian work permits, and where to find jobs in Russia for English speakers.
Russia has diverse employment opportunities and ex-pats are often the best-paid professionals. According to The HSBC Expat Economics Survey 2014, ex-pats who work in Russia are ranked 13th in the list of highest gross income earners.
This guide to finding jobs in Russia for foreigners includes:
- What’s the employment market like in Moscow and St. Petersburg?
- Who can work in Russia?
- In-demand jobs in Russia for foreigners
- How to find jobs in Russia
- Visiting a recruitment agency to find work in Russia
- Russian newspapers with jobs in Moscow and other Russian cities
- Jobs in Russia for English speakers: Teaching vacancies
- Jobs in Russia for foreigners: Working as an au-pair
- How networking in the city helps ex-pats find jobs in Russia
- Hotel jobs in Russia
- Preparing a Russian CV and advice for Russian job interviews
Chances of finding jobs in Moscow and St. Petersburg – What’s the employment market like?
Jobs in Moscow
Working in Moscow and St. Petersburg has been a viable choice for those who look to gain experience in the construction and energy sectors.
Moscow is the country’s acknowledged financial and economic center. Its labor force makes approximately a quarter of Russia’s total GDP. Furthermore, the capital has the lowest unemployment rate in the entire country.
Russia’s biggest companies have their headquarters here together with a multitude of international corporations that have entered the Russian market. Therefore, Moscow is an attractive city for many expatriates as multi-national companies often look for English speakers or foreign nationals with specialist skills. If you’re looking for jobs in Russia for English speakers, Moscow could be a good choice for you.
Moscow’s economy is driven by the service sector and employs a majority of people. There is a lot of work for bi-lingual expatriates in hotels, restaurants, and other tourism associated jobs. As a center of politics and culture, Moscow is also a playground for experienced translators.
Significant segments of the people working in Moscow are in the manufacturing sector such as food processing, oil refining, and electronics.
The job market in St. Petersburg
Besides being a tourist Mecca and cultural center, St. Petersburg is full of opportunities for both temporary and long-term employment. According to the Federal Migration Service, St. Petersburg currently has more than 1.6 million foreigners living here. And by 2020, it is estimated that migrants will make up 2/5th of its workforce.
The labor market in St. Petersburg is smaller and less varied than Moscow and whilst prices for merchandise and services are almost identical, the average pay is about 2-3 times better in Moscow. The average income here for the resident is about $750 per month.
A contract of employment is always writing and made in two copies signed by both parties. The contracts should be both in Russian and English to be accepted by the Russian court.
Russian Labour Code states that there are three main types of employment contracts:
- Employment Contract with Free Text – most current contract with no exact term of validity, but it does contain the condition of termination.
- Employment Contract with Definite Time – the validity of the contract is up to five years and is only made when a temporary employee is offered a permanent contract.
- Employment Contract for Seasonal Work is valid for only two months.
Who can work in Russia?
All foreign nationals wanting to work in Russia (Moscow or St. Petersburg) must have a work permit. Federal Migration Service issues work permits that you need to acquire before applying for a work visa. Most foreigners require a full work visa to take a job in Moscow or St. Petersburg, but there are some exceptions:
- Those who already have a permanent residence permit do not need a work permit
- Those who are working temporarily for a foreign country, or often traveling outside the country. A Business Visa enables an individual to work in Russia for up to 90 days.
- Those employed in diplomatic missions, consular institutions, and international organizations of foreign countries in Russia.
- Media representatives accredited in the country.
- Those who are invited to the country to teach in educational institutions.
The process of applying for a work permit is different for residents of CIS countries (visa-free) and all other nationalities.
Non-CIS residents can apply for two permits – a standard work permit that is available for any salary level and permits for “Highly Skilled Specialists.” The latter allows you to apply for the permit in your home country, takes less time, and is valid for three years. However, to qualify, you need to have a minimum of 2 million R. annual salary. If working in an educational institution, the salary requirement is 1 million per year.
When applying for the Standard Work Permit so you can register for Russian jobs, the process is as follows:
- The relevant government department sends permission to an employer to request the work permit. Afterward, the individual submits an application to the Federal Migration Service with the documents:
- An application form completed in Russian. Can be printed or electronic
One-color passport photo
- A copy of the employment history, or an official document of an equal to the Russian Diploma of professional education
- Medical certification that states the foreign worker is not a drug addict; does not have HIV or any other disease
- Receipt of the application fee
After submitting all the documents, the permit is issued within 35 business days. Afterward, you can freely enter the country during the three months after the date of receiving the permit. The permit lasts for the duration of the job, although work visas should be updated every 12 months.
Candidates with specialist skills looking to work in Moscow and St. Petersburg can apply for Highly Skilled Specialists Work Permit at the Russian embassy or consulate in your home country. The process usually takes up to 14 days.
Nationals from CIS countries have simplified the procedure to register for a work permit. Individuals can apply for the permit at Federal Migration Service.
You are required to submit the following documents:
- An application form completed in Russian. This can be printed or electronic
A color passport photo
- Receipt of application fee
- The migration card or a stamp from customs control when you entered Russia
- Medical certification that states the foreign worker is not a drug addict; does not have an HIV or any other disorder
In-demand jobs in Russia for foreigners
Depending on your experience and background, finding jobs in Russia for foreigners might not be easy. There is a high demand for foreign experts in Moscow, but it is limited to specific sectors. Human Resources, IT, business development, and finance are most preferred.
Other options for ex-pats include teaching your native language, being a nanny, or working for multi-national corporations looking to hire native speakers. NGO’s or Russian companies that operate in the energy, finance, and construction sectors may also present opportunities. Internet-based agencies that track employment in St. Petersburg note that some job applicants far surpass some vacancies available in the city. The greatest demand for workers is in the following: sales managers, salespeople, drivers, skilled employees, and engineers.
The medical and pharmaceutical sector faces a deficit of skilled labor, while marketing specialists, lawyers, and advertising professionals are far too many. The most competitive jobs in Russia for English speakers are in governmental institutions, publishing, and mass media.
A high percentage of English-speaking jobs in Moscow and St. Petersburg are teaching English and translation work. However, it should be noted that a steady flow of work cannot always be guaranteed. English teachers should look at BKC International and English First.
How to find jobs in Russia
There are plenty of recruitment agencies and job websites with opportunities in Moscow and St Petersburg. However, they are best suited for those who are highly qualified and aim to hit bigger corporate companies. Most of those agencies require your CV to be in English sent by email or completed at their website. Another useful way to find a job in Russia is to contact international companies directly from your country and ask if they are doing business in Russia. Such companies are more likely to hire ex-pats to work in Russia.
Here are some useful websites with:
- Jobs in Russia for foreigners
- The Moscow Times Career Centre
- Jobs in Moscow
- The Escape Artist
- The Moscow Expat Site
- The Russian Connection Group
- Xpat Jobs
- Penny Lane Personnel
- Go, Go Jobs,
- Antal Russia
- Morgan Hunt
- Jobs in Moscow
- Russian jobs
- Penny Lane Personnel
Visiting a recruitment agency to find work in Russia
Recruitment agencies in Russia are a good channel to find Russian jobs. Most accept registration online and enable you to upload your CV. Some of the best recruitment agencies in Moscow and St, Petersburg are:
- Target Jobs
- Awara Group
- Global Vision
- Moscow City
- St. Petersburg.com
You can find out more about private recruitment agencies in Russia (in Russian) through the Russian Federation of the International Confederation of Private Employment Agencies (CIETT).
Russian newspapers with jobs in Moscow and other Russian cities
Moscow Times has a job section that occasionally features jobs for ex-pats. Unfortunately, the selection is limited.
Find part-time work abroad
It has become increasingly popular in recent years to seek work in a different country than you live in. The Good Care Group is always looking for new candidates in the caregiving sector in the UK. As a cross-border commuter, you benefit from living in your home country and working in another, providing the opportunity of embracing and experiencing a different culture. Living in-house also ensures you become part of a close-knit team and make a real difference to those who need it. You receive an unrivaled employment package including paid annual leave, 24/7 staff support, and flexible rota patterns, ensuring a healthy work/life balance.