5 Reasons You Should Teach English in Russia

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Written By Matt Shannon

Teaching English in Russia has always been popular among English teachers. Today, it is less popular to teach English in Russia due to the current geopolitical and economic situation in Russia. This is unfortunate because Russia is a world-class destination to teach English. Russia is often overlooked as a place to teach English, but we are here to tell you why you should consider it. 

Here are 5 reasons why you should teach English in Russia.

It is Easy to Find a Job

If you start searching for countries to teach English, the information can be overwhelming. But what you really want to know is how do I get a job teaching English in Russia? Native English speakers are lucky that most of the world wants to learn English. It means that the demand for English teachers is very high in most countries. Russia is no exception. Since Russia is not even in the top 10 destinations for English teachers, the supply of teachers does not satisfy the demand. 

Many English schools in Russia are willing to hire you after a simple Skype interview. In more competitive countries, this is no longer the case. It can be quite difficult to land a good English teaching job before showing up in the country. That is not the case with Russia. You still need to be careful though when looking for jobs in Russia from abroad. It is very hard to tell whether a school is legitimate sometimes. They may also be legitimate, but the work conditions or pay are terrible, for example. 

If you are really serious about teaching English in Russia, we recommend you take a trip to Russia and set up interviews with different schools in advance. This is very easy to do a few weeks before you arrive as English schools in Russia hire all year round. This also gives you an opportunity to actually see where you will be working. 

Check out our article on why getting a job in Russia isn’t hard

Are you looking for English teaching jobs in Russia? We created the only expat job board in Russia at Expatriant Jobs. There are always many English teaching jobs in Russia advertised at any given time. 

For more information on finding a job, check out our guide to teaching English in Russia.

Salaries are High (Especially Considering the Low Cost of Living)

English teaching salaries in Russia are average when compared to the rest of the world. At any decent English school, you should expect at least 100,000 rubles per month. This is about $1300. Many schools pay much more than this too. If you have specific teaching expertise, the international schools pay US and UK wages to their teachers. Some private Russian schools also pay very well. 

$1300 might not sound like a lot, but it is almost double the average Russian salary. The Russian ruble was hit very hard in recent years and the overall cost of living, even in Moscow, is very low compared to any Western city. Don’t believe us, check out our article on the cost of living in Moscow. We should also point out that these salaries are usually based on 25 hours of class time, not 40 hours each week. At first, planning might take you considerable time outside of class, but after a few months, you can dedicate your out-of-class time to teaching privately. 

Private English teaching in Russia is where the best money lies, especially in Moscow and St. Petersburg. There are many wealthy Russians who are willing to pay very good money for private lessons. The typical hourly rate in Moscow for teaching English is around 2500 rubles or $30. If you have business experience in a particular industry, you can easily double or even triple that hourly rate. 

The key to teaching private English lessons in Russia is networking. Your network in Russia is very valuable and most other expats are happy to help introduce you to their friends. We have listed some of the best places to network with expats in our moving to Russia guide.

Russia is a World-Class Tourist Destination

One of the best parts of teaching English abroad is that you get to experience a new culture and see a country from a local perspective. This will give you an incredible opportunity to see the largest country on earth from a different perspective. 

Traveling around Russia is the best way to see the country’s diverse landscapes and people. Since you’re in Russia for an extended period of time, you will have time to see everything it has to offer. For an unforgettable experience, take the train around Russia. 

In addition to so much to see, Russia also offers an incredibly warm and hospitable culture. Maybe it is due to the Soviet past, but Russians love to meet foreigners. Don’t be surprised to be walking around in a small city and have people ask you if you need help. We have even been walking around a small city and been invited to have a meal at a local person’s house. 

In many countries, these experiences are uncommon today, but in Russia, if you put in the effort to learn about the culture and language, you will be rewarded with warm and open people. 

A College Degree and ESL Certificate are Not Required

One of the best parts about teaching English in Russia is that you do not need a college degree and an ESL certificate. For almost any job, either a college degree or an ESL certificate will be adequate. If you have a college degree, it does not make sense to spend money on an ESL certificate unless you are very serious about teaching English in Russia as a long-term career. 

If you don’t have a college degree, an ESL certificate will make it much easier to find a job in Russia. You shouldn’t have any trouble finding a job in either case. 

Fortunately, if you don’t have either a college degree or an ESL certificate, all is not lost. As we mentioned above, the demand for English teachers in Russia is very high and many schools are willing to hire just about any native speaker to teach English in Russia. Don’t count on getting a great salary or full visa support though. You can definitely supplement your income with private lessons. Typically, Russians don’t care as much about qualifications for private lessons. It is much more about your personality. 

Check out our guide to teaching English in Russia for more information on qualifications required. 

You Can Learn Russian and Practice Speaking

Many people who teach English in Russia want to learn Russian. Yes, Russian is a difficult language, but Russians are incredibly generous in their willingness to help foreigners learn it. In many other popular English teaching destinations, the languages are even more difficult, think China, Japan, Korea, etc. English is not widely spoken outside of the younger generation in Russia and in your daily life, you will need to speak Russian. 

Sometimes it can be hard to speak Russian in the center of Moscow. It is a global, cosmopolitan city after all. Once you leave the center of Moscow and St. Petersburg, it will be hard to find an English speaker. Russians absolutely love when you try to speak Russian and will do their best to help you learn. 

Looking for resources to learn Russian? We have a guide to learning Russian in Moscow


Hopefully, we have convinced you that it is a great idea to teach English in Russia. We have many resources at Expatriant that would be helpful in your search. If you have any questions about teaching English in Russia, let us know in the comments below and we will answer them.