Moscow, Russia is still an exciting destination for expats. The city is the largest in Europe with a population close to 15 million. Unfortunately, the economic situation has made it difficult for expats and many have left since the political standoff with Ukraine began in 2014. That being said, there are still many expat jobs in Moscow and new expats are arriving daily.
Here is a look at the most popular expat jobs in Moscow.
Teaching English is one of the most popular expat jobs in Moscow. It makes sense, Russia is a massive country with low levels of English proficiency. Unfortunately, long gone are the days when you could just show up in Moscow and have wealthy private students willing to pay unthinkable sums of money for English lessons. That doesn’t mean there aren’t opportunities though for those who are ready to look for private students.
Salaries for English teachers can vary significantly in Moscow. The average salary for native English teachers at a reputable school is around $1500 or 90,000 rubles. Of course, there are many schools, which will offer less than $1000 per month so know what your value is when looking for a job. Most English teachers will supplement their income with private lessons. This is where the real money can be made if you are outgoing and willing to market yourself a bit. If you are teaching private lessons, depending on the student, you can ask for anywhere from 1500 rubles ($25) to 3500 rubles ($55) per hour.
If you are looking to land a job teaching English abroad, Moscow is an excellent, yet often overlooked destination. Due to the incredibly high demand for English teachers in Moscow, many English schools are willing to hire native-English speakers without much experience and sometimes even without any qualifications. Generally, if you come from a native English speaking country and have a bachelor’s degree, you can find a job at a language school in Moscow with ease. If you have a TEFL certificate, you will find more opportunities.
For more specific information on teaching English in Russia, check out our Ultimate Guide to Teaching English in Russia. You can read about the qualifications required, types of schools, and where to look for jobs. Expatriant Jobs is also a great place to look for English teaching jobs.
International Business Development
One of the most common professional expat jobs in Moscow is business development. Many Russian and Western companies are actively looking to expand their client base internationally and this offers an opportunity for business development professionals in Moscow. A common industry where it is common to see expat managers working in business development is professional services. The tech sector is also common. If the company is looking to market its products or services to clients who are in the United States or Western Europe, they will likely be using business development professionals from those countries. If you do not have much experience, this is also a relatively easy field to break into if you are willing to work hard, just know that business development roles often involve commission-based salaries.
Business development salaries for expats in Moscow can vary drastically, but it is quite common if you have a few years of experience to be sponsored by a company for a highly-qualified specialist visa. You can read more about visas in our Ultimate Guide to Russian visas, but essentially, a highly-qualified specialist must be paid over 167,000 rubles ($2700) a month. This is actually a high salary in Russia when compared to the cost of living. The average Moscow expat salary in business development is probably between 240,000 and 300,000 rubles ($4000 and $5000).
The best place to look for business development expat jobs in Moscow is Expatriant Jobs and if you want to learn more about working in business development abroad more generally, check out our article.
Another common expat job in Moscow is an English editor. Again, due to relatively low levels of English proficiency in Russia, and the global nature of business in Moscow, English editors are in high demand in many sectors. Companies looking to market their products and services internationally need flawless English and only a qualified, native-English speaker is capable of providing editing services.
Editing can be a demanding job believe it or not, especially at some of the elite professional service firms like law firms, the big four, or investment banks. These jobs typically involve working with consultants who serve demanding international clients.
Common companies that regularly hire English editors include:
- Alfa Bank
- DLA Piper
- Russia Today
- Thomson Reuters
Salaries as an English editor in Moscow can vary drastically based on the company where you work and your experience. Certain sectors like professional services or investment banks typically pay the highest salaries, but that isn’t always true. If you are working as an English editor, you can expect a salary of around 100,000 – 120,000 ($1700 – $2000) a month in Moscow at most companies. Of course, if you are at a top law firm, the salaries can be higher, especially with some experience.
Check out Expatriant Jobs for up to date expat jobs in Moscow. At any given time there are usually a few companies, which are looking for English editors.
Native English speakers who speak and understand Russian well and have translation experience are in high demand in Russia. There are very few native English speaking translators in Moscow, and anyone who works in the translation field knows that a great translator can only translate to their native language. Russian to English translators who have legal, technical, or finance knowledge should be able to find a translation job quite easily in Moscow.
A number of international law firms and consulting companies employ native English speaking translators to translate internal and client documents.
Salaries as a translator in Russia can vary drastically, even for native English speakers. A typical translator at a large Russian media outlet is typically around 120,000 rubles ($2000) a month. Many translators who have industry experience in law or engineering will find that the best option is to work as a freelance translator. For example, it is not uncommon to charge $50 an hour as a legal translator in Moscow. Many law firms will pay these rates and charge their clients double.
If you are looking for a job as a translator, check out Expatriant Jobs. Translation jobs come up for native speakers quite often in Moscow. If you are looking for freelance work, it makes sense to contact translation bureaus in Russia. One great example is Eclectic Translations.
Despite Russia’s reputation for repressive media, there are still many foreign media outlets that are accredited in Russia (as of December 2018, there were 298). In addition to foreign media outlets, there are many Russian media outlets that produce news in English as well as other world languages. Fortunately, for a career in journalism in Moscow, you do not need a degree in journalism, but of course, it won’t hurt. That being said, one of the top requirements to land a good journalism job in Moscow is the ability to speak Russian. Yes, you will be writing your stories in English, but you will need to interview Russians. Additionally, to keep up with current events in Russia, you will need to understand Russian. Many of the native English speaking journalists in Moscow do not speak Russian very well so this will give you a huge advantage.
Salaries in journalism are better than teaching, but unless you have considerable international experience, it won’t make you rich. That being said, you can certainly work your way up the ladder in Moscow much faster than you could at home. The typical salary for someone with no experience is between 120,000 and 150,000 rubles ($2000 – $2500) per month. If you are working at one of the top international newspapers like the Wall Street Journal or Thomson Reuters and have a few years of experience you can likely command a salary of around 250,000 and 300,000 rubles ($4500 – $5000) per month.
Besides media outlets, there are a number of trade publications, which also hire native English speaking journalists from time to time.
If you are interested in working as a journalist in Moscow, check Expatriant Jobs.
It may come as a surprise, but working as an au pair, governess, or nanny is one of the highest-paid expat jobs in Moscow. It changes every year, but the concentration of wealthy people in Moscow is one of the highest in the world. Moscow is also a competitive world city and wealthy Russians are always trying to give their children the most opportunities. One of the best opportunities a child can have in Russia is being a native English speaker, and wealthy Russian families are happy to pay very high salaries for nannies from the UK or US.
Typically, wealthy Russians live in large houses in the suburbs of Moscow, and it isn’t uncommon for them to have a large staff to cook, clean, and take care of the children. In many instances, a native English speaking nanny may be working alongside a Russian nanny.
Salaries for native English speaking nannies start at about $1500 per week. Yes, you read that right, most nannies make in excess of $6000 per month. When you compare this to the cost of living, nannies have incredible earning potential in Moscow. In addition to a high salary, the family usually also provides the nannies with accommodation either at a guest house or an apartment in Moscow as well as all expenses paid international travel with the family.
It is important to note that while nannies are typically female, there are many males working in the profession in Moscow and if you are great with children, your gender shouldn’t stop you from checking out a career or a year as a nanny in Russia.
Expatriant Jobs is a great source of opportunities for these types of positions.
If you are just starting your Moscow Job search, Expatriant is the number one resource for up to date information on expat jobs in Moscow. Expatriant Jobs is the only job board on the internet with only expat jobs in Moscow. For exhaustive resources on everything related to job searching in Moscow, check out our Russia Country Guide. We also offer customized career consulting for those of you who want a trusted advisor for your job search in Moscow.