Working in Kazakhstan



Kazakhstan is as interesting a place as 100 different nationalities rolled into one, each with its own culture, beliefs and etiquette, and any expatriate wanting to blend in will have to find that common thread that binds them together.

At work, it is even more important to find one's place in this blend of custom and heritage, but doing so will be quite easy with a good understanding of the elements that keep everything in perfect sync. 


In Kazakhstan, about 8.8 million people are working, with 27% devoted to the industries, 23% in agriculture and forestry, 20% to education and 30% distributed to the government, construction, transport, healthcare, social services and military sectors. There are 20% more men working than women and there are no gender issues in a typical Kazakh workplace.

There is currently a massive wave of opportunity for people working and seeking to work in the oil and gas industries, but the government has always veered from solely relying on its mineral wealth. Instead, it has been drumming up other spheres of development including tourism, finance and services where job-seeking expats have so far been fairly successful. In the education sector, there is a surge of opportunities for English teachers as the nation gears up to produce globally competitive professionals.

The Kazakh government began to undertake its globalization efforts in 2007 when its coffers were boosted by a then-recent growth in its oil industry. Education became a top funding priority, with English teachers getting a hefty share of jobs that were opened. But aside from providing more employment, this diversification is also expected to work well in attracting foreign investments.

Salaries and Wages

Expats working in oil companies, government ministries, and foreign investors are earning an average of USD $ 12000 annually and comprise the most dominant labor force in Kazakhstan. However, teaching English as a Foreign Language has also fast earned a major share of the Kazakh job market. English teachers are making  up to $ 3000 a month with expatriates receiving impressive perks such as free round trip flights to Kazakhstan, a $ 1000 cash gift to be spent on clothing, furniture and other household necessities upon arrival, and great opportunities for extra income with most language schools offering evening classes for which the teachers receive overtime pay. Meanwhile, workers in less lucrative careers make an average weekly wage of about $114.

Working Hours

The Kazakh workforce is allowed up to 40 hours of work each week, but a reduced number of hours may be required of those who are under eighteen years old, disabled, or working heavily or under particularly hazardous conditions.

When it comes to jobs, Kazakhstan may well be one of those countries that offer the most opportunities for expatriates. It may not be one of the richest in the world, but its potentials certainly point to being so. With its significant reliance on foreign labor, expats will always have a place in this culturally and economically diverse nation right at the heart of Eurasia.


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Work Guide

Expat Services in Kazakhstan