Working in Russia



The global labour market has displayed vulnerability over the past years, but this should not serve as an impediment for any willing expat to move to Russia, as it remains far from crippled by the recession. This once iron-curtain country is now one of the top employment destinations in the world because of its dynamic economy and several income generating industries.

Russia, despite being on the brink of recession in 2014, is still one of the strongest in the world. In 2016, this country recorded a Gross Domestic Product of USD 3.745 trillion which is the sixth largest in the world by Purchasing Power Parity. Aside from being a top exporter of oil, precious metals and natural gas, Russia is also highly reputed for its billion-dollar arms and defence industry that employs around 2.5 to three million of the national population. Some of the top weaponry exports from Russia are ships, submarines, combat aircraft and air defence systems. Russia’s economy indeed experiences a significant growth in the recent years and expats bound here are sure to find promising career opportunities.

Top Job Providers

Russia is a highly industrialised country which is why most expats who go here found employment in the services sector which employs nearly 63% of the total work force. Services are also the leading sector of the economy which accounts for almost 60% of the national GDP. Employment opportunities in this sector are in the fields of repair of motor vehicles, personal and household goods, health, education, communications, transport storage, public administration, real estate and wholesale and retail trade.

The tobacco industry may be affected by the depression, but they still have vacancies for marketing, sales, finance and human resources. McDonald's also announced they are preparing to open 40 new restaurants throughout the country. Other top sectors in Russia where jobs are expats can find jobs are:

  • Mining
  • Manufacturing
  • Construction
  • Agriculture
  • Tourism
  • Aerospace
  • Telecommunications
  • Insurance
  • Information Technology

Average Salary

Generally speaking, the minimum wage (as of July 2016) is RUB 7,500 or around USD 135 per month. However, according to the Russian Federation Labour code, the minimum wage is established both at federal and regional levels which means that several minimum salaries exist across the whole country. The average monthly salary, on the other hand, is at RUB 112,480 or USD 2,000 whereas those working in mining, oil, energy and gas industries receive the highest average monthly earnings which are RUB 300,000 or USD 5,355.

On top of the per month take-home pay, some expats in Russia also enjoy paid work-permit costs, rent or 2-3 annual flights back home if the family turns down the offer to move, a private car for the spouse and tuition fees for the children.

Working Conditions

Foreign nationals making business trips to Russia, employed by foreign companies in Russia, or employed by Russian businesses are the only ones eligible for business visas and work permits.

"It depends on your place of residence - my one (Nevsky raion) is quite strict with this. So I spent lots of time for staying in queues and trying to meet with clerks responsible for this. There are plenty of requirements, not so helpful staff and huge amount of other immigrants (mainly from former soviet republics) who want to settle this as well." - MichaƂ Grelewski, Expat in Saint Petersburg

The working week in Russia is five days from Monday to Friday and comprises 40 hours for men and 36 hours for women. Business hours in Russia are from 09:00 AM to 06:00 PM for offices and 09:00 AM to 10:00 PM for service bureaus; hours may vary depending on the nature of the occupation. Overtime is paid at the rate of 1.5 for the first 2 hours then 2.0 for the succeeding hours.

Employees in Russia are entitled to 28 days paid holiday and 11 days paid public holiday, amounting to a total of 39 days per year. Employees situated in the Extreme North region get an additional 16 days paid holiday, making a total of 55 days per year. They are also entitled to a paid sick leave ranging from 60 percent to 80 percent of the salary. Women are also entitled to a paid maternity leave from 70 to 84 days before and 70 to 110 days after childbirth.

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