Teaching English in Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan Overview

Despite strict visa and work permit restrictions, opportunities to teach English in Kazakhstan have been growing in number. Evidently, some of these positions are for citizens of a wider range of countries than you might expect. For example, since 2009 Filipinos have been encouraged to teach in the country. A degree and teaching certificate is required although you do not necessarily need to be experienced. Note that accommodation costs are very high and that salaries only go part of the way to reflecting that.

Type of Institution Typical salary (USD/month) Typical hours Typical annual leave
Language centres 1,500 – 1,800 Various but sometimes 6 days a week 2 weeks plus national holidays
International schools 2,000 upwards 8am – 4pm Monday to Friday plus some weekend work 10 weeks plus national holidays

Main places for jobs

Almaty, Astana.

Typical requirements

Degree, TEFL certificate.

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1. Experienced teachers are advised to see if there are any vacancies at local universities as these positions will usually offer the best terms and conditions of employment.

2. Because of high accommodation costs, you will probably need some savings to rely on initially.

3. It is probably not a good idea to mention Borat!

Red tape

There is a huge amount of bureaucracy to deal with in Kazakhstan. You are supposed to carry your passport with you at all times or potentially face a large fine. Corruption is fairly common but can be avoided by those with sufficient perseverance. Visas should be arranged before travelling to Kazakhstan.

Cost of living

The cost of accommodation in Kazakhstan is surprisingly high but transport costs are low (with the exception of the over-charging for taxis to airports).

Tax and salary information

Salaries for English language teachers in Kazakhstan appear to be tax-free at present!


A growing number of opportunities for English teachers of various nationalities Very expensive accommodation costs
Kazakhstan is a beautiful country with lots of outdoor activities possible on your days off Recent changes in the law have made it more costly and time-consuming for language centres to employ native English speakers
A booming economy means demands for the IELTS examination is high It is not especially safe to go out alone at night as crime is quite high

Directory of Recommended Schools, Language Centres and Recruitment Agencies

Would you like your school, language centre or recruitment agency to be listed here? Please contact us.

Qualified English teachers please register with World of TEFL and we will contact you with relevant vacancies as they come in. This is a free service for teachers.


  1. Jasminka says:

    I am the Certified TEFL English Teacher and I an interested to work there,where I can apply?

  2. winter_icemelt says:

    I do not encourage my fellow English teachers to work for government or public schools (except at NIS) in Kazakhstan because the salary is very low. I have been teaching here for more than four years but I have never received any increase.

  3. staind27 says:

    I’ve been offered an ELT job in a language center in Karaganda. Can anyone tell me how the living conditions are? Are teacher’s salary not really taxed? Offer is between 185,000-190,000. Is that enough to spend AND save? Or will my all of my salary just go to living expenses?

  4. JMestalla says:

    Degree is not required to teach in KZ if you are a native speaker. Non-native speakers with relevant degrees can get work.

  5. Mmk says:

    I have just recently been offered a job in a private school in zharkent,kazakhstan. I am from south africa.i am really not sure whether to accept the offer or not.how are black people received in kazakhstan?

  6. Abdol Ghaffar says:

    I have B.A am M.A in English,and having more than five year English teaching experience, I am ready to teach English in Kazakhstan.

  7. Nadira says:

    Hello everyone,

    My name is Nadira Akhonova and i am looking for a Native Speaker to teach at my Center. Our company’s main office is in Astana.High pay. If you are interested, please write to this email address: info@unitedworld.kz. You can find more information about our company here:www.unitedworld.kz


  8. zhadira from almaty says:

    The salary is lower than you expect in government schools, even in Private schools.Living costs are quiet high.Even 200 000 not enough to save coz from this year price have risen for food and for rent.Kazakhstan is not good place to work for foreigners especially for afro-americans.Try to go to Malaysia instead.

  9. Chris E. says:

    Can somebody suggest if there’s a language center kin Kazakhstan offering free lodging as part of their package?

  10. Dan says:


    I am a Canadian ESL teacher duly certified by Global TESOL College. I have been teaching English in China for almost four years. I have written a book and a workbook (being edited for publication) on teaching ESL. My emphasis is not only to learn how to Speak English but also how to understand the English speaker when he/she speaks.

    I am ready to move to another geographic location and if there’s an opportunity in Kazakhstan, I would love to go.


  11. Tanya says:

    British house Almaty has immediate vacancies for native speaking English teachers, both in our language centres in Almaty or working in house for a number of high profile corporate clients. http://www.britishhouse.kz

  12. blogprotest says:

    I think it will be great if the Expo get embraced in Vietnam as well. By then you can apply for your Vietnam visas as Kazakhstan citizens and get to experience a great feel being in Vietnam for business. Currently there is a Vietnam embassy in Kazakhstan but the visa on arrival service just makes it a quick process to acquire your visa. Check this out: http://www.visa-vietnam.org

  13. Oneota says:

    It is not uncommon to have your language-institute or private-school contract be in dollars. Salaries I know about are around $1,000-1,500/month, with no health insurance and a good number of holidays but no paid vacation at institutes. You might teach 30 clock hours a week. A decent apartment can run about 100,000 tenge in an expensive part of town (rent is in local currency, so this can fluctuate for actual salaries). Busses cost 80 tenge but there are no transfers. Taxis around Almaty are around 75 cent to a couple dollars to go a long distance in town — unless you’re spotted as a mark going to a tourist district. Food is mostly cheaper than in the U.S. Most services are charged at developing-country rates, but activities aimed at foreigners are more expensive than in, say, non-metropolitan Korea.

    A few well-established places offer health insurance and paid vacations as well as salaries at or above the amount I listed above.

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