Teaching in the Russian Federation

Russian Federation Overview

The level of demand for native speakers in the enormous nation of Russia far exceeds the supply. Although the winters can be difficult for some, in such a huge country it is no surprise that there are some incredibly beautiful places to visit. The far east is particularly fascinating. Do your homework before signing any contracts because the quality of employers, the salary and the benefits all vary dramatically. Language centres pay reasonably poorly but are the usual way to get one’s foot in the door. Much of the work is geared towards business contexts so any prior experience in Business English would be seen in a very favourable light. Private schools offer much better wages to experienced teachers with initiative.

Type of Institution Typical salary (USD/month) Typical hours Typical annual leave
Language centres 1,000 – 2,000 Various shifts 2 weeks plus national holidays
Private schools 1,500 – 2,500 9am – 4pm Monday to Friday 7 weeks plus national holidays
International schools and universities 2,500 upwards 9am – 4pm Monday to Friday plus some weekend work 10 weeks plus national holidays

Main places for jobs

Moscow, St Petersburg plus most other towns and cities.

Typical requirements

Degree, TEFL certificate.

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1.Because the demand exceeds the supply, you can afford to be very choosy over which contract you sign. Negotiate as much as possible with regard for return airfares, free accommodation and whether or not you are paid for travelling to do in-house tuition.

2. You may need to supplement your income with extra, private one-to-one tuition which can be very lucrative.

3. Basic Russian language skills are desirable and almost essential in the far east of the country.

Red tape

Be prepared for a real headache when dealing with the bureaucracy in Russia. The more your employer promises to do for you (in the contract) the easier it will be for you.

Cost of living

Living costs vary from region to region. As you might expect, accommodation in Moscow and St Petersburg can be rather expensive so be sure to ask if it can be included in your contract (especially if this is your first visit to Russia).

Tax and salary information

Employers generally pay your income tax for you and as usual you should expect to be paid on a monthly basis.


Huge demand for English tuition Lots of red tape for everyone!
Generally keen students and friendly locals once you get to know them Difficult without basic Russian language skills
Salaries can be good once you have experience and contacts Harsh winters

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. stevemott says:

    Just a couple of things to mention about your information for teachers interested in working in Russia.

    1) By Russian law everyone should get 4 weeks holiday per year – but calculating the holiday pay is quite complicated.

    2) It is against the law to work privately in Russia. Whilst you may get away with it in big cities it is very risky to take private students and, if caught, teachers will face a fine and/or deportation.

    Working in Russia can be a great experience and I would recommend it to everyone!

  2. davidrw80 says:

    Hi all,
    I work for EF English First, and just thought that you all might want to know that we’re still looking for teachers, despite all the recent events in the news regarding Crimea and the Ukraine.

    As long as you have a degree, a TEFL certificate and come from a native speaking country, we’re able to start your application. We offer a competitive salary with great support and training.

    If you’re interested in finding out more, check out http://www.englishfirst.com/apply


  3. Mike9998_nz says:

    There are the odd “bad eggs ” in Russia (they steal your pay and do not honour the Cotarct, for details please e-mail me) but I found the experiance of teaching there very rewarding.

  4. Mike9998_nz says:

    oops meant Conract!!

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