Teaching English in Russia

Everything you need to know about teaching English in the biggest country on Earth.

Living in the biggest country in the world is definitely something to consider if you like extremes, adventure, culture and things a little less obvious.

If that’s you, you might be surprised to hear what Russia has got to offer you. Teaching English is in demand, so don’t worry about that job. Instead, get ready to experience a lifestyle you’ve never lived before in this mysterious land.



In Russia an English teacher makes about $1000 to $1500 a month, sometimes more or less depending on the job.



Russia is fun! Clubs, music, food and of course lots of culture will keep you occupied and excited to go out and explore.



Not many people speak English and Russian is one of the most difficult languages to learn, the alphabet is possibly even harder to master.



Generally warm and dry summers and of course famously cold winters with temperatures below -30°C not being an exception.

TEFL wages in Russia

English teachers in Russia get paid based on experience, qualifications and the position they’re taking. While there are lots of positions for newly-qualified teachers, access to higher-paid positions will require a bit of experience.

Here’s a run-down of how the market looks:

Class type: Wages:
Private schools $1,000-$1,500 p/m
International schools $1,500-$2,500 p/m
Universities $1,500-$2,500 p/m
Private tutoring $10-$30 p/h

Teachers can generally expect to make at least $1,000 a month, and that’s with little/no experience. Private language schools sometimes come with extras like housing and airfare, which can save you a lot of money, but it’s not always the case – so be sure to check when discussing with potential schools.

If you have a few years of teaching experience, or a degree related to teaching, you could consider working for an international school or university. These options pay more, but expect teachers to put in more hours of work each week.

Aside from teaching children and teenagers, there’s also a rather large market for teaching English in a corporate environment as many Russian adults want to improve their English so that they can do more business abroad.  You’ll find private language schools which cater to adults and children, and private tutoring can be a good option to further supplement your wages.

When you live in a big city like Moscow or St. Petersburg, a large chunk of your salary goes to rent. Prices for a meal outdoors aren’t as cheap in Asia, but not crazy like Europe either. Shopping at local markets can save you money and public transport isn’t expensive.

Where to teach English in Russia 

Russia is huge, with a wide range of environments to teach in. However, not all places are popular with teachers, and some smaller towns/cities have reputations for being more challenging to live in. 

If it’s going to be your first time visiting Russia, we’d recommend sticking with one of the major cities as you’re more likely to find a good job and live a comfortable life.

Here are our top picks for new teachers in Russia:

Food in Russia

Can’t picture Russian food? You’re in for a surprise because many delicacies can be found within the borders of this huge country. Russia is anything but tropical, but that doesn’t mean the cuisine is any less exotic than other places around the world and trying your first dishes will definitely be an adventure.

English teaching requirements in Russia 

Teaching in Russia requires you to take care of a few things before you can actually get started. A visa is one of them and if you don’t have a teaching certificate, it’s time to get one before heading up north.

A visa is required to work legally in Russia. Get hired and your future employer will assist you with all the paperwork and application process. An HIV blood test is one of the requirements and the results are only valid for three months.

Non-natives: If you don’t have a passport from the UK/US/IRE/CAN/AUS/NZ/SA, you can still work in Russia, though they do have a preference for native speakers.

Teachers without degrees: International schools and universities almost always require a degree related to education or the English language. If you don’t have a degree you can still legally work in Russia, but you’ll want to aim for private language schools.