Although many Russians are taught English during their school years, the standard of teaching is generally not very high. Because of this, a large number of Russians take up private English study after leaving school. It is also increasingly common for parents to provide extra lessons for their children outside of normal school hours. Due to this increased demand, there are plenty of good opportunities for TEFL qualified teachers in many parts of the country. The main job markets can be found in Moscow and St. Petersburg.
How much can I expect to earn while teaching English in Russia?
Due to the huge size of the country, salaries can vary significantly across Russia. The majority of jobs are in private language schools, most of which pay an hourly rate rather than a fixed salary. First-time teachers in this environment can expect to earn in the region of $650 per month, while those with experience could earn substantially more. The good news for many teachers is that accommodation or a housing subsidy is often part of the contract, which can make a big difference to your financial situation. Some jobs also include full or partial airfares, which is another reason why Russia is becoming an increasingly popular option. Private tutoring is another area that attracts teachers as conversational English practice can bring in $15 to $25 per hour. Other specialized areas such as business English and exam preparation can be even better paid at around $35 to $50 per hour.
What type of employer will I work for while teaching English in Russia?
For the majority of teachers, particularly those with little experience, private language schools are the main employer in Russia. These can be found in every big city where they provide English lessons for adults, children or both in many cases. Some schools will offer full-time contracts, while many prefer a more flexible arrangement which allows the teacher to work for more than one school. This type of teaching position usually requires around 30 hours of actual classroom teaching per week, plus extra planning time.
What other employment options are there for TEFL teachers in Russia?
Teachers with experience might be able to find higher salaries with other employers such as universities, colleges, and international schools. While the pay scale offered by these can be substantially better than standard language schools, the number of jobs is quite small and the competition for each one is generally strong. The business English sector is one of the fastest growing areas of TEFL in Russia. These jobs are usually with private companies that provide lessons for their employees before or after the normal working day. Despite the potential for inconvenient hours, this is a popular option as the pay can be very competitive.
How does the cost of living affect TEFL teachers in Russia?
Although the cost of living has risen in recent years, Russia is still a very affordable place to live as a TEFL teacher. The one exception to this is the cost of housing, particularly in the more popular areas of Moscow and St. Petersburg. Good quality apartments in these areas are often hard to find which means that the rent is often very high for those that are available. To avoid this issue it is best to look out for jobs that include free accommodation or a housing allowance. Failing that, you can either share the cost with another teacher at your school, or look at jobs outside of the two major cities.