Working in Moscow?

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Moscow at a Glance

Working in Moscow

Are you considering working in Moscow as an expat? In recent years, numerous expats have come to Moscow to work as diplomatic staff, business developers or language teachers. On InterNations you’ll find advice including information on the job search process and business life.

Moscow is Russia’s undisputed economic and financial center. The city’s workforce produces almost a quarter of Russia’s entire GDP. With just 1% in 2012, Moscow has the lowest unemployment rate in all of Russia.

Many of Russia’s largest companies have their headquarters and the majority of their staff working in Moscow. Nearly all multinational corporations which have entered the Russian market are based in the city as well. This makes Moscow an attractive option for expatriates from all over the world.

As the city is Russia’s capital and major political center, another large share of the expatriates in Moscow are diplomatic staff, foreign correspondents and employees of cultural institutions. There is also a high demand for foreign native speakers working as language teachers.

Moscow's Main Industries

The service sector is the city’s economic driving force; it employs a majority of the people working in Moscow. The city is also Russia’s leading financial center. It is home to the Russian Trading System (RTS) stock exchange. Nearly all of Russia’s largest banks have their headquarters here, including the Sberbank of Russia.

Nevertheless, a significant portion of the people working in Moscow are still employed in the manufacturing sector. The most prominent industries in the city area include oil refining, food processing and electronics. In recent years, however, there have been initiatives to move much of the industry out of the city to the surrounding areas.

Business Locations

Many expats have their offices in commercial districts such as Kitai-Gorod or the newly established area around Paveletsky station just south of the Garden Ring. Currently, the city is building an entirely new commercial neighborhood in the Presnensky District, the Moscow International Business Center (Московский Международный Деловой Центр). Once finished, it will not only contain a vast number of futuristic office buildings, but also Moscow’s city hall and representative assembly.

The former Russian president Dmitry Medvedev has announced that Russia’s very own “Silicon Valley” is to be established in Skolkovo, just outside Moscow’s boundaries. With this initiative, the government hopes to attract more high-tech and research-based companies and get more tech-savvy entrepreneurs interested in working in Moscow.

Finding a Job in Moscow

Depending on your background and qualifications, realizing your dream of working in Moscow may or may not be easy to fulfill. There is a high demand for foreign experts, but it is generally limited to specific sectors. Skills in the fields of human resources, business development, IT and finance are much sought after.

Your most promising option for working in Moscow is to check directly with companies from your home country or multinationals in your field which are doing business in Russia. These are most likely to hire expatriates for working in Moscow.

Alternatively, there are many online recruitment consultancies which can help you find a job in Moscow to match your qualifications. If you would like to go job-hunting on your own, you might find the following websites useful:

However, chances for foreigners on the regular Russian job market are somewhat limited by the Russian quota regulation for work permits issued to Non-CIS-citizens.

InterNations Expat Magazine