The Turkmenistan economy is highly dependent on the country's reserves of natural gas and there are questions over how widely the revenues from the industry are being used, with vast improvements still needed to the country's infrastructure. Ashgabat's education system remains relatively poor compared to the rest of Europe, although significant building development, including new housing construction, has provided opportunities in the construction industry.
Many people working in Ashgabat are employed by the state, although the cotton textiles and metalworking industries are two of the largest employers in the local area too.
Filmmaking is becoming increasingly popular in Turkmenistan as a result of its stunning scenery, but a lack of market-oriented reforms is thought to be holding back the country's development and may prevent further prosperity in the future.
Many foreign citizens find work as either diplomats or clerks in their respective embassies and this is one of the most common occupations for expats working in Ashgabat.
Expatriates seeking to work in Ashgabat may find it beneficial to first enquire with their national embassy to see if there are any diplomatic positions available in the Turkmenistan capital.
The oil and gas industry is ripe for people who want to work in Ashgabat, with Oil & Gas People one of the main websites to watch for jobs in the sector. Rigzone is another top resource for anyone interested in searching for oil and gas jobs in Ashgabat and the rest of Turkmenistan. Petrofac is one of the many major oil employers in Turkmenistan, employing over 1,500 people in the country.
Neytralnyy Turkmenistan and Balkan are the only two newspapers currently being published in Turkmenistan and may carry opportunities for those seeking work in Ashgabat.
Contracting in Turkmenistan can be challenging due to its work permit system, but it is easier to secure the required documents for those who find permanent work in Ashgabat. An employer can apply for a sponsorship for their expat employee that will cover their entire stay in the nation.
Permission of the State Migration Service is needed for the right to work in Turkmenistan. Written requests must be made for a work permit to be granted, with documents such as passports and visa application forms required. Applicants also need to fill in a questionnaire and can expect to wait ten business days for their work permit to be processed.