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Working in Kazakhstan

Find out how to get a job and work in Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan is an exciting place to work. It's a booming land of opportunity and enterprise, with vast reserves of fossil fuels, minerals, and precious metals, making it the largest economy in Central Asia. Discover more about the economy, jobs, and work permits in this Relocation Guide!

Need to move abroad? Organizing an international relocation is not something you should do on your own. As expats, we understand what you need, and offer the the essential services to help you move and live abroad easily. Contact us today to jump start your move, and begin the preparations with our free relocation checklist.

Employment in Kazakhstan

In general, work life in Kazakhstan is not dissimilar to that in many Western countries. Employees report working long hours, spending time traveling for their jobs, and having to deal with large amounts of bureaucracy and red tape; but at the same time, many enjoy the work-hard, play-hard culture, and feel that as long as they make friends at work, all’s fair. 

Economic Overview

In Kazakhstan, there is a well-established industrial manufacturing sector, largely concerned with machine-building (for agriculture and defense, among other things), as well as the extraction and processing of the country’s natural resources. The country’s energy sector is thriving, and economic reform and billions of dollars of foreign investment have sped up growth in recent years; moreover, it is one of the world’s top twenty oil producers, and the world’s biggest producer of uranium.

Nevertheless, agriculture and livestock still play a large part in rural areas, and almost a quarter of the country’s working population is involved in some way, although agriculture only accounted for 4.5% of GDP in the latest statistics. 

Since 2001, GDP growth has been among the highest in the world, up to double digits in some years. Per capita GDP reached almost 13,000 USD in 2013 before the country started to feel the effects of the global recession. Still, the government has managed to turn around its deficit, paid off many of its debts, and instituted a new pension reform program. 

Jobs in Kazakhstan

Oil and petroleum may be the first thing that comes to mind when people think of Kazakhstan, and it’s certainly big business and highly appealing to those wishing to further their career in oil (there are even plans to link the country’s Caspian coastline with pipes reaching China, and to the Black Sea).

However, there are also jobs available in other sectors, particularly for those who can teach English, either to adults or children. You’ll normally need a degree to work in a school as a teacher, but if you’re a native speaker, you may find employment without much experience. Some of these language-teaching posts can be quite lucrative. That’s important, because although some essentials like petrol and utilities are cheap in Kazakhstan, many everyday items are expensive, so a decent salary is essential.

Many large international companies — including banks such as Citigroup and the Royal Bank of Scotland Group — also have offices in Kazakhstan, so expatriates can check the recruitment section of their websites for working opportunities in Kazakhstan. 

In addition, there are increasing numbers of jobs in the tourism sector, a continuing flow of diplomatic vacancies, and the country’s health service is due for an overhaul, too.

Work Permits for Kazakhstan

To obtain the right to stay and work in Kazakhstan, you’ll need a work permit, usually organized by your employer, which can involve considerable expense and form-filling. Many companies will employ legal consultants to make sure this is done perfectly. It’s worth being aware that the government limits work permits to a certain number each year and also that the rules are subject to change, so check embassy websites and ask your employer for advice.

Do you want to relocate? If you have never moved abroad, the process will be overwhelming, and if you have, you know the burden that lies ahead. Whatever stage you are at, InterNations GO! can help you with a complete set of relocation services, such as home finding, school search, visa solutions, and even pet relocation. Our expert expat team is ready to get your relocation going, so why not jump-start your move abroad and contact us today? Best to start early!

Updated on: September 09, 2021
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Moving to Kazakhstan

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Living in Kazakhstan

Living in Kazakhstan is a unique, enriching experience, characterized by strong contrasts: old and new, Europe and As...

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Join Our Exciting Events in Kazakhstan

Once we've helped you move to Kazakhstan, we can make you feel at home by introducing you to other expats who have already settled and are part of our Kazakhstan Community. Attend our monthly events and activities in Kazakhstan and get to know like-minded expats in real life.

InterNations Atyrau Oktoberfest Celebrations at Prospect Pub

Start date Sep 25, 2014, 8:00 PM

Attendees 13

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InterNations Atyrau Halloween @ the Prospect Pub

Start date Oct 31, 2014, 8:00 PM

Attendees 15

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InterNations Almaty Official January Event @ Sherlock Holmes Pub

Start date Jan 16, 2020, 7:30 PM

Attendees 112

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InterNations Almaty Official January Event @ Sherlock Holmes Pub

Start date Jan 16, 2020, 7:30 PM

Attendees 112

Check Event
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