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What are the Basic Requirements for Teaching English in Russia?

Learn what qualifications you need to teach English in Russia, including education, citizenship, visa, and age requirements.

To understand how to teach English abroad in Russia, let's start with what you don't need:

  • You don’t need a college degree (although it's recommended)
  • You don’t need prior experience teaching before getting your TEFL certification
  • You don’t need any Russian language proficiency

Now that you know what you don't need, let's take a look at what you do need to teach English in Russia.

What Qualifications Do You Need to Become an English Teacher in Russia?

To teach English in Russia, you will need a TEFL certificate. A 4-year college degree isn't required but is strongly preferred. Native English proficiency is also expected to find a TEFL job. The average salary for an English teacher in Russia is about $500 - $1,400 USD per month.

Requirements for Teaching English in Russia

Now let's look at the following requirements to teach English in Russia in detail:

  1. Hold a TEFL certification

  2. Understand the hiring and visa process

  3. Have an interest in teaching children or adults

  4. Save for Start-up Costs

1. Hold a TEFL Certification

Nearly all language schools in Russia are looking at your resume to see if you hold a legitimate (accredited) TEFL Certificate upon application. Being a native or fluent English speaker is one thing, but actually understanding teaching and language methodology to the point of conducting successful classes is another. Russian schools want teachers to come in prepared and well-trained, and a TEFL Certificate will get you there.

A legitimate and recognized TEFL class must have a minimum of 100 hours of coursework, 6-20+ hours of live practice teaching with non native English learners, it must be accredited by a recognized body within the field, and it must be taught by university-level instructors.

To learn more about how to evaluate a TEFL school:  5 Key Tips to Help You Pick the Best TEFL Certification School (and Not Get Ripped Off)

From nitty-gritty teaching methods to cultural sensitivity and lesson planning, your TEFL class will prepare you for every aspect of teaching English abroad. 

Here are some great options for getting TEFL-certified to teach English in Russia:

Armed with an accredited TEFL certification, you are well on your way to securing a fantastic teaching job overseas in Russia or elsewhere around the world.


2. Understand the Hiring & Visa Process

Some schools in Russia will hire new teachers in advance over the phone or by Skype - in other words, you can interview from your home country and line up a job before you actually go to Russia.  Schools in Russia assist teachers with the visa process, but you’ll need to pay the fee (around $130 at the time of this article) and provide documentation of an HIV/AIDS test in order for that visa to process.

When you apply to positions in advance from home for teaching jobs in Russia (usually via Skype or phone), your visa will be processed via a Russian Consulate or Embassy in your home country. If you find your job on the ground in Russia, you will need to visit a neighboring country to complete your visa process before returning back to Russia to begin your teaching job.

For more detailed information, please check out:
What Type of Visa Can I Use to Teach English in Russia?

Best tips for getting a job teaching English in Russia

3. Have an Interest in Teaching Children or Adults

Good news! The market in Russia is so large that there are opportunities to teach any age group. Whether you want to work with children or adults, there are schools and positions available - at some schools, you might work with students of different ages. We highly recommend being flexible to avail yourself to the most opportunities and choices when it comes to ultimately selecting the best teaching job in Russia for you. 

4. Save for Start-up Costs

Do you have approximately $1,200.00 - $2,000.00 USD for start-up costs? This cost will vary depending on the benefits a teacher receives from their school; however, it’s important to bring a cushion of cash with you when you first move over. If you get paid monthly, you’ll be in Russia at least a month before you get that first paycheck, so you need funds to cover you in the meantime.

To learn more, check out: What are the Basic Start-up Costs for Teaching English Abroad?

a female English teacher in Russia, in Yakutsk


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