Working in St. Petersburg

, updated on July 9, 2016
Working in St.Petersburg Russia

St. Petersburg is not just a cultural center and a tourist Mecca. It’s also full of opportunities for temporary employment — especially in the summer tourist season — and long-term employment. In this sense, St. Petersburg is truly a European capital: large numbers of Europeans and migrants from the former Soviet Union work here.

Open to the World

By 2020, migrants will make up an estimated 2/5ths of the city’s labor force. Already, 1/4th of the city’s 2 million working-age residents are migrants — primarily from the former Soviet Union and other Russian regions.

There are currently 1 690 805 foreigners living in St. Petersburg according to the Federal Migration Service. Most of the 186,033 registered workers are from the former Soviet Union. The breakdown by country of origin was — Moldova: 6,519, Tajikistan: 30,438, Uzbekistan: 119,988, Ukraine: 10,054.

St. Petersburg’s labor market is smaller and less diverse than the labor market in Moscow. Although prices for goods and services are practically identical in the two cities, the average salary is about 2-3 times greater in Moscow. Thus, while creative people flock to the city on the Neva, they often seek their fortunes in Moscow.

Indeed, St. Petersburg isn’t even in the top ten Russian cities when it comes to average salary. The average St. Petersburg resident earns about 48,407rubles (~$750) per month, according to the State Statistics Service.

Russia’s labor force is about 70 million strong. The nationwide unemployment rate is 5.7 percent. The unemployment rate in St. Petersburg, however, was only 1.8 percent among the economically active population in the first quarter of 2016. Note: This number only includes those who registered with the Unemployment Office, and Russians tend not to declare themselves unemployed because benefits are very low.

Russia’s labor market — including St. Petersburg — is in crisis due to a rapid drop in fertility rates that occured in the early 1990s. In 2012, the number of young professionals entering the workforce fell in practically every sector of the economy. The service, transportation, trade and construction sectors were the hardest hit, with migrant workers arriving in large numbers to fill the vacanсies. Migrant workers also make up a large percentage of employees at small and medium-sized businesses, such as cafes, restaurants, automobile service stations, and seasonal stores (ex. fruit and vegetable retailers).

Very few migrants come to St. Petersburg without a support network. Typically, foreigners form communities and invite friends and relatives to fill job vacancies. In many cases, whole families relocate to the city. Once registered, they can send their children to local public schools (they need not speak Russian) and use public healthcare services. Many migrants feel that St. Petersburg is significantly more tolerant than Moscow. About 20 percent of migrants want to stay in Russia, and some consider St. Petersburg a stepping-stone to Europe.

This year, St. Petersburg’s quota for migrant workers was about 10,000 fewer than last year. It’s not clear what next year’s quota will be. Fortunately, there’s always work in St. Petersburg. In 2012, St. Petersburg’s labor market defied the general economic downturn: The number of vacancies increased, and average salaries rose compared to 2008-2011. Nevertheless, Russia’s labor market suffered from global economic trends. After Russia enters the WTO, local companies will be able to move manufacturing jobs to places where labor is cheaper (China, Africa, Central Asia, etc.), which will mean fewer jobs for those who come to Russia to earn money.

Any job is a good job

The number of job applicants far exceeds the number of vacancies in St. Petersburg, according to Internet-based agencies that track employment. The workers in greatest demand are:

  1. sales managers
  2. skilled workers
  3. sales people
  4. engineers
  5. drivers

There’s a deficit of skilled workers in many sectors, including medicine and pharmaceuticals. Meanwhile, the number of lawyers, marketing specialists, and advertising specialists exceeds demand. Government jobs are the most competitive, along with jobs in mass media and the publishing.

Specialists considered ordinary by EU standards can often build strong careers in Russia, where competition is weaker in many sectors. Foreigners are particularly well-represented in the restaurant and hospitality industries. Many foreigners work as brand chefs — they come to Russia, help set up a restaurant, and return home.

Employment Contract

The employment contract forms the basis of the employer/employee relationship. Every employee must have an employment contract, even if their job is temporary or seasonal.

Employers can be legal entities or individuals (any citizen can sign an employment contract with a nanny, yardsman, etc.)

The minimum age for employment is 16 years old throughout Russia, and 14 years old with the approval of parents or legal guardians. Employees must be 18 years or older to work for the government or in workplaces that are considered dangerous.

Income Tax

Russia uses a flat income tax. The national income tax is 13 percent for residents and 30 percent for non-residents, although non-residents can register as sole proprietors. Employers are responsible for deducting income taxes from their employees’ salary. Individuals registered as sole proprietors must file tax returns independently.

To learn more about taxes, visit the website of the St. Petersburg division of the Federal Tax Service — http://www.r78.nalog.ru/

Unemployment Benefits

Able-bodied persons of working age are considered unemployed if they lack a job or income, are registered with the employment office, and are looking for work and ready to be employed. In order to receive unemployment benefits, an unemployed person must officially declare that he/she is looking for work in his/her permanent or temporary place of residence.

The law defines two categories of unemployed people — the first group receives benefits that are pegged to an average salary; the second receives minimum benefits. In order to receive benefits, a person must be insured and have worked a full or partial day (or week) for no fewer than 26 calendar weeks in the 12 months prior to becoming unemployed.

The government determines the maximum and minimum nationwide unemployment benefit each year. Currently, the minimum benefit is 850 rubles, and the maximum benefit is 4,900 rubles. In the first quarter of 2016, the living wage for St. Petersburg residents was:

  • For the able-bodied population: 11 312.40  rubles
  • For pensioners: 8,254.60 rubles
  • For children (cost of living): 9,932.60 rubles

Useful Information

Which documents do I need to get a job in St. Petersburg?

If you’re a highly-qualified specialist from Western Europe or the United States, your employer is responsible for handling the necessary paperwork.

Information about getting a work permit for citizens whose visit requires a Russian visa. http://www.fms.gov.ru/documents/withoutvisa/visa.php

Information about getting a work permit for citizens whose visit does NOT require a Russian visa. http://www.fms.gov.ru/documents/withoutvisa/

Useful Links

The St. Petersburg branch of the Federal Migration Service: http://www.ufms.spb.ru/

The St. Petersburg Committee for Labor and Employment http://www.rspb.ru/

The Labor Consultation Center, which helps Russian citizens and foreigners resolve employment issues. Hotline: (812) 753-41-90. Address: Tramvainy Prospekt 12, Apt. 2

The Unified Document Center (i.e. where to download the necessary paperwork, including for migrants) Ul. Krasnogo Tkstilshchika 10-12, tel. 777-1000, http://www.7771000.ru/

Job listing and search websites — job.ru, rabota.ru, hh.ru, superjob.ru, zarplata.ru

Dear readers, we kindly ask you NOT to post comments with job inquaries and your personal information like emails and phones numbers. We are not HR agency and we can not assist you with job search.

Translation by Jonathan Earle

About Ekaterina Rezanova

I was born and live in this city, I breathe its moist air, cursing its climate and feeling immensely proud of the fact that I'm from St. Petersburg.

48 Comments

  1. rajinder singh

    July 31, 2014 at 3:47 pm

    I am from India .I am construction skilled worker .two years working in Singapore.

    • rajinder singh

      July 31, 2014 at 3:48 pm

      Nice city

    • Resourcespb

      June 22, 2015 at 9:12 pm

      We providing jobs in construction if you wish to work in st.Petersburg, please do contact us harierspb@gmail.com for more details !

      • Abew

        July 10, 2015 at 8:02 am

        Hi.
        I am from Cape Town, South Africa.
        I have over 10 years experience in construction work. I am a TILER by trade.
        I hold a BA Degree.
        Are there any job Vacancies?

        Thanks,
        Abee

      • Owusu Duodu Francis

        January 12, 2016 at 4:12 am

        please I’m Francis from Ghana,is there any chance for me to get a job. please i want to know the requirements to be part of your team

  2. rafiqul islam shahin

    August 16, 2014 at 9:28 am

    hello.. i was working hotel le meridien (spa and resort) cyprus since last four years. i am from bangladesh. if have any opportunity for workpermisson jobs for me. please help me

    • Polina Polyakova

      September 4, 2014 at 2:03 pm

      Hi! In this post http://petersburg4u.com/accommodation-options you can find all international hotel chains presented in St.Petersburg. I think, you could try to contact them to ask about vacant positions.

      • ganga singh

        June 15, 2016 at 1:59 pm

        I’m Chinese chef work Hakkasan mumabi and houses of seafood Cambodia food international Hualan kingdom of Suadi Arabia 14 years experience have Chinese chef

      • Dung Richie

        June 22, 2016 at 7:14 am

        Thanks, do you have any job opening in oil & gas as well as construction industry? We are experience in these area.

        Thanks….Dung Richie

  3. Jose J

    October 9, 2014 at 7:36 pm

    Hi, just wanted to ask you what can i do to find a job in russia. i only speak english but am willing to learn russian language. i would like to attend university also. Can you please help me what i need? Thank you. – Jose

  4. Usik

    October 28, 2014 at 1:12 am

    Privet, Givu v Ispanie, no ya gragdanin rassii, znayu russkiy, kavkazskiy y ispanskiy kuxñu, mogno nayti rabotu v Sankt Peterburge? spasiba.

  5. gurdeep Singh

    March 3, 2015 at 9:32 pm

    I gurdeep Singh from India now doing work in armenia
    I went russia work permit I am tile professional

  6. ahmad

    March 28, 2015 at 3:16 pm

    hy im have skill computer troubleshooting and very good skill internet browsering and computer hardware.im technician 7 year experience in private company….please give me working visa st.petersburg thankyou

  7. sain singh

    May 14, 2015 at 6:40 pm

    im indian chef I want work in Russia
    I have 13 years experience in hotels and restaurant
    If any one need indian cook please call me
    0091 9717385851

  8. Nilesh Gote

    May 22, 2015 at 2:16 pm

    Dear All,
    I am a marine engineer ,i have completed study from st.petersburg Russia.(admiral S.O.Makarov state university of maritime and inland shipping )
    I have completed Russian language course also in st.petersburg state university for waterways communication. i have worked as part time in Russia also and now i am working in India as international sales engineer(Russia & CIS) in valve and valve automation .also doing translation rus-eng and eng–rus .I really wanted work in Russia if there is any suitable vacancy please contact me -nileshgote@yandex.ru

  9. Jürgen van Werven

    June 26, 2015 at 10:49 am

    Hallo all.
    I’m Chef from Austria and want work in a 5 Star Hotel in St.Petersburg.
    Last 10 Year’s I was working as Chef de Cuisine.I worked in all top Hotels In Austria now want work in this nice city St.Petersburg!!
    Thanks for helping))

  10. Ekaterina Kazmina

    June 30, 2015 at 6:10 pm

    Hello Jürgen! We can recommend you the site http://spb.jobhoreca.ru, but it is only in Russian. There you can find the job offers from HORECA. You can also look through the sites http://www.hh.ru that has an English version or contact the Kelly Services office: http://www.kellyservices.ru/RU/Contact-Us/Kelly-Services-offices-on-english/#.VNR3652sW_A
    Contacts of the best hotels of St.Pete you may find in our article here: http://petersburg4u.com/hotels
    Good luck!

    • Sylvester

      February 15, 2016 at 1:55 pm

      Hi Ekaterina .
      How are you doing.
      I m currently studying Russian language in St Petersburg.
      Im a chef by profession can cook indo-italian food .
      Continental food .little bit of Chinese n Thai food good touch of Indian food looking out for job .or to join someone who wants to start restaurant business.
      Looking forward to hear from u .

      Regards
      Sylvester

  11. nisar

    July 1, 2015 at 8:48 pm

    Helo dear hru im nisar from pakistan im coming russia saint pater burg for study language course private colege plz tel me I want work can you help me im hardwork and duty ful person plz

  12. Moin

    July 6, 2015 at 11:28 pm

    Hi. I want a work visa every body help me

    • Muhammad Adnan

      September 6, 2015 at 11:21 am

      Hello Nisar I’m Muhammad Adnan from Pakistan Azad Jammu & Kashmir yaar kindly tel me about Saint Peterborough
      What is monthly average income in labour as lowest salary
      Kindly I’m interested to come Saint Peterborough for language course and willing to work also
      Anybody can guide me about Saint Peterborough Russia
      What’s work conditions 2nd what is lowest income per month
      Thanks regards
      Muhammad Adnan

  13. Unni P krishnachari

    July 7, 2015 at 9:06 am

    I am Unni from Kerala working as a panchakarma therapist, , I know all ayurvedic. massage , thai massage ,sweedish massage, I have experience in Europa spa in Kresnador in Russia, If any experience in your hottel. Please regard my request

  14. Vineet Kumar

    July 20, 2015 at 12:09 am

    Respected Sir,
    I am a Technocrat from India Completed ma education in Computer Engineering from Mumbai University, Presently Looking for a Bright Carrier opportunity in either Information Technology,or Telecommunication Deptt please do reply
    Thanking You in Anticipation.

    • Mithun Mazumder

      January 2, 2016 at 8:53 pm

      sir ‘ I’m a automobile fresher .I want to work Russia .Have u any vacancy please contact this E mail address . I’m from India.

  15. Abdellatif Trimeche

    September 22, 2015 at 5:11 pm

    I m from Tunisia I really need work us soon .I m good in speaking languages English German and French fluently hope to hear news soon

  16. Saeed

    September 28, 2015 at 3:49 pm

    Hi my name is Saeed ul Hassan am coming in Saint Petersburg for study and I want get job I have 5year experience in hospitality field plz Mail me or any other job please contact me thanks

  17. Manasvi

    October 14, 2015 at 2:31 am

    Hello! I have done my Bachelors in Business Management with Marketing as specialisation from Bangalore, India and am interested in working in St. Petersburg. I am a fresher and am looking forward for a job in related field.

  18. Deepak Gosavi

    October 22, 2015 at 1:04 pm

    Hi I am Deepak from Pune, India. I have 15 years experience in printing & packaging (folding carton manufacturing). I would like to work as Production Manager in same field in Russia permanantly or temporarily whichever is possible. Please guide me in getting job and also what would be my salary there? Any website or agency will find me a job.
    Thanks a lot.

    Deepak Gosavi

  19. Mohsin Ali

    November 23, 2015 at 12:23 pm

    Can Any One Tell Us That Which Kind Of Jobs Are For Students In St Petersburg

  20. sanou yaovi sedou

    November 29, 2015 at 8:50 pm

    l’am From west Africa Togo l’am a tiler with 5year experience wich to work in any company in russia.

  21. Luca Aci

    March 3, 2016 at 7:32 pm

    Hi!
    I am Luca from Rome,Italy-Physiotherapist specialized with 3 years experience.
    Strong willingness to relocate in Peter.
    I’m looking for job in spa,hotels,rehabilitation centers,ecc.
    Can anyone help me?
    E-mail: svaso89@tiscali.it

  22. Umar

    March 6, 2016 at 10:42 pm

    Is there work

  23. shashank

    March 7, 2016 at 8:44 am

    hello

    i am working as a restaurant manager in india and looking for the same job profile in saint petersburg , possible to find a job ?

    thanks

  24. Dimitat

    March 11, 2016 at 9:08 am

    It would be very nice and new experience for me.to work and live in sank petersburg. Is there any one interested in interior designer with BA European diploma, with experience on and off filed.my Russian is not strong,but coming from slavic group of language my self,it will be easy to learn it fast.

  25. Salvi

    March 11, 2016 at 10:25 pm

    Whats opportunities for doctor and how much they pay approximately..
    I know russian very well i studied in rostov state medical.

  26. Subhendu sardar

    March 25, 2016 at 3:19 pm

    Hi,
    I have 15yrs experience in multicuisine restaurant in indian and abroad and now iam looking for some new job.

  27. charitha

    April 7, 2016 at 5:05 pm

    hi,
    I am charitha, from Sri Lanka, i have work experience for 2 years in four star hotel in Sri Lanka as a receptionist, mainly as guest relation officer. I would like to work in St. peters burg. I am fluent in English, German
    i have done intermediate level of Russian language in Russian culture center in Colombo with distinction. can manage Russian a bit. i can speak Hindi as well. I am graduate degree holder in BA in ( German Language) currently i am degree holder of MAster Degree in Public Diplomacy, at Jilin University in China. please respond me kindly.

    • Polina Polyakova

      April 8, 2016 at 12:03 am

      Hi Charitha!
      Thank you for reading our blog and taking time to write your message. You have an impressive professional profile, but we do not assist in finding jobs. We just try to give inforamation about labour market in Russia and in Saint Petersburg, particularly. I suggest you to use job search websites recommended in this post.

  28. charitha

    April 7, 2016 at 5:09 pm

    please reply me, i would like to work in Russia,

  29. Abhishek

    April 21, 2016 at 10:56 am

    Hi! I am an accounting & taxation professional from India and want to move to St. Petersburg for Work.
    Are there any jobs for my skills??
    Please reply

    • Polina Polyakova

      April 24, 2016 at 7:18 pm

      Please kindly seach on websites listed in this post. We are not an HR agency and can’t help you with employment.

  30. Dilawer

    April 29, 2016 at 9:43 am

    Hi,I am dilawer mehmood from Pakistan I have recently graduated from university in electrical electronics engineering and looking for admission in saint petersburg polytechnic university for masters is there any part time job related to my field in petersburg?….

  31. Andrea Maccagno

    May 14, 2016 at 9:32 pm

    Hi guy, I’m Andrea from Italy. I’m a PLC programmer with 4 years of experience. I worked with the most important industry in the world about glass machinery and with another Italian company about autamtic gravity casting system. I have abroad working experience in China, Turkey, Russia, Slovakia and India. I’m looking for a job in San Petersburg as automation technician

  32. mohan rawat

    May 19, 2016 at 5:50 pm

    Hi i m indian cuisine chef .i want to do job in Russia .if u have job for me .contact me on 919582510842

  33. Muhammad Azmat Naveed

    May 21, 2016 at 1:27 am

    Hi i Have 5 years Small Truck Driveing Experience.I live Pakistan.I Have Saudi Arabia Driveing License.I Want To work In st Petersburg.Please contact with me.

  34. sherif

    May 22, 2016 at 4:46 am

    hi im egyptian i work as russian guide from 16 years i was in all big company in egypt but now we have very defecult situation in egypt i looking for job if u have any chance . thanks

  35. Stanley

    June 8, 2016 at 7:48 am

    Twenty years of experience in the weighing industry, scale technician, vast experience in the service and calibration of weighing instruments, seriously looking for a job. Thank you for help in advance.
    Stanley.

  36. Charles

    June 27, 2016 at 1:57 am

    Hey I am a 6G welder I am currently looking for a job.can any one be of help to me!

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