Top Industries for Those Who Speak Russian as Second Language 

By Ari Helderman
December 5, 2022

Hey, today is a guest post from Tomedes, a translation company. I didn’t initially learn Russian for better job prospects, but knowing an extra language will always be a good thing. Enjoy!

Russian is the most natively spoken language in Europe, with some 120 million first-language speakers living there. Around the world, it has 150 million native speakers, with a further 110 million people speaking Russian as a second language. Those who speak it as a second language have plenty of scopes to use their linguistic talents across a range of industries. Let’s take a look at some of them. 

Translation services and COVID-19

Given the current global pandemic, we couldn’t start without a quick word on COVID-19. The rapid spread of the new coronavirus around the world since December 2019 has caused unprecedented repercussions. Russia is among those countries taking measures to respond to the virus and stem its spread. If you speak Russian as a second language and have medical knowledge, then working for translation company or an interpretation service could see your skills in much demand right now. You even have the potential to contribute to saving lives. 

Russia snapshot

Russia is home to an upper-middle income mixed and transition economy. It is the sixth-largest economy in the world by purchasing power parity and the 11th largest by nominal gross domestic product (GDP). Within Europe, it is the fifth-largest national economy, with a GDP of US$1750 billion in 2019 (up from $1282.7 billion in 2016). This rapid growth has given rise to plenty of opportunities for people to use their Russian language skills in order to make a living. Whether you want to work as a translator, in the travel and tourism industry or in marketing and sales, there are plenty of career opportunities for expert Russian speakers. 

Jobs for Russian speakers: top industries 

Jobs for Russian speakers abound both online and offline. Russia’s economy is divided into agriculture, industry and the services sector, with the latter accounting for some 67.3% of total workforce employment in 2019 and nearly 62% of the country’s GDP. 

The service sector is made up of a range of industries, all of which present job opportunities for Russian speakers. Key among them are the financial services sector, the communications industry, the travel, and tourism sector, advertising, marketing and sales, and real estate. Healthcare, social services, IT services, and retail also serve second language speakers well, as do government jobs for Russian speakers, where using dual languages can be a core part of the role. 

The breadth of industries available means that your choice of career can allow you to pursue your interests wherever they may lie, making your role about more than language alone. Travel and tourism, real estate and marketing and sales are particularly opportunity-laden. 

One factor to consider is the way in which you would like to use your Russian language skills. Would you like to spend your days mainly talking in Russian or writing in it – of both? Most careers will include a mix of the two, but with greater emphasis on one than the other, so think this through before you embark on your new Russian-speaking venture. 

Russian to English translation 

There are also plenty of international jobs for Russian speakers – you don’t need to be physically present within Russia in order to use your language skills. Online jobs for Russian speakers and remote jobs for Russian speakers can be undertaken by people living across the globe. 

If you speak Russian as a second language and English natively, then Russian to English translation jobs are an obvious place to start when it comes to finding work. 

What are translation services? Quite simply, they are the conversion of one language to another – in this example, from Russian to English. The translation could relate to written documents or to audio or video files (demand for video translation has rocketed in recent years, with 81% of businesses now using video as a marketing tool and mobile video consumption rising by 100% every year). Russian is the second most widespread language on the internet, after English. As such, there’s demand for all manner of both English to Russian translation and Russian to English. 

What is the going rate for translation services? It’s hard to say. The Russian to English translation rate can vary based on the translator’s experience and any specialist knowledge that they might hold. A medical translator, financial translator or legal document translator, for example, can command a higher rate than a more general translator who can’t offer the same specialist translation skills. 

Teaching Russian language classes

If you don’t fancy working as a Russian to English translator, then there are plenty of careers available outside of the translation services sector. How about sharing your Russian language skills through teaching? Online and flexible learning approaches mean that there are various different ways that you can teach Russian these days, from one-on-one video conferencing sessions to creating your own courses, podcasts, and webinars. 

Russian is native not just to Russia but also to Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Estonia, and Latvia, as well as additional post-Soviet states. Teaching opportunities in these and other countries allow Russian speakers to use their language skills profitably. Russian’s close links to Ukrainian and Belarussian mean that those who speak it as a second language are likely to understand these languages, at least at a basic level. This means that job opportunities for speakers of Russian as a second language even have the potential to incorporate more than one language into their working lives! 

Watch this video where I tell you in Russian (with English subtitles) 9 reasons why Russian is actually easy to learn.

What should you do next?

Learning Russian does NOT need to be difficult. All you need is a solid plan that helps you improve the following things daily:

  • vocabulary
  • grammar
  • listening skills
  • speaking skills

That's ALL you need. If you can do this for a couple of weeks, you’ll already be making great progress in your Russian skills.

And the best part? If you improve a little bit every day, soon these practices will become daily habits.

And then you will start making progress on autopilot.

This means that learning Russian is now a part of your daily routine. So you won’t even need discipline anymore to get yourself to practice.

If you like the idea of this, but don’t know where to start, go here for more information.

About the Author

My name is Ari Helderman and I help people learn Russian through videos and blog posts where I share my experience.   I have been learning Russian since 2016. I often get mistaken for a native speaker these days, so I've learned a thing or two about what works and what doesn't if you want to speak Russian well.

Ari Helderman