Old Russia Mine

Russia is one of the world’s leaders in the production of minerals. According to Wikipedia, in 2005, Russia accounted for a large percentage of the Commonwealth of Independent States production of a range of mineral products, including metals, industrial minerals and mineral fuels. Russia ranked amongst the leading world producers in mineral commodities such as aluminium, arsenic, asbestos, bauxite, boron, cadmium, cement, coal, cobalt, copper, diamond, fluorspar, gold, iron, lime, and lithium amongst others.

Russia is also the world’s largest producers of chromium, nickel and palladium. It also has the most iron ore reserves in the world. It is also the second largest producer of aluminium, platinum and zirconium. Roughly 20% of Russia’s industrial output is as a result of mining and metallurgical industries.

The petroleum industry in Russia is one of the largest in the world. Russia is known to have the largest reserves, and to be the largest exporter of natural gas. Russia is the largest oil producer in the world, producing according to Wikipedia an average of 9.93 million barrels of oil per day in 2009. Russia produces 12% of the world’s oil.

So what can Geologists in Russia and Kazakhstan expect to earn?

I have not been able to find much information around in terms of what Geologists in the region are earning, however I was given some information from a Geologist in the mining sector, who has worked extensively in both Russia and Kazakhstan, who gave me the following information:

Russia (annual):

0 – 3 years’ experience – $10 000,00
3 – 5 years’ experience – $16 000,00
5 – 10 years’ experience – $24 000,00

Kazakhstan (annual):

0 – 3 years’ experience – $ 6 000,00
3 – 5 years’ experience – $12 000,00
5 – 10 years’ experience- $ 21 000,00

The same individual said that foreign companies and joint venture have better working conditions, and pay quite substantially more, with salaries for Geologists approximately 30 – 50% higher than the ones mentioned above (by mansour ramses). He also said the salaries vary tremendously depending on where exactly you are based. Geologists based in or around Moscow can expect to earn around 40% more than those in other areas of Russia.

In recent years the norm appears to be that Geologists in the oil and gas industry earn more than those in mining, so it can be expected that Geologists in the oil and gas industry in both Russia and Kazakhstan, will be earning more than the figures above. I have not been able to find much information on salaries for Geologists in Russia working in the oil and gas industry but did find some information on PayScale that stated that a Petroleum Engineer can expect to earn anything up to around $39 000,00 in Russia. So it seems that salaries for Petroleum Engineers in Russia can be substantially higher.

One does need to keep in mind when looking at these figures, that the living costs in Russia, are much lower than in the West, so smaller incomes can be stretched and go a lot further. I read an interesting article in Forbes that stated that in 2011, only 8.20% of Russians earn more than $1400 a month, which means that Geologists in both mining and the oil and gas industry are pretty well off. The same article in Forbes said that in Russia, people earning anywhere from $4 000,00 to $10 000,00 annually are considered to be middle class, which helps to put into perspective where Geologists in both mining and the oil and gas industry would fall class wise.

I have noticed as well that as is the norm, expatriates based in Russia are paid substantially more than local Geologists, for both the mining and oil and gas industries, with salaries being paid being far more in line with what a Geologist in Canada or the USA can expect to earn.

3 Responses to “Geologist salaries in Russia and Kazakhstan”

  1. Pavel Dubchak

    From my internal knowledge, the salaries numbers above night be correct as a very general average, but those mean not more than an average patience temperature in a hospital. A lot depends on an employer’s type, a particular employer and (a huge effect, which is a typical thing for Russia and Kazakhstan)- a personal relationship between a particular employee and an employer (even a specific boss). Also, one can not put into a common pool geos from research organizations and a producing mines (which, looking at the figures, was done here). In fact, geos from industry with 5+ years of experience and working in the field earn a way more than $2K/month ($3+), and I know it for a fact.

  2. Denys D.


    Need to say that the cost of living in Russia these days is not that low as one might expect. I would say it is pretty compatible with the cost of living in South Africa where mining salaries are 2.5-3 times higher (on average).


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *