In recent years Azerbaijan has had one of the fastest growing economies in the world and its rich oil and gas reserves have welcomed foreign investment. Although Azerbaijan is not a popular expat destination in relation to elsewhere in Europe, the energy sector has seen an influx of foreigners seeking opportunities to work.
All foreigners working in Azerbaijan are required to have a valid work permit, which is usually arranged through an employer.
The job market in Azerbaijan
While the majority of expats working in Azerbaijan are employed in the oil and gas industry, the government has been on a positive drive to diversify the economy and other sectors such as tourism, communications, agriculture and education have also presented opportunities for foreigners seeking employment. Agriculture remains the largest employer, while growth in the energy sector has also created opportunities in related secondary industries, such as the services sector.
Construction in Azerbaijan is also booming. Infrastructure development projects and increased demand for housing have seen increased opportunities in the construction industry, leading to plenty of job opportunities.
Finding a job in Azerbaijan
The most popular way for expats to find work in Azerbaijan is online. There are numerous job portals where companies advertise in both English and Azerbaijani. Alternately, there are a number of recruitment companies that specialise in the oil and gas sector, while large corporate enterprises may have direct steady recruitment drives for projects in Azerbaijan.
The capital, Baku, is the centre of commerce and where most expats working in Azerbaijan are based. Communication will likely be the biggest challenge facing expats in Azerbaijan. Although some Azerbaijanis may understand and speak English, particularly in the oil and gas sector, Azeri and Russian are the most common languages of business and expats would do well to learn at least a few key phrases in one or both of these languages.