After my article yesterday about the pros and cons of moving to Armenia for foreigners, some Armenian readers took offense at me. Since I honestly wrote about real salaries in Armenia (150-250 thousand drams per month), I wrote that a foreigner in Armenia will not receive a large salary just because he is a foreigner.
Some wrote to me that Armenia is full of people earning several thousand dollars a month and I explained in response that firstly, not fully, but at most 1% of the working population, and secondly, most of them are freelancers living in Armenia and working from home for American and European IT companies. The few who work in local (Armenian) high-tech companies, firstly, receive amounts far from « several thousand dollars », and on average 500-800 dollars per month (1000-1200 gets the head of the department), and secondly, these people are exceptionally few and there will be many candidates for each such position.
I’ll give you a personal example, why go far. I have a bunch of diplomas (Western), four foreign languages and all that. Do you think that if there were suitable vacancies for me in Armenia for « several thousand dollars » (as some people claim), I would not go there to work? Seriously. Everyone in Armenia knows me, or almost everyone. I wouldn’t even have to write a CV (resume), because it’s enough to write my first and last name in Google. And patronage and dating would also help. But no! There are simply no such positions with such salaries in Armenia. They won’t take me to the position of director or deputy director, you agree. And everything else, as I said above, is extremely modest.
Armenia is not yet a leader in the field of high-tech and this sphere is very limited and staffed with local personnel. If 10 thousand Russian IT specialists who are used to receiving 2-3 thousand dollars a month in Moscow move to Yerevan tomorrow, this does not mean that they will immediately be taken to the same position and salary in Yerevan. Moreover, 95% of them will not find a job in their specialty in Armenia at all, because the economy is very small and there are not enough jobs physically.
If you are looking for a job not in your specialty, but for example something relatively close, then we return to salaries of 150-250 thousand drams per month. This is how much employees of marketing companies, business centers, trade representative offices, travel agencies, airlines and so on receive in Yerevan. At the same time, ignorance of the Armenian language is a serious disadvantage in comparison with other (local) candidates for the position.
Let’s add to the above the fact that not all people are IT specialists. Moreover, this relatively well-paid sphere even in Europe and America covers at most 10% of the working population. How do those « visiting » Russians who are specialists in other fields earn a living in Armenia? Where will a metallurgist engineer or a biotechnologist who has arrived from Russia be able to find a job in Yerevan? How about an architect, or a geologist, or a specialist in frozen soils?
Let’s be objective, no matter how difficult it is. If there were enough jobs in Armenia with a decent salary, then probably millions of Armenian citizens would not work abroad. Is it logical? This is what those Russians who are seriously going to relocate to Armenia and build a new career should think about.
And also, it should be thought about by those residents of Armenia who, in outbursts of love and pride for their country, promise foreigners paradise on earth. Convincing that in Armenia, these Russians are directly expected with open arms and literally forcibly thrust into the hands of thousands of salaries in dollars. Funny and sad.
Once again: Armenia is a wonderful country to live in, but it is not a place to make money. It’s a shame to hear this, or it’s not a shame, but it’s a fact. You receive income from abroad — you are the king in Armenia, but if you expect that having arrived from Moscow, you will be torn off here in Yerevan with your hands and given your usual salary — you will be bitterly disappointed.