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What are the income expectations of ESL teachers
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dynow



Joined: 07 Nov 2006
Posts: 1080

PostPosted: Mon Jun 01, 2015 5:37 pm    Post subject: Re: earnings Reply with quote

Rusty77 wrote:
But is that any different in the U.K., USA, or Canada?


in a word, yes.

struggling in eastern europe vs struggling in the united states of america are two entirely different experiences.

last wednesday, my wife became a naturalized citizen of the USA. at the ceremony, there were 143 people being sworn in from a total of 51 countries. most people were crying. this is ONE random wednesday morning in a southern state.

congrats if you "made it" in Poland.
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dragonpiwo



Joined: 04 Mar 2013
Posts: 1606
Location: Berlin

PostPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2015 8:28 am    Post subject: erm Reply with quote

The truth of the matter is that EFL is a shabby industry. However, within the industry there are places where you can make a decent living, places where you can't and places where you can get by if you work your ass off. If it were a Venn diagram, Poland would be in the bit where the 2 circles join.

However, being cheated by a language school or running around town doing privates gets old.

I'm in my mid-40s and just can't be assed with the hassle of it all, for what is a relative pittance. Factor in the travel time, prep time, copying, papwerwork, lack of holidays and so on and it's just dire. It's much simpler elsewhere and there's real money to be made.

I love Poland's natural beauty, the history and the proximity of the place to other good spots but there are much, much nicer places to be where you can earn a lot and not have to deal with the Polish mindset and shitty winters.

Not one of the lifers would be in Poland if it weren't for a woman.

Seeing a total drop out expat with a (younger) woman way out of his league is commonplace in Poland. Then you get the language teacher groupies......
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chuckMC



Joined: 15 Apr 2015
Posts: 75

PostPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2015 11:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I will say this again...Poland is a POOR EU country. Anyone from the rich West who wants to work there during their most productive years is crazy. Dynow, you made an excellent point with your anecdote. Poor people in the USA believe their children could grow up and have a better life because the US is such a rich country with lots of opportunities. Poland, on the other hand, doesn't offer the same hope to its poor.

Oh, Dragonpiwo, is right about everything he says. TEFL is a mug's game. Rusty77, your sentiments are sound, but remember that you're in a poor country. your earning may be good by polish standards but are shite by global standards. An income of 7k PLN is only 2k USD.;/ On top of that, ESL is a decling industry in Poland. The pay has, and will, remain flat. The money teachers make now will be the same in the future, unless you somehow can manage do to more hours or get lucky by scoring a rich client. If anyone want to do ESL as a career, they must be ready to head to the Mid East or Asia in order to make serious money.
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 15322

PostPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2015 11:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Seeing a total drop out expat with a (younger) woman way out of his league is commonplace in Poland"

I have seen some of them transplanted to the Middle East.
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jb1980



Joined: 06 Aug 2013
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2015 2:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

chuckMC wrote:
I will say this again...Poland is a POOR EU country. Anyone from the rich West who wants to work there during their most productive years is crazy. Dynow, you made an excellent point with your anecdote. Poor people in the USA believe their children could grow up and have a better life because the US is such a rich country with lots of opportunities. Poland, on the other hand, doesn't offer the same hope to its poor.

Oh, Dragonpiwo, is right about everything he says. TEFL is a mug's game. Rusty77, your sentiments are sound, but remember that you're in a poor country. your earning may be good by polish standards but are shite by global standards. An income of 7k PLN is only 2k USD.;/ On top of that, ESL is a decling industry in Poland. The pay has, and will, remain flat. The money teachers make now will be the same in the future, unless you somehow can manage do to more hours or get lucky by scoring a rich client. If anyone want to do ESL as a career, they must be ready to head to the Mid East or Asia in order to make serious money.
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I'm curious as to why you are continually berating Poland. A recent study by a very reputable American management consulting group rates Poland as the best country in the world at converting economic growth into the well being of its citizens. http://www.theguardian.com/news/datablog/2015/may/28/poland-outperforms-uk-in-education-and-health-report-finds According to this, Poland is a country on the up which means opportunity for those who take a punt on this 'poor' country you have such contempt for. It also outpaced the USA in terms of real terms economic growth in case you were wondering. Plenty of work left to do yet in Poland but these facts speak for themselves. Read the full report from The Boston Consulting Group if you don't believe me, they're one of the most highly regarded in the world.

I'm also curious as to where your expertise on the Polish ESL industry and economy comes from. By your own admission you haven't been there for long and don't have decent formal qualifications. I'm genuinely interested how you have come to these conclusions. They certainly don't seem to match with independently established facts.

I must admit I find this forum very frustrating. It is difficult to find any kind of objective advice.
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chuckMC



Joined: 15 Apr 2015
Posts: 75

PostPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2015 4:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This article gives a really good analysis of Poland: http://www.economist.com/news/special-report/21604689-polands-historical-paradigmbrief-boom-long-gloomcan-be-overcome-confounding

It is not biased in favor or against Poland, its simply states the facts. There are positive things happening, but there are some serious negative things happening as well. The main concern I have about Poland is that so many of well educated Poles go to Western Europe to work. Many of whom never return. The article says:

"The number of 19- to 24-year-olds in Poland is expected to fall by an astounding 27% between 2012 and 2020 (see chart 4). And over the next 40 years the entire working population is likely to contract by more than 20%, which will put great pressure on the pensions system. This is not just because of the low fertility rate: Poles, particularly younger ones, also continue to emigrate."

Also, Poland has one of the lowest fertility rate, 1.3 children per woman.

These are serious problems. How can a country become successful if its young people are leaving in droves and those who stay are not having children?

I like Poland. I like its women, its beer, its homogeneous culture, its hospitality, its nature, its beautiful cities. Its an okay European country. But as a country to have my career and raise a family?...I don't think so. There is a reason why so many poles leave for the West. Yes, wages and living standards have gone up, but for how long can this upward trend continue if so many of its best and brightest are leaving?
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dynow



Joined: 07 Nov 2006
Posts: 1080

PostPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2015 5:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"The number of 19- to 24-year-olds in Poland is expected to fall by an astounding 27% between 2012 and 2020 (see chart 4). And over the next 40 years the entire working population is likely to contract by more than 20%, which will put great pressure on the pensions system."

this.

Come on, people. Nobody's saying Poland is Somalia. It's Poland.

jb1980, what do you know, or your internet links know, that Poles do not? Surely they need to read your post and be forewarned because going to countries like Germany, UK, USA, France, is certainly a poor financial decision. What are all those young professionals thinking!
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chuckMC



Joined: 15 Apr 2015
Posts: 75

PostPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2015 6:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Guys, I'm looking at the unemployment rate in Poland over the last 25 years. It has only ONCE dipped below 10%. Here's the link to the chart: http://www.tradingeconomics.com/poland/unemployment-rate

Currently, its 11%! Before EU free movement came into effect, unemployment stood at 20%!!!!WOW! THen afterwards, a herd of unemployed folks went elsewhere and the unemployment rate then dropped. Wonder if all of those unemployed Poles came back? Poland would truly look worse than now.
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dragonpiwo



Joined: 04 Mar 2013
Posts: 1606
Location: Berlin

PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2015 1:52 am    Post subject: erm Reply with quote

When EU funding stops.......
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jb1980



Joined: 06 Aug 2013
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2015 7:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

dynow wrote:
"The number of 19- to 24-year-olds in Poland is expected to fall by an astounding 27% between 2012 and 2020 (see chart 4). And over the next 40 years the entire working population is likely to contract by more than 20%, which will put great pressure on the pensions system."

this.

Come on, people. Nobody's saying Poland is Somalia. It's Poland.

jb1980, what do you know, or your internet links know, that Poles do not? Surely they need to read your post and be forewarned because going to countries like Germany, UK, USA, France, is certainly a poor financial decision. What are all those young professionals thinking!


You're funny. Obviously one of the best management consultancy groups in the world making an objective assessment must be full of sh*t. Seriously, everyone knows the country has its fair share of problems but it also has potential to improve. People have left for good reasons but the future could be better, thats the point. But if having a moan and not bothering to read what my post was saying floats your boat then good luck to you.
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dragonpiwo



Joined: 04 Mar 2013
Posts: 1606
Location: Berlin

PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2015 11:25 am    Post subject: jb Reply with quote

I arrived in Poland in 95 and have a son, wife and house there. I work in the Middle East though. Trust me, TEFL has got harder. I did a stint there before my current job and hung out with all my expat lifer teaching pals. All said that they are invoicing for much less these days. Training is the first thing to go when companies get the squeeze. Poland will get a huge squeeze when the EU funding stops in a few years and / or if the UK referendum votes to leave the EU and therefore make it hard for Poles to work in the UK. Knowing Poland they would do something reciprocal.

Professions like law and medicine are making Poles well-off now. TEFL is stuck in the rut it's always been in but the rut's got deeper.

I'm not saying it's impossible. The Warsaw mob have been saying for ages that there's plenty of work about. Delph seems to have got a 1-in-a-million job and there are some lucrative privates to be had. However, it's just a bind and very uncertain.

I don't take the risks I used to. It's a younger man's game in Polska and they are welcome to it.
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manumany



Joined: 28 May 2009
Posts: 16

PostPosted: Wed Oct 21, 2015 11:52 am    Post subject: Back to the original question Reply with quote

I thought I'd weigh in with my take on this question:

If you're looking for a job, you need to look at what is actually paid: a job that quotes a salary of 5000 a month, may sound very nice. However, if it's gross and you are self-employed you need to take off tax and ZUS. Add to that the fact that it may be based on the teacher teaching 30 hours, but reduced if the school doesn't give you full hours, and already you may find yourself on 2,500. Add to that the impact of not being paid for holidays such as Christmas and Easter, then factor in having to cover your own travel costs, not being paid travel time, not being paid for split shifts, or bonuses for difficult classes, then take off your rent. Suddenly you can be left with little over 1000 zl a month in your hand, averaged over the year.

With that in mind, a job that pays your rent, tax and ZUS, plus guarantees you take-home pay of 1500 min. a month for 11 months, with bonuses and travel pay may be a better deal.

So, to get a meaningful answer, the question should be more specific, such as:

"What do you expect an inexperienced EFL teacher should be able to take home after rent, tax and ZUS during the 10 months of the academic year?"

My answer to that would be 1500 zł or more for someone who is coming to Poland for the first time. This is not much, but then it is Poland and not the Middle East, and whatever our emotions may say, the question is about expectations, not hopes and desires. With more experience and having been in Poland longer, relying on private work and no middle-men I would expect to double or triple that take-home pay.
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Master Shake



Joined: 03 Nov 2006
Posts: 1198
Location: Colorado, USA

PostPosted: Wed Oct 21, 2015 5:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree, manumany, that we have to be clear about what constitutes 'pay'. Lots of language schools throw around attractive figures like '5000zl/mo.' but the reality is far from that figure, once you get into the details.

Your figure of 1500zl/mo. take home was close to what I earned in Gdansk as a newly CELTA qualified teacher back in 2007.

So if you come to Poland as a newly-minted teacher, get ready to live a pretty basic existence for a while.

Taking home 1500zl/mo is a much more 'authentic' Polish experience, in a way - it's what many of the Poles live on. Some on even less.
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Louisdf



Joined: 05 Feb 2013
Posts: 60

PostPosted: Thu Oct 22, 2015 5:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Master Shake wrote:
I agree, manumany, that we have to be clear about what constitutes 'pay'. Lots of language schools throw around attractive figures like '5000zl/mo.' but the reality is far from that figure, once you get into the details.

Your figure of 1500zl/mo. take home was close to what I earned in Gdansk as a newly CELTA qualified teacher back in 2007.

So if you come to Poland as a newly-minted teacher, get ready to live a pretty basic existence for a while.

Taking home 1500zl/mo is a much more 'authentic' Polish experience, in a way - it's what many of the Poles live on. Some on even less.

Yes but why would someone want to earn 1500zl when they could earn a lot more as a supermarket cashier AND get government assistance in the US/UK?
One of the problems with Poland is that even if you have a month where you earn less than 2000zl due to holidays/cancellations/being ill etc. you still need to pay accounting fees, ZUS and taxes. Of course, the government doesn't give a damn if you can't afford rent or your travel pass.
The way things are going, Poland will only really be suitable for people who can always rely on the bank of mum or dad or those studying part-time who qualify for student status (lower taxes). Of course, people with specialist qualifications will be able to get good salaries, but still once they have paid taxes their net income will be a lot lower than what they could earn in other European countries. Gone are the days when language schools offer big blocks in the city centre, now you're expected to commute around the city's suburbs for 60 minute classes, and if the student cancels the night before just before 7PM you get paid nothing.
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Master Shake



Joined: 03 Nov 2006
Posts: 1198
Location: Colorado, USA

PostPosted: Thu Oct 22, 2015 9:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Two things, Louisdf:

1) As manumany and I mentioned, you can expect to double or even triple your earnings after you've been in Poland a year or two. So earning a meager salary may suck, but it's only temporary.

If you're running a company, you can suspend it over the summer months to avoid paying high ZUS.

2) The cost of living in Poland is lower than in other European countries. So the money you do make will go further.

I don't know about the rest of you, but I would not agree to teach 60 min. classes out in the suburbs of Warsaw. Not unless the hourly rate the client offered reflected the commute time.
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