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What are the income expectations of ESL teachers
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Louisdf



Joined: 05 Feb 2013
Posts: 60

PostPosted: Fri Oct 23, 2015 8:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Master Shake wrote:
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.

You can only suspend it for the entire month, not part of the month. So if you have a holiday for a week and then later in the month you're sick for a week, you would still need to pay an entire month's ZUS contribution. Language schools generally pay 60 or 65zl (sometimes 70zl) brutto per hour irrespective of the location. In Wroclaw/Poznan the rates would be lower, probably around 50 or 55.
The cost of living maybe 5 years ago there was a big difference, but prices have crept up in the last few years. Food is cheaper if you mostly eat Polish food and public transport is still affordable. However, clothes and electronics are the same price (or sometimes more expensive) than in Germany or the UK. Unless you want to share, a small 25 metre studio near to the metro/tram line is going to cost at least 1600zl+bills. Newer apartments are even more, and in many cases you would need to pay a rental agency fee which is typically never less than 50%+VAT.
So once you have paid ZUS, tax and an accounting fee, rent for most teachers earning on average 4500-5000zl a month will be almost half of their net monthly salary.
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dragonpiwo



Joined: 04 Mar 2013
Posts: 1574
Location: Berlin

PostPosted: Fri Oct 23, 2015 6:25 pm    Post subject: erm Reply with quote

It really is a struggle there now.

I was offered as little as 45 gross there last year with 20 years experience. My rate of 70 was laughed out the room.

TEFL teachers are 10 a penny in Poznan. Schools even hire students for 20 or 30.

Self-employed is the way forward but risky if you have fixed bills. It's much harder these days.
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Master Shake



Joined: 03 Nov 2006
Posts: 1197
Location: Colorado, USA

PostPosted: Sat Oct 24, 2015 2:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Louisdf, we've covered prices in Poland on this forum ad nauseam.

It's true that a teacher running a company can easily end up spending upwards of 2500zl/mo. on rent, ZUS and taxes. The solution is to earn more than 5000zl/mo.

The rates you quoted sound awfully low to me. When I taught in Warsaw last year, I was charging 80zl/hr. for privates. Lessons taught for the British Council or Akedemia pay upwards of 100zl/hr. Do 2 25-hour teaching weeks earning 100zl/hr. and you've already made your 5000zl.

You can suspend your company for partial months. I've done it. You pay the full health insurance, but the 'social insurance', I believe, is prorated.
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dragonpiwo



Joined: 04 Mar 2013
Posts: 1574
Location: Berlin

PostPosted: Sun Oct 25, 2015 6:21 am    Post subject: hummmm.... Reply with quote

Look, no-one's making the rates up. Just go on nativespeaker.pl and see what your competition is willing to work for. Also, browse the Gumtree praca section in Polish and see what schools are really offering.

TEFL to adults in Poland has been done to death. Never have there been so many native speakers, never have there been so many good Polish teachers, never have the rules made the lot of a TEFL teacher so uncertain and all this has happened during a period over which Polish kids are getting better at English earlier and earlier in school and the cost of livng has increased dramatically. When I look at the 20 odd years I've been associated with Poland, so much has changed for the better. However, the lot of the TEFL teacher has declined exponentially.

Would I start out there now? No a cat in hell's chance unless I had wealthy parents who were prepared to sub me.
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Louisdf



Joined: 05 Feb 2013
Posts: 60

PostPosted: Sun Oct 25, 2015 9:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Master Shake wrote:
Louisdf, we've covered prices in Poland on this forum ad nauseam.

It's true that a teacher running a company can easily end up spending upwards of 2500zl/mo. on rent, ZUS and taxes. The solution is to earn more than 5000zl/mo.

The rates you quoted sound awfully low to me. When I taught in Warsaw last year, I was charging 80zl/hr. for privates. Lessons taught for the British Council or Akedemia pay upwards of 100zl/hr. Do 2 25-hour teaching weeks earning 100zl/hr. and you've already made your 5000zl.

You can suspend your company for partial months. I've done it. You pay the full health insurance, but the 'social insurance', I believe, is prorated.

That's true the British Council pays more than 100zl an hour. However, you would need a minimum of 2 years experience to even be considered. Like Dragonpiwo said, there are lots of natives and good Polish teachers who spent years living in the UK/US so the BC can pick and choose who they want for a few select hours. In-company classes are less in demand now, many companies expect new employees to already come with sufficient language skills. They only invest in the top executives to have 1:1 classes and that's it really.
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sparks



Joined: 20 Feb 2008
Posts: 626

PostPosted: Sun Oct 25, 2015 11:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yet, I'm personally acquainted with dozens of native speakers who wouldn't go near a private lesson for less than 80 zl (not from the BC, by the way) and who have plenty of work and make well over the 5k sum that seems to be the minimum in Warsaw. Students are quicker to get fed up with poor teachers but are willing to fork over decent money for the ones who are able to step it up a bit. Also, there is still more work than one can handle in the capital.
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dragonpiwo



Joined: 04 Mar 2013
Posts: 1574
Location: Berlin

PostPosted: Sun Oct 25, 2015 11:59 am    Post subject: hummm Reply with quote

There's loads of work in Warsaw. However, go on Szukaj Lektor and count how many jobs are advertised in Wielkapolska. Better still. Search for Gumtree praca native speaker and see how many there are in Poznan. It's pitiful.

5000 PLN is not a magic number. It's a dire wage in Europe in 2015.
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sparks



Joined: 20 Feb 2008
Posts: 626

PostPosted: Sun Oct 25, 2015 3:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't know about the other places, so I'll take your word...
Also, I agree with the 5k not being much number, until recently my basic monthly bills (excluding food and any entertainment) came to about that. This is why it is necessary to "step it up" if you plan to stay here longer.
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Master Shake



Joined: 03 Nov 2006
Posts: 1197
Location: Colorado, USA

PostPosted: Sun Oct 25, 2015 6:23 pm    Post subject: As for Warasaw... Reply with quote

I don't know about other places either, but I wouldn't necessarily take dp's word on things being so dire.

We all know that most of the better schools don't advertise on Szukaj Lektor or Gumtree. It's also common knowledge that there are jokers, students or desperate souls out there willing to take 30zl/hr. This isn't news. It's been like this for at least a decade.

Some teachers complain about low hourly rates and scarcity of work while others have more well-paying work than they can handle. Why is this?

Obviously, there are a significant number of wealthy Poles out there who are willing to pay out for lessons from a qualified, experienced, native speaker teacher. These people don't look for their teachers on Gumtree; they don't attend lessons at 'Speed Skillz' English. You are unlikely to meet them if you continue to work at such places.

The British Council requires a CELTA and 2 years of experience. Go out and get that, then get some work at the BC and watch your situation improve - and I don't just mean teaching classes for the BC either. There used to be a noticeboard in the BC teachers room that was just for students seeking private lessons - not 30zl/hr stuff, well-paying stuff. Get to know the other BC teachers, demonstrate your competence, and they'll hook you up. The BC is often hiring new teachers for a significant number of hours. It's not true that they 'pick and choose who they want for a few select hours'.

And the BC's not the only game in town either. Sparks knows.
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dragonpiwo



Joined: 04 Mar 2013
Posts: 1574
Location: Berlin

PostPosted: Mon Oct 26, 2015 5:53 am    Post subject: hummm Reply with quote

Shake, your advice is only relevant to Warsaw. The vast majority of native speakers don't teach in Warsaw. They are in Bydgoszcz, Torun, Gdansk, Wroclaw, Bielsko-Biala, Koszalin, Jielona Gora, Krakow and dozens of other much smaller places.

The British Council linked schools in Poznan pay nowhere near that.
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Master Shake



Joined: 03 Nov 2006
Posts: 1197
Location: Colorado, USA

PostPosted: Tue Oct 27, 2015 4:37 pm    Post subject: hummm.....burrrrp Reply with quote

The British Council is expanding into several of the Polish cities you mentioned. The rates they pay in those cities should be good, though not quite as much as in Warsaw. BC Krakow pays in the 80zl/hr range, for example. I'm not sure what you mean by 'British Council linked schools'.

Warsaw is where I lived for 4+ years, so I know the ropes there and can give valid advice. I know teachers in other Polish towns who are doing just fine financially too, but most aren't making the kind of money you can earn in Warsaw.

So if the lower wages in Koszalin or Bielsko-Biala got you down, give Warsaw a shot before writing off TEFL Poland.
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Louisdf



Joined: 05 Feb 2013
Posts: 60

PostPosted: Sun Nov 01, 2015 10:56 pm    Post subject: Re: hummm.....burrrrp Reply with quote

Master Shake wrote:
The British Council is expanding into several of the Polish cities you mentioned. The rates they pay in those cities should be good, though not quite as much as in Warsaw. BC Krakow pays in the 80zl/hr range, for example. I'm not sure what you mean by 'British Council linked schools'.

Warsaw is where I lived for 4+ years, so I know the ropes there and can give valid advice. I know teachers in other Polish towns who are doing just fine financially too, but most aren't making the kind of money you can earn in Warsaw.


Yes but you have now left. I was there until June this year and over the past year it was a lot less easier compared to when I arrived (2012). The in-company market is still quite big, but as I mentioned earlier employees only want classes from 7:30-9 or 5-6:30 and these classes cannot be guauranteed on a weekly basis as employees go on business trips/are ill/on holiday. The market for kids is quite good though, but many of these places expect you to already have lots of experience with Polish kids and a CELTA YL certificate. There is also a trend for more students to have more Polish teachers instead of a native, as their standards are a lot higher than 20 years ago when few Polish teachers had ever lived in an English speaking country.
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dragonpiwo



Joined: 04 Mar 2013
Posts: 1574
Location: Berlin

PostPosted: Mon Nov 02, 2015 4:17 am    Post subject: Teaching in-company. Reply with quote

Yes, Louise, you are right. I did in-company teaching for 3 months at the end of 2014 , beginning of 2015. My lessons started at 7 or 8am (can't remember) and between mid-December and mid-January the classes were suspended due to people taking holidays. I had a private student too (70PLN/hour) and she did the same. Her father also cut the lessons to 3x90mins a month because he was struggling. It's really uncertain.

Without a doubt, the best way there is to get a cushy uni job and do their minimum hours and do privates to fill up your timetable and other stuff of course. The uni job will pay you 12 months of the year, so you have summit in the lean 4-month summer period and winter break.

I don't believe in the false economy of driving to a private to teach 1 hour for 70 PLN. By the time you've done the maths, paid tax and zus and petrol, you are earning less than a UK shelf-stacker.
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Master Shake



Joined: 03 Nov 2006
Posts: 1197
Location: Colorado, USA

PostPosted: Mon Nov 02, 2015 5:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

To sum up:

in-company lessons = not really worth the trip. Even if you can get blocks of hours, which doesn't usually happen because everyone wants the few coveted 'prime time' hours, cancellations are inevitable and frequent.

uni. jobs = cushy, but hard to come by. You teach a small number of hours but get full benefits and a steady (albeit low) salary. Almost all require a Master's.

teaching kids = still loads of work out there, and demand for experienced, qualified teachers is particularly high. Fairly predictable schedule as kids rarely have last-minute meetings or go on business trips.

I know which type of lesson I'd base my schedule around. BTW, the YL extension to CELTA is only 2 weeks. A worthwhile investment if you ask me.
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 15288

PostPosted: Wed Nov 04, 2015 11:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Can you earn enough to support a decent life, pay for holidays and make some provision for retirement.

I know the answers.
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