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What is the truth about working in Warsaw?
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jb1980



Joined: 06 Aug 2013
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2015 11:01 am    Post subject: What is the truth about working in Warsaw? Reply with quote

I posted on here a while ago about my future plans to teach English in Warsaw. To recap, I am a native speaker, I have CELTA, Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws and I currently work in a management position that would be useful for teaching business english. I'll have no mortgage or rent costs in Poland, my wife is Polish and has some good contacts.

Realistically, what can I expect to earn? I'd like to hear genuine truthful answers because scanning this forum for the first time in a while I see a lot of replies to other queries that seem to me to come from people harbouring grudges for some reason or maybe even slyly thinking they'll put off the 'competition.'

I do not for one second believe that one person can claim you'll earn 1,600zl a month and be in abject poverty and others say they earn good salaries and are not rich but comfortably off. Someone has to be telling porkies.

Could I politely ask for a truthful opinion of how easy it is to get a job and what rates of pay are. No bullsh*t or butthurt please. Wink
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sparks



Joined: 20 Feb 2008
Posts: 629

PostPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2015 11:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Let's say you do 5 classes a day/ 60 zl a class (net) That's about 6 k/month. Of course you can do more and earn more or charge more or do something else. That's a rough basic answer.
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jb1980



Joined: 06 Aug 2013
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2015 11:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

sparks wrote:
Let's say you do 5 classes a day/ 60 zl a class (net) That's about 6 k/month. Of course you can do more and earn more or charge more or do something else. That's a rough basic answer.


Thank you sparks, appreciate getting a straight forward answer. I'm somewhat curious to know why there seem to be a good number of axes to grind on the Poland forum but I'm more interested in finding out about the teaching TBH.
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dragonpiwo



Joined: 04 Mar 2013
Posts: 1633
Location: Berlin

PostPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2015 1:00 pm    Post subject: but remember Reply with quote

It's 6 k/month all the time you work and can get 5 hours a day.
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jb1980



Joined: 06 Aug 2013
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2015 2:15 pm    Post subject: Re: but remember Reply with quote

dragonpiwo wrote:
It's 6 k/month all the time you work and can get 5 hours a day.


Is that for general English? I understand there is greater demand for business English and also more opportunities for those willing to teach children.

Where are you now BTW? Some posts gave me the impression you were in Poland on furlough from work in the middle east last year but your location says Berlin.

PS thanks for the straight answer, however I feel like there is an unwritten 'but' at the end of that sentence, happy to stand corrected if I'm wrong.
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chuckMC



Joined: 15 Apr 2015
Posts: 75

PostPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2015 2:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Remember that you don't get paid during public holidays, sick leave, cancelled lessons, summer/winter break. Basically that 6k a month estimate will only be achieved for a few months. The other months will have breaks and/or holidays. TEFL in Poland is not a good long term career choice. The pay has, and will, remain the same forever. In 15 years, TEFL will be a low to average paid profession; just like it is in Western Europe.

Anyways, give it shot. Do it for a couple of years and then get back to real life. Good luck!! Smile
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jb1980



Joined: 06 Aug 2013
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2015 2:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

chuckMC wrote:
Remember that you don't get paid during public holidays, sick leave, cancelled lessons, summer/winter break. Basically that 6k a month estimate will only be achieved for a few months. The other months will have breaks and/or holidays. TEFL in Poland is not a good long term career choice. The pay has, and will, remain the same forever. In 25 years, TEFL will be a low to average paid profession; just like it is in Western Europe.

Anyways, give it shot. Do it for a couple of years and then get back to real life. Good luck!! Smile


So you never looked for work to cover those periods? Most people I've seen on here who have done well seem to find work to take this into account and apparently this is easier if you work in Warsaw. As I replied to another post of yours it'd be good to see some facts as to your assertions re the future of ESL in Poland. You say in 25 years it'll be a low to medium paid position as in Western Europe. That seems to carry the implication that is well paid now yet you take every opportunity to point out how crap the pay is and what a poor country Poland is. If I had been working in Poland for 25 years I would have expected to use my contacts, skills and past career experience to branch out into something more profitable. By many accounts this is definitely achieveable for anyone with a bit of acumen and the ability to think outside the box.
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Master Shake



Joined: 03 Nov 2006
Posts: 1202
Location: Colorado, USA

PostPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2015 3:24 pm    Post subject: Warsaw Reply with quote

jb1980 wrote:
dragonpiwo wrote:
It's 6 k/month all the time you work and can get 5 hours a day.


Is that for general English? I understand there is greater demand for business English and also more opportunities for those willing to teach children.

Where are you now BTW? Some posts gave me the impression you were in Poland on furlough from work in the middle east last year but your location says Berlin.

PS thanks for the straight answer, however I feel like there is an unwritten 'but' at the end of that sentence, happy to stand corrected if I'm wrong.
Hi jb1980,
There's actually a but in subject line of his post. Wink

His point is that you can get 6k a month in Warsaw BUT only in months with no holidays...

Don't worry, there are opportunities to earn extra cash over the summer, like summer camps and intensive courses.

Another thing to keep in mind is that you will earn significantly more money after your first couple of years in Warsaw: You'll find better paying clients and schools; you'll get work doing examining, proofreading, voice acting, etc..

I charged 80zl/60 min. for private lessons and usually had all the work I could handle. The lessons i taught for schools paid more. I lived in Warsaw for almost 5 years and last worked there in 2014. I mostly taught teens and exam classes. I may well return to Poland after I finish my current teacher training gig in Japan.

I know what you mean about the constant grumbling on this forum. The sad fact is that there ARE a lot of schools all over Poland which pay terrible rates (if they pay at all) and treat teachers like servants. Many people did a short stint in Poland at one of these schools and their view of TEFL Poland has been colored by this experience. A few people just like to run Poland into the ground to boost their own egos (e.g. those who often boast about how much they earn elsewhere).

But the fact is that you'd have to be pretty clueless, booze-addled, lazy, or just plain bad at teaching to be in Warsaw for more than a couple of years and still be working at one of these crappy schools.

Just remember that for every Negative Nancy on forum there are 10 teachers happily earning a living in Poland who do not post on Dave's.
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sparks



Joined: 20 Feb 2008
Posts: 629

PostPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2015 4:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I keep some private students on the side to help balance out the holidays/semester breaks. Of course the 6k is an estimate for someone beginning, I never have problems earning my minimum requirements (way more than 6k) for each month, you shouldn't either Smile
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dragonpiwo



Joined: 04 Mar 2013
Posts: 1633
Location: Berlin

PostPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2015 4:40 pm    Post subject: what! Reply with quote

Go and suss it out.

Rates really haven't gone up since I first went there in 95. PWC (ex Coopers) were paying me 200/hour in 97, so if you get a lucky break it's doable. However, you'll see that there's a lot of competition and it's very half-arsed.
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Master Shake



Joined: 03 Nov 2006
Posts: 1202
Location: Colorado, USA

PostPosted: Thu Jun 04, 2015 5:21 pm    Post subject: Re: what! Reply with quote

dragonpiwo wrote:
Go and suss it out.

Rates really haven't gone up since I first went there in 95. PWC (ex Coopers) were paying me 200/hour in 97, so if you get a lucky break it's doable. However, you'll see that there's a lot of competition and it's very half-arsed.
This from a guy who hasn't worked in Warsaw for almost 2 decades. I was there last year and sparks is there now.

Believe who you like.
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dragonpiwo



Joined: 04 Mar 2013
Posts: 1633
Location: Berlin

PostPosted: Thu Jun 04, 2015 7:55 pm    Post subject: erm Reply with quote

You need some reading lessons shake. If I made 200/hour in 97 and people make 100 now, go figure. Worked in Poland for 3 months end of 2014. Lived there on and off for 2 decades.
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sparks



Joined: 20 Feb 2008
Posts: 629

PostPosted: Thu Jun 04, 2015 8:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

200 zl/60 min. x let's say 25 hrs/week=5k/week=20k zl/month, in 1997...

Jeez man, you MUST have been living like a king. Lots of American professionals don't make that.
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dragonpiwo



Joined: 04 Mar 2013
Posts: 1633
Location: Berlin

PostPosted: Fri Jun 05, 2015 3:23 am    Post subject: erm Reply with quote

I didn't make that with all my privates, just 1 lucky break. I taught at the uni and wrote for a magazine and recorded stuff on a weekly basis.

Anyhow, the guy should go suss it out and see if he and his wife like it. With zero rental costs he has a big advantage over your average Joe. It'll be fun for a while. Then he'll hit the glass ceiling. He'll love some things and hate some things. For sure, it will be a step down.
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chuckMC



Joined: 15 Apr 2015
Posts: 75

PostPosted: Fri Jun 05, 2015 6:55 am    Post subject: Being honest Reply with quote

jb1980, I take it that you are in your mid 30s. Really, at your age and development it is probably best for you stay in your rich home country and continue your career or look for another. Both options are MUCH better than going to a poor EU country and embarking on a dubious career, which industry is in decline. Like I said before, there is not much money to be made here in Polska. At best, your income will equal that of a burger flipper at McDonald's back home. As of today, an income of 7k PLN is only $1,900.Sad

TEFL in Poland is still a good option for someone looking to learn the culture, a student looking for extra money, or an early retiree looking to keep mentally sharp. But for someone who is in their prime working years, it's a terrible career choice.
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