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What is a good salary in Wroclaw? (coordinator position for an IT company)


Hamrickcj 1 | 2
16 Dec 2011  #1
Hello all,

I am posting to see if anyone can give me a realistic idea of what a good salary in Wroclaw is? I have done a bit of research and have a pretty good idea of what things costs (renting an apartment, going out for drinks, etc). However, I am seeing a lot of different opinions as to what a good salary in Wroclaw is.

I am currently in the negotiation phase with a potential employer in Wroclaw. They have pretty much offered me the job but the compensation is still to be determined. It is kind of hard to get a feel for what would be a far deal for them and myself. They have not given me a range and are waiting on me to tell them my compensation requirements. They have said that it would be more than $5,000 Polish zloty (net) but not as high as $8,000 Polish zloty (net) per month. Without disclosing to much information I can tell you that the position is a coordinator position for an IT company. It requires a Masters degree and fluent English (which I do have a MA and speak fluent English).

I am from the US and would be moving there with my fiance. She is planning on looking for work as well. We would want to rent a flat or 1 bedroom in the old city or midtown and would like to travel on the weekends around Poland and nearby countries.

So I guess the question would be what is a realistic salary (net) to ask for? If they offered something like $5,600 Polish zloty (net) per month would that be enough to live and save a little to do some traveling? I was thinking that the Zloty equivalent to $2,000 US dollars (net) per month would be reasonable. I think $2,000 USD comes out to a little less than $ 6,700 Polish zloty (net).

I do understand that this salary is a lot by Polish standards and that if I moved there I should not expect to make my present salary. $2,000 USD per month is on the low end in the states. That's only about $24,000.00 per year. I currently make about 49,000.00 USD per year so taking $6,700 polish zloty (net) per month would put me at not even making half of what I make now in a year. But I am willing to take the loss to live abroad.

Thanks for reading,

Chris
pip 10 | 1,661
16 Dec 2011  #2
if you are hired as a foreigner you should ask for more money to accommodate your cost of living expenses- an employer will recognize this.
Wroclaw Boy
16 Dec 2011  #3
You can live off 2800 PLN / month - just about, dude its a silly question, just take what you can get. If i were you i'd be looking at 6,500 PLN minimum, and even then its going to be tight. Depends what your used to.
delphiandomine 83 | 17,625
16 Dec 2011  #4
if you are hired as a foreigner you should ask for more money to accommodate your cost of living expenses- an employer will recognize this.

The problem is that nowadays, especially outside of Wroclaw - it's not as if they're being hired for being specifically a foreigner - they're being hired on the exact same basis as everyone else. They're not going to pay up more than the going rate - why should they, when the job only requires fluent, not native English.

The fact that the job requires an MA is also a bit misleading for foreigners, given that MA's are handed out like sweets in Poland.
wrowla
17 Dec 2011  #5
Delboy, you're not right there.

Foreigners are not and shouldn't be hired on the same basis as everyone else. Often they're hired specifically because as foreigners they have different experiences, different ways of working that are very valuable to potential employers, especially visionary Polish employers who see the kinds of improvements that someone with experience of working in another culture can bring to the Polish way of working. Shortsighted employers (like you would be if you were ever to elevate yourself to that position - thankfully I doubt that will ever be the case) might not see the value, but fortunately they, like you, miss out.

A decent employer should see your value OP. If they don't, their loss, there'll be another employer who will and will reap the benefits.

Good luck to you OP!
Piotr87
17 Dec 2011  #6
An average sallary in Poland is about 3000zl. In a city like Wrocław, which is not as much expensive as Kraków for example and definitely far less expensive than Warsaw, this amount of money is more than two people need to get by. In other words, if you were offered 6000zl (net pay) in the capital it wouldn't be a big money but it would be considered as a high sallary in Wrocław. If your fiance gets a job with earnings even a half of this sum, you can live a comfortable life and do a lot of travelling.

You can always consider to stay outside the city, buy a car and in this way save a lot of money on rent which is quite expensive in the old town. (1 bedroom - about 1500zl- 2000zl, might be even more, depending on standards and the exact location of course)

As to the travelling, the city is really well located to plan your trips. (3hrs to Berlin; 3hrs to Prague; under 3hrs to Krakow; 6 hrs to Vienna; flights to many major cities in Europe)

Good luck!
Sasha 2 | 1,083
17 Dec 2011  #7
Could someone living in Wroclaw give me a list of 10-15 basic goods you buy (meat, bread, veggies, fruit etc) and their prices + price for petrol + price for renting an appartment? How much would a flat cost?
Foreigner4 12 | 1,769
17 Dec 2011  #8
I'll chime in here, take into account what your wife stands to make. If you pulled 6K net, that'd be ok but if she could pull in half that then you could realistically be living off her earnings and travelling/saving off yours. As long as your schedules align and you don't have to go out to eat all the time then you should be ok with >5.5 net earnings on your side and >2.5 on her side (first year of course).

Good luck.
LwowskaKrakow 28 | 431
17 Dec 2011  #9
6000 zl per month in Wroclaw would be ok , you would be able to rent a nice 1 bedroom flat or studio in the old town so that you and your fiance can enjoy this beautiful city and have enough money for food , outings and little trips.

You would not necessarily be tied up to the salary you are proposed or to a given apartment, after 6 months you ll be able to pretty much have an idea of costs for your chosen lifestyle and you can switch jobs and apartment to adjust it to your budget.

I would not recommend the hassle of living outside Wroclaw and buying a car/insurance cost/Gas/trafiic jam,parking) because you don't need a car in historically nice cities like Wroclaw or Krakow and you might want to experience something different from America.
Piotr87
17 Dec 2011  #10
Hi Sasha,

here is the list of the basic goods with the average prices attached:

loaf of bread - 3 zl
wholegrain bread - 3 zl
french bagguete - 3,50 zl

chicken - 15 zł /per 1 kilo
turkey - 18 zl / 1 kilo

apples - ~3 zl /kilo
bananas - 2 zl /kilo
pineapple - 5 zl/ per item
oranges - 4 - 5 zl /kilo
tomatoes - 2zl - 2,5zl/ kilo

carrots - 1,2 zl /kilo
potatoes - 1zl / kilo
cellery (head) - 3 zl /per item
sweet potatoes - 12zl/ kilo

mineral water (1,5l) - 2 zl

petrol - 5,4zl/ per 1l (current price is one of the highest in the past few years. A year ago it was around 4zl /per 1l)

The prices of course vary depending on where you're shopping and on the time of year. Fruits and vegetables are obviously cheaper in summer.

Can't tell you the appoximate cost of rent unless I know more details (how far from the city centre, how many bedrooms, modern or old architecture?). The rent might vary between 1000zl to 10 000zl / per month.
Sasha 2 | 1,083
17 Dec 2011  #11
Hi Sasha,

Thanks for the reply, Piotr!
Looks like life in Wroclaw is indeed cheaper than in Moscow when it comes to food and rent. Gas is a different story, of course.

By the way do Poles living close to the border drive to Belorussia to pump gas? It costs there half as much.
delphiandomine 83 | 17,625
17 Dec 2011  #12
By the way do Poles living close to the border drive to Belorussia to pump gas? It costs there half as much.

Not worth it really - the queues are so long to enter/leave Belarus that it just isn't economically worthwhile.
JonnyM 11 | 2,621
17 Dec 2011  #13
Exactly, it wouldn't be worth a special car journey just for that. Nevertheless, the petrol stations just the other side of the Ukrainian border have wooden ramps to reverse up. To make sure you can get as much in the tank as possible!
OP Hamrickcj 1 | 2
17 Dec 2011  #14
LwowskaKrakow / Foreigner4,

Thanks for your thoughts! Do either of you live in Wroclaw?
roca 7 | 43
17 Dec 2011  #15
Is it an international company?

If I were you, the minimum I would accept, is your currently salary in the US. Not because salaries are lower in Poland it means that you have to work for a low salary. Now that you have some experience working in the US, the idea should be to go upwards not backwards. The company MUST value that, if not, f*ck it, I am sure there would be another company which will.

Polish people are usually used to work for very little money, and get their heads down to the authoritarian-communist style boss. Don't follow that patron, you should be paid what you are worth.
CYGANEK - | 1
17 Dec 2011  #16
I showed this thread to a american friend of mine 6,000zl a month a good slary in a major polish big city, i also explained its about 1,800$ a month in a major polish big city is a good salary, he is still rolling around the floor laughing
wielki pan 2 | 250
18 Dec 2011  #17
Not worth it really - the queues are so long to enter/leave Belarus that it just isn't economically worthwhile

sorry mr d, but this not true, apart from getting a tank full of cheap fuel, plus another 40 odd litres in containers, you also buy vodka,cigarettes and sweets at never to be repeated prices....only draw back is the wait at border control...
JonnyM 11 | 2,621
18 Dec 2011  #18
you also buy vodka,cigarettes and sweets at never to be repeated prices

One litre of vodka and a carton of cigs. And sweets are pretty cheap everywhere.

mf.gov.pl/dokument.php?const=2&dzial=553&id=156713&typ=news

Nevertheless I do know people from near the eastern border who go into Belarus and Ukraine to buy clothes.

To the OP. What seems like a reasonable salary in Wroclaw has to be balanced to the fact that you are a foreigner and will spend more than someone who is at home. You'll probably want to make international phone calls to people who don't use skype, take flights abroad etc. This will push your cost of living up.
delphiandomine 83 | 17,625
18 Dec 2011  #19
If I were you, the minimum I would accept, is your currently salary in the US. Not because salaries are lower in Poland it means that you have to work for a low salary.

You're living in dreamland chap.

They likely don't care that he's a foreigner, as (judging by the salary) - it's not a high level job where you need to paying the going rate to attract the best. Experience in the US doesn't really mean anything in the grand scheme of things.

sorry mr d, but this not true, apart from getting a tank full of cheap fuel, plus another 40 odd litres in containers, you also buy vodka,cigarettes and sweets at never to be repeated prices....only draw back is the wait at border control...

With respect to vodka and cigarettes - it's not worth it when (as a border-zone resident, which is defined as living up to 50km from the border) you can only take half a litre of spirits and 40 cigarettes across. And trust me, having crossed that border a fair few times, they can and will search those people thoroughly. Normally, those from distant places get an easier time, but those living close to the border (so-called "ants") will get a thorough, proper control.

And if I recall rightly, as a border zone resident, you can't import fuel in containers too. To add to it - Ukrainian fuel isn't that cheap (not cheap enough to make it worth the huge wait) - and the Russian/Belarusian bureaucracy at the border is amazingly lengthy and tedious, making sure that it's not worth going across for it.
Sidliste_Chodov 1 | 441
18 Dec 2011  #20
If I had to move to the USA, NZ, Oz (or even Poland), I would be paid the local rate for what I do, which in several cases, would be lower than in the UK. This is why I would never move to Poland.

Why do so many people on here think that they should be paid more than a local? Unless you can genuinely offer something a local worker can't (unlikely), I just can't see how it's justified or expected.
delphiandomine 83 | 17,625
18 Dec 2011  #21
Beats me. I understand it for the very top jobs where they simply can't find someone of the right calibre in Poland, but that applies all over the world. But for just a random IT worker in a not-very-high level position? Naaw. I mean, for this kind of job, he doesn't even speak Polish - so while it might not be required, he's still at a disadvantage.

I have friends who work for an English-only company, yet 90% of mass spam HR emails are still in Polish.
Sidliste_Chodov 1 | 441
18 Dec 2011  #22
Yeah, even traditional "expat" locations like Hong Kong are increasingly looking to the local workforce for high-end jobs; many of whom can offer not only English and Cantonese, but increasingly Mandarin as well. That's somewhere I would move to tomorrow if I could, but I'd need more Cantonese than English in my job, so no chance :(
Foreigner4 12 | 1,769
18 Dec 2011  #23
Hamrickcj

no. I did stay there for a few weeks off and on years ago but the reason for that is no longer there. It is one of, if not my favourite, of Polish cities.
wielki pan 2 | 250
19 Dec 2011  #24
With respect to vodka and cigarettes - it's not worth it

I'm sure that saving a few hundred zlote is just a pee in the ocean for people like you and me, but a lot of people cross the board and purchase fuel, vodka cigarettes and sweets, the normal process is for 4 or 5 people to make a day of it and travel to the ukraine, fuel to my best recollection is about 1-2 zlote cheaper, alcohol and sweet about a quarter of the price of that in Poland. The vodka is as rough as it gets and the sweets are too sweet for me, give food products a miss as I would hate to know the hygiene laws are observed in that country, the boarder side hmmn yes it can be a long wait, but with plenty of cheap booze and cigarettes time goes very fast.. Mr D understand that in most small cities people are struggling and a small saving is a big bonus..sorry to go off topic but this has to be clarified.
Psyfy
19 Dec 2011  #25
Here is news from the Coalface...

My Wife and I live in Czestochowa. We are used to living a very good lifestyle which involves all sorts of luxuries in the way of food, wine and eating out on average 3 times per week. Actually, sometimes our restaurant bill is zl1000.000 per week if we hit it hard with breakfasts and lunch too. We travel abroad 3 or 4 times per year and drive a late model diesel Audi Q7. Skiing adds a little extra to this at Christmas time.

The point to all of this that the most that we can spend to support our lifestyle every month levels out at around zl8000.00 and we want for nothing!
jwojcie 2 | 763
19 Dec 2011  #26
@Hamrickcj, others told it all - 5000 to 8000 net in IT in Wroclaw is kind of median salary.
Taking into to account that you are a foreigner, extra costs like flying home, etc. will probably make 5000 for a couple not enough. but with 7000 - 8000 you should be fine.

Anyway, I agree with LwowskaKrakow, if you plan to live in the city center then forget about a car. Wroclaw is one of the most congested city in Poland and in EU. You will very fast start to hate this city if you plan frequent trips into the city center. Just buy some bicycles and make sure that your new place have easilly accessible place to keep them. There is no better way to explore the city than on bike ;)

PS. there is quite reasonable public transport in the town, at least as long as your place and work are near a tram/bus stop... still in the city center it is as fast as a bicycle...
OP Hamrickcj 1 | 2
20 Dec 2011  #27
It is an international company.


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