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Is finding an engineering job in Poland difficult? Do I have to be fluent in Polish?

benny194 1 | 3
12 Sep 2011 #1
Hey everybody. Just wondering if you can help me out. My fiancé and I are considering moving from Ireland to Polandat some point in the future. My fiancé is Polish so she wouldn't have any problems with the language or finding a job. I have basic/intermediate Polish and am a qualified Engineer with more than 5 years experience. Ideally we'd love to settle down around the Cracow area since her family is from there. Does anyone know how difficult it would be to find an engineering job in that area without completely fluent polish? Also, does anyone know what the average engineering salary is in Poland? Any information you could provide would be very helpful!
PWEI 3 | 612
12 Sep 2011 #2
Does anyone know how difficult it would be to find an engineering job in that area without completely fluent polish?

The question is what you can offer a potential employer that a Polish candidate can not offer and whether that plus will outweigh the rather large minus of you not being able to communicate with the majority of the Polish staff at the company. In other words, it is going to be very very difficult.
Foreigner4 12 | 1,768
12 Sep 2011 #3
You'll have to look at trans-national firms as there are a few of them that have English as their official work language. I don't know Krak-land that well in terms of the market there but I know it is the case with some companies in Silesia (keep in mind they're foreign owned).
pip 10 | 1,659
12 Sep 2011 #4
what type of engineering? I think it is a good idea to look for foreign companies that have offices around Krakow and apply from Ireland with the intent to move.
OP benny194 1 | 3
12 Sep 2011 #5
@PWEI: I was thinking that would be my biggest hurdle. My Polish is progressing fairly well but it's going to be quite a while before I'm satisfied with it. You think I would be better off waiting?

@pip: It's fairly broad to be honest. I've experience with mechanical engineering, project management and general research and development. I've heard that Krakow is more IT focused. Do you know if there are many general engineering companies in the region?
pip 10 | 1,659
12 Sep 2011 #6
I wouldn't know- but I think there is somebody here that does---I can't remember who, unfortunately. Just sit tight a bit somebody will pipe in soon enough.
jwojcie 2 | 763
13 Sep 2011 #7

I have no knowledge at all about your domain, but just for sport I looked into the net, so for example this site:
with "inżynier mechanik" phrase which I hope means more or less "mechanical engineer" gave me this:

"Product manager with English in Automotive field" in Cracov.
It is from grafton recruitment agency:
another one:

Why not contact them and apply just for sport? I'm quite sure you'll be able to get info about wage differential in your domain from head hunters.

As for general engineering companies in the region if not Cracov then Upper Silesia area is quite close - which means many possibilities (probably I should mention here Fiat factory in Bielsko-Biała, or other factories in Tychy or Gliwice). Big international companies are located mostly in special economic zones. Here you can see for example list of companies in such zone in Upper Silessia:

Maybe you will find a company you've always wanted to work for ;)
OP benny194 1 | 3
13 Sep 2011 #8
Thanks jwojcie. There's lots of useful information here! I'm going to take a look around for good recruitment agencies and maybe expand my area of search a bit. Until then I'm going to work harder to improve my polish.
Ajb 6 | 232
13 Sep 2011 #9
Hi, i have a good friend who is employed in a polish company, he is a native who started with intermediate Polish. So for sure it is possible!

As far as i know Krakow is an IT area, however 90km east is a city called Bielsko-Biała, which has Fiat and many other companies connected to it.

I shall PM you with some ideas :)
OP benny194 1 | 3
14 Sep 2011 #10
Thanks very much Ajb. Much appreciated!
28 Jul 2016 #11
oh my has been 5 years that u have posted this between did u find a job benny.. i would love to work in poland and i am a there any possibility?
Lyzko 33 | 8,284
28 Jul 2016 #12
It sure would help.
28 Jul 2016 #13
sorry lyzko i dint understand what ur trying to say
Lyzko 33 | 8,284
28 Jul 2016 #14
It would sure help to know Polish if you are looking for an engineering job in Poland, that's all:-)
Marsupial - | 886
29 Jul 2016 #15
People who work for me in Poland are both engineers. Polish is 1000% essential in their case. It depends on the job and who you will deal with, There are jobs where English is fine. In my case they deal with Polish companies and are native poles themselves.
31 Aug 2016 #16
Hello, I randomly found this post and have myself worked in Poland initially not knowing much Polish. I am American and my girlfriend at the time (now wife) is from the Krakow area. In 2002, I graduated from college with a degree in Electrical Engineering, and we decided to move to the Krakow area. I knew only a few words/phrases in Polish at the time.

At the time I was willing to work any job and found a job teaching English within a month (in fact, I eventually was teaching at 2-3 different schools). Native speakers are highly desired, although there seems to be a slight preference for British English speakers (as opposed to American). The school I taught at (Callan) requires absolutely no knowledge of Polish; all you needed was a degree and you were qualified. The method they use only requires you to speak in English. There are many such schools in Krakow.

The salary was plenty enough to pay for rent and living expenses. As I was working as a teacher, I was able to get a few interviews at some engineering companies in the area. A few of them I was able to get through some of my wife's contacts. After about a year, I was extremely lucky to interview with an American company and was eventually hired. It was a long process, but well worth it. I was hired on the grounds that I was a native speaker of English, and all employees needed to speak English (since it was an American company) so they wanted me in the office to encourage/enhance the use of English. I also agreed to give free classes to coworkers, proof read documents, etc. In return, I learned a wealth of knowledge in software engineering and was coached/mentored very graciously by my coworkers. They also helped me learn Polish and I am now fluent. OK, I have an American accent and make a lot of grammatical mistakes, but I can hold a conversation on most topics.

For me this was the experience of a lifetime and I wouldn't trade it for anything. If you want it bad enough, it can be done. You just have to be persistent and willing to make sacrifices to get what you want. Good luck!
Lyzko 33 | 8,284
31 Aug 2016 #17
Good for you, ol' man! Follow through and don't let anyone belittle your efforts:-)

It'll all make your professional experience so much more worthwhile.

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