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What is a good monthly salary for an English teacher in Poland?


dieterhans
29 Jul 2014 #1
as above. also, what is an average salary for an English teacher? after tax.

assume they're working at a private school.

can anyone answer this for me please? thanks
jon357 63 | 15,378
29 Jul 2014 #2
It depends whereabouts in Poland and of course how qualified, skilled and experienced you are as a teacher. Plus the type of work you're doing. Plenty of threads here on this already.
OP dieterhans
29 Jul 2014 #3
thanks for the reply. the information already on here is at least 2-3 years old and beyond.

i've been offered a job in katowice. teaching english. i have degree in administration, a TESOL and have taught abroad before so i have experience.
jon357 63 | 15,378
29 Jul 2014 #4
thanks for the reply. the information already on here is at least 2-3 years old and beyond.

Not much change in that time

A lot depends on whether you're teaching open groups (i.e. People who've signed up for a course at a language school) or teaching in-company. In Katowice you'd need about 4000 zl to live comfortably, though some would undoubtedly settle for less. I suspect that most private language schools there would struggle to guarantee you that.
DominicB - | 2,709
29 Jul 2014 #5
i've been offered a job in katowice.

Agree with Jon. Financially, it would hardly be worth moving to Poland for less than 4000 PLN a month net, guaranteed, 12 months a year. And to get that, you'd have to be pretty darn special. Not too many newbies are guaranteed that much.

Frankly, unless you have a real specialty and some serious experience, teaching English doesn't pay much in Poland these days. It's fine if you do it as an extended vacation with a view to learning more about the country and it's people, but it's a poor long-term career choice and not much of a career enhancer on your CV. If you're after real money or real relevant experience that you can sell to future employers, there are much better options. Teaching English in Poland would be putting your life, and your career, on hold for a year or two.

i have degree in administration

The time would be better spent getting a more salable degree and/or real solid salable vocational qualifications. Try engineering, especially petroleum, geological or biomedical engineering, or advanced applied mathematics related to business/finance/economics.
CMC
21 Apr 2015 #6
Merged: How much money can an English teacher make?

I am wondering how much money is possible for an English Teacher to make in Poland. More specifically, I am curious about the incomes in Wroclaw. I was thinking about teaching 40 hours a week at a wage of 40 PLN at least; that would yield an income of 6400 PLN a month in which there is no vacations. Is this realistic?

Thanks
scottie1113 7 | 898
21 Apr 2015 #7
Register and I might answer your question.
CMC
22 Apr 2015 #8
Sorry scottie1113, I forgot my log-in information from my previous account. As a result I can't receive my new password through my email address since it is registered under my old account. Confusing, I know. I hope i didn't disturb you because I didn't register.
DominicB - | 2,709
22 Apr 2015 #9
I was thinking about teaching 40 hours a week at a wage of 40 PLN at least; that would yield an income of 6400 PLN a month in which there is no vacations. Is this realistic?

Not for someone just starting out. It would take you a long time to build up a reliable clientele that would enable you to make that much money, and that is going to be very hard to do unless you have serious qualifications in a specialty area like law, science or medicine. Also, the logistics of teaching 40 hours a week would be horrendous.

By reliable clientele, I mean students that show up for practically every lesson and practically never cancel. Those are scarcer than hen's teeth, and worth their weight in gold.

As a beginner, you are highly unlikely to make more than half that. Competition in Wrocław is fierce, and there are scads of unqualified Brits and Irishmen who give "conversation lessons" for as little as 20 PLN an hour. Basically, beer money at best. They will make it even harder for you to build up a clientele.

Even if you register as an independent contractor and farm yourself out to schools, you will have great difficulty getting 40 hours a week. And that would involve the dreaded and tiring split day: lessons for two hours early in the morning and for six hours in the late afternoon and early evening, with a big fat dead gap in between.

Like I said, tops you can realistically expect as a beginner in Wrocław is going to be about 3000 PLN after taxes.

Anyway you cut it, teaching English to make serious money is no longer a viable option in Poland. That ship has long since sailed. The best you can hope for is an extended break from the real world. Even established teachers are having a hard time, as wages have stagnated while the cost of living and the level of competition have substantially increased. If there are any opportunities left, they are in places off the beaten track where few foreigners ever go and the cost of living is lower than in the big popular cities like Wrocław, Warsaw and Kraków. Finding those places, though, takes a considerable amount of research. Probably more than it's worth.
jon357 63 | 15,378
22 Apr 2015 #10
How long is a piece of string? It's just about possible to make that amount in Wroclaw, however you'd need to be very well established and teach a lot of hours. You'd also have to deal directly with corporate clients (the kind who have an in-tray full of offers from tried and tested training providers).

As a newbie, forget it. In Warsaw, the British Council pay around that, however they have a lot of highly qualified and experienced people they can call on if they have a vacancy and plenty of part-time people who would be ahead of you in the queue.
CMC
22 Apr 2015 #11
Thanks for the replies. I will actually be a second year teacher by September. Right now I am teaching in a small town. Next year I plan on working for many schools and having some privates. Currently, i make 4000zl NET in a tiny town. I work between 35-40 hours a week just for one school. How will it not be possible to make more in a big city like Wroclaw?
terri 1 | 1,665
22 Apr 2015 #12
There is an old saying: 'suck it and see'. Try it out and then let us know how you got on.
If people tell you that 'competition is fierce' - that means there is competition to teach the same people.
Anyone who can offer private lessons for 5PLN (per 60 minutes) will have more clients than someone who teaches for 40 PLN (per 60 minutes) (assuming they have identical qualifications and experience).
jon357 63 | 15,378
22 Apr 2015 #13
You'd be surprised. In Poland people often think that if something is expensive, it's worth having. There's a story (sounds apocryphal but apparently true) about someone advertising private lessons at 40zl a pop. She didn't get many takers and was short of money so she put the price up to 60zl and got a lot more enquiries...

But yes, I agree, suck it and see. If it doesn't work out, the OP can always move on elsewhere and as long as he's not afraid of hard work (and doing 40 teaching hours is hard for one week, never mind week in week out - think of all the planning time and materials writing too!) then he does have a chance to make a decent income.
Roger5 1 | 1,458
22 Apr 2015 #14
I work between 35-40 hours a week

That's quite a workload, even for a very experienced teacher. Do you prepare much?

i make 4000zl NET in a tiny town

Then you should stay there. This is great money for someone of your experience. You could move to a city and find yourself moving all over town, spending time and money getting to clients who cancel at the last minute, or who make you wait ages for payment. At the moment you work in one locus. Think about it. I once worked for a school in Prague which sent me to corporate clients everywhere in the city. I worked out that I used 49 separate public transport vehicles per week to get to them. You have it good now. I'd stay there and rack up more experience.
scottie1113 7 | 898
22 Apr 2015 #15
I don't think you'll ever find a job there that will guarantee you 40 hours a week. 20-25 is more likely. Of course, you can supplement that with private lessons, but those take time to build up. Nonetheless, I wish you good luck if you decide to try it.
rozumiemnic 8 | 3,801
22 Apr 2015 #16
She didn't get many takers and was short of money so she put the price up to 60zl and got a lot more enquiries...

you know there is something in that. In my education related business I realised a lot of people were undercutting me wildly so I raised my price.
Roger5 1 | 1,458
22 Apr 2015 #17
so I raised my price.

Presumably it worked, but you are vastly more experienced than CMC, who doesn't realise how well off s/he is at the moment. And you know your market. I keep my prices pretty low, but I have a constant supply of work. It's a balancing act. That said, my pricing structure is very wide. The lowest I work for is 50 PLN/hour for some, up to well over twice that for corporate fat cats.
DominicB - | 2,709
22 Apr 2015 #18
Currently, i make 4000zl NET in a tiny town.

Taking in cost of living, that's much better than you can expect to do in Wrocław, and probably the best you could do anywhere in Poland. Like I said, if there is anyplace in Poland where money is to be made, it's off the beaten track in small towns where no foreigners go. No competition.

For cries ache, stay where you are and spend your time building up a decent clientele.

How will it not be possible to make more in a big city like Wroclaw?

Wrocław is one of the most attractive cities to live in in Poland, and, consequently, one of the most expensive. It draws scads of British and Irish slackers and backpackers who are desperate enough to give "conversation lessons" for as little as 20 PLN an hour. No school in Wrocław is going to agree to give you 40 hours a week. You would be lucky to get 20, and even then, you would probably have to work for several schools.

Also, don't forget Wrocław is a bit larger than the small town you are in, so getting from lesson to lesson can eat up a lot of your time.

By the way. I lived in Wrocław for eight years myself. Before that, I lived in a small town off the beaten track. Materially, I would have been better off in the small time if I had made my living solely by teaching.

There's a story (sounds apocryphal but apparently true) about someone advertising private lessons at 40zl a pop. She didn't get many takers and was short of money so she put the price up to 60zl and got a lot more enquiries...

That isn't going to happen unless you have serious qualifications, and it won't work for young teachers. Clients that go for this want to see a thick layer of coarse hair on your oversized balls. If you are not a genuine alpha male, forget about it.

I charged 70 PLN to a few select clients who were very reliable and gave me lots of hours per week in three hour blocks. More mentoring than teaching, though. Otherwise, I just didn't find it worth my time to deal with bit players. I made a lot more on translating and editing without the hassle of scrambling around town from client to client. For the universities, I charged 60 PLN because they were pretty reliable about paying me. Sometime a few months late, but I could count on getting paid eventually. But then, I have a research doctorate and a medical degree as well, so I was operating on a plane where I had no competition.
jon357 63 | 15,378
22 Apr 2015 #19
That isn't going to happen unless you have serious qualifications, and it won't work for young teachers

This was someone barely qualified with a card on the noticeboard in a local supermarket. Remember that in PL if something is cheap, people are suspicious.

No school in Wrocław is going to agree to give you 40 hours a week.

This is true. Most of them haven't got that much work to give.

Like I said, if there is anyplace in Poland where money is to be made

Warsaw is possible, but you have to have the credibility and the ability to sell to corporate clients. Plus specialisms help.
DominicB - | 2,709
22 Apr 2015 #20
Remember that in PL if something is cheap, people are suspicious.

You could count the Poles that think 40 PLN for an English lesson is "cheap" without taking your shoes off.
jon357 63 | 15,378
22 Apr 2015 #21
Too many to count in Warsaw.
scottie1113 7 | 898
22 Apr 2015 #22
CMC, do you have any teaching certificate? CELTA is the gold standard here.
CMC
22 Apr 2015 #23
Thank you guys for the advice. I very much appreciate it. As for going to Wroclaw next school year, I intend to work for a Direct Method school for 20-25 hours; since there is little prep required. Also, I have experience in this Method, so it will be easier for me to find work at these schools. For the other 10-15 hours, I want to do conversation classes and/or traditional teaching, just to add variety to my schedule. I plan to work for different schools, and not just one. Scottie1113, I don't have a CELTA yet, because I have some reservation about doing this English teaching gig long term. I get the feeling that the English teaching profession in Poland is really held in low regard. When I tell people I teach English, they always say "what else do you do?" I am still think about getting qualified.

As for me being in a good position...I realize that my situation is okay. There is no competition and the boss is very easy with me. I feel a little pampered to be honest. But I am 25 years old (a male by the way, Rodger5). Working in a small town is good to gain that initial experience. You can learn the ropes of life and the English teaching market here. But after the first year, there is no benefit of staying in a small town. Think about it, there only 20,000 people, most of whom are going nowhere in life (I mean that respectfully). Very few are looking to learn English to better themselves. People are poor here. There is little economic activity in places like this. In order for me to develop as a person, professionally and socially, I must leave for the big cities. There, I will meet ambitious people who will set an example of how I should be and where I should go. I can discuss this on and on....:)
DominicB - | 2,709
22 Apr 2015 #24
I intend to work for a Direct Method school

If you're talking about Speed, you might want to rethink that. I have never heard a good word about it in all my years in Wrocław, and the teachers I know that worked there were all pretty much unsatisfied. Pick a school with a better reputation. Speed's is so bad that they even posted fake positive reviews about themselves on this forum. Pathetic.
scottie1113 7 | 898
22 Apr 2015 #25
Direct Method are pure crap, and if you list them on your CV, you'll be laughed out of any reputable school as soon as they read it. If you still plan to move to a larger city, you'll find that only CELTA will open doors for you.
CMC
22 Apr 2015 #26
Ok, I will stay away from Speed. Thanks for looking out.:) I have checked the Direct Method website to see what DM schools there are in Wroclaw. There seems to be a dozen schools doing the method. Obviously, I must talk to them to see how the use the method in regards to what freedom teachers have to alter the lessons.

And I know that Direct Method schools are in ill-repute in the teaching circles, but if I am going to work a lot of hours then I will need to do some teaching at these schools. I am seriously thinking of getting a CELTA in the future, but I am waiting to see if teaching is the right course for me long term. I mean, what's the point of spending 5000zl or whatever for a certificate that will not be useful if you leave the teaching game? I prefer to take a wait and see approach.
jon357 63 | 15,378
23 Apr 2015 #27
When you said you want to earn 6400zl, you didn't mention that you're unqualified. There are people with DELTA, never mind CELTA who barely make that (and some on less).

'Direct method' language schools tend to pay peanuts (and in fact do employ monkeys sometimes, strategically shaved and dressed in suits). At least they're mostly organised on the basis that anyone can deliver the training without any special skills. For real teaching, it's a little different. Conversation classes by the way are not an easy option - real ones aren't just chatting, they require longer and more complex preparation than most other types of lessons and a more sophisticated understanding of what learning goals the client needs and precisely how you're going to ensure they meet them.

Being a professional trainer is a serious thing. You need to understand about the learning process, language acquisition, classroom dynamics and interaction patterns, how to use threads through the course, error analysis, many other things too long to mention at this time of the morning, as well as having a large toolkit of techniques. I wouldn't call it 'the teaching game'.

Teachers (not just bods who use phrases like 'the teaching game'), trainers and lecturers are in fact highly respected in Poland. Especially if they're good at it.

I notice you baulk at paying 5,000zl for a course that gives you the absolute basic techniques yet you hope/expect that companies will pay you many times that over the course of a year for delivering a product that you have not training for. Worth remembering that most of the people who will come to you for lessons have paid good money (often making sacrifices so they can afford it) as well as committing time and effort. It isn't unreasonable that you know how to deliver the goods and not just punt out 40 hours a week of something that you don't really understand.
Uberwald
23 Apr 2015 #28
The flaw in this plan is logistics. A Direct Method school in Wroclaw will demand a lot from their teachers because they have such a wide and varied pool of native speakers to choose from. They won't accept someone turning up tired and unenthusiastic, as they simply don't have to. Wages are also an issue, as the amount of competition in Wroclaw for unqualified jobs is huge.

Let's say you get 20 hours from a Direct Method school, which would be a hell of a good start. Those hours will be in the morning and evenings, normally 7-9 and then between 17-21. Such schools will normally run 17:00-18:50 and then 19:00-20:50, so you won't be able to move between schools for hours. If they offer you 20 hours, they'll expect you to fit the school's schedule, not the other way round.

That leaves 20 hours between 9-17. Where will you find such hours? You don't have the knowledge to teach corporate classes, and hardly anyone wants classes during the working day. Those that do will expect good teachers, and unlike in your small town, Wrocław is full of decent teachers and many average ones.

By the way, English teachers are respected if they know their game. No-one respects Direct Method teachers.
Roger5 1 | 1,458
23 Apr 2015 #29
There is no competition and the boss is very easy with me. I feel a little pampered to be honest.

Just imagine a good school in a big city, where your colleagues will be experienced Polish teachers with Masters degrees in Philology and Linguistics, or CELTA/DELTA-trained native speakers.

Think about it, there only 20,000 people, most of whom are going nowhere in life

Compare that with highly motivated students, many of whom will have a thorough grounding in English grammar. You will have to be ready for some tricky and highly specific questions from them.

You need to understand about the learning process, language acquisition, classroom dynamics and interaction patterns, how to use threads through the course, error analysis

Exactly.
CMC, you should use some of the money you've earned to do the CELTA. You might be surprised by what you don't know. I was.
Dougpol1 32 | 3,245
23 Apr 2015 #30
CMC, do you have any teaching certificate? CELTA is the gold standard here

Funnily enough, there are some who "get their foot in the door" as opposed to Spud in 'Trainspotting' simply by looking the part. I know a young teacher in Katowice who has never ever been asked for his (non-existent) CELTA or any other piece of paper, and he consistently walks into jobs. I on the other hand was the most senior teacher around that circle (who didn't hold the DELTA) and the girls at the desk would always ask to see my Cambridge certificate before they would call a DOS:)

Summary - some people still fall for smooth presentation and flannel :)


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