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IT Infrastructure Engineer Expected Salary in Poland

grady 1 | 1
24 Nov 2016 #1
I'm hoping to get some advice on what to expect to make in Poland as a young professional that's been in the I.T. industry for 7-10 years. My skills are very broad in system administration. VMware, Storage, Exchange, Directory/AD... I have advanced knowledge of exchange and office 365. I've recently been looking at positions in Warsaw/Wroclaw that seem to all offer around 3000/USD/mo.

I've researched on this forum and others, along with reddit and want to get an opinion if living on ~13,000 PLN/MO or 3000/USD is worth moving from USA to a very well known international company in Wroclaw or Warsaw. I would consider myself somewhat senior in knowledge and expertise.

Ideally I'd like to come to Poland for the ability to experience a new culture, people and travel across Europe when possible. I'm hoping that this salary would enable me to do this, along with living comfortably and saving.

What portion of taxes would be taken out of this? About 20%? Thanks in advance and I'm looking forward to hearing what the good people of this forum say :)
DominicB - | 2,709
25 Nov 2016 #2

First of all, I'm assuming that you are single,

If so, then the only financial figure that matters when you take a stint abroad is savings potential in dollars. Wages and cost of living are not important in and of themselves except in relation to savings potential.

The cost of opportunity then is the loss of savings you would incur in coming to Poland versus working in the States. While the decrease in wages may seem acceptable to you, you really have to calculate the decrease in savings, which is going to be more drastic.

Taxes are more like a third of total income.

You'll be more than able to live comfortably and travel, but you're not going to be able to save up near as much as you could in the States. You will have to decide for yourself whether the net loss in savings is worth your while. Don't forget to include the losses associated with social security and pension funds.

There are plenty of threads on here about cost of living in Poland. Most pertain to young entry level workers, so you'll have to up those figures to match the lifestyle of a senior IT specialist. A car will be a significant expense that you can probably do without.

Consider it a working vacation than a wise career move. The change in scenery may do you well enough to offset the financial loss. The networking you do may pay off in the future. But if savings is an important factor for you, then be prepared to take a major hit.
terri 1 | 1,664
25 Nov 2016 #3
In my opinion, only take the job if you can see that you have prospects of advancement in you career - experience, working for an international firm etc.

Remember also, that when you decide to return to the US, you may not be given the credit that you deserve for having worked in what is considered a third-world country.
rtz - | 46
25 Nov 2016 #4
If Poland is a "third-world country" I bet 99% of your home electronics was made in the void.
terri 1 | 1,664
25 Nov 2016 #5
My suggestion was that any future employers in the USA may not look favourably at someone who has spent their time working in Poland (unless it is to further their own career path).They may question the reasons for doing so.
DominicB - | 2,709
25 Nov 2016 #6
I have to agree with Terri that a year in Poland is unlikely to further the career goals of an American IT engineer, UNLESS they are sent to Poland by their employer, or they speak Polish well enough to do some heavy-duty networking.

Like I said above, treat it as a working vacation, not as a wise career move.

Another part of the opportunity cost that has to be taken into account is being cut off from effective networking in the States. While that might not actually set you back much, it will prevent you from progressing during the year you are here. It would be a hiatus. Whether it is worth it or not depends on what you hope to gain from living and working in Poland. If it is career advancement or savings, then it would probably be best to forget about it. If it's only fun and adventure, go for it if you think you can afford it.

Future employers in the States will probably view it as a hiatus and might ask for an explanation, as Terri said. They probably won't hold it against you, but it is unlikely to help, either.
OP grady 1 | 1
25 Nov 2016 #7
Hi everyone. First, I want to say thank you all for the responses. All of them are very insightful and contain great information.

The savings potential is definitely less than staying in America like Dominic said. This is one thing that is making my decision hard. The adventure, ability to travel across Europe and experience a whole different culture in my opinion may be worth more. My end goal is becoming a Director of I.T. at a large worldwide company but that's years down the road. Luckily one of the companies in Wroclaw that I'm interviewing with is a very well known worldwide company and very respected across the world. I think this would help with the transition back to the USA if I was so inclined.

I will be visiting Warsaw and Wroclaw in about a weeks time... I hear it's cold there this time of year ;) Looking forward to it.
peter_olsztyn 6 | 1,098
26 Nov 2016 #8
They say a drop to -10'C is coming. Windscreen scrapers in hand cavalry! ;)
terri 1 | 1,664
26 Nov 2016 #9
...and long johns. (skin tight trousers that you wear under your regular trousers)
peter_olsztyn 6 | 1,098
26 Nov 2016 #10
I have seen a girl in mini skirt and pantyhose (lets say 40den) today. She must have had panties made of titanium. She wasn't violet. It must be some kind of internal heating system in which girls are equipped ;)

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