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Moving to Poland to work installing fire sprinkler systems

Dankaz 1 | 1
27 Mar 2015 #1
Hi my name is Daniel

I m a dual citizen of Canada and Poland
I speak, read and write Polish too

I've lived in Canada for 30 years and was born in Poland

I install fire sprinkler systems and am a part of a union
I am licenced and have been doing this trade for 11 years

Have family in Poland and was thinking about moving back there.

My questions are.
Does Poland install fire sprinkler systems in there new construction

I've done commercial and high rise residential

Does Poland have unions for trades

How much would a licensed pipe fitter make

Would my license be valid in Poland or would I have to do all my schooling and apprenticeship over again

Where would I even apply for the position or get ahold of the union

And I'm planning on coming there with 80 000 Canadian. Is that enough to start a life there and live more then above average

I have many more but would love to get some feedback first. Thanks
Hrvatwithapolak 1 | 23
27 Mar 2015 #2
As a fellow Canadian, I sincerely hope you find some good answers.

I'd like to live in Poland one day (my girlfriend is Polish) but employment for both of us is a problem.
DominicB - | 2,709
27 Mar 2015 #3
I have many more but would love to get some feedback first. Thanks

Sign a five year contract for an oil company in Alaska, Scotland, Norway or the Gulf, and then you could retire to Poland and live off the interest on the money you saved. Or you can work two or three months on an oil platform and spend the rest of the year on vacation in Poland.

There's precious little reason to earn money in Poland if you can do so elsewhere. The wages are too low, and your skills, qualifications and union membership can bring you much more elsewhere.
Polsyr 6 | 769
28 Mar 2015 #4
I worked in fire suppression systems (specifically pumps) for several years before moving to Poland. Including an internship in Canada, which is where I went to college.

Based on my experience I will give you a few pointers;

1. Completely different sets of codes apply. While in the US for example they use NFPA and what not, over here you would be looking at a complex hybrid system of codes that varies from town to town and project to project, but generally revolves around PN-EN or often VDS. In some municipalities they are actually allowed to use municipal water directly (without a separate pump installation) for sprinklers or hose reels. In my last place of residence, the codes were based on NFPA, so I am still getting my head around the mosaic of codes over here.

2. You will have to deal with a level of corruption that might be exotic to someone that grew up in Canada.

3. Adding to point number 2, you will also deal with a different way of doing business communications. Knowing the language alone does not mean you automatically know how to do business communications. That will come with time and experience. In fact, not knowing Polish when I moved to Poland helped me learn the local business culture independently from the language, which made learning the language far more interesting since I could correlate between aspects of language and culture. It has been and continues to be a great learning experience.

4. You may face trouble with the reliability of potential staff. Some will even try to take advantage of you. I am not saying that everyone is horrible, most people are wonderful, but there is a certain mind set that is somewhat common to a particular generation... To make a long story short, don't assume that "can work independently" means what it says.

5. The tax structure here is more complex and less friendly, so you will have to outsource your accounting services which adds cost.

Having said the above, there are tons of positive aspects of starting a new business here, especially in your field. I deal everyday with great minds and interesting projects all over the place. Even with the challenges, I am very happy that I made the decision to start my own business here in Poland.

My line of work is relevant to your line of work - I supply pumps including for fire protection, as well as fire pump controllers. Feel free to write to me here and perhaps we can share our experience and cooperate one day.
cms 9 | 1,271
28 Mar 2015 #5
You could not live off the interest you save unless you had about 2 million dollars cash - that would give you about 20k dollars after tax.

If you have a skill and speak polish then come over and enjoy yourself
28 Mar 2015 #6
That would depend entirely where he invested the money. A bank give you 1% as you say, but there is a whold range of other possibilities. One fund at my company is returning 11% based on property, which remarkable given its low risk.

Other funds in our company are based on shares, commodities and currencies and are shockingly volitile, maybe they will return 25%, maybe -5%, its impossible to say.

This is a interesting report, UK based pension funds that returned 12% and over for 30 years.

One of the companies there, M&G, have returned 7% per year for 20 years for my small pension.

Having said that 80k CDN is too small amount to retire on, at least 3 times would be the minimum
OP Dankaz 1 | 1
29 Mar 2015 #7
Thanks for the feedback.
But I don't plan on retiring I want to keep working and installing the fire protection.
I was wondering if going there with 80 k would be enough to start by buying a house and surviving with groceries and gas. That kind of stuff.

And is there a website that I can apply for jobs in Poland for my line of work

Is there unions in Poland.

Which union would it be that I'd have to get ahold of ?

Polsyr 6 | 769
29 Mar 2015 #8
There are unions, but not specific to this trade as far as I know. If you are looking to be employed by someone else, 80k CAD should be enough to get you on your feet, but you won't be able to buy a house with that sort of money AND live off of it for several months. You will probably need some sort of professional certification before you can be employed.

However, if you play it right, you can potentially start your own business with that kind of money, provided you are able to get some financing facility once you are awarded some actual projects.

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