The BEST Guide to POLAND
Unanswered  |  Archives 
 
 
User: Guest

Home / Work  % width posts: 41

Teaching English in Poland? I am American and I have the CELTA certification.


TJD 2 | 4
10 Jan 2014 #1
I would like more information regarding teaching English in Poland. I am American and I have the CELTA certification.
smurf 39 | 1,981
10 Jan 2014 #2
What would you like to know?
OP TJD 2 | 4
10 Jan 2014 #3
How hard is it to get a job? What is the visa and/or work permit process for an American? When do schools hire? What is the pay rate?
gask7 - | 50
10 Jan 2014 #4
Why Poland ? Do you want start your own business or just become a teacher in one of many English school we just have in Poland ?

google.pl/#q=angielski+dla+prawnik%C3%B3w
OP TJD 2 | 4
10 Jan 2014 #5
I don't want to start my own business in Poland, but I might want to teach at one of the language schools there. I taught English in Armenia (I'm part Armenian), but pay there (for pretty much any field) is very bad. I live in Chicago and the Poles here seem to speak English pretty well. (I don't just mean the ones who were born here - I mean the ones who moved from Poland to the US). I don't have much of an interest in teaching in Asian countries. I want to teach in Europe, but I'm from the US - so, obviously, not from an EU country. Poland seems like a good option. Also, I'm a lawyer and there are many Poles in Chicago, so perhaps living in Poland for a while and learning a little Polish will be useful for obtaining employment as a lawyer here.
Monitor 14 | 1,820
10 Jan 2014 #6
I think that other posters will tell you that all jobs in big cities are taken and that you should try your luck in smaller and eastern cities. They will also tell you that summer is the time for job hunting and that pay now is lower than in the past because of big competition.
smurf 39 | 1,981
10 Jan 2014 #7
I don't want to start my own business in Poland,

Some schools require that you have to I'm afraid. You'd have to set yourself up as being self-employed.
You'd need to pay your own taxes, either monthly/quarterly/yearly and pay you own social & health insurance (ZUS - this begins at, I think roughly 300-400zl per month for the first 2 years and then jumps to almost 1000zl per month after that).

Some places will hire you without this, but in my experience to be able to work for a few different places and have private work outside of school hours it's best to set yourself up as being self-employed.

Re: American visa, I'm from the EU so I'm afraid I don't know much about obtaining a working visa for Poland, maybe some of the American members can point you in the right direction.

Money varies depending on which city you live in. It kind of works in opposite to what you'd expect, the bigger the city the lower the wage for English teachers, this is because there are already many native-speakers in these cities so that drives the money down.

However, in smaller cities...as Dominic B wrote in another thread, such as the ones located around en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silesian_Metropolis - Katowice (a union of 14 smaller cities) there aren't so many native-speakers so work is easier to find. Also cities such as £odz, Rzeszcow, Lublin, Białystok would have far less native-speakers than in the more attractive places like Warsaw, Krakow, Wrocław.

Monitor is correct in what he says, best time to find work is late August and all through September. School begins in late September/early October.

Money isn't wonderful in teaching, expect to receive between anything between 40-60zl per hour in a school starting out, private lessons would be around the same, but at least those are cash jobs. The best money is in teaching lessons in companies in the mornings, you can get anything for 90-150zl per hours depending on your experience.

Be aware though that you won't be working 40 hour weeks, normal teaching in a school goes from around 4.30-9.00pm, early lessons in companies can begin at 7.00-10.00am, so you may only work 7.5 hours per day...or only 4.5 if in a school, giving you between 225-375zl per day......you won't be paid for vacations/public holidays too, so be aware of that....and Poland has a lot of these. You won't receive a penny for school vacations either...so that includes, Christmas, mind-winter break (usually end of Jan/start of Feb), Easter, Summer holidays (3-4months - but you may find a job in a summer school/camp) and the vast array of Holy Days and public holidays.

You can certainly make a living teaching here, but you won't make a fortune or save a bucket of cash. Spending power is far less in Poland than in other EU countries, you're money certainly doesn't go as far here as in other EU countries. Food and drink are cheap, clothes aren't. Electronics are the same price are other countries, but you earn far less, so if you want an iPod for example, it will take you longer to save for it here than it would in say, Germany, France, etc.

I hope you don't think I'm painting a dark picture here, Poland can offer a ton of opportunity, but you really have to put the hours in before some doors are opened to you.

Best of luck making your decision.
Dougpol1
10 Jan 2014 #8
Smurf - your advice is a little off the mark if I may say so....

Katowice is flooded out now that it is the "new" developement centre (still grey and depressing of course for those of us who are not the Lexus brigade and are eking out a crust)

There are far more native speakers here in Tri-City than in Katowice - but far more work. Vis a vis your theory about large towns being a no-no for the OP is not necessarily true. IMO :)

And whoever mentioned a Spolka and paying ZUS, well, I've gone over to private healthcare and I'm done with state insurance after 20 years. Now on minimum pension rights, and the OP wont be needing a Polish pension so he has no need to pay the criminally overpriced and inept Polish ZUS I would have thought.

"Development" - in case the "call yourself a teacher" brigade are lurking lol
Harry
10 Jan 2014 #9
If he has a dzialalnosc gospodarcza (which a lot of schools will want him to have), he is required to pay ZUS. If he has a spolka (which he won't need), he won't have to pay ZUS but his accountant's bills are going to be about as much as ZUS would be. If he goes with the umowa o dzielo, his taxes will be slightly higher (or at least in effect they will be, because he'll have much less that he can deduct) but he won't be required to pay ZUS and will have no accountant's bills to pay.
smurf 39 | 1,981
10 Jan 2014 #10
Katowice is flooded out now

Not the part I'm living in :D
All the native-speakers I know here who teach are turning away work because they are so busy. I haven't taught in years and I still get schools mailing me asking to come back to it.

large towns being a no-no

I wouldn't really consider Gdansk/Gdynia/Sopot large, so yea they would be on my list of smaller cities to hit up, far prettier than Kato for sure, but that's neither here nor there....although Gdynia is a bit of a kip, it's like Katowice but with a harbour ;)

If he has a dzialalnosc gospodarcza (which a lot of schools will want him to have), he is required to pay ZUS.

yep, I wonder if it's possible to get ZUS payments back if you leave the country? A bit like in Ireland, if you work for a few years and then leave the govt will give you back some tax because they can't use your tax credits for the following year's tax............I know it's not officially a tax, but it's certainly an unofficial tax.......and a complete load of bollix.
InWroclaw 89 | 1,915
10 Jan 2014 #11
If you have an e-signature (thanks to dandd for that info), you can do some or all of the registration on-line, I believe. You have to register some code or codes called PKD which describes your business activity in Poland. Then I think you always have to pay ZUS, but it's cheaper for 2 years then it rockets. I think the accountancy fees and hassle of keeping the tax records and trying to make yourself understood at the tax and other offices, is not to be taken lightly. Plus I think that there are country of tax residency issues to consider, eg if a Brit, then the Poland govt might say you're Poland tax resident which might mean you lose any tax-free allowance in the UK if you have an income there. I'm of course no expert, but this is my recent understanding of it when I thought about dipping a toe in. Am happy to be put straight by any more learned members...... :o)

Hopefully useful link for the online stuff prod.ceidg.gov.pl/ceidg.cms.engine (should be in English there)
Dougpol1
10 Jan 2014 #12
I haven't taught in years and I still get schools mailing me asking to come back to it.

Yes:) That would be right, but I for one got a bit fed up with getting up at 5, dashing down to the coal mine for 6.30, followed by the classic employer routine of paying 3 weeks later.

The OP might consider the following tongue in cheek "report":

Empik:
+ Nice people to do business with
- Notoriously late payers. 2 separate entities for school and firm. 2 lots of paperwork. Poor rates.
Profi-Lingua:
+ Pay on the 5th day after month end
- I couldn't possibly say what I really think of them - this site would be closed down. Bad rates.
Longmans
+ Britishness flowing around. Great resources and structure
- Painful reports and meetings. Overly chummy.
Schools/colleges/uni
+Careerist. Published. Lectures, sabbaticals, conferences, all that type of thing. Intereresting and more fulfilling intellectually than TEFL for some.
- Institutionalised. In bed with the enemy. Conformist. Some habits that die hard. ***** and then more ***** bureacracy. Dzien Swira type money for those in the ranks.

AN Other
+ Come and go. Do the job. Negetiate your own rate. Some freedom.
- No support.
Own school:
+ Challenging. Answerable to the learners/parents, not some Polish DOS/accountant. Emply a motley crew and build the team.
- Bureacracy, and then some. Patience. Funding. No life outside work but the bottle :)

AN Other does it every time for me now.

Smurf, a little bird tells me (maybe not surprising), that Gdynia has by a large degree the highest number of working girls in Poland. I keep expecting to hear Kato accents. I do miss all that :)
InWroclaw 89 | 1,915
10 Jan 2014 #13
he has no need to pay the criminally overpriced and inept Polish ZUS I would have thought.

When did it become optional to pay ZUS? News to me!!! I was told if a person is self-employed he/she must pay it monthly or even weekly. Genuine question.
smurf 39 | 1,981
10 Jan 2014 #14
That would be right, but I for one got a bit fed up with getting up at 5, dashing down to the coal mine for 6.30, followed by the classic employer routine of paying 3 weeks lat

haha yea, nasty stuff.

Gdynia has by a large degree the highest number of working girls in Poland. I keep expecting to hear Kato accents. I do miss all that :)

hahahaha!

Genuine question.

I was told the same, but if I've been paying unnecessarily then maybe there's a way to get it back? Probably not, but god loves a chancer...or something like that.
InWroclaw 89 | 1,915
10 Jan 2014 #15
I was thinking of starting a firm in PL, but the costs of the ZUS and the rest of it, put me right off. If someone had told me that I needn't pay ZUS and could opt-out (which I don't think you can, but I await anyone who can tell me different without taking the p**s being their motive) I'd have started a firm a while back. No, not English teaching, as it's not really my cuppa long-term.

It has always been optional to pay ZUS.

Harry, I've never heard that before. Thank you, if you're not pulling my leg.
In that sort of contract, how is the tax paid and who has responsibility for it?
I assume it can only be used for teaching or similar contracts, not a small enterprise/new biz?
How come PL Govt doesn't mind that no ZUS is paid?
DominicB - | 2,704
10 Jan 2014 #16
I'm an American who moved to Poland and worked several years as an English teacher to establish residency.

First of all, I came here twelve years ago, when the job market for American teachers was a lot more friendly than it is now. Since then, Poland has joined the European Union, which has made it a lot easier for British and Irish teachers to find jobs, but has made it more difficult for Americans to do so. Also, the economic crisis has greatly reduced overall spending on English lessons, so that students are harder to find now and wages are generally depressed. The flood of job seekers from the UK and Ireland also intensifies competition and drives down wages, particularly in popular destinations like Kraków, Wrocław and Warsaw.

The wages you can expect to earn as an English teacher in a school are not all that attractive, and even less so considering that you will be paid for only eight months of work, and receive nothing for the Christmas, winter, and summer vacation periods. You can expect to make about 24,000 PLN over the course of the year, which is about $8,000 US, $10,000 at the most. You are going to be slumming it, by US standards, even if you are very frugal and have no bad habits. Figuring in the cost of airfare and the fees for the residency permit, the best you can expect is to break even living a very frugal lifestyle.

To get a residence permit, you will need to land a REAL work contract (umowa o pracy). "Garbage" contracts will be of no use (umowa o dzieło and umowa zlecenia). There is no great incentive for an American coming to Poland to establish their own company unless they are born businessmen with long-term goals and plenty of savings to hold them over for at least five years or so.

Your law degree might help in landing a job, and might translate into a modest increase in wages, but don't count on it. The places where it is most likely to help is in Kraków, Wrocław and Warsaw, where the high cost of living would eat up whatever extra money you make. Actually, the law degree is likely to help only if you have long-term plans of settling in Poland and becoming a legal translator.

If any opportunities still exist for Americans to make a go of it at teaching, they exist outside of the popular destinations (Kraków, Wrocław, Warsaw, Poznań and Gdańsk/Gdynia/Sopot). Best try your luck in the less popular cities like £ódź, Katowice and environs, Rzeszów, Lublin and Białystok, or in smaller cities like Kielce or Augustów. There are a lot fewer English native speakers in places like these, and often schools are begging for teachers there. Whether those schools are willing to go through the incredible hassle and expense of hiring a non-EU teacher depends on their lack of success in finding an EU teacher.

Sorry, but there is little if any financial incentive for a US citizen to seek work as a teacher in Poland. The most you'll get out of it is a year of adventure and experience. At the wages your making, the adventure will be limited, and the experience you gain will probably be of little value in your future career.

All in all, you could spend the year far more productively in the States, either working or studying and building up your qualifications and experience. Coming to Poland would me putting your life on hold for a year just for a "fun" extended vacation. If that's what your after, give it a try. If your after earnings and future career development, forget about it. You could learn Polish just as well in Chicago.
InWroclaw 89 | 1,915
10 Jan 2014 #17
[i]How come PL Govt doesn't mind that no ZUS is paid?

I assume they don't get the contractor a NIP or REGON either. It's a very curious thing, this contract. I would love to know more about how it can be used, but it sounds to me like the contractor has to still arrange to pay their own taxes and that probably this still needs an accountancy person to deal with it. I can't imagine an accountant saying 'Yeah it's okay not to pay the ZUS, don't worry, they don't expect you to." I was always told you absolutely always pay ZUS one way or the other. Bizarre news to me...
Harry
10 Jan 2014 #18
it sounds to me like the contractor has to still arrange to pay their own taxes and that probably this still needs an accountancy person to deal with it.

No: the school deducts 18% of your wages every month and pays that to the tax office (tax rate is 20% but you can treat 10% of your income as being the cost of earning your income, which means you can deduct 10% of your gross income from your taxable income and thus pay an effective rate of 18%). At the end of the year you can (if you want to), file a tax return and get back your overpaid tax (i.e. 20% of your tax-free allowance).
Monitor 14 | 1,820
10 Jan 2014 #19
Umowa o dzieło means agreement for work. It cannot be used repeatedly between the same employee and employer. The person performing work is not a company, cannot issue Invoice. That's the reason why many companies refuse to cooperate with teachers who would like to work with Umowa o dzieło.

But I don't know why do you say ZUS is too expensive. First 2 years it's only 350zł per month.

Starting a business takes a couple of hours
The formalities associated with starting a business activity
You need a maximum of a few hours, and 170 zloty (if you want to pay VAT).

Economic activity is cheap to maintain and permits deduction of income tax instead of income, but it is not the only possibility. Depending on your needs, you can choose a limited liability company (z o.o.), joint stock company (SA), or various other forms. Choose a legal status depending on your needs, not because some random person says that Economic activity is great, and the SA cost a fortune.

( according to: like-a-geek.jogger.pl/2011/06/22/nie-zakladaj-firmy-przed-poznaniem-tych-20-informacji )
and can lower payed income tax, when treated as costs of work coming down to effective 200zł if I remember correctly)
Also person registered as a company in other EU country doesn't have to pay ZUS in Poland (but there must be some details when it's possible)
Harry
10 Jan 2014 #20
It cannot be used repeatedly between the same employee and employer.

It was used between me and the same employer for seven years and there was no problem at all when the tax office checked over my records (which they needed to do back then every two years, as an 'all clear' from the tax office was one of the requirements for getting a residency permit). You might be getting slightly confused with an umowa zlecenia, those are (I think, I've never had one myself) limited in terms of the number of times they can be used between an employer and an employee.

But I don't know why do you say ZUS is too expensive. First 2 years it's only 350zł per month promotion.

And after that it's about a grand, for which the person paying it gets three-fifths of bugger all in return.
InWroclaw 89 | 1,915
10 Jan 2014 #21
Thank you, again, Harry. So, from that I assume the employer also pays the ZUS unless I have a company registered elsewhere in the EU in which case I don't pay ZUS. Of course, the drawback is that for most small business transactions, they want no strings and no contract beyond one day's purchase of a service or good.
Monitor 14 | 1,820
10 Jan 2014 #22
You might be getting slightly confused with an umowa zlecenia,

No. According to art. 22 § 1 - 12 of kodeks pracy, "umowa o pracę" cannot be replaced with "umowa cywilnoprawna" (for example umowa zlecenie or umowa o dzieło) when mandatory performs specific type of work for employer under his suprevision and in the time and place chosen by employer.

But probably nobody checks it or it's hard to prove. Just in my opinion work of teacher in language school meets above written criteria for umowa o pracę.

Thank you, again, Harry. So, from that I assume the employer also pays the ZUS unless I have a company registered elsewhere in the EU in which case I don't pay ZUS.

when it comes to umowa o dzieło nobody pays ZUS. It's called colloquially "umowa śmieciowa" - garbage agreement, because in many cases it's replacement to minimum salary work agreement in order to pay even less.
Harry
10 Jan 2014 #23
So, from that I assume the employer also pays the ZUS unless I have a company registered elsewhere in the EU in which case I don't pay ZUS.

No. I don't know how I can put this in simpler words: there is no need to pay ZUS if you work on an umowa o dzielo. Got that?

specific type of work for employer under his suprevision

If you teach (especially if you teach in-company), you are not under employer supervision.

Just in my opinion work of teacher in language school meets above written criteria for umowa o pracę.

If it did, somebody would have gone to court to prove it by now.
Monitor 14 | 1,820
10 Jan 2014 #24
If you teach (especially if you teach in-company), you are not under employer supervision.

perhaps. I am not a lawyer :)
InWroclaw 89 | 1,915
10 Jan 2014 #25
No. I don't know how I can put this in simpler words: there is no need to pay ZUS if you work on an umowa o dzielo. Got that?

I've got that bit, I just don't understand why there's the exemption. It seems too good to be true.

when it comes to umowa o dzieło nobody pays ZUS. It's called colloquially "umowa śmieciowa" - garbage agreement, because in many cases it's replacement to minimum salary work agreement in order to pay even less.

Thank you, but as I said to Harry, I just don't understand why they allow no ZUS on those contracts. I'll assume it's in the Act that Harry quoted with some explanation as to why contained within the Act. I just wonder why they'd be so kind as to waive ZUS on that contract. I always worry when tax people seem kind...
Monitor 14 | 1,820
10 Jan 2014 #26
I just don't understand why they allow no ZUS on those contracts.

funny that you're so suspicious about it, because I've just seen in the news that prime minister announced that he will change the law and ZUS will be necessary also with Umowa o dzieło.
InWroclaw 89 | 1,915
10 Jan 2014 #27
Seriously?! Sigh. I just knew he read the forum! I wonder if he posts or just lurks (reads but doesn't participate).
Did he say when the law would be changed? Wielkie dzięki by the way, I wouldn't otherwise know as I can't understand Polish very well.
Maybe 12 | 409
10 Jan 2014 #28
When I taught English in Poland on average I cleared 3500zl a month in the hand for 25 hrs a week at school, working in the evenings and 2000zl a month as a part time Business Development manager work for a local Polish company for 20hrs a week.

So every month I had 5500zl, my wife earned around 4000zl a month teaching (she had more hours) and no mortgage nor rent.

Having said that, I defected back to the UK because I became so incensed with the idiocy I had to deal with at both the language school and the other firm. I returned to my previous profession back in the UK. Now, however, I am returning to Poland on a part-time basis because I will be living half the month in Poland and half the month in the UK working. It is a perfect balance. The beauty of this is that my wife no longer has to work and can concentrate on being a yummy mummy and I only have to work for 6 months in the year.

@OP go for it and good luck, but be warned the EFL trade is a cowboy business riddled with charlatans and foreign chancers.
Dougpol1
10 Jan 2014 #29
I work on Umowa o dzielo or officially take my dog for long walks to Gdansk and Sopot's good people who feed the dog and hand me bundles of cash for teaching their ten year olds.. Works for me.

Any company work on bills/proof reading/voice overs/dictionaries goes through my schools, which are managed by a company who "employs me". Not illegal.

But I don't know why do you say ZUS is too expensive

Are you for real? I almost burst a blood vessel there. When I went it alone and wifee took the house and businesses I was earning around 5,000 legit after tax. ZUS then took 1,200 of that as my share of the Spolka cylwina business I had built up. Now Harry might explain where I've been going wrong, that I could claim this and that - but I'm just a simple bloke - and what if I was only earning 3,000 after tax - the ZUS is still 1,200.

Any normal economy fixes person national insurance as a percentage of earnings.

I would never commit murder - but a ZUS office in every town? We have one. One. In Newcastle upon Tyne..
Have you ever seen the ZUS holiday complexes on the Baltic, such as in Wolin?

Criminals - pure and simple. Not one more Zloty from me.Ever.
InWroclaw 89 | 1,915
13 Jan 2014 #30
which are managed by a company who "employs me".

If it's done through an accountant and the teacher's annual income is approx. 50K PLN, accountants round here take over 300PLN a month for that service. They admit it's expensive and offer reasons why. Anecdotally, teachers here that I bump into at bars or even in Lidl (and that should tell you something) say that these fees and the lack of students mean any talk of an economic recovery seem like a joke*. However, it could be that high schools are teaching English (very successfully, in many cases) and this is eating into the number of prospective students available in cities like Wro. Plus, hardly a month goes by when I don't see some new school advertising.

*That said, witness the gleaming new cars everywhere here, 4x4s, Beemers, Mercs, et al. A lot of people seem to have borrowed it or earned it. Seems like more new cars here than Belsize Park.

I work on Umova o dzielo

Regarding the Umowa o Dzieło...
Spoke to an accountant today about this type of contract for my own possible business idea, and his words were: "As long as it's not for teaching a foreign language! ZUS don't agree to UoD for that. It has to be a fixed task of some sort that you perform and then finish, not teaching. I've had clients who had to send suddenly demanded arrears to ZUS after being caught out on this type of contract..."

It doesn't apply to me, but I quote this here in case it's of help to someone.

Of course, I hear different things at different times from different accountants by phone or email, so I cannot be firmly sure that info is correct. It might be a new clampdown or might be plainly incorrect, I just don't know.


Home / Work / Teaching English in Poland? I am American and I have the CELTA certification.
BoldItalic [quote]
 
To post as Guest, enter a temporary username or login and post as a member.