Want to Teach English
English Wizards is currently looking for talented and qualified TEFL teachers to join our community of Wizards in Poland. As an English Wizard, you’ll receive full support from our network for finding accommodation, getting a visa, and getting oriented in your new home. And of course, we’ll help you find a teaching job through our network of language schools.
Living and working in Poland means the opportunity to experience the country’s dusk-till-dawn nightlife, world-famous vodka, delicious cuisine, picturesque castles, and magical forests and mountains – all while getting paid! The ease of travel around Europe means that living in Poland is not only a chance to immerse yourself in Polish culture and see everything that the beautiful country has to offer – but also to see the rest of Europe in your time off!
Teach English in Poland
Where can I teach?
Most language centers prefer candidates to have at least a TEFL or CELTA and some prior experience, although most will overlook this if you have the right personality.
Qualified teachers will have the opportunity to get a job teaching English to Polish kids or teens at public and private kindergartens, elementary schools, middle schools, and secondary schools. For experienced teachers, teaching at a traditional school is often the most welcoming, as you’ll be working with traditional school hours, school holidays, and a full curriculum. However, these jobs are more competitive, so most schools will ask for a higher level of commitment and more teaching experience than at a language center.
Polish law requires all language teachers working in a public schools to hold a Bachelors Degree and a teaching certificate (TEFL, CELTA, or teaching license from your home country). Private schools are not subject to this regulation, but most have similar requirements.
Wizards who have experience in the business word in addition to teaching qualifications have the opportunity to teach business English classes to corporate clients. As an “onsite” teacher, you will travel to different parts of the city and teach professionals at their offices. Although we call it “business teaching,” most business classes are still meant to be fun and conversational – we don’t expect you to spend two hours teaching business vocabulary!
Many clients require a TEFL or CELTA and prior business experience, but others do not. Business teaching is typically the highest paid and most sought after teaching work in Poland – so expect some competition for these jobs.
As a Native English teacher living in Poland, you will inevitably get offers to tutor students of all ages. As a tutor, you can negotiate your own rate and have the full freedom of running each tutoring session as you’d like. As a tutor, you’ll get to experience Poland like a local, traveling to different residential neighborhoods and getting to know the locals on a first-name basis.
Just like with business teaching, private tutoring is usually not a full-time job, but an opportunity to extra income and supplement what you’ll be earning at a language center or school.
APPLYING & ELIGIBILITY
Can I work anywhere in Poland, or am I limited to certain cities?
You are welcome to apply for jobs and through our program anywhere in Poland. Warsaw has by far the highest demand for English teachers, followed by Krakow, so choosing either of these cities will make the job hunt much easier.
Am I free to arrive in Poland at anytime, or does the program have specific start dates?
Our program does not have any specific start dates, and you are free to arrive (or leave) as you please. We only ask that you arrive at least 5 days before you plan to begin teaching, and do not leave in the middle of a teaching semester for obvious reasons.
However, the biggest hiring seasons for English teachers in Poland is between September and mid October, and again between January and mid February. We highly recommend that you schedule your arrival for one of these hiring seasons to give yourself the biggest window of opportunity to find work.
Why am I not guaranteed a job before I arrive?
We are a teaching community, not a recruitment agency or a language school. As such, it is not possible for us to guarantee a job for any of our Wizards. Schools in Poland do their own hiring, so no matter what you will still have to interview and get hired by a school before you start teaching.
If you would prefer to come to Poland with a guaranteed job, you can apply for our Language Assistant program.
What are the chances that you'll be able to find me a teaching job before I arrive?
While we try our best to match all approved Wizards with jobs before their arrival, this is not always possible as many schools in Poland will only hire face-to-face. On average, about half of our inbound Wizards are able to secure work through our network before arriving, and another chunk arrive with interviews or trial classes already setup. The overwhelming majority of the remaining Wizards are able to find work within their first month in Poland.
I'm pretty flexible about when I start and I'd prefer not to come to Poland before I have a job offer. Can I simply wait until I receive a job offer before I come?
Theoretically yes, but realistically, this is not something to rely on unless you are extremely qualified and/or willing to do a bit of your own job hunting in advance. While we do put forward Wizards to our partner schools before they arrive, for obvious reasons we do prioritize Wizards who are already here, and then Wizards who have already confirmed their arrival date. Furthermore, many schools are reluctant to consider applicants who are not already here or planning to be here by a certain date. If you are not capable of doing your own job hunting before and after arriving in Europe, this is not the program for you. Feel free to apply to our Language Assistant program if you’d feel more comfortable having a guaranteed job before embarking on your travels.
How will joining the English Wizards community make it easier to find a job?
First of all teaching jobs in Poland, like the rest of Europe, are rarely advertised overseas, and most schools will expect you to already be in the country before hiring you. Our network of schools provides a “back door” to interview in advance to teaching jobs that would not otherwise be advertised or available to you.
Additionally, for non-EU citizens, our program provides a solution to the “chicken and egg” catch common in Poland and other EU countries: You can’t get a job until you’re legal to work, but you can’t be legal to work until you have a job. As an English Wizard, you will have a work visa allowing you to legally teach English in Poland, so you can tell schools that you are already legal to work and they can hire you without any additional procedures.
Finally, being part of the English Wizards community means that you are part of Poland’s largest community of native English teachers. In addition to support you’ll receive from our community managers and your fellow Wizards, this translates to the #1 job hunting resource: word of mouth.
If being accepted doesn't guarantee me a job, why is your criteria so high?
Being accepted as a Wizard means that you are part of our community. As a teaching community, we pride ourselves on being made up of 100% top quality English teachers. It also means that we will be sending you forward to our partner schools, arranging a work visa on your behalf, and providing you with an enormous amount of additional job searching support. Similar companies in Europe charge hundreds, or even thousands of dollars for services like ours. We provide these services free of charge to teachers we firmly believe will have no problem finding work as an English Wizard and representing the English Wizards community.
Can I apply alongside a friend or partner?
Absolutely! Just specify in your application that you would like to teach in the same city. If you would like to share accommodation, you can let your Community Manager know this once you have been accepted.
I am currently traveling/working/studying abroad! Can I become a Wizard and start working without having to go home first?
Absolutely! We love seeing applications from future Wizards who have already made the jump into life overseas. However, if you are not an EU citizen, you may not be able to get a visa before you arrive, as it is not always possible to obtain a Polish visa in a third country. Instead, you will have to come to Poland without a visa and apply for a Residence Permit at the Immigration Office.
What are my odds of being accepted if I am not a native English speaker?
This depends on how fluently and clearly you can speak English. If your level of English is anything below perfectly fluent or if you have a non-native accent, we unfortunately cannot accept you as a Wizard. Poland, like the rest of Europe, has a very high level of English proficiency. There is no shortage of local teachers who can speak C1 English and have advanced degrees and loads of teaching experience. For us to be able to consider you, you must offer something that no Polish teacher can offer: a native understanding of the English language. If you can speak English with a native proficiency and a neutral accent, and can prove it in your interview, we will gladly accept you. However, you must still be prepared for a more competitive job hunt if English is not your first language, and the chances that we will be able to guarantee you a job before your arrival will be slimmer.
English is my first language, but I come from a non-English speaking country. What are my chances of being accepted?
If English is still your first language and you speak with a clear, standard accent, we will usually still be able to accept you as long as you meet our full requirements. For example, if you were born in Guatemala, hold Guatemalan citizenship, but moved to the U.S. at a very young age and speak English perfectly with an American accent, we will treat your application with the same merits as an American-born native speaker.
I have a TEFL certificate and a degree, but I've never taught English before. Am I eligible to apply?
If you are a Native Speaker and a qualified teacher, you are welcome to apply, and if we think you have what it takes to make a great Wizard, we can accept you into the program. However, if you have no teaching experience, the chances that we’ll be able to match you with potential jobs before you arrive is very slim, so you should be prepared for a more competitive job hunt upon arrival.
We highly recommend that less experienced teachers first start with our Language Assistant program. You are free to begin hunting for full-time teaching work during your time as a Language Assistant.
I do not have a Bachelor's Degree. Am I still eligible?
Yes, assuming you meet the rest of our eligibility requirements. A Bachelor’s degree is not required to teach in Poland, although it is a plus. Wizards without a Bachelor’s degree who possess a TEFL and prior teaching experience usually have no issue finding jobs in Poland.
I do not have a TEFL Certificate. Can apply and get certified later?
Absolutely. We work with a TEFL certification program to provide our Wizards with a discounted TEFL course which you can take as you hunt for jobs. If you are new to teaching, we highly recommend you instead apply for our Language Assistant program, which will guarantee you part time work and accommodation as you complete your TEFL.
Are there any age restrictions to participate in this program?
You must be a legal adult, but other than that, no. Age discrimination is illegal in the European Union, and any school advertising a preference for teachers of a certain age is breaking the law.
COSTS & VISAS
Is this really free? Where are the hidden costs?
Yes it is free, you have read everything correctly. However, you will be responsible for your own travel and living expenses while in Poland, including the costs associated with the visa and work permit if you require one.
We do offer additional services for an extra cost, such as the assistance of our immigration agent in filing for your visa or residence permit, and assistance with securing accommodation. However, these services are completely optional and we will never pressure you into opting-in.
If it's really free how do you make money?
English Wizards is a community of Native English Teachers that provide teaching services to schools, businesses, and other clients all over Poland. We also offer the schools that we work with a huge variety of other services in addition to top-quality teachers like yourself, such as outsourced payroll and tax compliance. We additionally offer a number of paid “extra” services to our teachers, however all of these are 100% optional.
Do I need a visa?
If you are a citizen of an EU or EEA country, the answer is no. You can work freely in Poland without a visa. But if you are not an EU or EEA national, you must have a work visa to work in Poland. Our team is very experienced with this process and will help you obtain one.
How does the visa process work?
In a nutshell, there are two steps to obtaining a Polish work visa. First, you must apply for a work permit through the regional government office, with help of a sponsoring employer (us). Next, you take the work permit, your passport, and a few other documents to the nearest Polish consulate or embassy and receive a work visa. Alternatively, you can travel to Poland and submit the documents at a local Immigration Office and obtain a Residence Permit.
What documents are required for the visa?
How much does it cost to obtain a visa?
The cost of obtaining a Polish work permit through us is €100. If you are applying outside of Poland, you must also pay the consulate fee for your visa, which varies from country to country. For example, in the U.S. it is 72 USD and in New Zealand it is 102 NZD. If you are applying within Poland, you must instead pay the Residence Permit fee of 440PLN.
Am I eligible for a Polish work visa?
In a nutshell, yes. If you meet our eligibility requirements of our Teach in Poland program and you are accepted, yes you qualify for a Polish work visa. The only possible situation where there may be complications is if you have a criminal record or any mental or physical health issues. If this applies to you, please indicate so in your application.
I am from the UK. How will Brexit affect my eligibility to work in Poland without needing a visa?
As of now, you can still freely live and work in Poland without a visa, but unfortunately nobody can say for sure about the future. However, the Polish government has vowed to allow UK citizens to remain in Poland without any additional red tape in the event of a “no deal” Brexit. Essentially, you should be fine unless something goes horribly wrong. And even if it does, we’re ready to make sure you’ll find a way to stay here!
Will the visa be tied to my job? How can I legally do private tutoring or work part-time at multiple schools?
Polish work visas are always tied to the employer that arranged the work permit. Traditionally, non-EU English teachers are caught in a trap since it’s illegal to work at more than one school while on a work permit. Being part of the English Wizards community means that you’ll have a work-around to this frustrating limitation, as your work permit will be with English Wizards, and not any particular school. You are free to teach English anywhere you’d like, and we provide outsourced payroll services to schools which allow them to pay you legally under your work visa.
For private tutoring, we offer a simple (and 100% legal) system of invoicing your private students and including the pay in your monthly pay check.
Keep in mind that your work permit only allows you to work as an English teacher, so getting paid for any work that isn’t English teaching is not legal. If you would like to “branch out” and find other work, let us know as we may be able to modify your work permit accordingly.
LIVING & SUPPORT
Where will I live?
As an independent teacher, your living arrangements are your responsibility. The cost of rent in Poland ranges from less than €200 for a shared apartment in a small city, to a bit over €500 a month for a private apartment near the center of Krakow or Warsaw. Most Wizards choose to live somewhere close to the center of the city in order to be right in the center of the action, but many choose to save on rent by living further out.
We offer the option of accommodation assistance as an optional add on for teachers coming in on this program.
How will I get to work and get around?
Just like the locals, of course! Navigating Polish cities is very easy, as all have well developed and reliable public transportation systems, with buses, trams, and in the case of Warsaw, a metro. Cities offer transit passes for around €20-30 per month depending on the city. Your Program Director can show you how to obtain one of these. Some Wizards who choose to live near the city center are lucky enough to live within walking distance of their jobs.
Will it be hard to have a social life in Poland?
Not at all! You will quickly get to meet the other Wizards working in your city through our Facebook group and regular social events. All cities in Poland where we have Wizards working in are very cosmopolitan and have vibrant expat scenes. These communities of fellow foreigners are usually very friendly, with Facebook groups and regular meetups to welcome newcomers to the city. The Polish people are also very friendly and welcoming to foreigners, just make a few trips to a social bar or cafe and you’ll see for yourself! The level of English spoken by Poles is very high, so the language barrier is rarely a problem when meeting locals. In many cities, Community Managers also organize language exchanges, which are a perfect opportunity to mingle with locals, expats, and fellow Wizards.
How does pay work?
You will get paid by the hour, and will be paid monthly via bank transfer. The rate of pay will depend on whaat job you are able to land, and you are completely free to negotiate your own pay rate with your employer. English Wizards does not mediate such negotiations, however can offer you advice on what rate(s) can be expected from which schools.
What kind of support will I receive on this program?
What kind of hours will I be teaching?
The exact nature of the hours is between you and the school or business. Typically, teachers at public and private schools will work regular school hours, teachers at language centers will work weekday afternoons and evenings and occasional Saturday mornings, and business English teachers will work weekday mornings and early afternoons.
Teaching “full time” for an English teacher in Europe generally means teaching 20-30 hours a week, and very few teachers work more than that. It is very common for schools to offer new teachers only part time hours, often between 5 and 15 hours per week, until they have proven themselves as a good fit for their classroom. As such, you should be ready to only work part-time (or juggle multiple part-time jobs) during their first few months before filling up your schedule.
I hate my job! Can I quit and find another?
How long can I stay for? Is it possible to extend my stay if my visa is expiring?
How do taxes work?
In Poland, personal income taxes are paid by the employer and not the individual. That is, the school will pay income taxes and social security payments on your behalf as part of your “brutto” salary. The salary the school offers will almost always be the “netto” rate – that is, what you get in your hand. There are no further taxes on this income, and you can see and spend every last penny of your “netto” salary. You will never have to file taxes.
We offer all of our Wizards a handy cheat sheet explaining the difference between “netto” and “brutto” rates in Poland in order to make negociating your salary a breeze.
As an English Wizard in Poland, live in the heart of Europe and experience one of Europe’s hippest and fastest growing destinations. Experience Poland’s dusk-till-dawn nightlife, world-famous vodka, delicious cuisine, picturesque castles, and magical forests and mountains. Our program is designed to give native English teachers from all over the world the opportunity to live and work in Poland as part of an elite community of English teaches.
Access to our huge network of schools and Poland’s biggest teaching community.
We’ll advise you on how to secure the best possible pay rates
We will arrange the necessary visas and paperwork for non-EU citizens to be 100% legal to work the day you arrive
Welcome events, trivia nights, pub crawls, and other events to get to know your fellow Wizards
Lifelong CV-boosting opportunities through our community of teachers
What’s Not Included
Guaranteed Job or Income
While our team will provide you with all the resources you need to secure a teaching job and will walk you through the job hunt, we cannot guarantee you a job or a specific salary
Non-EU citizens are responsible for fees associated with arranging a visa and work permit (about €250)
You’ll have to get yourself to Poland
We’ll help you get settled and find an apartment, but you’ll have to pay your own bills
Non-EU citizens must obtain private medical insurance to legally work in Poland, which can be found for less than €10 per month.
What are the costs?
You will be responsible for covering your own living expenses while in Poland. So how much does it cost to live in Poland?
Monthly rent (city center): €200-500
Monthly rent (outskirts): €150-250
Weekly grocery run: €25-35
Meal at a cheap restaurant: €4-6
Meal at an upscale restaurant: €8-10
Beer at a pub: €1-2.50
Monthly cell phone plan: €5-8
Metro/bus fare: €.50-1
Short Uber ride: €2-5
Non-emergency doctor visit: €20-40
How much will I earn?
It is difficult to say how much you will earn, as your salary will be between you and the school(s) where you are offered a job. Furthermore, teachers in Poland get paid at an hourly rate, so your salary will depend on how many hours you teach per week.
As a rule of thumb, English teachers in Poland will start at an hourly rate of around 40 PLN (about €10) per hour, although this will depend on your experience. It isn’t uncommon for more experienced teachers to be offered a starting salary of 50 PLN per hour, and “in company” business teachers to earn upwards of 60 PLN per hour. Jobs teaching kids usually offer a lower hourly rate than jobs teaching teens and adults, although this is not always the case.
Teaching “full time” in Poland usually means working 20-25 teaching hours per week. At the standard starting salary of 40 PLN per hour, you’d be earning between 3200 and 4000 PLN (about €750-1000) per month, which is more than enough to live comfortably in Poland. Most of our Wizards supplement this with private tutoring and/or additional part-time teaching jobs.
As schools often prioritize the majority of their classes for more experienced teachers, it isn’t uncommon for new teachers to start with only part-time hours and spend their first couple of months “filling up” their teaching schedule. Because of this, we highly recommend you arrive in Poland with enough funds to cover your first 2-3 months of living expenses.
AM I ELIGIBLE?
Language is what makes our Wizards unique – that’s why we’re called “English” Wizards! Because of this, we do require all of our Wizards to be native English speakers. We can accept applicants who are not native but possess the equivalent fluency to a native speaker and a neutral accent, however this is done on a case-by-case basis. If you are not from an English-speaking country (US, UK, Ireland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, or South Africa) you are more than welcome to apply and we will assess your English skills in your interview. If your level of English or accent is anything below native (that is, a native speaker can easily tell that English isn’t your first language), we unfortunately cannot offer you accept you into this program.
If you can speak any other languages in addition to English, this is a huge plus! English is not the only language that is valued in Europe. The native tongue of Poland is Polish, however you will find that English is widely spoken. While you might struggle without a bit of Polish in some small towns, in all the cities where our Wizards teach you’ll have a hard time finding a Pole under 30 who doesn’t speak conversational English. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t learn a few phrases of Polish (the locals will be very impressed), but don’t be scared to come here if the only language you speak is English! In fact many foreigners spend years in the country without learning more than a few basic phrases. That being said, if you do speak Polish, that is a huge plus and we’d love to have you on board!
CITIZENSHIP AND VISAS
English Wizards accepts Wizards from every corner of the world for our Teach in Poland program. We do not require any particular passport. However, if you are not a citizen of one of the world’s “big seven” English-speaking countries – the US, UK, Ireland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa – we will have to first assess your English skills and accent. But if you do speak perfect English and have a neutral accent, do not let your nationality discourage you from applying!
As Poland is a member of the European Union, non-EU citizens must hold a work permit before being able to start a job, and must also have a job before being able to apply for a work permit. We work around this “chicken and egg” dilemma by arranging a work permit for non-EU Wizards which will allow you to freely seek legal employment as an English teacher under the umbrella community of English Wizards.
EXPERIENCE AND QUALIFICATIONS
English Wizards retains its reputation amongst schools and businesses in Poland by consistently maintaining a community of top-level English teachers. At the bare minimum, each Wizard in our community must possess:
- A TEFL/CELTA/TESOL or a degree in education
- At least 1 year of prior teaching experience (preferably ESL)
While we can make an exception to the requirement of having a TEFL certificate for the right teachers with prior experience, we are very firm with requiring prior teaching experience. As we do not charge a program fee, in welcoming you into our program, we are investing time and money into you securing a teaching job, and are putting our community’s reputation on the line by giving you access to jobs at our partner schools. We are simply not willing to do this unless you have already proven your potential to be an excellent English teacher.
Keep in mind that these are our minimum qualifications to become a Wizard. The more qualified you are and the more you can bring to the table, the more jobs that will be open to you, the higher your pay will be, and the faster you’ll be able to secure work. This is the real world, after all.
If you are new to teaching, we still invite you to participate in our Language Assistants program. As a Language Assistants, you’ll get hands-on experience in the classroom and will still have the opportunity to apply to teaching jobs independently.