Warsaw - Post Report Question and Answers

What types of jobs do most expatriate spouses/partners have? Locally based or telecommuting? Full-time or part-time? Can you comment on local salary scales?

Many work at the embassy in various roles or at the international schools. - Oct 2021

Most options are at the embassy. Many spouses didn’t work. - Jan 2021

Local salary levels are about 1/3 what they would be in Canada, for the same job/type of work. Many local spouses of Canadian embassy employees did not work. Those that did either teleworked from Canada (if possible), went back to school, or (for those with EU citizenship) worked full-time in the local labour market as language teachers or in the corporate/private sector. Warsaw is an operations hub for many international/multinational companies and is eager to hire English-speaking workers. Other language skills are also highly-sought (Spanish, German, French, etc.). Polish is often not required. However, a work permit is normally required, and the process to obtain one can be burdensome. Unemployment in Poland, and especially in Warsaw, is extremely low. Of course, the low salary level (compared to Canada) acts as a disincentive to work for some Canadian spouses. In our case, the spouse was a young professional and eager to work for the experience and career advancing opportunities, more than the salary. The spouse's local salary was sufficient for local expenses like groceries, eating out, recreation/entertainment, and travel, while the Canadian embassy employee's salary covered rent, utilities, credit card bills, and savings. - Sep 2019

Local salary scale is less than U.S., but possible to work on local market (roughly 1/2 a typical US salary for comparable jobs). Fair mission employment opportunities for US Embassy family members. - May 2018

The embassy and the American School are the two best options. Poland has a high tax rate, almost 31%. - Apr 2018

Many spouses work here at the embassy. Most all work at the embassy full time or part time, with the best pay and salary scale. I am the only one working on the economy and had to go through the work permit process and I pay 40% tax. Our GEA Vici is the best and a great resource, she can help you with your resume and advice on employment. - Dec 2016

My impression is that there are some opportunities, but the pay is not that great. I do not know any expat spouses that work full-time on the local economy. I know several who are self-employed, teaching classes of one kind or another or telecommuting.

Many US embassy spouses are employed at the mission. MGMT here does a good job with that. However, the jobs are all the usual underpaid EFM positions. - Mar 2016

Not unless you speak Polish or want to be an English-language tutor (and even then...). - Sep 2015

Unless you have a work permit here it's pretty much impossible for expats to work legally on the local economy. I know people who offer English language lessons but they're not getting rich off of it. It's more a way to pass the time as a spouse or to live hand-to-mouth as a young expat living under the radar in Poland. There are a lot of professional courses and university classes offered in English so this offers a way for spouses to make good use of their time if they can't work. - Nov 2014

Not really. Wages are lower than the US and language is often a barrier. - Feb 2012

No, unless you speak polish. Pay is poor. - Aug 2011

Not many. - Mar 2011

You need a working permit. - Jan 2011

In limited areas - teaching, proofreading. Jobs on the local market aren't well paid. It's possible to find other things, but it's about networking and contacts. - Dec 2010

They do exist if you speak Polish and want to take a massive pay cut. Post tries to find jobs for local spouses, and there are teaching jobs possibly available at the various schools. - Aug 2009

There don't seem to be a lot of opportunities unless you speak Polish. - Jun 2008

Careful with this one. Despite what is written in the post report, it is difficult to get a job at the embassy since many of the jobs require Polish and budget cuts have meant that many positions have been cut. Working on the local market is possible but you will most likely need Polish and the pay is much less than in the U.S. The school may have several positions available. - Apr 2008

Not really. The locals are often on strike for more money and the cost of living is increasing. I predict a mess when the Euro comes to Poland. - Feb 2008


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