Salary in Poland – How Much Migrants Earn
When choosing Poland as a country to relocate to, many migrants assess it in terms of the opportunities for higher income. They reason is that Poland is a developed European country and a member of the EU, so they could be able to earn more there than in their home country.
However, the Poles themselves claim that the wage indicators published by official statistics clearly exceed the actual incomes.
In this article, we will try to understand the real size of salaries in Poland, how much immigrants can actually earn, and what income can be expected for specific professions.
Earlier, we wrote about useful apps for life in Europe.
Average salary in Poland
According to the data from Statistics Poland, the average gross salary in 2022 was 6,346 zlotys. In January 2023, the average wage was recorded at 6,884 zlotys. This means that there was a 13.5% increase over the year.
Gross salary refers to the earnings before taxes, insurance, and other mandatory deductions. After all deductions are made, the net salary remains, which is the take-home pay.
Nevertheless, Polish experts view this information with more than skepticism, pointing out that official statistics are imperfect because they only include companies with 10 or more employees in their research. This means that over 90% of firms are not included in the calculations.
According to the Ministry of Development and Technology, there are 2.62 million companies in Poland, with micro-enterprises being the largest group of approximately 2.2 million. Nearly 4.2 million people work in these micro-enterprises. In comparison, only 1.5 million employees work in medium-sized enterprises, and 3.2 million in large ones.
Thus, the official data essentially only reflect the income of employees in large enterprises. In reality, salaries in Poland ranging from 6,000 to 7,000 zlotys can be earned by middle and senior-level managers working in regional centers. Meanwhile, young specialists even in larger cities cannot expect an average salary, and neither can employees in smaller towns.
Experts note that out of 15 industries, 9 have specialists who earn less than the average. The average salary in Poland is inflated by the IT and energy sectors, where the income level is high.
According to most experts, the closest indicator to the real wages in Poland is the median value. In October 2020, the median gross salary was 4,702.66 zlotys, which was 22.2% lower than the average salary of 5,748.24 zlotys.
The median is the number that lies in the middle of a set of numbers. When calculating the median wage, all values are arranged in order, and the one in the middle is selected: 1,000, 2,000, 2,500, 3,000, 3,500. The median would be 2,500.
Since Statistics Poland only publishes data on median salaries in Poland every two years, there has been no new information available as of the beginning of 2023.
Based on private calculations for December 2022, the estimated median salary in Poland was 5,000 zlotys, while the average value was 7,300 zlotys.
Minimum salary in Poland
At the end of 2021, the minimum salary in Poland was 2,800 zlotys. Around 1.6 million people (4.2% of the population) were receiving this wage in Poland.
In 2022, the minimum wage was set at 3,010 zlotys gross, and the minimum hourly rate was 19.70 zlotys gross.
In 2023, the minimum wage in Poland will be increased, and the lowest salaries will be doubled:
- From January, the minimum wage was raised to 3,490 zlotys,
- From July, the minimum wage will be increased to 3,600 zlotys.
Therefore, the average minimum wage in 2023 will be 3,545 zlotys gross. An employee will receive approximately 2,747 zlotys net per month.
The minimum hourly rate, which is linked to the increase in the minimum wage in Poland, will also double:
- From January 2023, it is 22.80 zlotys,
- From July, it will be 23.50 zlotys.
Salary in Poland in 2023 for specific professions
Now let’s illustrate the incomes of representatives of some specific professions. The gross salary data will be provided in local currency and dollars.
Level of average earnings in Poland in zlotys, dollars (2022)
|Java Developer, Programmer||13,000-20,000||3,100-4,800|
|Customer Service Specialist||5,000-9,000||1,200-2,100|
|Driver, Long-haul Truck Driver||6,000-8,500||1,400-2,000|
|Foreign Language Teacher||2,500-4,500||600-1,000|
The provided level of average salaries is approximate. The size of the wage depends on the field of activity, the size of the company, the complexity of the work performed, and the level of knowledge of the Polish and English languages.
For example, the salary of a long-haul truck driver in Poland depends on the type of cargo (such as maritime containers, food products, etc.) and the countries they have to travel to.
The salary of a teacher depends on the status of the school (private or municipal) and the number of hours. A similar situation applies to the earnings of doctors and nurses.
Net Salary in Poland, Taxes
All the above-mentioned wage data represents income before taxes. So what remains after taxes?
Starting from July 1, 2022, the personal income tax rate in Poland was set at 12%. It applies to income up to 120,000 zlotys per year. In case of exceeding this threshold, the rate increases to 32%.
|Tax Base||Tax Rate|
|Up to 120,000 zł||12% multiplied by the tax base minus the tax reduction amount of 3,600 zlotys|
|Over 120,000 zł||32% multiplied by the amount over 120,000 zlotys plus 10,800 zlotys|
The applicable tax can be reduced through various exemptions and deductions, as well as a non-taxable amount. Additionally, tax calculations can be made jointly with a spouse if their income does not exceed the tax threshold.
Example: If a taxpayer earned 140,000 zlotys and is not eligible for any exemptions, the tax would be calculated as follows: 140,000 — 120,000 = 20,000 / 20,000 × 32% = 6,400 / 6,400 + 10,800 = 17,200 (zł).
Therefore, for most of the salaries mentioned in the table above, the net salary would be approximately 12% lower, as the annual income does not exceed the lower tax threshold.
Salary of Immigrants in Poland
According to the Polish Border Guard, a total of 13.7 million people from more than 67 countries entered Poland in 2022. Additionally, each year more immigrants choose to stay and live in Poland. From 2011 to 2020, the immigrant population increased by more than a quarter.
A recent study by Progres Group says that the majority of Asians (42%) want to stay here for at least 5-10 years, 31% — for 10-20 years. 66% of visitors from South America also do not plan to return to their homeland shortly. Half of them are ready to live here for at least 5 years, another half — at least 10 years. Migrants from the states neighboring Poland are primarily guided by the current situation, considering both long-term and short-term stays outside their homeland approximately equally.
Speaking about the employment of foreigners, experts from Progres Group note that not every industry is popular. Migrants are most willing to work in the following sectors:
- HoReCa (Hotel/Restaurant/Café)
However, the majority of foreign workers are satisfied with their salaries in Poland, and only one in five complains about low earnings. This perception often arises because migrants do not speak the language and are forced to work below their qualifications.
The average salary for foreigners in Poland depends on the industry but usually starts from 4,000 zlotys (approximately 1,000 dollars).
When talking about salary, we often consider its size, but purchasing power may be a more tangible indicator. Understanding what can be bought with a salary and which services can be paid for is much more important.
According to a purchasing power study conducted by GfK, Poland ranks 29th out of 42 European countries. For comparison, the Czech Republic ranks 22nd. The average purchasing power per Pole is 9,254 euros, while the European average is 16,344 euros.
Analysts from ASM Sales Force agency presented data showing that in February 2022, the cost of the food basket increased compared to 2021. The overall cost of the food basket was:
- February 2021: 229.81 zlotys
- February 2022: 235.24 zlotys
Here are a couple more figures: in February 2022, the cheapest food basket cost 182.32 zlotys, while the most expensive food basket cost 304.75 zlotys. Experts note an increase in both indicators compared to January of the same year. The greatest price increases are observed in sweets, dairy products, and alcohol.
Money Transfers from Poland
Regardless of the duration of migrants’ stay in the Republic of Poland, their main task is to financially support their families back home.
According to data from the National Bank of Poland, money transfers from working immigrants in the fourth quarter of 2022 amounted to 6.9 billion zlotys. Over 63% of all transfers were sent to neighboring countries, while the rest went to other destinations.
Migrants most commonly use mobile applications and online services to send money. KoronaPay is one of them, allowing money transfers from Poland without a commission.
Other advantages of the KoronaPay mobile application include:
- 20+ destinations
- User-friendly interface
- Favorable currency exchange rate
- Minimal clicks required to send money
- Instant delivery
- Reliability and security of transfers