Employment and Wages in the Czech Republic

A look at who makes what in the Czech Republic
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Chances of Finding a Job

The unemployment level in the Czech Republic, as in most other countries, grew over the last year or so. According to data from the Czech Statistical Office, the overall level went up by 2.9% from 4.4% to 7.3%. Prague has fared a little better than the rest of the country with an unemployment rate of 3.8% according to the Labor Office website.

These are average figures. They don’t reflect specifically what’s happening in the industries where expats more often tend to work, such as education, publishing, media, IT and finance. In those fields there have been small reductions, or in the case of education and entertainment a small rise. The table below shows the total number of people employed in these fields in the third quarter of 2009, the most current available on the Czech Statistical Office website.

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Profession FieldNumber of people in this field in thousandsChange in employment compared with same quarter in 2008
Accommodation and food service activities116.3– 2.9 %
Administrative and support service activities128.8– 14.7 %
Agriculture, forestry and fishing114.2– 6.7 %
Arts, entertainment and recreation51.91.9 %
Construction262.2– 3.8 %
Education255.10.4 %
Electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply31.1-2.2 %
Finance and insurance65.5– 4.4 %
Human health and social work activities260.62.4 %
Information and communication91.0– 0.7 %
Manufacturing1 040.8– 15.9 %
Mining and quarrying38.0– 6.9 %
Professional, scientific and technical activities139.7– 1.2 %
Public administration and defense; compulsory social security296.51.5 %
Real estate activities42.8– 1.4 %
Transportation and storage254.6– 6.6 %
Water supply; sewerage, waste management
and remediation activities
52.2– 4.3 %
Wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor
vehicles and motorcycles
489.6– 4.1 %
Other services, activities38.91.4 %

Source: Czech Statistical Office 

The statistical office was not able to provide a breakdown of English speaking expats in these fields and as the data is a few months old, it can only give some idea of the employment situation at the moment.

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From personal accounts of people in education and translation services; there have been reductions in the number of foreigners compared to a few years ago to reflect the belt-tightening of companies. Any growth in this field is more likely to be in the public education sector which employs proportionally fewer expats than the private.

Salary Trends

According to the statistical office, the average gross nominal month wage in the third quarter of 2009 rose by 4.8% when compared to the same quarter of 2008. This average cited by them is 23,350 CZK before tax. (Other averages may be given by other departments, but it doesn’t differ much.) The statistical office adds that this growth mainly reflects the drop in number of registered employees. After tax, the net income is 18,156 CZK, according to this nifty little website. If you want to know what your net monthly income (čistá měsiční mzda) will be, enter your gross monthly income (Hrubá měsíční mzda) and press ‘spočítej’, the green button on the right. It might not be totally accurate but it will give you some idea of what you’ll earn and your health and social insurance contributions.

This table below shows the average wages for the different fields. All figures are from the third quarter of 2009.

Profession/FieldAverage Gross Monthly Income

in CZK

Percentage change in income compared to the same quarter in 2008
Accommodation and food service activities12 908– 1.2 %
Administrative and support service activities16 6860.4 %
Agriculture, forestry and fishing18 6242.7 %
Arts, entertainment and recreation19 5336.4%
Construction21 9513.7 %
Education22 9576.5 %
Electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply36 29210.3 %
Finance and insurance44 0845.4%
Human health and social work activities22 9847.8 %
Information and communication42 3272.6 %
Manufacturing22 0695.3 %
Mining and quarrying25 938– 0.1 %
Professional, scientific and technical activities30 6633.4 %
Public administration and defense; compulsory social security26 8094.4 %
Real estate activities22 5717.7 %
Transportation and storage23 8813.6 %
Water supply; sewerage, waste management
and remediation activities
21 4353.8 %
Wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor
vehicles and motorcycles
21 8582.2 %
Other services activities18 2440.3 %

Source: Czech Statistical Office 

Considering the professional fields in which English speaking expats work, the wage increase has generally been above average whereas the wages themselves are around the average or above.

When considering a field like education, there will be big differences between state school teachers and lecturers at a university, or language teachers in the private sector.  As an EFL teacher in the private sector you are likely to be paid about 200 CZK per 45 minute lesson. Freelancers can ask for around 500 CZK, since they are cutting out the middle-man. To be a freelancer you will need a business license (živnostenský list). A university EFL teacher with a full time load can earn 28,000 CZK gross per month, possibly even more.

Another field which employs expats is translation. Getting someone to name a standard price is a lot harder in this field. One professional translator told me that translation per standard page can be between 350 and 500 CZK. A standard page is 1800 keystrokes. This price will vary depending on the nature of the text. Specialist and legal documents can be charged more, fiction is usually charged less. The same translator quoted a figure of 130 CZK for proofreading a standard page.

Additional Perks

Some companies also offer paid accommodation if you are out of Prague. So when comparing salaries in Prague, which are often higher, you should factor in your accommodation as positions outside of Prague may offer you a company flat or have cheaper rent.

Final Things to Remember

Once you’ve decided to come and work in the Czech Republic, there will be a lot of legal things to deal with. If you are going to be an employee of a company and you are not a citizen from the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Lichtenstein and you don’t have permit residency you will need a work permit. Make sure your employer helps you with that because not only do you need it to work; your visa is issued on the basis of this.


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