Can You Survive On a Teacher’s Income In Prague?

Can You Survive On a Teacher’s Income In Prague?

Thinking of getting a TEFL certificate in Prague, then staying on to work? Wondering what quality of life you can expect to have on a teacher’s salary?

With a recent study finding that housing in the Czech Republic is among the EU’s most unaffordable (the average city-center rent costs more than the average Czech salary), gone are the days when you can pay your bills with plenty of money left over for travel and beer.

“In the past 10 years, the cost of living in Prague has gone up significantly. Yet the typical teacher’s salary has either stayed the same – or even gone down in some cases,” says Chris Westergaard, director of The Language House.

Average English Teacher’s Salary for Prague and the Czech Republic

English teachers can gross a monthly salary of 25,000-40,000 CZK but that depends on a whole host of variables; those with a four-year degree in education, not just a TEFL certification, typically earn more by landing positions at international schools. Those willing to work at preschools can expect monthly salaries starting at 25,000 CZK.

Language schools typically pay 250 CZK/hour per 45-minute session; with 1 double-lesson during peak morning time and another at the close of the workday (these times are most in-demand by companies who hire language instructors) a more realistic estimate is that you’ll roughly take home a salary of 20,000 CZK per month.

Top view photo of coffee table. There are day planner, laptop, mobile phone and cup of coffee

But the reality is that most teachers go it alone, cobbling together a mixed schedule of private and group lessons. Those that opt for this route may make less money at first — like anything else you’ll have to build up a clientele. Private teachers can earn on average 350 CZK per 90-minute lesson; the downside to private teaching is that you don’t always get paid for cancellations. 

Start-up Costs

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It costs money to make money: Before you even start looking for jobs you’ll need to invest time, effort, and cash into the following:

  • Certification from an accredited TEFL Course (1,200-1,400 USD/4-week course) 
    Simply being a fluent speaker of English doesn’t mean you can teach it. A TEFL course will give you the best approaches for delivering an effective lesson. The best schools also provide access to job and housing leads, making it worth the investment.
  • Getting legal  (4,500-10,000 CZK)
    Most schools now require a Živnostenský list (trade license) before you can work with them. According to Jitka Peterkova, of Visaguru.cz, the cost of getting one through an agency starts at 4,500 CZK for EU nationals and can reach up to 10K for other non-EU citizens depending on the amount of paperwork, translations, and fees involved (see our Survival Guide)

Looking for teaching position in Prague and the Czech Republic? Search our Expats.cz Jobs Server.

  • Advertising your services
    Our own teacher listings are viewed by thousands of monthly visitors, though it costs you nothing to advertise the old-fashioned way (posting ads on notice boards, word of mouth, etc.).
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Sample Monthly Budget

Your school will likely offer you internet access, printing privileges, and basic teaching supplies. Some will cover lunch vouchers and travel expenses, though few cover an annual pass.

  • Mobile phone: 800 CZK (limited data)
  • Basic internet: 400 CZK/month
  • Public transport ticket: 550 CZK a month (3,650 CZK for annual pass)
  • Rent: 8,000 CZK (for flat-share out of the center, not including utilities)
  • Utilities 2,000 CZK monthly
  • Groceries: 3,500 CZK
  • Taxes: 2,024 CZK for health insurance; 2,189 CZK for social insurance
  • See our Cost of Living table for additional items

Want your teacher profile to be viewed by thousands of students? Visit our Teachers in Prague Server.

What’s Left?

Basing our sample monthly budget on a gross salary of 25,000 CZK per month, that leaves you with approximately 5,000 CZK-6,000 CZK a month to live on. The good news is that Prague is famously cheap for culture and consumer goods. You may not be jetting around Europe or making a big dent in those student loans, but you will be able to afford ride shares to nearby cities and staying in hostels. It’s all down to your expectations and how well you budget.

Bank, Desk, Buy - Single Word, Finance, Savings

Additional Money Saving Tips

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Life in a new country can be educational in many ways, including learning how to be money smart. It may help to adopt a Czech mentality with regards to budgeting; skip ordering a drink with lunch, master the technique of the missed call to save credits, become a preferred shopper, etc. 

If the cost of living in Prague seems out of reach, consider heading out of the capital: other destinations popular with expats include Liberec or Brno where you can typically count on higher wages and a lower cost of living.

For more tips on finding a teaching job in Prague and the Czech Republic, see our Expats for Hire series

Eva Howlings

Eva has been writing, teaching, singing and carrying on here in Prague since the floods of 2002. She runs a language school - Learn.cz - and offers Creative Coaching to those who want more inspiration in life.

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