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What Are the Basic Requirements for Teaching English in Germany?

Learn what qualifications you need to teach English in Germany including education, citizenship, visa, and age requirements.

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Sitting right in the heart of Europe, Germany offers a front-row seat to centuries of European history & culture in addition to one of the largest job markets for teaching English abroad in Europe. If you are considering teaching English in Germany, you will need to ensure you meet the following qualifications.

What Qualifications Do You Need to Become an English Teacher in Germany?

To teach English in Germany, you will need a TEFL certificate. A college degree is not required but is preferred. Native English proficiency is expected to find a TEFL job. The average salary for an English teacher in Germany is about $1,100 - $2,200 USD per month.

Requirements to teach English in Germany

Now let's look at the following requirements to teach English in Germany in detail:

  1. Have a TEFL Certification (typically required)

  2. Be a Fluent English Speaker

  3. Have a Bachelor's Degree (preferred)

  4. Have a valid passport and visa

1. Have a TEFL Certification (Typically Required)

To teach English in Germany, you will need a TEFL Certification. Though not technically a legal requirement, reputable private language schools in Germany will typically require that their teachers be TEFL certified. Quality schools offering quality jobs typically are not interested in hiring teachers who have not received proper training.

2. Be a Fluent English Speaker

You do not need to be a native English speaker to teach English in Germany. However, you will be expected to be fluent in English and speak at a native level to be considered for teaching jobs. Citizenship from the USA, Canada, UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa is highly preferred.

3. Have a Bachelor's Degree (Preferred)

Can You Teach English in Germany Without a Degree?

While a Bachelor's degree is not required to secure a job in Germany, it still can be strongly preferred by employers. If you do not have a degree, you should be prepared for a more competitive job search.


an English teacher in Germany

4. Have a Valid Passport and Visa

It's extremely important to understand the hiring and visa process for English teachers in Germany. You should expect to find your teaching job in person in Germany, and you should be sure that you plan to interview during the peak hiring season in either January or September.

Americans do not have the luxury of teaching and working freely within the European Union (EU); nor do Americans have the option to obtain a Working Holiday Visa like Canadians, Australians, or New Zealanders. Fortunately, for those with a bit of patience who follow the correct steps, Americans can obtain a work visa and residency permit to teach English in Germany.

Read more: How Can Americans Get a Work Visa to Teach English in Germany?

Throughout the interview process and when obtaining a work visa, teachers should expect to have the following documents available:

  • Valid Passport

  • International resume/CV and cover letter

  • TEFL Certificate

  • Visa Application

  • Health Insurance

  • Letters of Intent or confirmation of employment by the employer

  • Proof of funds such as a bank statement

  • Passport sized photos

Exlpre castles in Germany while teaching English

Here are a few bonus documents recommended to have available: 

  • Sample lesson plans
  • Original university diploma
  • College transcripts.

Side note: Most teachers that work in Germany will enter on a passport stamp or on a tourist visa if needed, then process their actual work visa after they arrive with assistance from their school or employer. International TEFL Academy (ITA) also partners with Speakeasy Language Academy and Expat Launcher to assist with the entire freelance visa process and getting settled in Germany.

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