TEACH ENGLISH IN GERMANY

Everything you need to know to get a job teaching English in Germany.

 
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About Teaching English in Germany

Sitting right in the heart of Europe, Germany offers a front-row seat to centuries of European history and culture. Those seeking to teach English in Germany typically find work toward the beginning of September or October, and then again in January. Most teaching contracts end in late June. For those looking to teach through the summer, opportunities are available at summer English language camps throughout Germany and the whole of Europe.

English teachers will be expected to interview in person once they arrive in Germany, and they will also be responsible for their airfare, as well as housing.  Many teachers share an apartment with other English teachers and/or locals or other expats.
TEFL Germany Students English teacher in Germany

One advantage of teaching English in Europe for Americans is that it is possible to gain a work visa for working in Germany. Note that the process does take some time, paperwork & financial investment (namely supporting yourself for 1-2 months while establishing residency).

A solid hourly wage affords English teachers to live a very comfortable life. Schools typically offer around 20-25 hours per week of work, leaving you plenty of time to travel and explore.

To teach English in Germany, you will need a TEFL certificate. A 4-year college degree is not required but is strongly 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.

Major cities for employment opportunities teaching English in Germany include major cities like Berlin, Stuttgart, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Dusseldorf, and Wiesbaden. Many teachers find that job markets are somewhat less competitive in smaller cities that are not as well known as well as cities in former East Germany like Dresden.

How to Teach English in Germany: Requirements

TEFL Certification

A TEFL certification is required to teach English in Germany. You do not need professional teaching experience but earning your TEFL certification will provide you with the training and qualification you do need to get hired. 

Teachers typically interview in person in Germany and it is most common for students to take one of our TEFL course options listed below.

Read more: What are the requirements for teaching English in Germany?

Native English-Speaking Proficiency

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.

*Please note
- finding an English-teaching job in Germany for non-native English speakers will be extremely competitive and not always possible. 

Degree Requirements for Germany

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.

How to Become an English Teacher in Germany

English teaching Jobs in Germany

The most common ESL jobs in Germany consist of:

  • Teaching adults or children in private language schools.
  • Teaching children in English language summer camps.
  • Private tutoring of both children and adults.
  • Teaching Business English to adults.
  • Teaching English Online.

Finding English Teacher Jobs in Germany: Hiring & Visa

English teachers in Germany can expect to find ESL jobs during peak hiring seasons in September/October and again in January. Most ESL schools in Germany conduct face-to-face interviews, meaning you will need to be on the ground and in Germany to interview for jobs.

Citizens of European Union nations do not typically need a visa to teach in Germany.  Americans do not have the luxury of teaching and working freely within the European Union (EU) as those from Britain or Ireland do; 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.

It is worth noting that the process of gaining employment and then processing a residency permit and work visa for Americans teaching English in Germany can often take one or two months. This must typically be done in Germany and you should be prepared to deal with extensive bureaucracy and to financially support yourself during the process as you will likely not be earning a full salary until it is complete. Also, note that this process may vary from state to state within Germany.

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

TEFL Jobs in Germany: Hours

English language schools in Germany offer approximately 20 to 30 hours of classroom work per week plus additional hours for prep time. This allows for plenty of time to travel and explore. 

Teaching German Students

It is most common that your students will be children, adults, and business professionals. 

TEFL Germany Salary & Cost of Living

Start-up Costs

Start-up costs will range from $3,000 - $4,000 USD. These are expenses you will incur from your arrival in Germany until you receive your first paycheck and may include things like rent, apartment supplies, transport, groceries, getting your new local cell phone number set up, etc. 

Teaching English in Germany Salary

A solid hourly wage enables teachers the opportunity to live a comfortable lifestyle while in Germany. Teachers can expect to make $1,000 - $2,200 USD per month. It is common for teachers in Germany to also teach English online or tutor ESL privately to supplement their income.

There are no flight or housing benefits/stipends provided so you will need to remember to account for accommodation or temporary housing for your first few weeks in your start-up costs until you find an apartment to rent. 

Read more: How much can English teachers make in Germany?

Cost of Living & Savings

The cost of living typically ranges between $1,100-$2,000 USD per month.

English teachers in Germany can expect to break even month over month. This means you can cover your rent and bills, support yourself, live comfortably, and enjoy your life abroad to the fullest, but you should not expect to save money at the end of the month. If you are hustling and taking on private tutoring lessons and/or teaching English online in addition to your regular teaching schedule, you may increase your ability to save.

 

What Does Teaching in Germany Look Like?

Watch ITA grad & English teacher Brandon Drake show us a day in his life living and teaching English in Berlin, Germany.

Want more? We've got you covered! Visit our Video Library to watch day-in-the-life videos from our alumni and get a glimpse into what your life as a teacher in Germany could look like!

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Teaching English in Germany FAQs

What qualifications do you need to teach English in Germany?

To teach English in Germany, make sure you understand what is and is not required:

Required:

  • A TEFL certification.
  • Understanding of the types of English teaching jobs that are available.
  • Savings for start-up costs.

Not Required:

  • A four-year college degree is not required but highly preferred.
  • You do not need to be a native English speaker, but 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.

How much money can I make teaching English in Germany?

English Teachers in Germany can expect to make $1,100 - $2,200 USD  (900 - 1,950 EUR) per month. Start-up costs for teaching English in Germany will range from $3,000 - $4,000 USD (2,600 - 3,500 EUR). 

Read More: The Finances of Living & Teaching English in Germany

Is there a demand for English teachers in Germany?

Yes, English teachers in Germany are in demand. An ESL teacher in Germany can expect to find jobs in September-October and again in January. The majority of English teaching jobs are found in private language schools & institutes but the market for private English lessons throughout Germany is extensive. 

What type of visa do I need to teach English in Germany?

Citizens of European Union nations do not typically need a visa to teach in Germany. 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?

Is it hard to become an English teacher in Germany?

To teach English in Germany, you need the proper qualifications. While a four-year college degree is not typically required, it is highly preferred. Along with earning a TEFL certification, it will increase your chances of finding a TEFL job in Germany.

Can you teach in Germany without knowing German?

You do not need to speak German to get a job teaching English in Germany. Your ESL class will be entirely in English to immerse your students in an English-only environment. However, learning at least some German will certainly make your transition to life in Germany smoother and more enjoyable.

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Reviews From ITA Students Who Now Do TEFL in Germany

Tina Angok

Taught English in Germany

Tina Angok

I took ITA's Online TEFL Course because of their level of accreditation and really enjoyed it. The tasks assigned taught me how to be an effective teacher and construct lesson plans. I really appreciated the practicum and quizzes.  I decided to teach in Berlin because I'm a history nerd, and there's so much history to learn about in this city. I also love the high level of diversity and a plethora of activities to do. I work for Lingua Franca, a company that specializes in business English training. My students are all adult professionals working in their fields.

Shane Kelly

Taught English in Germany

Shane Kelly

I took the ITA Chicago TEFL Course and it provided a well-rounded overview of all the aspects of teaching English, particularly to foreign students. Having two instructors provided a nice variety and infused fresh energy into the classroom. My favorite part was the practicum where I actually had a chance to engage with real language learners. There's no better training than real-life experience. I chose to teach English in Germany in the city of Berlin. It's not easy to secure a work visa in Europe. There is, however, a particular freelance work visa for English teachers. I discovered that this is unique to Berlin and the rest is history!

Kalen Morgenstern Diaz

Teaches English in Germany

Kalen Morgenstern Diaz

I took International TEFL Academy's Online TEFL Course because they had excellent reviews, I liked the information I was given, and I liked that I had an advisor to speak with before making the decision. I also like that ITA offered a fully comprehensive course online, but also required hands-on teaching for the practicum. It was definitely a bit more work and challenging than I expected, but once I got into the flow of it, I enjoyed it very much. I moved to Munich in 2018 but am now living in Esslingen Am Neckar and I plan on staying indefinitely.

Visit the Germany section of our blog to read more articles and stories by our alumni about their experiences teaching English in Germany.