Teaching English in Germany

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Germany Overview

Germany is an excellent place to teach English although in places such as Berlin there are many, many other native speakers who drive the prices down somewhat. Business English and English for a Specific Purpose classes pay the most and experienced teachers with initiative and focus can, with effort, find pleasant working conditions and a decent salary. Outside of work you will be in one of the most incredible nations on the planet when it comes to culture. Expect fascinating, intellectual conversations with people on a daily basis.

Type of Institution Typical salary (USD/month) Typical hours Typical annual leave
Language centres 1,200 – 2,000 (DOS) Various but often splits shifts 2 weeks plus national holidays
Self-employed 1,500 – 2,000 Various Various
International schools and universities 3,000 upwards 8am – 4pm Monday to Friday plus some weekend work 10 weeks plus national holidays

Main places for jobs

Most German cities.

Typical requirements

Degree, TEFL certificate, 1-2 yrs exp., EU national unless you have a Working Holiday Visa or Freelance Visa.

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Tips

1. During the interview, focus on your work experience rather than your qualifications. If you have worked for prestigious names before, or written your own Business English syllabus, then speak about this as much as you feel is appropriate.

2. Experienced teachers who are EU nationals should consider finding in-house Business English work via an agency. The payment is often much higher than if you sign a regular contract with a language centre. You may even consider setting up in business yourself.

3. Basic German language skills will get you a long way and are considered necessary for classes of adults.

Red tape

As with most countries in Western Europe, it is a lot easier for EU nationals to find work as the paperwork required is significantly less than when applying to employ non-EU nationals. Canadians, Australians and New Zealanders can get Working Holiday Visas but Americans typically require a Residency Permit and Freelance Work Visa (requiring up to eight weeks to process after arrival in Germany).

Cost of living

High – accommodation, food and transport. This is reflected to some degree in the salaries but certainly not enough to enable the average TEFL teacher to save money each month.

Tax and salary information

Employers generally pay your income tax for you and as usual you should expect to be paid on a monthly basis. Many EU nationals (particularly British and Irish) decide to become self-employed tutors as the profit margins and flexibility can be attractive when compared to working for a typical language centre.

Summary

High demand – especially for Business English Lots of red tape for non-EU nationals who do not already have contacts in Germany
Fantastic culture Split shifts are common whereby you work mornings and evenings (with the afternoon off)
Opportunities are there to set up your own language centre if you see yourself staying for a long time Not much chance to save

Directory of Recommended Schools, Language Centres and Recruitment Agencies

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Qualified English teachers please register with World of TEFL and we will contact you with relevant vacancies as they come in. This is a free service for teachers.

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