Teach English in Germany

Salaries

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Kirsten Colquhoun
March 1, 2024

Table Of Content

Other benefits available
Where teachers earn the most
Germany cost of living
Saving as a TEFL teacher
How to start teaching

With a ranking of number 10 in the world of adult proficiency in English (according to the EF English Proficiency Index), you’d be forgiven for being surprised that teaching English as a foreign language is a viable option in Germany. 

But it is! 

Not many TEFL teachers teach in public, private or international schools. These schools require a teaching degree as well as proficiency in German. But TEFL teachers can be found teaching in language schools, universities and volkshochschulen, or community colleges. Or else they teach private students, of which there are plenty.

Teaching in language schools should net you a rate of €13 – €19 ($14 – $21) an hour. 

University teachers average around €36,000 ($40,000) a year.

Private tutors charge between €15 ($16)  and €30 ($32) a lesson, more for Business English lessons.

In addition to salary, what other benefits can be available?

Many TEFL teachers in Germany work on a freelance basis. Teachers work on a freelance visa and find work through multiple employers. For example, a teacher can work for a private language school and give private lessons in their free time.

Freelancers aren’t offered any benefits. Working as a freelancer means that it is up to the teacher to organise health insurance and taxes. 

Even if you can find work on a sponsored work visa, teaching contracts in Germany generally don’t offer benefits like flights or housing.

Where in Germany do teachers earn the most?

Berlin, Munich, Frankfurt and Hamburg are the most popular options for finding teaching jobs in Germany. While these cities offer many different language schools to choose from, bear in mind that the bigger language schools offer lower salaries. Independent language schools can offer higher rates of pay.

It’s not uncommon for teachers to supplement their income by teaching private lessons. In fact, on a freelance visa, you are required to have more than one client/employer. In other words, you have to work for more than one school or have private students.

How much is the cost of living in Germany?

Though Germany can be considered expensive in comparison to countries in other parts of the world, it’s reasonable when compared to other Western European countries. It’s cheaper to live in Germany than in the UK, Denmark, Norway, France or the Netherlands.

Munich is the most expensive city in Germany, with the south of Germany being the most expensive region. Berlin, though the capital, is the cheapest of the major cities.

The monthly cost of living in Germany is €800 – €1,200 ($880 – $1,325), but if you’re not careful that can stretch to as much as €2,000 ($2,200).

Is it possible to save in Germany as a teacher?

Our top tips to save money in Germany:

  • Live further away from the city centre. Rent is one of your biggest expenses. Living in cheaper neighbourhoods can save you hundreds of euros a month. Alternatively, share accommodation with a friend or another teacher.
  • Use public transport. Get a monthly Deutschland ticket which is a cost-effective way to make use of public transport all over Germany.
  • Choose a bank which has zero monthly fees and no ATM fees.
  • Cooking at home is a better way to penny-pinch than eating out. 

How to start teaching English in Germany

The first step to teaching English in Germany is to get certified. A TEFL certificate is a MUST for teaching English in Germany. Sign up for a Level 5 TEFL course to get started on your teaching journey.

The next step is to make sure you’re qualified. Check that you’re eligible to work legally in the country. This is especially important if you are not an EU citizen. 

Finally, check out our TEFL Jobs Board and start applying!

Table Of Content

With a ranking of number 10 in the world of adult proficiency in English (according to the EF English Proficiency Index), you’d be forgiven for being surprised that teaching English as a foreign language is a viable option in Germany. 

But it is! 

Not many TEFL teachers teach in public, private or international schools. These schools require a teaching degree as well as proficiency in German. But TEFL teachers can be found teaching in language schools, universities and volkshochschulen, or community colleges. Or else they teach private students, of which there are plenty.

Teaching in language schools should net you a rate of €13 – €19 ($14 – $21) an hour. 

University teachers average around €36,000 ($40,000) a year.

Private tutors charge between €15 ($16)  and €30 ($32) a lesson, more for Business English lessons.

In addition to salary, what other benefits can be available?

Many TEFL teachers in Germany work on a freelance basis. Teachers work on a freelance visa and find work through multiple employers. For example, a teacher can work for a private language school and give private lessons in their free time.

Freelancers aren’t offered any benefits. Working as a freelancer means that it is up to the teacher to organise health insurance and taxes. 

Even if you can find work on a sponsored work visa, teaching contracts in Germany generally don’t offer benefits like flights or housing.

Where in Germany do teachers earn the most?

Berlin, Munich, Frankfurt and Hamburg are the most popular options for finding teaching jobs in Germany. While these cities offer many different language schools to choose from, bear in mind that the bigger language schools offer lower salaries. Independent language schools can offer higher rates of pay.

It’s not uncommon for teachers to supplement their income by teaching private lessons. In fact, on a freelance visa, you are required to have more than one client/employer. In other words, you have to work for more than one school or have private students.

How much is the cost of living in Germany?

Though Germany can be considered expensive in comparison to countries in other parts of the world, it’s reasonable when compared to other Western European countries. It’s cheaper to live in Germany than in the UK, Denmark, Norway, France or the Netherlands.

Munich is the most expensive city in Germany, with the south of Germany being the most expensive region. Berlin, though the capital, is the cheapest of the major cities.

The monthly cost of living in Germany is €800 – €1,200 ($880 – $1,325), but if you’re not careful that can stretch to as much as €2,000 ($2,200).

Is it possible to save in Germany as a teacher?

Our top tips to save money in Germany:

  • Live further away from the city centre. Rent is one of your biggest expenses. Living in cheaper neighbourhoods can save you hundreds of euros a month. Alternatively, share accommodation with a friend or another teacher.
  • Use public transport. Get a monthly Deutschland ticket which is a cost-effective way to make use of public transport all over Germany.
  • Choose a bank which has zero monthly fees and no ATM fees.
  • Cooking at home is a better way to penny-pinch than eating out. 

How to start teaching English in Germany

The first step to teaching English in Germany is to get certified. A TEFL certificate is a MUST for teaching English in Germany. Sign up for a Level 5 TEFL course to get started on your teaching journey.

The next step is to make sure you’re qualified. Check that you’re eligible to work legally in the country. This is especially important if you are not an EU citizen. 

Finally, check out our TEFL Jobs Board and start applying!

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