Teach English in Germany

a world of opportunities

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Kirsten Colquhoun
April 19, 2024

Contents

Introduction
Why teach in Germany
Where to teach
Types of jobs
Visa requirements
Teaching experience
TEFL Certification
Degree requirements
Non-native speakers
Local language
Start-up capital
Types of teaching jobs
How to get a job
Cost of living & culture
Cheapest place to live
Saving in Germany
Life and culture

With high salaries, a stunning array of landscapes, and a unique identity unmatched anywhere in the world, it’s no wonder teaching English in Germany is a popular choice with TEFL teachers.

With a steady economy and an emphasis on English proficiency, Germany is a smart choice of TEFL destination and a popular alternative to countries like South Korea and China. 

Kickstart your teaching career with everything you need to know about how to teach English in Germany. From sourcing a visa and landing the job of your dreams to immersing yourself in German culture!

Why teach English in Germany

Whether it’s the beer, the classical music or the castles you’re interested in, Germany has a lot to offer tourists and teachers alike. 

  • Job availability: There are positions available in various sectors all around the country ranging from public schools to private organisations and online companies. 
  • Career development: Teaching in Germany provides great experience on your CV if you pursue a long-term career in education. 
  • Competitive salaries: When it comes to compensation, Germany stands out as an appealing option, particularly due to its competitive salaries for experienced and qualified educators. 
  • The perks: Teachers enjoy perks such as the opportunity to travel, efficient and affordable public transportation, and affordable health insurance, all of which make teaching in Germany an attractive option for those looking to teach abroad.

Where to teach in Germany

Not sure if you want to teach in Düsseldorf or Dresden? Can’t choose between Hamburg and Hannover? We’ve got you covered! Let’s take a wander through the medieval streets of Germany to find out which are the popular German cities for English teachers. 

Berlin

Best for all-rounders

The capital of Germany, Berlin is a big city with many different sides. Famous for its arty tendencies, Berlin is home to a growing tech industry, alongside cultural attractions and a heaving nightlife. It’s a city to suit all TEFL teachers!

Munich

Best for Business English teachers

Munich is an economic powerhouse. Not surprisingly, the demand for Business English is high. And when you’re not teaching business professionals, why not hang out in the world’s largest beer garden or visit a museum dedicated to…potatoes? 

Frankfurt

Best for freelance teachers

Almost slap-bang in the middle of the country (and the continent!), Frankfurt is another popular option for TEFL teachers. Boasting historical and cultural attractions, Frankfurt has opportunities for both teaching and travelling – the two things TEFL teachers love most!

Types of teaching jobs in Germany

Public schools, private schools and international schools

Not many TEFL teachers end up working in schools due to the demand for formal teacher qualifications and fluency in German. But if you’re a qualified teacher in your home country with an additional TEFL qualification, teaching in a school could be a good option for you.

Language schools

A lot of TEFL teachers work at adult learning centres and private language schools. You are paid by the hour and your teaching schedule can be outside the usual 9-5.

Volkshochschulen

Volkshochschulen, or community colleges, offers lessons to adult learners in morning and evening courses. These positions are ideally suited for those who enjoy teaching adults, especially if you experience teaching Business English.

Private tutoring 

Private tutoring is a lucrative avenue to pursue in Germany. A lot of teaching opportunities arise in the private sector with corporations employing TEFL teachers to teach Business English.

Do I need a visa to teach English in Germany?

Yes, if you aren’t a citizen of an EU country, you need a working visa to teach in Germany. As with other EU countries, it’s a bit more challenging for non-EU citizens to get a working visa for Germany, but not impossible. 

To enter Germany most non-EU nationalities need an entry visa for employment purposes. For this you need an offer of employment. Some nationalities are given a 90-day entry visa on arrival which can be converted to a residence permit.

Australians, Kiwis, Taiwanese, Argentinians, South Koreans, Chileans and some other nationalities can apply for a Working Holiday Visa until they are 31 years old (or 36 for Canadians).

Do I need teaching experience to teach in Germany?

Although experience is not always a requirement, it will count in your favour when you apply for teaching jobs. 

For most high-paying English teaching jobs in Germany, employers are looking for experienced educators. 

But if you’ve got your heart set on Germany and want to increase your chances of securing a high-paying English teaching job, enrolling in The TEFL Academy’s Level 5 168-hour Combined Course is a great way to gain valuable classroom experience and build your skills as an educator.

Do I need TEFL certification to teach in Germany?

A TEFL certificate is important and the chances of getting a job will be significantly better if you are TEFL-qualified. Our Level 3 120-hour TEFL course is the bare minimum requirement for teaching English in Germany, and is widely accepted by employers throughout the country.

Can I teach in Germany without a degree?

Yes! A degree is not required to begin teaching English in Germany. However, don’t be surprised if you see employers showing a preference for those who have one. Many employers would prefer you have a degree, but it is not an essential requirement like an accredited TEFL qualification is.

Can non-native speakers teach English in Germany?

Non-native English speakers can teach English in Germany, but you need to prove your fluency through a score at an Advanced level on a test like the IELTS.

Do I need to speak German to teach English in Germany?

Absolutely not! With an estimated 56% of Germany speaking some amount of English, navigating the country without German is a breeze. English is the unofficial second language of the country, used a lot not only with native English speakers, but also with other visitors from other countries in Germany for tourist or business purposes. 

In the TEFL classroom, there is no need for you to be able to speak German. One of the foundations of teaching English as a foreign language is immersion learning, as this has been shown to be an excellent method of instruction. As a result, translation is rarely, if ever, used in the EFL classroom.

With that being said, a little always goes a long way and learning some German is always the best way to be respectful and properly immerse yourself in the local culture.

How much start-up capital do I need?

When you’re packing your bags for your big adventure, don’t forget about money! You’ll need some capital to fund your start-up costs until your first paycheque arrives in your bank.

  • Accommodation: One month’s rent and security deposit.
  • TEFL certification: A TEFL course can cost between $100 and $500, depending on the length and level of the course and the course provider. 
  • Document fees: Any costs related to certifying your degree and apostilling your TEFL certificate.
  • Flight ticket: Variable depending on location.
  • Visa application: The cost of a work permit for non-EU natives is €75 ($90). 
  • Living expenses: As a general rule of thumb, you need around €1,000 ($1,000) for your first month’s living costs.

Types of teaching jobs in Germany

Language schools

Private language schools have some of the highest demand for TEFL jobs in Germany. Classes range from individuals to small groups. Most language schools emphasise Business English teaching, and usually come with salaries of €13 – €19 ($14 – $21) an hour, as well as perks such as German lessons! 

Public schools

If you’re looking for the best work-life balance in Germany, teaching in a public school is for you! Salaries tend to be around 1,200 – 2,000 ($1,297 – $2,162) a month.

Universities

Undoubtedly the most sought-after TEFL jobs in Germany, teaching in universities usually come with salaries of 36,000 ($40,000) a year, plus vacation time. Not bad for a position that only requires 16-10 hours of work a week. It should be noted that most university jobs require applicants to have a Master’s degree and 3 to 5 years of experience. 

Private tutoring

The most flexible way of teaching English in Germany is by being your own boss and tutoring privately. Again, most of your students will be adult learners looking to learn Business English, though the demand can be seasonal. For part-time and freelance tutors, the rate for 45-minute classes can be up to 15 ($16) for teachers with limited experience and up to 30 ($32)  for experienced teachers. 

Online learning

The rise of online learning has given so many TEFL teachers so many more possible ways of making money. You can teach English online to German students either from Germany or anywhere else in the world if a visa or suitable position is hard to come by. Rates vary depending on the position, but the rough range is anywhere between 9 – 27  ($10 – $30) an hour

Summer camps

Teaching English can be a very seasonal-dependant industry in Germany, so one of the best ways around this is by picking up a job in a summer camp. These positions tend to be a lot more relaxed in terms of their demands and requirements, and can be a fantastic opportunity to meet new people and gain more experience!

Volunteering

Volunteer work is one of the most rewarding experiences someone looking to teach English abroad can do. Requirements are usually far more relaxed than with other positions and, whilst unpaid, positions often come with benefits such as accommodation, language lessons and the unbeatable feeling of giving something back!

How to get a job teaching English in Germany

Now you have a better idea of what sorts of TEFL teaching jobs are available in Germany and at what salaries, there are several steps you can take to bagging a job offer:

  • Get a TEFL certification. Acquiring a 168-hour TEFL certificate (especially for people without prior experience) is first on the list. 
  • Meet the minimum requirements. Choose a TEFL job which is suited to your qualifications.
  • Prepare your documents. This includes legalising your TEFL certificate, and ensuring paperwork like your passport is up-to-date. 
  • Prepare your CV. Make sure you tailor it for every position! 
  • Start your job search. Check out our TEFL jobs board for teaching positions.
  • Consider using recruitment companies. Recruiters can help navigate the hurdles of moving abroad and put you in front of the right employers.
  • Apply for a visa. After you’ve impressed your employers in an interview, you can begin the process of applying for a work visa.

Cost of living & culture

Wondering just how much you’re going to be able to make and save teaching English in Germany? As a developed first-world country, while the cost of living in Germany can be higher than in most places, it’s actually much more affordable than neighbouring countries France, Switzerland and even Luxembourg. 

There are ample opportunities to save thanks to the nation’s affordable public transport and healthcare. Most estimates tend to put the monthly cost of living in Germany at 800 – 1,200 ($880 – $1,325). 

What might come as a shock for some TEFL teachers is the country’s high taxes. Up to 40% of your salary can be deducted for tax and other contributions.

Accommodation

One-bedroom apartment in city centre: €840 ($935)

One-bedroom apartment outside city centre: €620 ($680)

Utilities

Gas, electricity, water, garbage disposal: €265 ($290)  

Food and groceries

Monthly shop: €225 ($250)

Meal at an inexpensive restaurant: €12 ($13.25)

Transport 

Monthly pass: €70 ($77) 

Single bus or subway trip: €2.90 ($3.20) 

Internet

Unlimited: €35 ($38)

Entertainment

Gyms, cinema, clubbing: €135 ($150)

Where in Germany is the cheapest to live?

As the nation’s capital, Berlin tends to be the most expensive destination. Alternative places to teach where the cost of living is a bit lower include Frankfurt, Bielefeld, Halle and Passau.

Is it possible to save with a TEFL job teaching in Germany?

While tax contributions can be high, most TEFL teachers find themselves with a comfortable standard of living teaching English abroad in Germany. Obviously immersing yourself fully in the beer festivals and dining out with the wide array of delicious food options might drain the bank balance a little bit more, but generally your salary should leave you with a little bit of wiggle room to save.

What's it like to live and work in Germany?

Germany as a teaching destination is a great environment to work in. Unlike places like China and the Middle East, it’ll be much easier to adjust for Western educators. 

More than thirty years on from the fall of the Berlin Wall, there is still a divide between East and West Germany in terms of the cost of living and salaries for English teachers abroad. 

Most teaching positions you find will be to adult learners teaching Business English, with the nation’s excellent public education system already equipping younger students with a high English proficiency. 

Students are generally reserved and well-behaved. Teachers should dress well, be respectful and punctual at all times. 

Overall, living and teaching in Germany is a rewarding experience that’ll afford you the chance to gain personal and professional growth, while experiencing a very different side to Europe.

Contents

With high salaries, a stunning array of landscapes, and a unique identity unmatched anywhere in the world, it’s no wonder teaching English in Germany is a popular choice with TEFL teachers.

With a steady economy and an emphasis on English proficiency, Germany is a smart choice of TEFL destination and a popular alternative to countries like South Korea and China. 

Kickstart your teaching career with everything you need to know about how to teach English in Germany. From sourcing a visa and landing the job of your dreams to immersing yourself in German culture!

Why teach English in Germany

Whether it’s the beer, the classical music or the castles you’re interested in, Germany has a lot to offer tourists and teachers alike. 

  • Job availability: There are positions available in various sectors all around the country ranging from public schools to private organisations and online companies. 
  • Career development: Teaching in Germany provides great experience on your CV if you pursue a long-term career in education. 
  • Competitive salaries: When it comes to compensation, Germany stands out as an appealing option, particularly due to its competitive salaries for experienced and qualified educators. 
  • The perks: Teachers enjoy perks such as the opportunity to travel, efficient and affordable public transportation, and affordable health insurance, all of which make teaching in Germany an attractive option for those looking to teach abroad.

Where to teach in Germany

Not sure if you want to teach in Düsseldorf or Dresden? Can’t choose between Hamburg and Hannover? We’ve got you covered! Let’s take a wander through the medieval streets of Germany to find out which are the popular German cities for English teachers. 

Berlin

Best for all-rounders

The capital of Germany, Berlin is a big city with many different sides. Famous for its arty tendencies, Berlin is home to a growing tech industry, alongside cultural attractions and a heaving nightlife. It’s a city to suit all TEFL teachers!

Munich

Best for Business English teachers

Munich is an economic powerhouse. Not surprisingly, the demand for Business English is high. And when you’re not teaching business professionals, why not hang out in the world’s largest beer garden or visit a museum dedicated to…potatoes? 

Frankfurt

Best for freelance teachers

Almost slap-bang in the middle of the country (and the continent!), Frankfurt is another popular option for TEFL teachers. Boasting historical and cultural attractions, Frankfurt has opportunities for both teaching and travelling – the two things TEFL teachers love most!

Types of teaching jobs in Germany

Public schools, private schools and international schools

Not many TEFL teachers end up working in schools due to the demand for formal teacher qualifications and fluency in German. But if you’re a qualified teacher in your home country with an additional TEFL qualification, teaching in a school could be a good option for you.

Language schools

A lot of TEFL teachers work at adult learning centres and private language schools. You are paid by the hour and your teaching schedule can be outside the usual 9-5.

Volkshochschulen

Volkshochschulen, or community colleges, offers lessons to adult learners in morning and evening courses. These positions are ideally suited for those who enjoy teaching adults, especially if you experience teaching Business English.

Private tutoring 

Private tutoring is a lucrative avenue to pursue in Germany. A lot of teaching opportunities arise in the private sector with corporations employing TEFL teachers to teach Business English.

Do I need a visa to teach English in Germany?

Yes, if you aren’t a citizen of an EU country, you need a working visa to teach in Germany. As with other EU countries, it’s a bit more challenging for non-EU citizens to get a working visa for Germany, but not impossible. 

To enter Germany most non-EU nationalities need an entry visa for employment purposes. For this you need an offer of employment. Some nationalities are given a 90-day entry visa on arrival which can be converted to a residence permit.

Australians, Kiwis, Taiwanese, Argentinians, South Koreans, Chileans and some other nationalities can apply for a Working Holiday Visa until they are 31 years old (or 36 for Canadians).

Do I need teaching experience to teach in Germany?

Although experience is not always a requirement, it will count in your favour when you apply for teaching jobs. 

For most high-paying English teaching jobs in Germany, employers are looking for experienced educators. 

But if you’ve got your heart set on Germany and want to increase your chances of securing a high-paying English teaching job, enrolling in The TEFL Academy’s Level 5 168-hour Combined Course is a great way to gain valuable classroom experience and build your skills as an educator.

Do I need TEFL certification to teach in Germany?

A TEFL certificate is important and the chances of getting a job will be significantly better if you are TEFL-qualified. Our Level 3 120-hour TEFL course is the bare minimum requirement for teaching English in Germany, and is widely accepted by employers throughout the country.

Can I teach in Germany without a degree?

Yes! A degree is not required to begin teaching English in Germany. However, don’t be surprised if you see employers showing a preference for those who have one. Many employers would prefer you have a degree, but it is not an essential requirement like an accredited TEFL qualification is.

Can non-native speakers teach English in Germany?

Non-native English speakers can teach English in Germany, but you need to prove your fluency through a score at an Advanced level on a test like the IELTS.

Do I need to speak German to teach English in Germany?

Absolutely not! With an estimated 56% of Germany speaking some amount of English, navigating the country without German is a breeze. English is the unofficial second language of the country, used a lot not only with native English speakers, but also with other visitors from other countries in Germany for tourist or business purposes. 

In the TEFL classroom, there is no need for you to be able to speak German. One of the foundations of teaching English as a foreign language is immersion learning, as this has been shown to be an excellent method of instruction. As a result, translation is rarely, if ever, used in the EFL classroom.

With that being said, a little always goes a long way and learning some German is always the best way to be respectful and properly immerse yourself in the local culture.

How much start-up capital do I need?

When you’re packing your bags for your big adventure, don’t forget about money! You’ll need some capital to fund your start-up costs until your first paycheque arrives in your bank.

  • Accommodation: One month’s rent and security deposit.
  • TEFL certification: A TEFL course can cost between $100 and $500, depending on the length and level of the course and the course provider. 
  • Document fees: Any costs related to certifying your degree and apostilling your TEFL certificate.
  • Flight ticket: Variable depending on location.
  • Visa application: The cost of a work permit for non-EU natives is €75 ($90). 
  • Living expenses: As a general rule of thumb, you need around €1,000 ($1,000) for your first month’s living costs.

Types of teaching jobs in Germany

Language schools

Private language schools have some of the highest demand for TEFL jobs in Germany. Classes range from individuals to small groups. Most language schools emphasise Business English teaching, and usually come with salaries of €13 – €19 ($14 – $21) an hour, as well as perks such as German lessons! 

Public schools

If you’re looking for the best work-life balance in Germany, teaching in a public school is for you! Salaries tend to be around 1,200 – 2,000 ($1,297 – $2,162) a month.

Universities

Undoubtedly the most sought-after TEFL jobs in Germany, teaching in universities usually come with salaries of 36,000 ($40,000) a year, plus vacation time. Not bad for a position that only requires 16-10 hours of work a week. It should be noted that most university jobs require applicants to have a Master’s degree and 3 to 5 years of experience. 

Private tutoring

The most flexible way of teaching English in Germany is by being your own boss and tutoring privately. Again, most of your students will be adult learners looking to learn Business English, though the demand can be seasonal. For part-time and freelance tutors, the rate for 45-minute classes can be up to 15 ($16) for teachers with limited experience and up to 30 ($32)  for experienced teachers. 

Online learning

The rise of online learning has given so many TEFL teachers so many more possible ways of making money. You can teach English online to German students either from Germany or anywhere else in the world if a visa or suitable position is hard to come by. Rates vary depending on the position, but the rough range is anywhere between 9 – 27  ($10 – $30) an hour

Summer camps

Teaching English can be a very seasonal-dependant industry in Germany, so one of the best ways around this is by picking up a job in a summer camp. These positions tend to be a lot more relaxed in terms of their demands and requirements, and can be a fantastic opportunity to meet new people and gain more experience!

Volunteering

Volunteer work is one of the most rewarding experiences someone looking to teach English abroad can do. Requirements are usually far more relaxed than with other positions and, whilst unpaid, positions often come with benefits such as accommodation, language lessons and the unbeatable feeling of giving something back!

How to get a job teaching English in Germany

Now you have a better idea of what sorts of TEFL teaching jobs are available in Germany and at what salaries, there are several steps you can take to bagging a job offer:

  • Get a TEFL certification. Acquiring a 168-hour TEFL certificate (especially for people without prior experience) is first on the list. 
  • Meet the minimum requirements. Choose a TEFL job which is suited to your qualifications.
  • Prepare your documents. This includes legalising your TEFL certificate, and ensuring paperwork like your passport is up-to-date. 
  • Prepare your CV. Make sure you tailor it for every position! 
  • Start your job search. Check out our TEFL jobs board for teaching positions.
  • Consider using recruitment companies. Recruiters can help navigate the hurdles of moving abroad and put you in front of the right employers.
  • Apply for a visa. After you’ve impressed your employers in an interview, you can begin the process of applying for a work visa.

Cost of living & culture

Wondering just how much you’re going to be able to make and save teaching English in Germany? As a developed first-world country, while the cost of living in Germany can be higher than in most places, it’s actually much more affordable than neighbouring countries France, Switzerland and even Luxembourg. 

There are ample opportunities to save thanks to the nation’s affordable public transport and healthcare. Most estimates tend to put the monthly cost of living in Germany at 800 – 1,200 ($880 – $1,325). 

What might come as a shock for some TEFL teachers is the country’s high taxes. Up to 40% of your salary can be deducted for tax and other contributions.

Accommodation

One-bedroom apartment in city centre: €840 ($935)

One-bedroom apartment outside city centre: €620 ($680)

Utilities

Gas, electricity, water, garbage disposal: €265 ($290)  

Food and groceries

Monthly shop: €225 ($250)

Meal at an inexpensive restaurant: €12 ($13.25)

Transport 

Monthly pass: €70 ($77) 

Single bus or subway trip: €2.90 ($3.20) 

Internet

Unlimited: €35 ($38)

Entertainment

Gyms, cinema, clubbing: €135 ($150)

Where in Germany is the cheapest to live?

As the nation’s capital, Berlin tends to be the most expensive destination. Alternative places to teach where the cost of living is a bit lower include Frankfurt, Bielefeld, Halle and Passau.

Is it possible to save with a TEFL job teaching in Germany?

While tax contributions can be high, most TEFL teachers find themselves with a comfortable standard of living teaching English abroad in Germany. Obviously immersing yourself fully in the beer festivals and dining out with the wide array of delicious food options might drain the bank balance a little bit more, but generally your salary should leave you with a little bit of wiggle room to save.

What's it like to live and work in Germany?

Germany as a teaching destination is a great environment to work in. Unlike places like China and the Middle East, it’ll be much easier to adjust for Western educators. 

More than thirty years on from the fall of the Berlin Wall, there is still a divide between East and West Germany in terms of the cost of living and salaries for English teachers abroad. 

Most teaching positions you find will be to adult learners teaching Business English, with the nation’s excellent public education system already equipping younger students with a high English proficiency. 

Students are generally reserved and well-behaved. Teachers should dress well, be respectful and punctual at all times. 

Overall, living and teaching in Germany is a rewarding experience that’ll afford you the chance to gain personal and professional growth, while experiencing a very different side to Europe.

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