Find Your Dream TEFL Job

Quick Facts

  • Degree Required

    None

  • Salary

    $900-2,150/month

  • Visa

    Work Visa in advance / EU passport holder

  • Age

    21-65

  • Contract

    10+ months

  • Cost of Living

    $1,250+/month

  • Typical Students

    Business Professionals, Children

  • Interview

    In person

What Kind of Teaching Jobs Are There In Germany?

Unlike most TEFL destinations, most English teaching jobs in Germany are with adults. You’ll likely find yourself teaching Business English to adults at a Volkshochschule (Adult Education Centre) or teaching General English to children at a private language centre.

There are also some opportunities to work as a freelance English teacher or doing private tutoring. If this is the way you’d like to go, you may find it easier to start working at a centre first and then gradually build up freelance work.

Teaching at adult education centres or private language centres in Germany

Teaching at a language centre in Germany can be extremely varied work, whether it be an adult education centre or children’s private language centre.

You may find yourself working at a single language centre where students take after-school and weekend classes. Or you could work for a company that sends you to various locations, including public schools, private language centres and adult education centres. And, as mentioned, some TEFL teachers work as ‘freelancers’ at various locations, employed by more than one individual, group or company.

Finding a job

You can find lots of jobs online, whether on international job boards or on expat forums specific to German cities. However, most employers will want to interview you in person before offering you an English job in Germany. This may mean that you apply online, have an interview via video call and then have a final interview when you enter Germany. Or it may mean that you fly into Germany and search for jobs on the ground.

When to apply

Like many locations in Europe, September and January are the most popular times to start teaching. However, it’s a good idea to begin applying for jobs at least three months before this as can take up to 10 weeks to receive a tax number, residency permit and/or a work permit needed to start work. So, make sure that you have funds to cover your time while waiting for paperwork!

Teaching hours & Class sizes

Most TEFL teachers in Germany work between 20 and 30 hours a week, including time spent planning lessons. If you work at a private language centre, those hours are likely to be in the evening and at the weekend. If you work at an adult education centre, you could also be working these hours, or you may be working during the day, visiting clients at work. In either case, you should be prepared to be flexible with your hours.

Class sizes vary in Germany, especially if you find yourself working at various workplaces. Though in general, you can expect to have relatively small classes.

Salary & Bonuses

As a TEFL teacher, you can earn $900-2,150 per month, depending on how many hours you work. If you are paid an hourly rate rather than a monthly salary, you’ll likely earn £11-18 per hour. But keep in mind that the taxes in Germany are extremely high, so you won’t see a good portion of those wages!

Vacation

Vacation time is a little complicated in Germany. Rather than having a set amount of paid holiday, employees often earn the statutory amount of holiday only after working for a certain number of months. And the amount of vacation time you get will also differ depending on your employment contract and working hours. So, your best bet is to ask your employer directly about vacation time!

If you are working as a ‘freelance’ teacher, perhaps taking on hours with more than one employer, you probably won’t have any paid vacation. However, if you’re careful when planning your schedule and accepting work, you can make sure you have time off when you need it.

Pros

  • Varied work, especially if visiting different workplaces or clients
  • Some centres give you free German lessons
  • The potential to work for yourself as a TEFL teacher

Cons

  • Competition to find work
  • Difficult to find legal work without an EU passport
  • High taxes!
  • Bureaucracy and paperwork needed to find work and a place to live
  • No paid-for accommodation, flight reimbursement or completion bonus
Teach English in Germany

Other types of teaching work in Germany

There are a real range of English speaking jobs in Germany, be it part-time, full-time or freelance. Some TEFL teachers work directly for one school or centre, whereas others work for a company that sends them to various places to teach, and some work as their own boss, teaching freelance. There are also some teaching programmes that put TEFL teachers on placements.

You could be working one-on-one as a private tutor or teaching a group of students, going to clients at their home or visiting workplaces. The world is your oyster when it comes to the kinds of teaching gigs you can get in Germany!

Just keep in mind, some of these opportunities are likely to come up when you’ve been working in the country for a while, rather than being advertised online. For example, working as a freelancer may be difficult at first, with no connections or support, but it could be easy after a year of living in Germany.

Am I eligible to teach in Germany?

Technically, all you need to teach English in Germany is a TEFL certificate. However, in reality, employers are much likely to hire candidates with a university degree, an EU passport, a TEFL certificate and perhaps some basic German language skills. Though, it’s by no means impossible to find work without these – it’ll just be a little harder.

Native-level English speakers may be given preference for some jobs, but Germans are open to hiring non-native speakers too. It’s worth noting, it can definitely help your chances of finding work as a non-native speaker if you have some German language skills!

How can I get a visa?

If you have an EU passport, you’ll be able to work legally in the country without getting a working visa. And if you’re from Australia, Canada or New Zealand, you may be able to apply for a working holiday visa. However, if you aren’t from one of these countries and don’t have an EU passport, you’ll need to find an employer who will sponsor your working visa.

Most employers prefer to hire candidates with an EU passport, as it means they won’t have to sponsor a lengthy, expensive visa process. Though there are some programmes that are open to non-EU citizens and will help candidates obtain a working visa.

Keep in mind, the process of acquiring a work visa and residency permit can take a matter of weeks, and you may need to be on the ground in Germany for the duration. As you won’t be earning a wage during this time, make sure you have enough savings to cover your expenses while waiting for your visa.

Where can I teach English in Germany?

Berlin, Cologne, Frankfurt, Leipzig and Munich are all popular locations for teaching English in Germany.

Berlin, Frankfurt and Munich are bustling, cosmopolitan cities with lots going on. They perhaps have the most teaching opportunities, but there’s also lots of competition to find work. Berlin is known for its eclectic nightlife, Frankfurt is in a central location that is great for those who enjoy travelling, and Munich has an international community and food from all over the world.

Conversely, Leipzig is a cultural hub surrounded by green farmland, voted the ‘most liveable place in Germany’ by Germany’s largest market research institute. And Cologne has particularly friendly, welcoming locals.

What are the challenges of teaching English in Germany?

If you’ve worked as a TEFL teacher in a country like Thailand or Cambodia, teaching in Germany will seem comparatively strict and formal. However, this organisation and structure works in your favour when it comes to getting paid and being given prior notice about your schedule.

Bureaucracy is another big challenge of living in Germany. Everything from getting your internet wired up to renting a flat will require jumping through bureaucratic hoops! And it’s sure to involve lots of paperwork, so bring every document you think you may need.

Cost of living in Germany

Germany’s cost of living is similar to that of other cities in central Europe, coming in at cheaper than Italy, Austria or the US and more expensive than the UK, Canada or Greece.

Accommodation is likely to be your largest expense, whereas bills, entertainment and eating out can be quite reasonable. A three-course meal for two can cost $30-65, a beer costs roughly $4, and a loaf of bread costs $1.50. A monthly gym membership can cost as little as $25, a cinema ticket costs about $13, and a one-way ticket on most types of public transport costs $3 or less.

About Germany

Germany is one of the most populous countries in Europe, being home to more than 80 million people. The country’s major cities are becoming popular with both students and foreigners looking for work. And although there can be some competition for accommodation and work, Germany’s busy cities also come with plenty of entertainment and activities.

Underground gigs, popular nightclubs, sophisticated opera houses, and interesting museums can be found in most of Germany’s major cities. Not to mention plenty of vibrant festivals, namely the famous Oktoberfest!

Outside of the urban jungles, Germany also has beautiful countryside, lush forestry and many scenic rural areas. In particular, Bavaria is known for its sprawling greenery, cobbled streets, age-old traditions, architecture that looks as if it came straight out of a fairy-tale!

German culture

Germans are known for their love of organisation and structure, which is particularly noticeable in the workplace. You’ll need to follow the school schedule and agenda to a tee, and it’s absolutely essential to be on time – if not early! And, depending on your place of work, you may be expected to wear smart business wear.

German people also have a reputation for being somewhat serious and stoic. They like to keep their private life private and generally don’t have a playful sense of humour. However, although they may seem cold at first, Germans truly value their community and are keen to work together to keep things working as best as they can.

The German language has lots of similarities with English, so as an English speaker, you’ll be able to pick up some phrases and words easily. Though, German grammar is notoriously difficult, so piecing together full sentences and conversations may take a little time.

German cuisine

Germans love warm, hearty food with lots of meat and potatoes. Popular types of meat include: Bratwurst (German sausage), Saumagen (pork stomach) and Schweinshaxe (braised pork). And meals often come with beetroot, cabbage, sauerkraut and turnips.

Despite heavy consumption of meat, especially pork, there’s a wide range of vegetarian and vegan options on offer in Germany too. Lots of different types of bread are also common in Germany, coming in a variety of shapes and colours.

Beer is by far the most popular alcoholic drink in Germany, and Germans are estimated to drink almost 150 litres a year. The beverage it taken quite seriously in the country with the Reinheitsgebot (German Beer Purity Law) stipulating that only water, hops and malt are allowed as ingredients.

Teach in Germany
Living in Germany

Accommodation in Germany

There are a handful of English teaching jobs in Germany that have free shared housing for teachers. Though, jobs in Germany rarely come with accommodation included and employers are unlikely to provide a housing allowance.

There’s a high standard of housing in Germany, whether it be in the city or the countryside, but they come at a price. As with many destinations in central Europe, rent in Germany can be expensive, especially in major cities like Berlin and Frankfurt.

A one-bedroom apartment in the centre of Berlin or Frankfurt is likely to cost upwards of $900 per month. Whereas a one-bedroom apartment in the centre of Cologne can be found for $750, and a one-bedroom apartment in the centre of Leipzig can be as little as $550 per month. And, of course, living on the outskirts of the city or in a house share can save you between $150-250 per month!

Weather in Germany

Located in the centre of Europe, Germany has four clear seasons with a warm summer, a chilly winter, and a comfortable autumn and spring. However, the country also receives a fair amount of rain through the year, usually between 7 and 16 days per month.

Germany’s capital city of Berlin enjoys a fairly temperate climate. It has summers with temperatures as high as 25°C and the temperatures only drop as low as 5°C in winter. There is also rainfall throughout the year, but it’s rarely heavy enough to ruin your day!

In the west of Germany, Cologne receives a pleasant climate on the whole, though it’s one of the country’s rainier cities. Winters are cold and wet whereas summers are warm and wetter! August is probably the most enjoyable month to be in Cologne, with lower amounts of rain than the other summer months and temperatures of up to 24°C.

Southeast of Cologne, Frankfurt is marginally warmer in summer and colder in winter than Germany’s more northern cities, and it also has less rainfall throughout the year. The average temperature in July and August is 19°C, and the average temperature in January is 4°C with lows of 0°C.

Southwest of Berlin is Leipzig, which drops to temperature lows of -3°C in winter and rises to highs of 24°C in summer. The city has between 7 and 9 days of rainfall every month, less than Cologne, Berlin or Frankfurt.

The capital of Bavaria, Munich has its lowest average temperature of -1°C in January and its highest average temperature of 18°C in July. Though, temperatures can drop as low as -5°C and rise up to 23°C. Rain is steady throughout the year, with between 20-40mm of rain every month.

Please note: The information in this guide is accurate as of the time of writing. However, the laws and requirements to teach abroad can often change. Make sure to check the latest advice from the local authority of the country you plan to work in.

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