Teach English in Germany

Details

Demand

High

Busiest

Jan-Dec

All Year

Currency

Euros (EUR)

Contract

Freelance

Normally

Taxes

Very High

Summary
Like France, most of the high demand comes from the business sector. However, Germany is one of the few countries that expect English teachers to be able to speak the local language.
Main TEFL regions
Berlin, Frankfurt, Dresden, Dortmund, Bremen, Stuttgart, Munich, Düsseldorf
Types of teaching
Private language schools: General English, Business English
In-company: General English, Business English, English for Specific Purposes (ESP)
Adult education colleges (Volkshochschule): General English, Cambridge PET/FCE/CAE
Accommodation
Some schools will arrange accommodation or help you to find somewhere. A one-bedroom apartment costs around €300-€350 per month but the differences between the big cities are significant: Munich is the most expensive, while Berlin is actually cheaper than average. A good way to save money is to arrange a WG (Wohngemeinschaft or flat-share).
Flight reimbursement
Not typical
Salary
Salaries start at around €1,000 per month for fledgling teachers with a basic knowledge of German. More experienced freelance teachers can earn €20-35 per hour which, if you do 20 classroom hours per week, gives a good income.
Taxes
Ouch! This is the tough thing about working in Germany. On a starter’s salary, you’ll pay about 5% of your total earnings as income tax; experienced freelancers will pay more like 12%.
BUT… you’ll pay another 5.5% Solidarity Tax (designed to improve prosperity in East Germany), about 15% for insurance (health, life, professional liability) and freelance teachers must pay 19% of their income to the government pension scheme, regardless of whether they plan to stay in Germany or not! So that’s 50% of your salary gone before you even pay your rent!
Cost of living
The cost of living in Germany is high, but cheaper than most Western European capitals. A litre of milk (2 pints) is about €1.00 (currently £0.90) and a beer in a bar is about €2.00. Cheap, hearty food is readily available, so it’s very tempting to over-indulge!
Potential to save money
With such high taxes it will be very hard to save money unless you’re an experienced teacher.
How much TEFL training is recommended?
TEFL training isn’t necessary, but is definitely recommended. An accredited course - such as those offered by i-to-i - will give you an advantage over other candidates, as well as boosting your confidence. Having business experience will help a lot, too. Taking i-to-i’s specialist Teaching Business English certificate will help you cater to the local market.
Common teaching conditions
Unfortunately, there won’t be many cute kids in your classroom – just suited and booted businesspeople. If you have a contract at a big school, you could end up with a punishing 30 classroom hours-a-week schedule. However, you’ll often be paid extra if you have to travel around to classes.
Most working days are split-shift, with classes in the morning and evening and free time during the day.

Be aware…

If you’re a newly-qualified teacher with little experience and no knowledge of the local language, Germany is probably not the country for you. You may be able to get a job, but you’ll have to live VERY frugally to survive.