Teaching English in Germany

Teaching English in Germany

Germany Overview

Main Cities/AreasSalary range (USD/month)
Most cities$1200 – $2000

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 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.

Typical Requirements and Tips

Degree?TEFL Certification?EU National?Experience?
YesYesYes or Work Visa1-2 Years

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.

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 center. You may even consider setting up in business yourself.

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

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 Residence Permit and Freelance Work Visa (requiring up to eight weeks to process after arrival in Germany).

The costs for accommodation, food and transport are high. This is reflected to some degree in the salaries but certainly not enough to enable the average TEFL teacher to save money each month.

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 center.

Pros and Cons of Teaching in Germany


  • High demand – especially for Business English
  • Fantastic culture
  • Opportunities are there to set up your own language center if you see yourself staying for a long time


  • Lots of red tape for non-EU nationals who do not already have contacts in Germany
  • Split shifts are common whereby you work mornings and evenings (with the afternoon off)
  • Not much chance to save