Many institutions in Germany are looking for qualified and experienced teachers with a specialization in an area such as business English. But even newly qualified English language teachers with Master’s degrees, certificates and diplomas are being hired. Many teachers are employed on a freelance basis, often teaching in-company outside office hours. There are lots of private language schools looking for teachers.

Recent reports suggest that it is relatively easy (when compared to other EU countries) for non-EU teachers to find teaching jobs and work legally in Germany. For Americans, USIA Fulbright programme organizes for US graduates to work as teaching assistants in high schools

Embassy in UK:

23 Belgrave Square, London SW1X 8PZ

Tel: 020 7824 1300

Embassy in USA:

4645 Reservoir Road NW, Washington DC 20007

Tel: 202 298 4000

British Council office

Hackescher Markt 1, 10178 Berlin

Tel  +49 (30) 311 0990


Ü  Tip:

Materials in American English are often hard to find. Bring some books and tapes over with you from the States. Your students, who may be used to British English, will appreciate working with different materials and they may even like your accent!

Ü  Visa/Work Permits:

U.S. citizens must arrange employment and apply for a work permit before they leave. This may take a couple of months.

Ü  Requirements:

College Degree, experience and a TESOL/TESL Certificate

Ü  Cost of Living:

Contrary to popular belief, living costs in Germany are lower than you might expect, and lower than in the UK or USA.

Ü  Currency:

£1 = € 1.49  $1 = € 0.76

Ü  Salaries/Taxes:

All employees with their residence in Germany have to pay tax on their income in accordance with the German tax laws. The rates of wage or income tax are graduated progressively according to the particular wages or salary. Expect to earn £6-15 per teaching hour at a private language school and £15-20 as a freelancer. Freelancers often tend to work outside the social security and tax structures. This tends to imply high earnings but not much in the way of statutory health cover and benefits. The situation has become more complicated since 1999 when a law dating back to 1913 was resurrected by the German Social Security Administration, which requires that freelance teachers pay nearly 20% of their income into the state social security system. This law is being applied retroactively—some teachers report they have been hit with high tax bills. Many freelancers have left Germany claiming it is no longer worth their time to teach there. The situation remains uncertain at the time of writing so consult a lawyer if you have any specific questions or problems.

Ü  Accommodation:

In any of the big cities a one-bedroom apartment will cost around £500. You will usually have to pay three months rent as a deposit

Ü  Health advice:

Foreigners in Germany are placed on an equal footing with German employees when it comes to social protection. They generally have to be insured against sickness and unemployment and included in the statutory pension scheme by their employer on taking up the employment. The contributions to the social insurance scheme are borne half by the employer and half by the employee. The employee share is deducted from the gross wage and paid to the social insurance provider together with the employer’s share. The employer also has to insure you against accident with his trade association: premiums for accident insurance are paid by the employer alone. In practice, many private language schools do not comply with the law and do not make contributions on your behalf. Of course, freelancers are afforded no protection and should carry their own medical insurance.

Ü  English Language Media:

Handelsblatt (English edition), Munich Found (monthly), Spotlight, World Press