In a survey published by the Huffington Post, Germany has been listed as the country in Europe in which English teachers make the highest salaries in comparison to other European countries. Is there anything Germany-bound English teachers should pay attention to? Our blog gives you some tips of how to get employed in Germany that values its English teachers
“If you like teaching, Germany is a really satisfying,dynamic environment to work in,” said Dale Coulter, Chair of the English-Language Teaching Association in Berlin-Brandenburg. “You have so much control over what you teach, the hours you want to work and what materials you develop for your learners.”
“There is a big difference to teaching in a state school where you have lots of syllabi to deliver. There’s so much more freedom and dynamism in this industry.”
Deborah C., an American ex-pat, who has been teaching English in Berlin since 1992 and who now runs her own English and German Language school in Berlin, likes the flexibility that teaching English has provided to her.
“I could always develop my own materials. The first 14 years I have been teaching English for the Abitur, there was no set curriculum,” she said in an interview. “It’s important to find your own niche in that large market of English teaching in Germany and to try to find something that suits your own personality and skills,” she added.
Big Business equals Big Opportunities
Germany offers many English teaching opportunities, from working in a major language school such as Berlitz or the Wall Street Institute to teaching children part time in Kindergartens.
Deborah C. said: “If you want to get into professional English training or business English training, come to Germany. The country has so many big companies like Siemens, Mercedes and BMW; they all take English training very seriously.”
Aside from major companies, Germany is home to many international companies with staff in need of English instructions. “Many of their departments are willing to pay serious money for that,” she added.
Coulter, who also runs the HR department of an English teaching agency, recommends prospective teachers be TESOL/TEFL certified before they begin the job search. “Make sure that the qualification course you do has an observed teaching practice unit. I don’t even look at applications which don’t have an initial qualification of 120 hours,” he said.
And those coming from a specialized background can use that to their advantage when seeking lucrative, full-time teaching positions with large businesses. “If you have a BA in, or if you’ve worked in, finance or marketing, for example, that increases your employability and the chances of being taken on directly by a company as an in-house English trainer,” Coulter pointed out.
He said that as a business English trainer in Berlin, one can expect to earn between €15 and €40 for teaching a 45-minute class. “Full-time positions are like gold dust in Germany,” said the expert, while noting that most newcomers should expect to begin teaching on a freelance basis. “Those who do land a full-time position as an in-house trainer can expect to earn a whole lot more, perhaps between €1,500 and €4,500 per month, with the latter figure representing those who are extremely qualified,” he said.
Location, location, location
Skyline of Dresden, Saxony
While Germany’s capital is known for its opportunities in Kindergarten English teaching work, according to Coulter, finding well-paying jobs can be a challenge. “In Berlin, there are hundreds of potential teachers competing for the same jobs,” he said. Look into other big cities like Hamburg, Dresden, Frankfurt or Munich, or even smaller towns. “Research a small town, and if you know there’s industry around there that’s brilliant because you might be one of the only trained language teachers in the area.”
The times when it was sufficient to just speak English are long over. If you want to earn a high salary in teaching English in a country as sophisticated as Germany, prepare yourself thoroughly. Include a specialization in teaching Business English, teaching Young Learners, or teaching TOEFL Preparation, and with a little bit of patience, you will be well on your way to having the great income as described in this blog. If your English is top notch and you have perfect teaching skills to bring out the best in your students, the sky is the limit for you as an English teacher in Germany.
We can certainly help you get started teaching English in Germany. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.