Teach English in Germany: programs, jobs and salary

Gert Svaiko

Wondering what it’s like to teach English in Germany coming from the UK? Whether you’re a seasoned educator or just considering this career, you probably want to know what you can expect.

Germany is a symbol of stability, peace and order. That’s why many expats, including English teachers, made it their new home. This guide will inform you on salaries, requirements and reasons to teach English in Germany.

We’ll also point out a cost-effective way to manage your finances while in Germany. The Wise account, from the money services provider Wise, allows you to send money between the UK and Germany for low fees and mid-market exchange rates. You can also rely on the Wise debit card to help you handle all of your expenses.


Please see the Terms of Use for your region or visit Wise fees & pricing for the most up-to-date information on pricing and fees.

Table of contents

Why teach English in Germany in the first place?

You might be wondering, why teach English in Germany, out of all places? There are actually a number of reasons for moving to Germany and working there, from the quality of life to its multicultural environment.

Also, English and German are similar languages, both belonging to the same branch of the Indo-European language family. This means you won’t have many obstacles when teaching English to your German students and you’ll be able to make progress more quickly.

Some German political parties are advocating for increased use of English in Germany. For example, the Free Democratic Party has suggested using English as an official second language in public administration and in commercial courts. After Brexit, the EU is looking for an alternative to the UK legal system. This might create significant changes and therefore a bigger demand for English teachers.¹

📚 Read more: How to open a bank account in Germany

Can you get a visa sponsorship for teaching English in Germany?²

UK citizens don’t need a visa to enter Germany and stay there for up to 90 days. However, they need it to work in Germany.

If you plan on working as soon as you arrive, you should apply for a German Work Visa beforehand, while still in the UK. One of the documents you’ll need to provide is your employment contract or binding job offer that you’ll get from your German employer. They should disclose your annual salary and the description of your job. You’ll also show your job offer proof when applying for a residence permit.

Luckily, Germany is one of those countries where you don’t need someone to sponsor your visa. There’s even a type of visa called the Job Seeker Visa which allows people to search for jobs for 6 months. You cannot extend it, but you can convert it to a Work Visa once you find a job.³

Of course, you should contact the German Embassy in the UK for the most up-to-date information regarding all visas.

Are English teachers in demand in Germany?⁴

There’s a demand for English teachers in Germany, but not in all areas equally. German business schools and international schools are the ones in need of English teachers at the moment. Finding work in public schools isn’t very likely, but private individual lessons are also always an option.

Requirements for teaching English in Germany⁵

Germany is fairly simple when it comes to requirements for English teachers. The only thing you actually need is a TEFL certificate. Employers have the right to their own additional requirements, but TEFL can be enough.

You legally don’t need to have a degree of any sort, but it’s preferred that you do. It doesn’t have to be a degree in the English language or literature, though. In many cases, being a native speaker and having experience is what matters most. However, if you want to work at a university, a bachelor’s degree is not enough.

Do you need to speak German to teach English in Germany?

Speaking German is usually not a formal requirement for English teachers. However, some English teaching programs do require having a basic level of German in order to apply.⁶

Even though it’s not obligatory, it’s still good to know the local language so you could communicate on a daily basis.

Can you teach English in Germany without a degree?⁵

Even though most countries require university-level education, you can teach English in Germany without a degree. The only thing that’s required is having a valid TEFL certificate. A university degree does look good on your resume, but it’s not as important as some other factors.

Having experience and being a native speaker is often what employers focus on. If you also speak some German, you probably won’t have difficulties securing a job.


English teaching programs in Germany

If you want assistance with finding a teaching job in Germany, there are a number of pre-existing programs you can choose from. However, there aren’t as many programs in Germany as there are in some more distant destinations. Here are some to consider:

PAD Language Assistants Programme⁶

PAD Language Assistants Programme is organised by the British Council, in partnership with the Pädagogischer Austauschdienst des Sekretariats der Kultusministerkonferenz (PAD). It’s a mobility programme for part-time English teaching. If you’re under 35, have A2-level German and are happy to work in a German school, you should consider applying.

Teach English in Germany⁷

The Teach English in Germany program is organised by the Excellence Center in Europe. It consists of helping refugees get conversational English skills. The program lasts from 1 to 13 weeks and participants work in a city called Halle.

English teaching jobs in Germany⁸

English teaching jobs in Germany include public, private, and international schools. However, German schools often require formal teacher qualifications. If you’re not a teacher back home, it’s best to consider some other options.

Germans are often interested in business English courses. Some of those courses are in Volkshochschulen, German community colleges with morning or evening classes.

Private tutoring is also a popular job option. Companies sometimes hire qualified individuals to teach their staff business English.

Can you teach English in Germany online?

You can teach English in Germany online, but it’s not a stable source of income. It’s a good side job, but it’s not likely you’ll be able to support yourself solely from online classes.

What’s the average salary for English teachers and tutors in Germany?⁸

Salaries for those who teach English in Germany vary based on working hours and position. You usually get paid hourly in language schools and for private lessons and monthly in public schools.

English teachers working in public schools can expect to earn from 1,200 to 2,000 EUR a month on average. Those who manage to find a university job can earn around 36,000 EUR per year.

Language schools pay around 16 EUR an hour on average, but those numbers can vary. You can expect the same for private tutoring. In order to have the most recent numbers, it’s a good idea to contact a couple of employers and see what they offer.

📚 Read more: Can you keep your UK bank account when moving abroad?

Volunteering to teach English in Germany

Volunteering is a great way to gain teaching experience and help people along the way. There are different programs you can look through, from working with refugees to getting German lessons in return.

One unique program for those who want to volunteer to teach English is organised by Englischhausen. They create an English-speaking community, a so-called “village”, where you live with English learners for 6 days at a time. In exchange for speaking only English with them, you’ll get free accommodation and food.⁹

And there you have it - your complete guide to teaching English in Germany. After reading this, you should have a better idea of how it all works, and be ready to start planning your move.

And, if you need a transparent, low-cost way to handle your finances while abroad, check out the Wise account. It’s not a bank account but offers many similar features.

You can manage your money in 40+ currencies, including EUR. You can also make international payments for low fees and mid-market exchange rates.

And, you can get a Wise debit card and spend like a local from the moment you arrive in Germany.

Sign up with Wise today 💰

Please see the Terms of Use for your region or visit Wise fees & pricing for the most up-to-date information on pricing and fees.

Sources used for this article:

  1. DW - “English language use gets a boost in Germany”
  2. Germany Visa - Germany Work Visa
  3. Germany Visa - Germany Job Seeker Visa
  4. Go Overseas - teach English in Germany
  5. TEFL Org - teach English in Germany
  6. British Council - teach English as a language assistant in Germany
  7. The Excellence Center in Europe - the Teach English in Germany program
  8. The TEFL Academy - teach English in Germany
  9. Englischhausen - volunteering in Germany

Sources last checked on: 14-Nov-2023

*Please see terms of use and product availability for your region or visit Wise fees and pricing for the most up to date pricing and fee information.

This publication is provided for general information purposes and does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its subsidiaries and its affiliates, and it is not intended as a substitute for obtaining advice from a financial advisor or any other professional.

We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether expressed or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

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