How to Teach English in Germany | GRADE UNIVERSITY

Teach English in Germany: concerns, vacancies, best locations, and FAQ

Teach English in Germany: concerns, vacancies, best locations, and FAQ


  • Teaching qualifications
  • Tips & Strategies
  • Methodology

Why should one want to teach English in another country?

The reasons can be absolutely different: 

  • to get new experience both at work and in private life, 
  • to earn money, 
  • to flee from war, 
  • to learn new skills, new cultures, and new people,
  •  to make use of the benefits of the modern globalized world. 

When the desire to teach abroad is determined, things come down to the choice of a country and getting prepared for all that might or might not happen. Lately, Germany has become one of the most popular destinations in Europe for teachers to try their luck. Discovering how to become an English teacher in Germany is increasingly appealing for several reasons:

  • This country is known for a strong economy, a high quality of life, a secure social welfare system, and affordable living costs.
  • There is a high demand for English language instruction for students of different levels and ages, as well as in conterminal areas of study like business or IT English.
  • Teaching English in Germany can provide unique experiences and various chances for career development, let you make new friends and connections, and upgrade your resume to look much more winning and professional.
  • As a country with a rich history, culture, and nature, Germany offers multiple ways to spend the best time of your life by trying and learning new things like classic and modern art, music, architecture, sports, visiting clubs, exploring nature, and much more.

Take your English teaching skills to the next level with our online Teaching Credential

Join now!

Make sure you have conducted thorough research before you take any decision. We are here to help you, so in this blog, you will find out what you need to become an English teacher in Germany, the best places and available positions, along with salary and living expenses. So, let’s take a look.

Requirements to teach English in Germany

The scenario “I will figure it out on the spot” is actually not the case. To secure a legal job in Germany (also known as a country with really strict rules), you have to know all the requirements and be prepared to the maximum. 

Thus, your chances of getting a job as an English teacher in Germany are higher if you obtain the following:

  • A teaching qualification: such qualifications as TEFL, TESOL, or CELTA are the bare minimum that is valued by German employers at language schools.
  • A university degree: this can be at least a bachelor’s degree in any subject, but preferably linguistics, of course.
  • Teaching experience: for some positions, it is even more important to have some previous (minimum two years) teaching experience than to have a degree
  • A work permit: as a non-EU citizen, you will have to apply for a working visa, which can usually be obtained with the help of your future employer.
  • Basic German language knowledge: though it is not that important to be proficient in German, some employers still may require this type of skill to teach English, not to mention that it helps in your everyday life in the country and at the workplace.

Beyond the mentioned qualifications and skills, during the process of getting a working visa, future teachers will be expected to prepare the following documents to teach English in Germany:

  • valid passport;
  • TEFL/TESOL/CELTA original certificate;
  • international CV and cover letter;
  • confirmation letter of employment;
  • visa application form;
  • health insurance;
  • proof of funds (bank statement);
  • passport-sized photos.

Herein, we would like to review some basic requirements, such as certificates, degrees, experience, and visas in more detail. Have a look at what should be taken into consideration before you decide to start your teaching career in Germany.


By and large, such international language teaching certificates as TEFL or CELTA are your lucky tickets for starting a career as an ESL teacher abroad. For most positions, only these qualifications are needed. 

Still, pay attention to the fact that the courses you take are at least 120 hours long; this is the most frequent requirement. The only way to omit that in some cases is to have previous good teaching experience.

Aside from certifications, some language schools may have their own requirements for candidates who apply as teachers of English. Just keep that in mind.

Everything you need to know about CELTA


A degree is not an obligatory requirement to teach English in Germany; that is true. However, many educational institutions do prefer candidates who have one. Moreover, if you count on getting a well-paying full-time job, needless to say, you should have at least a bachelor’s degree. German, business, and linguistics are especially appreciated by employers, by the way.

Even though you don’t have a degree but have, for instance, a TEFL certification and a couple of years of teaching experience, you should be able to find a remunerative job as an English teacher in Germany. However, if you have a certificate and a degree, your chances of getting higher pay will doubtlessly increase.


Technically, you can find a job without experience requirements. But in Germany, you may often face the fact that it is more important to be an experienced teacher than to hold a degree. 

Yet, there are posts for newbie TEFL holders, like summer camps, for example. Their requirements are not that strict, and they will provide you with the needed experience, network, and opportunities to find further long-term employment.

Another piece of advice is to look for a job at private language schools or Volkshochschulen. Otherwise, take a glance at positions with fewer requirements and competition, which are often found in minor cities.

How to teach everything

Visa to teach English in Germany

Getting a working visa can be pretty time-consuming (between one and three months to get approved). You should be prepared for that and understand the process. 

Here are a couple of tips before you apply: 

  • It is best to find a job and get a teaching contract first. 
  • Then you may find a residence in Germany, get confirmation, open a bank account, and provide yourself with health insurance.
  • Afterwards, you may apply for a visa. 

Hopefully, your future employer will guide you through the process and help you get an appropriate visa. Along with the application form, you will need to prepare the documents mentioned in the section above, like a passport, a confirmation letter, and your projected income.

Please note that you can legally work as a freelancer only for if you are an EU citizen. Moreover, full-time jobs are really competitive, they usually offer one-year contracts, and candidates have to work during three months as a probationary period before they get such a job.


So, where can you find a job in Germany as an ESL teacher? Germany offers quite a wide range of opportunities, from summer camps, and public, international, and adult language schools, to private and freelance jobs and teaching assistant positions.

English teachers in Germany who work for commercial institutions are mostly freelancers rather than contract employees. They work up to twenty hours a week, usually for several schools.

After meeting all the requirements we mentioned above, you may find the following types of positions as an English teacher in Germany:

Public schools: are similar to our schools, covering different age groups, starting at 6. Public schools in Germany are also divided into primary and secondary schools. The last one has three different directions, depending on the sphere of interest the students have: Hauptschuke (skill training), Realschuke (mixed-level school), and Gymnasium (university preparation).

International schools: some top-level international schools have truly found their successful development in Germany. Here, you may experience teaching multicultural classes, which can be both challenging and exciting. Of course, positions in such schools are more competitive in comparison to other institutions, but having appropriate qualifications and experience will help you gain this valuable place. 

Language academies: the age of students at language academies varies from young learners to adults. Moreover, you may face people of different backgrounds and professions, like lawyers, and local and international businessmen. You should also consider that language academies usually prefer to see EU citizens as their representatives, but why not try your luck?

Volkshochschulen: this is a type of school similar to “night classes.” They are presented in most country cities and let adults take different long-term and short-term courses like IT, business, languages, sports, and much more.

Private teaching: this kind of teaching is quite common in Germany and serves as additional studying apart from school. In reality, it may be pretty difficult to find such a position, but if you do, you will get a good source of income and teaching experience.

Best places to teach English in Germany

Germany is large enough, with a population of over 83 million people and several major political and economic centers. So, choose the place carefully, taking into account your personal needs and preferences. Take a look here at some popular destinations:

  • Berlin is the capital and the largest city in Germany. It is full of history, the arts, modern European culture, and extraordinary nightlife. Berlin is honored to be the best place for startups and offers opportunities to teach English in any possible kind of school.
  • Munich is an economic and cultural center, known for its history and high standards of living. Being the midpoint for international companies and organizations, it may be interesting to those who would like to teach adult business people.
  • Frankfurt is located in the centre of the country, Frankfurt may become a great choice for those who want to be connected with the rest of Germany and other European countries. At the same time, it is more compact but still provides numerous positions for teachers of business and financial English with relatively high salaries. 

Among the other popular locations to teach English in Germany are Freiburg, Stuttgartand Hamburg. All of them present high demand for English language instruction, offer good salaries, and secure standards of living. 

It is necessary to understand that there is a high level of competition for good teaching jobs in the big cities. So, if you are a new TEFL/CELTA teacher or lack a degree or enough experience, you may have better chances in less popular areas, for example, in Eastern Germany.

Everything you wanted to know about TEFL

Furthermore, don’t be lazy to spend some time investigating certain core issues like cost of living, cultural and leisure suggestions, as well as the local job market and career opportunities in the city of your interest.

If you have more questions…

In this section, we answer the most common questions about teaching in Germany. Salary, pitfalls, certification, and more.

How much do English teachers in Germany earn? 

If you are lucky enough to get a full-time teaching position in Germany, you can earn on average between 1000-2000€ a month. But, frankly speaking, such jobs are very difficult to find. 

Most likely, you would be able to work freelance. Rates here vary depending on your expertise: around 12-16€ if you are not experienced, and 18-35€ for a 45-minute lesson if you have good experience and qualifications.

Qualified, experienced teachers with a degree are likely to make some $2500-5000 at international language schools.

What is the cost of living in Germany?

It depends on where you decide to settle. For sure, Berlin and Munich will be more expensive compared to other cities. But, overall, Germany is an affordable European country for teachers of English.

Of course, every person has unique needs, but average expenses per month would somehow be like this:

  • Food — 150-250€
  • Housing — 270-470€
  • Utilities — 50-100€ 
  • Transportation — 50-100€
  • Entertainment — 70-150€ 

Can a foreigner become an English teacher in Germany?

Indeed, many schools give preference to teachers from English-speaking countries. However, it is possible to teach English if you are a non-native speaker. In this case, you have to prove your fluency with an advanced score at any international language test, for example, the IELTS.

Is TEFL valid in Germany? 

It is a fact that in most German-language institutions, the TEFL certificate is the only essential requirement you actually need. Sometimes they are not even that strict about the type of TEFL qualification if you are experienced enough. But, usually, a 120-hour TEFL course should be the bare minimum you should have. 

How do I get certified to teach in Germany? 

First of all, make a choice of a certificate you want to get; it can be TEFL, TESOL, or CELTA. Maybe your future employer has special preferences and requires a certain type of qualification. So, examine that beforehand.

Afterwards, look for an accredited educational centre (like Grade, for example), which can provide you with professional training and a recognized international teaching certificate. Next, book a course and enjoy the process.

Is it hard to become an English teacher in Germany?

You may experience quite some difficulties securing an English teaching job in Germany. Non-native speakers usually struggle in strong competition with native English speakers. Besides, it might be harder to find a reliable employer for a non-EU citizen. So, consider all the risks and benefits.

We hope your journey in teaching English abroad and in Germany, in particular, will be easy and enjoyable. If you don’t try, you will never know, so just give it a shot!

By the way, at the Grade Education Centre you can find out everything about TEFL/TESOL/CELTA certification, get prepared for a course, and gain new qualifications at a highly professional level. 

Take a look at our quick and effective short courses as well. They provide the latest techniques and new tools on any topic of your interest. It doesn’t matter whether you are an experienced professional or a new teacher; you can always learn something new and develop your knowledge and skills in the field. 

Article authors & editors
  • Veronika Syrotkina

    Veronika Syrotkina


    CELTA certified teacher of General English



Leave your comment