Located right in the heart of Europe, Germany is perfectly placed to enjoy everything that this amazing continent has to offer. TESOL qualified teachers are always sought after and potential jobs can be found all over the country. During your stay you can join the locals in their love of the great outdoors, with mountains, forests, major rivers, rugged coastlines, and sandy beaches all waiting to be explored. Average salaries for teachers are high and it is often easier for foreign teachers to work legally in Germany than in many other countries in the region. If you want to live and work in Europe, Germany could be a good fit for you.
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The average monthly salary for an ESL teacher working in a private language school in Germany is between $1,400 and $2,200 USD per month. If you choose to work full time as a private tutor or you want to top up your main school income by taking on a few extra students you can expect to earn between $17 and $35 US per hour. The salaries offered by language schools do vary considerably, with the large chains typically offering less than many of the independent schools. The highest pay is usually found in the larger cities such as Berlin, Hamburg and Munich.
Private language schools are the most likely employers of foreign ESL teachers, with the big cities of Berlin, Hamburg, Munich, and Cologne all having large numbers of potential employers to choose from. These big cities are also well known for business related English classes. Many international companies have headquarters in the country, as well as major German companies such as Volkswagen, Siemens, and Daimler AG, all of which have in-house English training as standard. Teaching young learners is also a common option as kindergartens are found everywhere and they typically get their kids learning English from a very young age.
Also read: How do I become a great ESL teacher?
What is the recruitment process for English teachers in Germany?
ESL jobs are routinely advertised online making it possible to secure a job in Germany before leaving home. However, navigating the visa process can be a little tricky, particularly if you do not speak German. The majority of teachers apply for a freelance visa that allows you to work for multiple language schools and teach private lessons on the side. The second option is to apply for a sponsored work visa that allows you to work for a single school (with side work also permitted). The full work visa means you can work full-time for one language school, whereas the freelance option doesnât allow full-time work with any one employer. It is still possible to get a full-time income on a freelance visa if you are able to find multiple jobs where the hours do not overlap. Just remember that the processing time for either visa option can sometimes be frustratingly long at around two to three months, although this can vary between different states.
Due to the potential of a protracted wait for your work visa to be processed you should be prepared to support yourself for around three months on arrival in Germany. With the average cost of living for ESL teachers of around $1,000 to $1,500 US per month, this would equate to between $3,000 and $4,500. The more you have in reserve at the start of your trip the better. Accommodation is typically the biggest expense which is why many teachers choose to stay in a cheap hostel or shared house until their first monthly salary is paid. Major cities are always more expensive than smaller towns, although Bremen and Leipzig are generally considered to be the most affordable cities to live in.