Teaching English has become one of the many ways to leave your home country and make a living in another. If you are here to know how you can teach English in Germany, whether in the country or online, you are one step closer to achieving your dream.
Germany is a fantastic country, a tourism hotspot with incredible cultural attractions, a rich history, breathtaking landscapes, and vibrant cities brimming with stunning architecture.
Living and working in Germany as a language teacher is a dream come true as it provides a fair salary, access to the country’s welfare system, and a plethora of travel opportunities, given that it is surrounded by other fascinating European countries that you can visit with your visa.
As a travel writer, one of the many things I’ve done is look for jobs requiring me to travel, not just anywhere, but to my dream country. I’ve done some research and listened to other travel writers’ podcasts, and the majority of them started out by applying to be language teachers in the country they want to explore.
You might not be a nomad or a travel writer; you probably just want a job, but that doesn’t mean you’re exempt from this article, as you’re welcome to learn about the various ways you can teach English in Germany without going through so much hassle.
When I’m at a crossroads of job opportunities, one of the many questions I ask myself is why I want to get a specific job and what’s in it for me. Becoming an English teacher in Germany or any other country in Europe is not easy, especially if you are not an EU citizen. But it’s an opportunity you will certainly enjoy once you get it.
The good news is that there are numerous jobs available for native English speakers all over the world. You will never be unable to find one to apply to because the world is more connected than ever before, and there will always be a need for English teachers in non-English speaking countries.
Without further ado, let’s look at the requirements you need to teach English in Germany.
Requirements to Become an English Teacher in Germany
Germany has a lot to offer but getting in is not always easy, especially if you are not a citizen of the United States, Canada, Australia, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, Switzerland, and/or the Republic of Korea. If you are a citizen of one of these countries, you are qualified to obtain a German Residence Permit.
In general, below are the requirements to become an English teacher in Germany.
- A Bachelor’s degree is preferred but not required
- Previous teaching experience is also preferred but not required universally
- A valid passport with at least 6 months before it expires
- TEFL certification. See this article for how you can obtain one without a degree.
- A work visa
- Status of native English teacher (often preferred but not a universal requirement, generally defined as UK, Ireland, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and US passport holders)
How to Teach English in Germany
Here are all the steps to follow in order to successfully secure an opportunity to teach English in Germany.
- Do your Research
- Search for Jobs Online
- Get your Credentials Ready
- Send out your Applications
- Prepare for an Interview
- Sort out your Visa
- Have Money Saved Up
- Travel to Germany
- Obtain a German Residence Permit
- Start Teaching English in Germany
1. Do your Research
It is critical that you gather as much information on this topic as possible, just as you have done by coming here. This will help you discover the processes involved and everything else that you need to do before applying for teaching positions in Germany.
2. Search for Jobs Online
The next step on how to teach English in Germany is to look for job opportunities online. You should start your search by checking public German job sites and recruitment websites, going through agencies, and directly contacting companies in Germany.
Some other websites you can check are:
3. Get Your Credentials Ready
You will be required to submit some documents in order to apply for the teaching position of your choice in Germany. It is important that you keep these documents ready ahead of time so that the process runs smoothly for you.
Some of the documents you will need are:
- Your CV
- Your Educational Certificates
- Proof of Experience
- Employer Testimonials
4. Send out your Applications
After you have found the jobs that interest you and gathered all of your necessary documents, the next step is to begin applying for them.
Citizens of Australia, Israel, Japan, Canada, the Republic of Korea, New Zealand, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and the United States of America with their visa-free entry privileges can double their chances by traveling to Germany and submitting an in-person application.
5. Prepare for an Interview
After applying for a job, the next step is an interview. Some employers would want to have an online one-on-one with applicants, and this is your chance to sell yourself as much as possible. Explain to your employer why you are a good fit for that position. Remember to be brave and self-assured.
However, if only in-person interviews are available, you can apply for a Jobseeker visa, and attend the interview. If you are hired, you must return to your home country and begin the process of obtaining an employment visa.
6. Sort out your Visa
As previously stated, candidates who are citizens of one of the countries with visa-free access to Germany will need only a residence permit to work in Germany, otherwise, you will be required to apply for a work visa. To proceed, you must have the following documents available:
- Application Forms
- An employment offer from your employer
- Projected Income
- Two Passport Photographs
- A National Passport
- Proof of Residence
- Health Insurance
- A CV that details your academic qualifications and work experience
- Proof of Qualification
- A cover letter explaining the exact purpose and duration of your stay
- Proof of a clean criminal record
- Proof of paid visa fee. The visa fee for a German long-stay visa is €75.
- Declaration of Accuracy of Information.
These documents, along with the interview at the German embassy in your country, are critical parts of the visa application process. And according to the Germany Visa website, the step-by-step application process for a Germany Work visa goes as follows:
- Get a job offer in Germany.
- Check if you need a visa to Germany for extended stays.
- Find out where you need to submit your visa application.
- Collect all of the required documents according to the instructions.
- Make an appointment for a visa interview.
- Pay the German Employment Work visa fee.
- Attend the interview.
- Wait for a response on your visa application.
The processing time for a German long-stay work visa can range between one and three months from the date of application.
7. Have Money Saved Up
Anyone applying for a teaching position abroad should have some money saved up; after all, the travel expenses won’t pay themselves. However, this is not always the case; some countries will require you to have a certain amount of money in your bank account before entering. This is to show that you can support yourself in Germany until your paychecks arrive. It is recommended that you arrive in the country with at least 3,000 – 4,000 USD, regardless of the type of visa you are obtaining.
8. Travel to Germany
If your visa application is approved, the next step is to travel. There is no specific guide for this section; however, you should know that you need to have found an apartment before you travel. Either you have someone you can squat with until you find a place of your own, or you hire an agent to help you find an apartment before your arrival.
9. Obtain a German Residence Permit
After you have arrived in Germany, the next thing to do is obtain a German residence permit. To do this, you have to visit the nearest Foreigner’s Office in Germany, schedule an appointment, and attend an interview.
During the interview, you will be required to submit the following documents:
- Your national valid passport.
- Application form for a Residence Permit.
- Two passport photos
- Report of a clean criminal record.
- Proof of German Language.
- Health Insurance Confirmation.
- Proof of Job Offer.
In Germany, your residence permit is only valid for the duration of your employment. You can choose to extend it provided your employment status is maintained.
10. Start Teaching English in Germany
After you have settled into the country, the next thing is to finally begin your job. You might need to take some time to sort yourself out before you can begin to teach English in Germany.
You should have a good idea of how to get started on this journey by now. While getting to teach English in Germany is not guaranteed after submitting an application, it is recommended that you stay the course and continue to submit more applications, whether for a job or a visa, because you never know which one will click for you.
Teach English in Germany – FAQs
How much do English teachers make in Germany?
On average, English teachers in Germany can earn between $1,000 and $2,200 USD per month. They can also earn more money by tutoring privately or online.
Are English teachers in demand in Germany?
Yes, English teachers are in high demand in Germany. And the peak hiring months are September/October and January.
Do I need a degree to teach English in Germany?
No, a degree is not required to teach English in Germany, but it is preferred if there is a lot of competition. A TEFL certificate, on the other hand, is a must-have.
Do I need to know German to teach English in Germany?
No, you do not need to know German to teach English in Germany, but knowing German can give you an advantage over other applicants.
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