What is MELTA?
When I'm in Munich, can I visit MELTA's office?
How can I get to know MELTA?
Do I need a CELTA certificate or other teaching qualification?
Where can I teach?
What's the difference?
I'm looking for work. Can MELTA get me a job?
At home I teach K-12. Can I teach at a German state school?
Can I do a CELTA (Certificate in English Language Teaching for Adults) course in Munich?
As a citizen of a non-European Union (EU) country, do I need a work permit to teach in Germany?
NB. Most of the sections of the German immigration laws require discretional decisions from the authorities, i.e. there is generally no legal claim for receiving the necessary permits.
TIP! The local authority in Munich is quite strict and seems to be applying this regulation to the letter, other authorities bordering Munich aren't.
How much can I expect to earn as an EFL teacher in Munich?
Do I need to have health insurance?
Do I need to pay into the state pension scheme?
What other compulsory contributions do I have to pay?
Is my driving license valid in Germany?
I’m moving to Germany soon. What paperwork will I have do when I get there?
What does CEF mean?
The CEF levels are used to define someone's ability to speak and understand a foreign language. Ability is split into six levels from beginner to advanced: A1, A2, B1, B2, C1, C2 and many training managers may ask you how long it takes to get from A1 to C2. The answer to that isn't easy, but most English teachers would probably agree that it takes about 100-120 hours to get from A1 to A2, then a bit longer to get from A2 to B1 and, as you progress up the CEF levels, the longer it takes to move from one level to the next. As there are six levels from A1 to C2, it could take an average student around 1,000-1,500 hours to achieve this.
Where does Germany rank on your list of “Great Places to Teach”?
As a place to teach, Germany is different from most other European countries in that most English language teachers work as freelancers. There are probably two reasons for this
a) under German labour laws, employees enjoy considerable rights and are not only difficult to fire, but the social insurance contributions an employer has to pay for their employees are also high and
b) a well-qualified and experienced teacher can expect to earn two to three times as much by working directly for companies.
General English is still an important market, especially in the neue Bundesländer (ex-East Germany), but this market is likely to decline as English gains more importance at school. It is now taught from the first year onwards – and is often even taught at pre-school or kindergarten level.
The hourly rates that teachers get for teaching general English are relatively low, thanks to large number of subsidised English courses offered by public further education institutes such as the Volkshochschule which can be found in every fair-sized town in Germany.
The demand for teachers who are interested in teaching Business English, Technical English or English for Special Purposes is high and growing in importance. This high demand is also reflected in the hourly rates which can range from €20-25 plus for a 45-minute lesson on a freelance basis (teachers working under contract may earn less, regardless of the type of course or degree of specialisation needed to teach it).
The hourly rates freelance English teachers can ask for may seem high, but we see very little of the money we earn. Around a third of whatever we earn will disappear for health and social insurance. Freelance teachers are required to pay 22% of their income before tax into the state pension scheme and have to pay at least another 10% for private health insurance. Income tax is progressive, but on average the government will want about a third of what you earn and there is also solidarity tax and, if you are religious, a church tax. All in all, between 60-70% of what a freelancer earns before tax will disappear in deductions of one kind or another.
All these deductions are made at source if you are teaching under contract, so before accepting any kind of offer, it is a good idea to ask your would-be employer how much you will earn net. If you want to be able to live, rather than just exist, in Germany, you will have to earn at least €1500 a month.
In the alte Bundesländer (ex-West Germany) you can usually get by quite well without being able to speak any German. In the neue Bundesländer (ex-East Germany) knowing a bit of German is more important and probably essential when dealing with the local authorities. This may seem obvious, but if you are planning to live in Germany for a few years, you will find it much more fun and rewarding if you are able to communicate with the Germans in their own language. You will also be accepted far more quickly.
How do I find a teaching position in Germany?
A lot of the German language schools also advertise positions in EL journals and magazines.
One major drawback of trying to find work in Germany is that the schools and companies looking for teachers normally require the candidate to appear for a face-to-face interview first.
Generally speaking, the reputable schools expect applicants to have a degree, a recognised EFL qualification and at least two or three year’s classroom experience. Trying to find a teaching position at a company is extremely difficult unless you are actually resident in Germany. Companies tend to take on freelance teachers living locally and large multinational companies based in Germany usually receive enough applications from English teachers working in that area to cover their demand for courses.
So, if you like fairly hot (and often wet) summers, cold winters, a glass of good wine or beer, being able to afford to eat out more often than you do now, and you want to live in a place where the locals are generally socially and environmentally aware, then Germany could be the place you have been looking for!
The information posted here is to the best of the author's knowledge correct. However, neither the author nor MELTA can assume final responsibility for its accuracy.