Probably not amongst your top ten. Admittedly, Germany hasn’t got the same kind of attractions that the Mediterranean countries have to offer; sun, sea, sand, and so on, but it still has a lot going for it, both in the type of courses that you can teach, as well as what you can do in your free time.
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.