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What You Need To Know About the Job Market for Teaching English in Europe

Most people who are new to teaching think the hottest job markets for teaching English are only in Asia. Though not as much as Asia, the demand for English teachers in Europe is also increasing every year. The salary is not very impressive as some EU countries are still recuperating from recession. The major languages of the world are also in Europe (i.e. French/Spanish) so more often than not, the need for learning English is not that urgent nor important. Business English is booming in Europe so if you are specialising in this field, you might have a chance to get a working permit.

Planning to teach English in Europe but don’t know in which country? Below are information that can help you decide and weigh your options.

 

Top 5 Countries for Teaching English in Europe

(Popular Destinations)

#5: Austria

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The streets of Austria: lowest crime rate in Europe.

In 2014, Austria was the second most fluent in English (first is Denmark) but teaching English is still a popular job in the country. Austria is also a very interesting place to live in because of its very low crime rate.

  • Average Salary: $2,000 – $3,000 USD per month.
  • Cost of Living: $2,000 – $3,000 USD per month (breakeven; no potential to save but depends on your lifestyle)
  • Qualifications: TEFL/TESOL Certification. BA/BS is a plus.
  • Hiring Months: September and January
  • Hiring Process: In person

 

#4: France

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Eiffel Tower in Paris, France.

Based on my experience, French people love their language and not feel the need of learning English. However, many citizens who have businesses are learning Business English. Living expenses are quite high (especially in Paris) but who doesn’t want to experience living in the most visited city in the world?

  • Average Salary: $18,000 USD for University teachers (annual) and $2,000 – 2,600 USD for ESL teachers (per month).
  • Cost of Living: $2,000 – $,2600 USD per month (breakeven; no potential to save but depends on your lifestyle)
  • Qualifications: TEFL/TESOL Certification. BA/BS is a plus.
  • Hiring Months: September and January
  • Hiring Process: In person

 

#3: Czech Republic

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The beautiful city of Prague.

Teachers are needed in public/private schools and language schools. The demand for English teachers in Czech Republic is relatively high than other European countries. The picturesque country with so much greens and old feel will make you want to choose Czech Republic as your next ESL destination!

  • Average Salary: $800 – $1,500 USD per month.
  • Cost of Living: $800 – $1,500 USD per month. (breakeven; no potential to save but depends on your lifestyle)
  • Qualifications: TEFL/TESOL Certification. BA/BS is a plus.
  • Hiring Months: September & January
  • Hiring Process: In person or sometimes via phone/Skype.

 

#2: Italy

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Cinque Terre, Italy.

Italy’s job market has been really competitive these past few years. Cities like Rome, Florence and Milan have a growing demand of English teachers, most especially Business English (like France). Living in Italy? One of the best days of my life. You’ll never regret teaching English in Italy!

  • Average Salary: $800 – $1,500 USD per month.
  • Cost of Living: $800 – $1,500 USD per month. (breakeven; no potential to save but depends on your lifestyle)
  • Qualifications: TEFL/TESOL Certification. BA/BS is a plus.
  • Hiring Months: September & January
  • Hiring Process: In person

 

#1: Spain

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The streets of Barcelona.

Spain is the top ESL destination in Europe. Spain is always looking for teachers in language schools and Universities. Despite the recession, a lot of Spanish people are learning English so they can easily find jobs around the world or within the country. Living in Spain is also one of the best choices of my life — it’s fun, the people are warm and Spain is just beautiful. I highly recommend this ESL destination!

  • Average Salary: $1,500 – $2,000 USD per month.
  • Cost of Living: $1,500 – $2,000 USD per month. (breakeven; no potential to save but depends on your lifestyle)
  • Qualifications: TEFL/TESOL Certification. BA/BS is a plus.
  • Hiring Months: Late September, early October and January.
  • Hiring Process: In person
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In 2010, the rules for applying for a resident permit/working visa for non-EU citizens have changed and since then, it has been really difficult to get one (from the countries mentioned above). However, Central and East Europe’s demand for English teachers is booming so if you don’t get a chance to get a visa from the countries mentioned above, here are your other options:

Country
Educational Requirement
Hiring Months
Hiring Process
Visa Info
Cost of Living
Average Monthly Salary
  
Germany
BA/BS (preferred but not required)
Sept & Jan
Face to face interview
Tourist Visa (convert to work visa) or EU Citizenship
$1k - $3k USD
$1k - $3k USD
Greece
BA/BS (required)
Sept & Jan
Face to face interview
EU Citizenship
$1k - $1.3k USD
$1.5k - $2k USD
Hungary
BA/BS (required)
Sept & Jan
Face to face interview or via phone/Skype
Tourist Visa (convert to work visa) or EU Citizenship
$700 - $1k USD
$1k - $1.5k USD
Poland
BA/BS (preferred but not required)
Sept, Oct & Jan
Face to face interview
Tourist Visa (convert to work visa) or EU Citizenship
$800 - $900 USD
$1k - $1.5k USD
Portugal
BA/BS (required)
Sept & Jan
Face to face interview
EU Citizenship
$1.4k - $1.8k USD
$2k - $2.5k USD
Romania
TEFL/TESOL certificate; no degree required
Sept & Jan
Face to face interview or via phone/Skype
Tourist Visa (convert to work visa) or EU Citizenship
$350 - $500 USD
$600 - $700 USD
Russia
BA/BS (preferred but not required)
All year round
Face to face interview or via phone/Skype
Work Visa
$1k - $1.5k USD
$1k - $1.5k USD
Slovakia
BA/BS (preferred but not required)
Sept & Jan
Face to face interview or via phone/Skype
Tourist Visa (convert to work visa) or EU Citizenship
$500 - $900 USD
$500 - $900 USD
Turkey
BA/BS (required)
All year round
Face to face interview or via phone/Skype
Work Visa
$800 - $1.6k USD
$800 - $1.6k USD

In the table above, you will notice that the pay is always breakeven with the cost of living and it might not be too interesting for you to teach English in Europe considering the notorious visa requirements. However, the data above shows the salary of a 20-hour work week in a language school. With this, you will have time to accept private tutoring to earn extra income and be able to live in Europe. Additionally, Scandinavian countries (Denmark, Norway, Sweden, etc) are not in the list because they are all fluent in English and the demand for teachers there is very low.

Requirements for teaching English in Europe may vary per country. If you want to know more, visit the nearest Consulate/Embassy in your area.

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Trisha is one of those people who left their comfortable life to travel the world and learn about life. Her style is to stay in one place she likes for 3 months (or more) to know what it feels like to eat, cook, speak and sleep in another culture that isn’t hers. She'd like to believe she's not traditionally traveling but she just chooses to be somewhere else all the time. Trisha also loves extremely spicy food, pineapples, plants and symmetry. In no particular order, her favourite cities in the world are Barcelona, Buenos Aires, Hong Kong and Tel Aviv. Follow her life adventures on Instagram: @psimonmyway

  1. Janna

    9 September

    Thanks for the advise, I was actually talking to a company about this today. Is there any company you would recommend working with or is this more so based of finding a job by yourself?

    • Trisha Velarmino

      9 September

      Janna, this is more of finding a job yourself. I’ve never tried inquiring in an agency as I only find jobs when I am already in the country.

  2. Excellent work! I’ve taught in Southern Spain for eight years and would say that a full-time salary in many cities (and, of course, cost of living) is closer to $1200. While the market is expanding, teachers are needing to be increasingly prepared with a CELTA and Cambridge exam experience, and visa/work permission, too. I do the hiring at my school and start the process in April for the following school year. Since there’s a lot of turnover in the market, emailing your CV at any time of year could yield a position.

    Janna, to answer your question, there are hiring agencies that operate in Spain. A reputable one is TtMadrid. Feel free to message me via my blog if you have questions about Spain specifically.

  3. WeiLe Ng

    12 September

    Are there a lot of asians teacher in the english teaching industry? Will it be harder for them to get a teaching job? Thanks for the information and I am surprise to know that some countries allow tourist visa convert to a work visa,

  4. Cherri Megasko

    12 September

    This is great information and something my husband and I both have talked about. It’s too bad the pay isn’t just a bit better, but it still pays your expenses if you’re looking for a way to travel on the cheap.

  5. Mar

    13 September

    Interesting – Spain we are awful at English nobody speaks it! Spanish is so widely spoken and we are sometimes so backwards… I’m sure there’s always room for more teachers 😉

  6. Kimberly Erin

    13 September

    Looks like I would be heading to Austria! aha I would love to teach english in Europe but the cost of living just seems so high compared to pay. It seems like you would have to double job it

  7. Elaine J. Masters

    13 September

    What great info. So helpful to hear the specifics on teaching English in Europe.

  8. Mwaona

    13 September

    Very helpful article. I have always wanted have experience teaching abroad and this article really provides important information.

  9. Jenna

    13 September

    I never really thought about teaching English in Europe–like you said, I’ve always thought of it as more of something to do in Asia, but it obviously makes sense that you could do it in Europe as well! Very interesting to consider. I would probably want to teach in a country where I would have a chance at saving some money, but there are a ton of great options and it would be a fun experience either way!

  10. kami

    13 September

    I’ve never really thought that European market is in need of English teachers! And Czech Republic being so high on that list is definitely a big surprise!

  11. Joe Ankenbauer

    14 September

    Teaching English abroad is a great way to travel! I just need to wrk n my English first haha!

  12. This post is full of really useful information. If I were to head out to teach English abroad I think I’d probably have to choose between Italy or Spain, mostly for the sunshine and food!

  13. Bobbi Gould

    14 September

    I’ve been thinking about doing this for many years but the year commitment always held me back. This was very informative for me! Thanks!

  14. Dawn Kealing

    14 September

    I had no idea there were jobs like this in Europe as well! It makes complete sense, I guess I just never thought about it. It would be a great way to travel and explore while still being able to support yourself! This is something I have been looking into a lot lately, this info is super beneficial to me. Thanks so much for sharing!

  15. Camila

    15 September

    Yeah, the pay is never great, but it’s fairly easy to find a job even when you already are in the country. And they often offer a (shared) flat… just remember that the job is actually teaching 😉

    Trisha, there are a few schools in Bratislava where it’s really easy to get in as well, and they pay is not too bad if you negociate 🙂

  16. Lexie

    21 September

    This is super handy, Trisha, as I will be getting TEFL certified in Prague in about 2 or 3 weeks time! 🙂

  17. Davide

    14 March

    I am a Brit teaching english in Athens, Greece, and want to add my 2 cents for the benefit of any young readers dreaming of teaching here. I hope my words don’t come off too pessimistic or bleak..
    First off, the Greek economy is in CRISIS- not recession, not recuperating. Think ‘on the verge of depression’. There is no sign of it getting better. Unemployment is high, especially for the young, and lots of people struggle financially. I’ve lost count of the number of greeks I’ve met who are planning to leave Greece in search of a job or better opportunities and wonder, aghast, why I’ve left the UK. Most of the established english teachers I have met here don’t make enough from their teaching schedules, so they rely on income from private students.
    Second, things are worse if you are a non-EU national. Don’t come here, if you are an American citizen, for example, without doing your research thoroughly and having a sensible plan.
    Third, the greek language is considered to be one of the hardest european languages to learn. I have portuguese and spanish, plus some german from schooldays, and having to learn a new alphabet raises the learning stakes- for me, at least.
    Now, the good news. The climate is wonderful (: The beaches, within easy reach of the city-centre, too.
    The cost of living is low, and the food good, if you are sensible. Greeks are willing to pay for their children to be coached for the major english exams -Cambridge, Michigan etc- and native speakers, that increasingly rare breed here, are sought after- mostly for giving speaking practice and feedback.
    I’ve been here for about 6 months now, and the situation for english teachers is tighter and less laid-back than I would have predicted on my arrival. You have been warned..

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