Prospects Country by Country Guide - Western Europe

Western Europe

A lot of teachers initially gravitate to Europe as it provides less culture-shock and offers reasonable salaries and working conditions. Europe is fairly diverse when it comes to job prospects and teaching experiences. With the advent of the EU labor law it is now difficult (and is some cases impossible) for teachers who don't hold an EU passport to get working visas in some countries. This doesn't mean that it's difficult or impossible to find work, just to get your official papers in order.

However, with the ridiculous bureaucratic requirements, still in place in some EU countries, even EU passport holders give up on getting work visas! It will certainly be easier if you are a citizen of an EU member state but it is not an insurmountable problem if you aren't.

Capital City Vienna
Language German
Currency Euro
Typical TEFL teacher salary 25 euros per hour
Major TEFL locations Vienna
Austria TEFL job prospects

Most teaching in Austria is done by freelancers, working on a self-employed basis, who are already resident in the country. Most of this teaching is to the business community. A speculative job search may produce results but certainly isn't guaranteed to do so. Most work is in the capital and salaries are quite high but then again Vienna is a very expensive city.

Capital City Brussels
Language French and Flemish
Currency Euro
Typical TEFL teacher salary 22 euros per hour
Major TEFL locations Brussels and other major cities

Belgium TEFL job prospects

As with Austria most teachers are employed on a freelance basis and the work is primarily geared towards business English. There are many private language schools in the major cities and qualified EFL teachers should be able to find suitable work. Salaries are sufficient to enjoy a comfortable lifestyle, providing you can get enough hours.

Capital City Paris
Language French
Currency Euro
Typical TEFL teacher salary 1500 euros per month
Major TEFL locations Paris and other major cities

France TEFL job prospects

France is a very promising destination for a qualified EFL teacher. There are positions available in most major cities but the vast majority of work is in Paris. Language schools in Paris cater primarily to teaching business people and any previous knowledge/experience of business is useful. France also seems to be one of the easier EU countries for non-EU passport holders.

Capital City Berlin
Language German
Currency Euro
Typical TEFL teacher salary 2000 euros per month
Major TEFL locations Berlin and other major cities

Germany TEFL job prospects

As in many other European countries teaching business people is one of the major options. There are many jobs available throughout the country and a teacher with a TEFL certificate would have few problems in sorting out employment. Salaries are high and so is the cost of living. Germans tend to have a preference for American English and so opportunities also exist for North Americans despite Germany being a major player in the EU.

Capital City Athens
Language Greek
Currency Euro
Typical TEFL teacher salary 900 euros per month
Major TEFL locations All large cities

Greece TEFL job prospects

There is a huge demand for English in Greece and a vast amount of private language schools to cater to that demand. Most teachers will find themselves working for one of these language schools. Teaching is more geared towards younger learners but there are teaching possibilities in all areas. The cost of living in Greece is low and the salaries reflect this. A university degree is essential and any teacher who has a degree, TEFL certificate and an EU passport will have no problem in finding work. Other nationalities may encounter more problems due to EU regulations.

Capital City Rome
Language Italian
Currency Euro
Typical TEFL teacher salary 1500 euros per month
Major TEFL locations All cities

Italy TEFL job prospects

The current job opportunities in Italy for TEFL teachers are numerous. In some cities there are more jobs than teachers, while in other parts of the country the prospects are still good. In virtually every city in Italy a qualified TEFL teacher will be able to find a teaching position. Many teachers really enjoy the lifestyle that Italy offers even if the salaries are fairly low in relation to the cost of living. As Italy is an EU country work prospects favor British and Irish citizens, though there are literally thousands of Americans teaching there too.

Capital City Lisbon
Language Portoguese
Currency Euro
Typical TEFL teacher salary 1300 euros per month
Major TEFL locations All large cities

Portugal TEFL job prospects

Most teachers seem to agree that Portugal is a very pleasant place to work. Salaries are good in relation to living costs and the lifestyle appeals to many. Plenty of work is available to EU passport holders and the situation here is also easier for non-EU passport holders. Most work is with younger learners in the larger cities.

Countries Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Norway
Language Various
Currency Various
Typical TEFL teacher salary Mixed but wuite high
Major TEFL locations Capital cities

Scandinavia TEFL job prospects

One thing that all Scandinavian countries have in common is a very good standard of English. The state school system in these countries is very good and so there is little demand for EFL teachers. Finland is possibly the exception as there are significant numbers of language schools looking to hire native speakers. Some limited opportunities may exist elsewhere but they are few and far between. Salaries are quite high for Europe but so are expenses.

Capital City Madrid
Language Spanish
Currency Euro
Typical TEFL teacher salary 1500 euros per month
Major TEFL locations All major cities

Spain TEFL job prospects

Spain is a very popular location for English teachers. Its lifestyle and climate are probably the main reasons for this. Another reason may be the easy availability of work for qualified EFL teachers. Teaching is often to younger learners but also adult and business English teaching form a significant proportion. There are literally thousands of language schools in the larger cities all of which employ native speaker teachers. Unfortunately Spain is one of the more difficult countries for non-EU passport holders.

Countries Andorra, Cyprus, Malta, former Yugoslavia
Language Various
Currency Various
Typical TEFL teacher salary Mixed but usually below average for Europe
Major TEFL locations Larger cities
TEFL job prospects

There are limited work possibilities in these countries. States of former Yugoslavia offer perhaps the greatest range of possibilities.