If you’ve got experience in teaching Business English, you’ll be ahead of the game when it comes to finding employment in Austria. English for business purposes dominates the market in this country, so if you’ve done this before and have a great rapport with adult students, you’ll find it easier to get work than those who have only worked with young learners. However, there is strong employment opportunity for teaching young people during the summer months at popular holiday camps, as well as opportunities at language schools and high-paying international schools.
The market for TEFL teachers is tricky in Austria at the moment. 90% of TEFL teachers there are freelance, which means that full-time TEFL contracts are hard to come by and there will be tough competition. Most teachers have a number of part-time contracts which they weave together to make a full wage, and they organise and pay tax as a self-employed person. If you’ve never done this before, read up on it before embarking on a freelance career as it’s important that you get it right to keep your work above board. Most employers prefer to hire someone already living locally, so like a lot of places in Europe your best chance of success is to get into the country and search for employment once you’re there. It’s almost impossible for non-EU citizens to find work and get visa sponsorship, but there are a few specialist programs that can set up work for Americans and Canadians.
- Popular locations for TEFL jobs: Vienna, Salzburg, Graz, Innsbruck, Eisenstadt, Klagenfurt, and Linz.
- Average salary for EFL teachers: The average salary for teaching in Austria is €775 – €2,900 per month (£700 – £2,600/$850 – $3,200). Most positions are freelance with rates per class or per hour, around €18 – €20 (£16 – £18/$19 – $21) per 45-minute lesson or €20 – €35 for an hour (£18 – £31/$21 – $38).
- TEFL qualification requirements: A 120-hour TEFL qualification is required for most jobs.
- Prerequisite university degree: Most positions require a degree, and jobs in international schools require teachers with QTS.
- Term times: September to June, some courses run October to May.
- Currency: Euro (€)
- Language: German
- Teaching programmes: International schools, language schools, private schools, public schools, kindergarten, freelance, summer camps, adult education centres, university teaching, English-speaking nanny or babysitter.
- Age restrictions: Some summer school positions have a minimum age limit of 20 – 23. Some working holiday positions or other placements have limits such as 18-30 or a preference for those under 35.
- Previous teaching experience: Experience teaching business English is the most useful, but for positions working with young people you’re usually expected to have worked with kids before
With the majority of TEFL teachers in Austria working freelance, it can be tricky to cobble together enough work to make ends meet. While the pay isn’t always amazing for freelance hours, the cost of living is reasonable, so it’s certainly doable. In the beginning, you’d be best to cast a wide net and try to secure at least two freelance positions. Many positions will have you working at a number of different schools, perhaps even visiting a different school each day of the week. Bearing this in mind, while you might start off testing the waters with 3 or 4 part-time positions, don’t stretch yourself too thinly, and instead focus on the jobs with the best prospects once you have a feel for the company.
When applying for jobs, always check whether the salary quoted is gross or net. Also ask about other costs involved, particularly with jobs where you need to travel between schools for class, as your travel costs may not be reimbursed. Also make sure to ask when you get paid, as some schools will pay you at the end of a course rather than monthly.
Austrians expect teachers to be smartly dressed, polite and professional. Except a formal interview and try to greet your interviewer in German to be polite and respectful. While the Austrians enjoy a nice quality of life, they’re also hard workers and expect a good performance from their TEFL teachers.
Requirements for teaching English in Austria
|Country||Avg. monthly salary||Degree required||Start of term||Teaching experience||Housing & flights included||Suitable for non-native English speakers||Age restrictions|
|Teach in Austria||£700 - £2,600
($850 - 3,200)
Despite having a reputation as an expensive place to live, the cost of living in Austria is cheaper than in 79% of countries in Western Europe. This means that you can afford a good quality of life even if your wages aren’t the highest. Often placing in a top 5 position on quality of life destination lists, Austria achieves this through a low crime rate, low pollution and good green initiatives, a good public transport system, good social equality and an enviable public healthcare system.
At the crossroads of eastern and western Europe, you’re perfectly placed for enjoying a variety of foreign travel during your time off. If you like skiing, you’ll find plenty of opportunities to hit the slopes.
- Accommodation: £747 – £1,045 / $904 – $1,264
- Utilities: £138 / $167
- Health insurance: You can use the European Health Insurance Card in Austria. Cost of typical visit to a GP: £91 / $111
- Monthly transport pass: £46 / $55
- Basic dinner out for two: £26 / $32
- Cappuccino in expat area: £2.78 / $3.36
- A beer in a pub: £3.50 / $4.24
- 1 litre of milk: £1.03 / $1.24
- 2 litres of Coca-Cola: £1.88 / $2.27
(living costs sourced from Expatistan)