The land of Wiener Schnitzel, The Sound of Music, ski resorts, Apfelstrudel, amazing churches, the birthplace of classical music and the likes of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Johann Strauss: Austria is a German-speaking country with a fascinating history and rich culture. Coffeehouses are bustling all day long, from sumptuous breakfasts to café concerts in the evening. Visiting museums, particularly art galleries, and the picturesque public parks, are top ways to spend your free time in the cities.

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.

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Key Facts

  • 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
Austria £700 - £2,600
($850 - 3,200)
Preferred September Preferred No Yes None
Belgium £1,455 - £1,780
($1,800 - $2,200)
Preferred September Preferred No Yes None
Czech Republic £500 – £1,285
$600 – $1,450)
Preferred September Preferred No Yes None
Denmark £2,900 - £3,900
($3,600 - $4,800)
Preferred September Preferred No Yes None
Estonia £720 - £900
($920 - $1,150)
Preferred September Preferred Accommodation sometimes included Yes None
Finland £700 - £3,050
($900 - $3,850)
Preferred August/September Preferred No Yes None
France £926 – £1,852
($1,082 – $2,164)
Yes September Preferred No Yes None
Germany £1,1123 - £1,872
($1,297 - $2,162)
Preferred August No No Yes None
Greece £630 – £900
($790 – $1,100)
Yes September No No Yes None
Hungary £390 - £650
($500 - $830)
Preferred August/September Preferred No Yes None
Italy £1,054 – £1,229
($1,312 – $1,531)
Preferred September No No Yes None
Netherlands £1,300 - £2,600
($1,600 - $2,800)
Preferred September Yes No Yes None
Norway £2,100 - £2,500
($2,580 - $3,090)
Preferred August/September Preferred No Yes None
Poland £400 – £700
($480 – $850)
Yes September No Accommodation sometimes included Yes None
Portugal £616 – £880
($756 – $1,080)
Yes September Preferred No Yes None
Romania £200 - £460
($260 - 580)
Preferred September No Accommodation sometimes included Yes None
Russia £800 - £1,300
($1,000 - $1,600)
Preferred September Preferred Sometimes Yes None
Slovakia £330 - £900
($400 - $1,120)
Preferred September No No Yes None
Slovenia £550 - £950
($700 - $1,200)
Preferred October Preferred No Yes None
Spain £614 - £1,317
($758 - $1,623)
Preferred September No No Yes None
Sweden £1,100 - £2,400
($1,400 - $3,000)
Preferred September Preferred No Yes None
Switzerland £1,850 - £2,475
($2,260 - $3,015)
Preferred August/September Preferred No Yes None
Turkey £170 - £575
($220 - $730)
Yes September No Accommodation sometimes included Yes None
Ukraine £215 - £920
($260 - $1,125)
Preferred September No Accommodation sometimes included Yes None

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Living Costs

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)


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