Jobs: Teaching English to Adults

Services | Rennie Sweeney | July / August 2013

English teachers needed! (Photo: Jakon Reiter)

English-speakers who want to fund a life in a foreign country often rely on their most basic skill – their native language.

James Joyce, for example, taught English for years in Trieste and Croatia, while both were part of Austria-Hungary.

Luckily, our language today remains in international demand, and teaching English to adults is doable even around other commitments.

Austrians take pride in their English and demand for teachers, especially native speakers, continues to grow. And while a tefl (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) certification can boost your CV, in Austria it is not required from native speakers.

Among the most valuable is celta (Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults), a worthwhile investment if you’re serious about the profession. Issued by the University of Cambridge, it carries clout for potential employers.

The fee for an intensive month-long training course (€1,950) can be earned back quickly.

In Vienna, training is only offered by bfi (Berufsförderungsinstitut), but celta diplomas are offered worldwide.


Where to apply

Berlitz is an international chain of schools providing in-house teacher training. If hired, no further certification is necessary (assuming your availability is fully used within the Berlitz system). Vienna has four Berlitz centres for adults, so plenty of opportunities.

Teaching at a, government-supported institutes of continuing education, is something to consider given the sheer amount of schools.

There are also private language schools (Sprachinstituten), like cef language institute and eton, among others, with pricey classes that can translate into higher teacher pay. The jobs are competitive, but prime for short-term employment.

Institutes of higher education offer English classes, both for improving usage and understanding in relevant areas of expertise. With the right qualifications, this can suit those in academics or sciences.

Likewise, with relevant experience or skills, teaching business English is an option. mhc business language training and mind & more provide classes for corporations, placing qualified instructors with companies looking to boost business English skills of their employees.


A word to the wise

Note that freelance English teachers must carefully manage personal finances and plan alternatives for holidays or cancellations. Also, working hours can differ vastly. Well-paid private tutoring can be cancelled at a moment’s notice without compensation.

Non-EU nationals should be aware that as the work is freelance and uninsured, it’s unlikely to lead to an Austrian working permit. University students can take paid teaching hours as part of their weekly earning allowance.

Teaching English is rarely full-time. It’s intellectually engaging, paid work that leaves time for other pursuits. And freelance contracts are usually just for the duration of a class. So even for commitment-phobes, there’s nothing to fear.




Wiener Volkshochschule,

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