Teaching Jobs in Europe

The teaching opportunities in Europe are wide and varied, with the likes of France, Germany, Spain and Belgium always on the lookout for forward-thinking professionals. From entry positions, to more experienced pay grades, postings for teachers wishing to expand their horizons are opening all the time. Typically, you can expect to receive benefits such as health insurance, travel and accommodation subsidies, and the chance to travel and enjoy a brand new way of life. With 44 countries to choose from, it’s easy to find the best next step for your teaching career in Europe.

Teaching in Europe can be an incredibly rewarding and challenging experience dependent upon where and what you want to teach. Whether you want to help children discover the intricacies of biology in Belgium, or help teenagers learn Shakespeare in Spain, it’s a decision you won’t regret. Teacher salaries will vary from country to country, with pay based on a number of factors such as; your experience, the subject being taught, the school you are working for, but the top 5 paying countries for starting primary school salaries in Europe are:


Country Average Salary
Luxembourg £66,000
Switzerland £58,000
Germany £55,000
Belgium £37,000
Norway £36,000

Luxembourg is the highest paying country in Europe for primary school teachers, offering an average salary of £66,000.
Portugal, Ireland and Austria also perform well at the higher end of the scale. Countries that are not able to offer salaries as competitive as this include the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland and Greece. Also bear in mind that these figures may also be representative of the cost of living in these countries. 


Working as a teacher in Europe will usually require you to have a degree at minimum, along with a PhD or B.Ed and some classroom experience. This may vary depending on the job role and whether they are looking for teachers with hands-on experience, or if it’s more of an entry role. If you are teaching English language you will be required to have a recognised TEFL certificate. If you have not yet received a qualification you should compare TEFL and CELTA to see which is best for you.
There is no standardisation of teaching qualifications in Europe, so what is recognised in the UK may not be the equivalent in the specified country. You can get in touch with the ENIC/NARIC centre in the country you wish to work in who can run a comparison check for you.
With the UK having now left the EU, there will be some changes to freedom of movement over the coming years, but these are yet to be finalised. Anyone with direct Irish ancestry can apply for an Irish passport which will still afford them the same freedom of movement in Europe that existed before Brexit. Until the end of 2020 you can apply for a role in Europe as existing laws remain in place until then – after which a work visa will have to be secured to work in an EU country.

School expectations

Given the number of countries in Europe, the level of education available in each will vary greatly. In general terms though, most European school systems involve two years of nursery cycle, five years of primary and seven years of secondary education. The UK frequently ranks as having one of the best educational systems in the world, with countries like Germany, France, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Sweden and Denmark also featuring in the top ten.
The likes of Spain, Serbia, Italy, Russia and Portugal tend to feature in the middle of the ranking tables, so while not underperforming in terms of standards, they do not fare as well as others on the continent.
You should expect some differences to the UK when teaching in Europe. For example, teaching in Germany there is an expectation for things to be done quite formally, adhering to strict guidelines both in terms of the way lessons are taught and how you interact with students. Activities outside of standard school hours may be different, however, allowing you to develop relationships that can help the group as a whole in the long-term.
Meanwhile, in France for example, high expectations are placed upon teachers, who may also have to work long days as a result – including some evenings and weekends. While it may seem demanding, this is one of the reasons why education in the country is of such a high standard, with teachers enjoying tangible rewards as a result. If you’re interested in teaching the English language across the channel, view our TEFL jobs in France.

Living and lifestyle

A big draw of working as a teacher in mainland Europe is the opportunity to travel across the EU block. Countries bordering each other making it easy to plan ahead and map out a journey across the region based, whether that means integrating your teaching career or travelling during school holidays.
English is the main second language in Europe so you will find that many people are able to communicate to at least a reasonable standard. Of course, it makes sense to learn the language so you can integrate into the country and improve your understanding of local cultures.