Teaching English at Berlitz in Hamburg

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Hi everyone, I just received a job offer with Berlitz, and was wondering if their pay base is competitive or not? It pays 15 euro per unit (45minutes) and also reimburses all traveling time and costs (i.e. fahrkarte, etc). Any inputs?

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From what negative stories I've heard about Berlitz -

 

They don't really have as much work as they say.

 

They make you take an unpaid multiple week course to learn the Berlitz method.

 

They get pissy about their trainers actually being freelance and working for other schools.

 

I also heard the pay wasn't so great, but 15/unit isn't the worst I've heard.

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Great posting and the best feedback ever on any subject posted on TT. Thanks

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:-) TT is strange this way. However, when you hear a bunch of teachers down at the pub, they are extremely forthcoming, but here on the forum. Strange that!

 

If anyone needs an introduction somewhere, lemme know and I can what I can do.

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In reply to the rates that berlitz offer, i can say from personal experience that the rate is VERY low. I worked for a school in Schenefeld and received a minimum of 20 euros for a 45 minute unit, this was for groups of up to eight, however, occasionally you would have 1-2-1 classes located in companies and would receive more including a slightly higher rate depending on how far i had to travel.

 

So back to the point 15 euros for a 45 minute unit is very low.

 

Also speaking to a few people that have worked for berlitz they would call you the evening before with your schedule for the next day which i find unacceptable!

 

and you would not have regular classes or students which doesn't allow time for the very much needed rappor to build with your students!

 

Hope this helps.

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With regard to pay in general, 15 Euro/45min isn't anything to sneeze at. It's at the lower end of the scale but it's not bad!! If you are just starting out as a teacher it's totally acceptable!

 

There are a lot of instructors who, for whatever reason, enjoy exaggerating what they earn. It is indeed possible to earn 25-35 (or more) per hour (60 minutes) but this comes from private customers, most of whom require an invoice, and whom you have to cultivate yourself or skim off a company you work for. These customers unfortunately don't make up the bulk of your customer base or income because regardless of your reputation or reference letters most people prefer to go through a school (at least the first time).

 

Schools won't pay you those wages because they want to realize a profit. I'd say that most savvy instructors freelancing through companies earn between 14 and 25 per hour - that's my nearly 12 years of experience working in HH. Notice that the people who boast of making more than this never tell you which company it is. You can also easily get a lot of private work for less than 15 if you want/need the filler!

 

Some experienced instructors claim they can pick and choose what they teach (and their wife/husband is a Sr. Engineer at Airbus pulling down 6 figures) and others have to take whatever work comes to us to make ends meet. My experience has taught me that if you freelance for only one company you'll be sorry at some point and that a private customer who is reliable and constant is a gem.

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I agree, even teachers who have built some excellent contacts and private clients are more than happy to take school work to fill up their hours (not to mention use the photocopier).

 

It's important to look at all aspects of your deal with a school. For example, some schools may seem to offer a low average rate, but they offer good travel or back-to-back bonusses (i.e. for working four units in a row.) These can add up to a substantial part of your income. These are normally schools with a good reputation and big clients that need a lot of work done on-site.

 

Another factor to be considered is nothing to do with money or hours. A good school has a good atmosphere, the teachers have fun, and they are happy to provide advice or lesson material. If a school is bad, they just want to get out.

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Another factor to be considered is nothing to do with money or hours. A good school has a good atmosphere, the teachers have fun, and they are happy to provide advice or lesson material. If a school is bad, they just want to get out.

The same in any job.

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True enough, but in teaching, especially at the start, good collegues can be the difference between success and failure. Normal scenario: I run into the staff library with ten minutes to go before a lesson, gritting my teeth and clamping my bowels as once again I acknowledge how wiser it would have been to prepare something last night after coming home at 930pm, instead of wasting time with food and sleep, and announce my presence with "What the hell am I going to do this time?"

 

In a good school, half a dozen hands reach into folders and pull out lessons, games, ideas: salvation. In a miserable school, my voice echoes in the emptiness, muffled in the dust and smell of decay. In the distance, a dog barks.

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I suppose no one wants to be a good colleague when they’re just surviving themselves. Sounds like a few IT companies I worked for in a previous life. The best thing to do is research the company before hand, if it sounds dodgy like Berlitz insisting on a weeks training in another city then walk away. Life is too short.

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I agree, even teachers who have built some excellent contacts and private clients are more than happy to take school work to fill up their hours (not to mention use the photocopier).

 

In a good school, half a dozen hands reach into folders and pull out lessons, games, ideas: salvation. In a miserable school, my voice echoes in the emptiness, muffled in the dust and smell of decay. In the distance, a dog barks.

Too true! Good post RainKing!

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Ask any German about the pay and conditions offered by Berlitz.

Any German would think it a sick joke and laugh at the idea of working for such an outfit.

This is what you get in a regular job in Germany - Social security payments

made by both you and the employer (but the employer pays the lion's share).

Unemployment pay entitlement (generous). Sick pay. Health care paid for.

Legal protection against dismissal in a wide range of circumstances. pension contributions.

What do you get from the likes of Berlitz? EUR 15 per 45 minutes (roughly) and

b***** all else - and not even a guarantee of continuing work.

Unfortunately there is an endless procession of naive newcomers to the scene

with no knowledge of Germany who are only to keen to work for this cunning US (highly profitable) outfit.

They learn when they get sick and have to pay full whack out of their own pockets.

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Does anyone know if Berlitz offers full-time (35-40 hrs a week) along with their one year commitment? I want to know before my telephone interview next week.

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there are some full time contracts. don't know if there are any vacancies at the moment.

it's also possible to get a lot of free lance work there... also possible to get very little.

 

it's game.

 

yes, i do work there...sometimes...

 

t.

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Does anyone know if Berlitz offers full-time (35-40 hrs a week) along with their one year commitment? I want to know before my telephone interview next week.

The don't and they will lie about it. Stand by the rule, if they don't put it in writing and sign it, it's not going to happen.

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My experience of Berlitz some 8 months ago was as follows.

 

Phoned them up and got a meeting with a lady from the English department. Had a good 30-minute discussion and all ready to sign up. Then came the bit that put me right off, just didn't sit right.

 

They have one weeks training but it was going to be in another city, Berlin or Hanover I can't exactly remember. Would have to cover my own expenses and if I stayed with them for 4 months it would be refunded. Having read everything Frau4940 has written I am so glad I went with my gut and refused.

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It is all very interesting. I am sigining on with Berlitz this week and I will definitely put my opinion in the pool when I form one.

So far everything I have read about the pay, is not true. Also, we are going to training next week and it is paid for by Berlitz. We'll see if there is some sly scheme hidden somewhere. I also am curious to see how the hours work.

However, this for me is a big step and I think it is a good "foot in the door". I was a nanny and tutor the last 2 years because I was also raising my baby. Now its time to put him in daycare and go into the full time world of work. For a person like me, a native speaker with mediocre German, who has no degree, but has lots of charisma, Berlitz seemed like a good first "real" job in Germany. I got paid a lot more for private tutoring, but the hours were not enough to live off of.

 

After taxes, and medical, its still good pay and I will be earning more than I was as a nanny and tutor combined, if I can manage 30 hours a week. I have read that is difficult here, but I want to give it a go myself.

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