Rates of pay at Berlitz language school

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Is that even above minimum wage?! I know minimum wage doesn't apply when you're a freelancer, but still..

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Germany does not have a minimum wage...I think they were discussing it on the Weekend (or the last one) Sabine Christinsen (whatever she is called)...saying that the Uk and America have one so how come people in germany can earn 3 Euros per hour and it is not against the law...

 

There are minimum wage levels in industries or craft but no general minimum wage...

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I know for a fact that they still payed that amount(€11.00)last year which is really funny considering they only take candidates with university degrees. Unskilled workers earn more working on building sites. Cleaning ladies get €10 the hour. A friend of mine told me that the teachers demonstrated against their low wages on Marienplatz.

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The UK's minimum wage is the equivalent of about €7,50 an hour and it's lower still in the US, so €11,76 per 45 minutes isn't slave labour pay. Nonetheless, it seems very low when you consider the amount of unpaid time spent preparing for a class, marking homework etc, and when you consider how much more translators charge.

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... not to mention travelling time. Many teachers spend a good part of their time travelling from place to place to teach. Also doesn't get paid. And the €11 is before tax and teachers have to pay the full contribution towards the German pension fund on their own (19% I believe). So if a teacher works at Berlitz you have:

Rate per unit: €11.96

Minus pension contribution(19%):€9.68

Minus tax:€2

Leaves:€8 per unit (more or less).

The teacher gets paid €8 for preparing at home, making photocopies, travelling, the actual teaching etc. At the end of the day if you were to calculate the teacher's hourly salary you would propably get to €2 per hour for somebody with a university degree, fluent in German and English and with teaching qualifications/degree/experience.

My friend is an Italian teacher. He used to work at the VHS. When the teachers complained about the low wages, they all got fired (ok, they were anyway freelancing but their contracts got cut). The other VHS were told not to employ any of those teachers who participated in the strike.

 

If you consider all of this, you are probably better off working as a cleaner. That way you get to take the full €10 home.

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If I remember correctly, my German teachers were paid 20 Euro/45min "hour". That was nearly 2 years ago.

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At Berlitz? Then maybe they pay the German teachers more. But the English teachers only get €11.96. I know that my Italian friend gets paid less than €20 per hour for teaching at the VHS.

@Boomtownrat

Cleaners often work without paying taxes. Not possible for teachers, because they are listed.

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no, wasn't Berlitz or VHS.

It was the going rate at that time, as I understood.

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Hey, looky-looky what I find on Toytown today.Berlitz Job Offer :) Just pm the person directly and ask if it's true that teachers at Berlitz get paid that crap.

If the answer is yes, well, then there is still this ad(looking for a cleaner). ;)

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Iain - there are other schools out there that will pay more from 18 Euros per unit (45 minutes) to 22 Euros (specialist i.e. professional English) and then more depending on your experience and competency. Good luck.

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hey MBummer, maby we can get the mods to merge this thread with the Berlitz Job Offer one :lol:

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I taught at Berlitz here in Munich for 1 1/2 years, so maybe I can provide some facts:

 

The wage (at the time I taught 2 years ago) was €11,76 per 45 minute session (unit).

 

Most classes are taught at the schools (Marienplatz or Schwabing.) Classes outside the schools (taught in companies, etc.) that were outside of the 2 inner rings of Munich were sometimes also paid a travel credit, depending on distance, of €11,76 per 45 minutes travel.

 

One benefit of Berlitz over most other language schools is that you do not need any previous teaching experience or teaching qualifications. They do *require* a university degree, but it doesn't have to be a teaching degree. My degree was in Anthropology, for example.

 

You do not need to speak any German to teach English at Berlitz. Of course, it comes in handy sometimes, but one of the principles of the Berlitz Method is total immersion, i.e. no speaking to your students in their native language, and no translating for them.

 

If you want to work for Berlitz, you are required to take a one week, 40-hour course in the "Berlitz Method" to learn the teaching method that you must use. This is not paid, however it also doesn't cost anything. Once you pass this course, you can teach at any Berlitz in the world.

 

In theory, you do not have to do a lot of preparation work for the classes you teach, as 95% of classes are taught from the Berlitz books. The books have step by step teacher's guides, so again, in theory, you should just be able to walk in 5 minutes before the class and teach from the book. In practice, I found that I learned most of the material within the first 3 months of teaching, and then had to do very little prep before each class. You are not expected to do extensive preparations or create your own lesson plans. Of course, there are occasions when this varies (i.e. a special workshop), but then you can also request preparation credits if you really have to do a lot of work on your own.

 

The number of classes you can "pick up" vary greatly. Good teachers who really hustle and also ingratiate themselves with the secretaries who book the classes can get upwards of 30 units a week. There were times I had 30 units a week, and other times where I only had 6 or 9. It varies a lot, and is not always within your control.

 

Berlitz was a good way for me to get a start in teaching in Munich. Since I didn't have any teaching credentials, I couldn't get started with any other schools. However, after having "teaching experience", I was able to pick up freelance classes with other schools that paid better. So it can be a foot in the door into the world of English teaching. There may be better ways to do it, but this was the one that worked for me.

 

I stopped teaching for Berlitz because it wasn't a livable wage for me. I needed full time work and also a reliable income, not one that varied greatly from month to month. I also had a fairly high tax class because I was married and my husband was employed, so we took a nasty hit on taxes that made it not worthwhile for the money. But some people might like the flexibility of that kind of work, it just didn't work for me.

 

There's probably points I forgot, but those are the basics. And as I haven't taught there for over 2 years, some info may be outdated.

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Quite why any teacher would work for that amount of money is beyond me. There are SO many schools in Munich, it's ridiculous. Don't waste your time working for Berlitz. Don't work for anyone who pays less than €20 for 45 mins. If you do, you're just selling yourself way short and allowing them to make a very nice profit. You're the one doing the work don't forget.

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I agree that the money is horrendous. But, like leeza said- if you're looking to get into teaching but have no experience or no CELTA/TEFL/etc certificate, then this is one way to get your foot in the door. There might be schools that pay €20 who will hire you without having any teaching experience, but I'd imagine most places prefer to take somebody who does.

 

Edit: Just out of curiosity, does anyone know what Berlitz charge companies or students for a 45-minute lesson? I'd heard through the grapevine awhile back that Berlitz in Erfurt was charging a company €75/unit (while paying their teachers about €11/hr, which is more than a bit shit, in my opinion). :huh:

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I have just been reading the thread, and am quiet shocked at the low pay of professional teachers. I mean, its like a slap in the face isn't it?

What would it take for TTer Teachers to ground their own school?

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I think the point is that they are not professional teachers, they are just native english speakers with any old University degree.

 

In some ways I can therefore understand this rate of pay. They provide all the training, and you don't have to prepare. You just have to go through a book with your students. Compared to what most proper language teachers would have to do, I think this probably pretty easy in comparison.

 

One thing it does tell me though is that being a language student at Berlitz is probably not a great idea! I very much doubt the quality of the teachers is going to be high when they get 11 euros an hour!

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This is an ad on the Berlitz website.

 

If my calculations are correct you pay Eur 649.00 for 75 hours tuition (excluding breaks) = Eur 8.65 per hour for a class of 6 to 12 students.

If a teacher is only getting Eur 11.76 it would work out better for both parties to do privite one to one tuition for 8, 9 or 10 euros an hour.

Even better would be to get a friend and offer a teacher 15 euros and hour.

 

All these language schools are such a rip off.

 

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