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German Language Teacher

Find out how to prepare for a career as a German language teacher, including education and training requirements. Get information on job growth and average salaries, as well as coursework in teaching and German study programs.

Is German Language Teaching for Me?

Career Summary

German language teachers educate students at a variety of skill levels, introducing beginners to German language and culture and helping advanced students to become fluent German speakers and writers. German language teachers are usually found at the high school or college level; they can sometime teach at the elementary or middle school levels as well.

As a German language teacher, you'll introduce students not only to the language of the country, but also to the history and cultural events that shaped it. Your students will explore the linguistic roots of the Germanic language, German history and historical world events that affected the country's people. Depending on your class, you may also focus on a specific area of language studies, such as German literature, business or cinema.

Employment Outlook and Salary Statistics

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), high school teachers should experience employment growth of 6% between 2012 and 2022, which is below average, while postsecondary teachers will see growth of 19%, which is faster than average. In May 2012, the BLS reported that high school teachers earned an average annual wage of $57,770 (www.bls.gov). Foreign language professors averaged $66,730. The 90th percentile of foreign language professors earned $111,660 or more that same year, according to the BLS.

How Can I Become a German Language Teacher?

Undergraduate Education

The degree program required to teach German language courses depends upon the level of students you would like to teach. To teach at the elementary or high school level, a Bachelor of Arts in German Studies may be sufficient. There are programs that combine teacher education courses with a major in German that will qualify you for state teacher licensure.

Graduate Programs

A graduate degree is typically required if you wish to teach German language at the college or university level. Beyond proficiency in reading and writing in the German language, you may also need to take courses in German history, literature and culture. At the master's level, you can find German teacher programs that also fulfill teacher certification requirements. A full tenured professorship will typically require a Ph.D. in a German-related field, as these positions typically require a significant amount of academic research.