Become a teacher

Image How to get your dream job as a teacher

Preparing knowledge-hungry young people for life sounds like a dream job to you? Then you feel like Around 10 % of German students who issued a career aspiration as a teacher have. Find out which paths lead to the teaching profession, what training looks like and whether your dream job stands up to the reality check in this article.

Becoming a teacher: Are you fit for the job? Photo: David-W- /

First, you should ask yourself if the profession of teaching is really for you. Just because you used to be a student doesn’t mean that you know what a teacher has to do. You always found physics exciting? This alone does not make you a born physics teacher. As a future teacher you must really love your subject, otherwise you will only be frustrated later.

Also you should love yourself – and above all other people. Only then will you be able to stand being criticized, whether by students, fellow teachers or parents. You should also Empathy You need to have a good rapport with students and understand what makes them tick. You have already led youth groups or given private lessons? This could also be an indication that the teaching job suits you.

Make sure you take the time to be clear about your abilities and wishes. Because the job of a teacher is not at all suitable as an embarrassment solution. If you want to find out whether teaching is the right profession for you, you can also try out professional tests online, for example on the information platform "Career Counselling for Teachers". Even through a Internship or an FSJ you can get a realistic picture of the teaching profession and then make your decision.

In addition to the personal requirements, there are also some formal requirements to fulfill if you want to become a teacher. You you need the Abitur for your studies. In some federal states you can also start a teacher training program without a high school diploma. If you are planning to study physical education or an artistic subject, you may need a Aptitude Test are required of you. You also have to overcome the Numerus Clausus hurdle, which is higher in popular subjects than in unpopular ones. You will have to reckon with a higher number of applicants for the teaching profession for elementary school and grammar school than for the teaching profession for lower secondary school and intermediate secondary school. Later on, when you do your pre-service training, you will need a clean slate police clearance certificate, since you will be working with children most of the time.

Teachers: This is what everyday life is really like

Teachers are always off and only work from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., according to popular preconceptions about educators. As a teacher, you will work an average of 23 to 28 school hours, depending on the subject and the federal state in which you are employed. But when the school bell rings, your workday is far from over. You need the next Prepare lessons at home and – also during the vacations – correct school work. As a newcomer to the profession, you will of course need longer to complete this process. In addition, there are also meetings and further education you and you have to plan project work, internal school events and class tests. This is how you get a 46-hour week as a teacher – at least!

And also You will not be spared conflicts as a teacher. Whether a student is not satisfied with his or her grade or you have to mediate between students on the playground. Or parents complain about their protege’s grade. Not everyone can cope with the psychological pressure.

Become a teacher: Teacher training - what awaits you / Photo: sor alex /

Teacher training – what awaits you

Your decision is made – you want to become a teacher. The only question is how. You can train as a teacher in Germany for the following types of schools:

  • Teacher training at elementary schools
  • Teaching at secondary schools and comprehensive schools
  • Teacher training at grammar schools
  • Teaching at vocational schools
  • Teacher training for special schools/special needs education

As a rule, you will study your subject for ten semesters at a university "for teaching profession and then complete the preparatory service at a school, the so-called "Referendariat". The The course of studies is dependent on the type of school. Depending on the type of school chosen, the length of the study program varies. You will spend five years at university for the Gymnasium teaching program, and one year less for the elementary school teaching program.

But: Each federal state regulates the teacher training program differently, which complicates a change of study location after taking up a course of study. In some countries you finish your teaching degree with the "Master of Education (M. Ed.), in others with the first State examination. In North Rhine-Westphalia and Thuringia, for example, you need a Master of Education to become a teacher. But a Master’s degree or. the First State Examination is not enough for you to be let loose on students. After graduation, you will complete the preparatory service at a school, the so-called Referendariat, and take the Second State Examination.

Before starting your studies you have to make a decision, which combination of subjects you would like to teach later on, for example Math/Physics, German/English or English/French. Attention: You cannot study your desired combination at every university. Therefore, inform yourself about your options in good time at your university.

At the same time, your The decision is, of course, primarily based on your interests and less on which subjects are currently in demand. Because when you have finished your studies, the situation on the teacher market can be completely different again. There is currently a high demand for STEM specialists, i.e. teachers of mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology and computer science.

During your studies, lectures, exercises, main seminars and proseminars are on the timetable. Homework and graded and ungraded certificates are also an integral part of the teacher training program. As a student teacher, you will learn a lot more than just the subjects you have chosen. Because you don’t just have to cram specialist knowledge, you also have to learn how to convey this knowledge to your students in the best possible way. And you also have to learn how to deal with difficult students. That is why every teacher training program includes in addition to the subject studies, you will also have to attend lectures in education and psychology. You can add a third subject to your studies or specialize as a special education teacher o. a. expand.

So that you don’t spend five years learning only theory at university and then suffer a practical shock as a trained teacher at school in front of a wild, pubescent horde of students, the universities have meanwhile included a Internship in which you have to work at a school for a few months. This way you can pull the emergency brake in time and decide for another study program.

You have now completed your teacher training with the Master of Education or the first state examination? Congratulations! But you are not yet teachers.

After the theoretical preparation during your studies, you will have to complete your teacher training, which lasts one to two years, depending on the federal state. The aim of the traineeship is to prepare you for a career as a teacher. There you will first observe the lessons of experienced teachers and then you will be allowed to prepare lessons yourself and hold them in front of a class. In the so-called You can exchange your experiences as future teachers at the study seminar. At the end of your traineeship, you will take a final exam, which consists of a demonstration lesson and a term paper.

Even if you have managed to complete your studies and your traineeship, that is not the end of your education. Because then still the Second state examination which, by the way, may be repeated once if you fail at the first attempt.

Becoming a teacher = a secure job? Photo: /

Becoming a teacher = secure job?

Once you became a teacher, you could look forward to a secure job for life as a civil servant. Today, however, a degree does not guarantee a permanent position – many can only dream of civil servant status. Quite a few prospective teachers are first employed as temporary substitute teachers, some do not get a job at all. As a substitute teacher, you have to be flexible and can be transferred to another school overnight.

You have the best chances of finding a permanent position if you have studied a combination of subjects that is in demand and have a top final grade. Teachers for math, chemistry and physics will be in demand by 2025. With religion and history, on the other hand, you may end up at the unemployment office for the time being. Also teachers for vocational schools and special schools as well as for Haupt-, Real- and Gesamtschulen up to 10. Class have good cards.

You are ready to change cities for your dream job teacher? Then your chances could improve because many teachers are wanted in the east. An additional need for teachers is expected due to the influx of migrants to Germany. Because among them are also many children of school age.

Tip: If you know where you want to work, you can find out from the relevant authority whether teachers are needed there and in which subjects.

Teacher salary: Is the teaching profession financially worthwhile??

You want to know if all the effort is worth it for you? How much you earn as a teacher, depends on a number of factors. The state in which you work, the type of school and whether you are civil servants or employed. Salaried teachers earn a few hundred euros less than their civil servant colleagues for the same work, grammar school teachers earn more than elementary school teachers. What exactly you earn as a civil servant in the teaching profession, can be found on the Internet for each state in so-called Pay tables be read. As a high school teacher with civil servant status, you usually earn around 50.000 Euro per year (after 15 years of service, even around 60.000 euros in it). As a young teacher at the beginning of your career, you will receive an average of about. 45.000 Euro gross.

Rock the classroom as a career changer

Becoming a teacher without studying? Even if you’re just starting out, you can rock the classroom and share your knowledge with the next generation. In some states, such as Berlin, the shortage of teachers is now so great that you have good chances of being hired here even without a state examination. Nevertheless, it is advisable to get a taste of school life to get a taste of school air in the context of a job shadowing. If you think the job suits you, you can apply for it. At the same time, the admission requirements for the teaching job without a teaching degree are regulated differently depending on the federal state. A college degree is needed in any case. If you already have several years of professional experience, you don’t even need a traineeship.

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