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Home / Teach English in Switzerland the Complete Guide for TEFL Teachers | Reviewed May 2022

Tefl Jobs In Switzerland

Would you like to teach English in Switzerland? If you have a sweet craving, this TEFL locale is worth considering for those looking to teach English in Switzerland. The Swiss consume more chocolate than any other country in the globe. Apart from the chocolate, you’ll have to assess the benefits and drawbacks of pursuing a TEFL career in this small country. Chocolate, cheese, and the beautiful outdoors (nowhere in Switzerland is more than 10 miles from a lake) are some of the highlights, but finding work, especially for seasoned English teachers who are looking to teach English in Switzerland, can be difficult. Work permits are required for any job that lasts longer than a summer, and only a limited number of permits are issued each year.

As a result, schools choose not to sponsor a permit for anyone less than the greatest teacher they can find, preferring instead to hire locally to avoid the permission burden, even if the teacher isn’t not going to be as qualified as an English teacher in Switzerland.

Switzerland is one of the most expensive countries in the world, making it difficult to get by unless you have a well-paid job. Prepare to have a thick skin if you want to advance in your career. The Swiss have a highly hierarchical society, which is reflected in the workplace. Arguing with your manager could result in your hours being cut or your contract not being renewed despite previous assurances. Keep your head down, agree with the appropriate people, put up with any annoyances, and work hard if you want to succeed. If you do, you’ll be rewarded with some of Europe’s highest-paying TEFL jobs and enjoy teaching English in Switzerland.

Job types 

Private schools

Clients of language schools are often local businesses (during the academic school year), and overseas students are also welcome during the summer. Language schools frequently strive to be as accommodating as possible to their students. This means that their itineraries have few restrictions–courses can range from a week-long intensive course to two hours per week for more than a year. You can teach English in Switzerland language schools in small or big groups at the client’s office, in a school setting, or to students of various levels.

The schedule is based on the needs of the clients and is highly flexible and fragmented. Teaching English in Switzerland in this setting can see you earning €15 per hour; however, the hourly rate can climb to €60 per hour. Therefore, working circumstances in language schools are not ideal for everyone who wants to teach English in Switzerland. However, this is a fantastic place to start for inexperienced teachers comfortable with change.

Private finishing schools

These are usually small single-gender colleges with an affluent international clientele. All teachers, including those teaching English in Switzerland, are periodically required to join pupils on abroad travels; therefore, full-time positions with paid vacations are available. The teaching equipment is up to date and ample, and the lessons are frequently intense and demanding.

Hotel Schools

Because all courses are taught in English, English is important to the curricula of hospitality schools. As a result, hotel schools provide a variety of English language classes to students with limited English skills. Hotel school English teaching in Switzerland pays from €2000 to €3000 per month for 22 to 25 hours per week, which is plenty to work and save. Working hours are 8 am to 6 pm, and schedules are set. Generally, hotel schools only offer semester contracts; however, full-time, permanent opportunities are occasionally available.

Private language lessons 

You should be aware that as a private instructor, you are required by Swiss legislation to pay social insurance and taxes on your earnings. However, lessons are worth whatever you can get for them—the average hourly fee is roughly €60, but it can range from €30 to €115 for 45 minutes, including travel expenses.

Find a job

Because the English language teaching market in Switzerland is primarily freelance, positions open up at any time of year. However, positions for English teachers in Switzerland are routinely posted, and you can boost your chances by joining an English language teachers’ group.

Networking and learning best practices, keeping up to date with teaching material, and taking a refresher course through the English Teachers’ Association of Switzerland are the greatest ways to get ahead of the game. On the ETAS website, a lot of private language schools post available positions, and the ETAS website also has a plethora of information on obtaining EFL jobs in Switzerland. In addition, local newspapers and job sites such as Jobclick also publish jobs teaching English in Switzerland.

Although its economy is struggling, Zurich has the most private language schools. Additionally, the majority of schools in Switzerland are teacher-owned, making them modest and numerous, so there are opportunities for English teachers in Switzerland.

Qualifications

The qualifications you need vary a lot depending on who you work with. Because there is little financial certainty, language schools frequently do not require qualifications for English teachers in Switzerland. On the other hand, many provide in-house training on their teaching approaches and modules for various courses. This might be beneficial to inexperienced, new English teachers, but it could be annoying for veteran ones. Teaching English in Switzerland at an institute of higher education, a private finishing school, or a hotel school is worthwhile if you have some experience, a degree, and a TEFL certificate. For example, the well-known Lausanne hotel school boasts excellent working conditions. It offers high-quality courses while only requiring an instructor to have a bachelor’s degree and three years of teaching experience.

Need to know

Despite all of Switzerland’s natural treasures and surroundings, beauty comes at a cost. The cost of living in Switzerland is among the highest in the world, with Zurich and Geneva ranking second and third, respectively, in terms of cost of living. Switzerland’s minimum wage is $2658.72, which is barely enough to pay for the necessities of life.

The Swiss, on the other hand, enjoy doing business and filling their bank accounts. This is where English (and you, as an English teacher in Switzerland) come into play. Children and businesspeople in Switzerland are keen to learn English, the worldwide money language.

Salaries differ widely depending on where you work, so it’s critical to know what you want and make informed decisions. Many EFL teachers work for multiple schools to keep up with Swiss living standards. Schools that do not require a TEFL/TESOL certificate have been reported to pay the lowest hourly rates of €20, while teachers with a TEFLA certificate can expect to get paid between €30 and €45 per hour. English teachers in Switzerland with a TEFLA certification and expertise in teaching business or exam preparation can expect to earn between €50 and €73 per hour.

Classroom culture

Because of Switzerland’s hierarchical work culture, you might sometimes feel suffocated or uncomfortable. As a general guideline, don’t challenge or mistrust your employer! Negotiating anything from salary to working hours can result in reduced teaching hours or the cancellation of promised contracts. Only the highest-ranking officials make ultimate choices. Different management methods may take some getting used to, but remain calm and cautious in the meantime!

Shaking hands with everyone in the room is polite, and always refer to them by their professional and family titles. Because Swiss society is so formal, first names are only given to intimate friends and relatives. Because of the Swiss’ penchant for privacy, it’s best to refrain from asking personal questions about age, marital status, religion, and so on until you’ve built a good relationship with your students and colleagues. Because English is also a business language, one’s look should always be clean and neat! Cleanliness, punctuality, and respect are important to the Swiss, so make sure you meet their expectations!

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LIVING COSTS

Prepare to be surprised… Switzerland is the most expensive country in Western Europe and one of the world’s top three most expensive cities (along with Bermuda and the Cayman Islands). As a result, inexperienced instructors may struggle to make ends meet in Switzerland, whilst those with more experience can pitch for better jobs and earn enough to live on. Starting at a summer camp (which includes food and lodging) is an excellent way to assess if you’ll be able to make ends meet in such an expensive country.

 

 

To find the cost of living figures, we use Numbeo.com, the world’s largest cost of living comparison website. 

  • Accommodation: £1,435–£2,669/€1,664–€3,080
  • Utilities: £149/€173
  • Health insurance: Cost of a typical visit to a GP: £82/€96
  • Monthly transport pass: £65/€75
  • Basic dinner out for two: £66/€75
  • Cappuccino in expat area: £4.40/€5.21
  • A beer in a pub: £6/€7

Tefl Jobs In Switzerland : KEY POINTS

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AVERAGE SALARY

Per Hour £17–£100/€18–€123

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EDUCATION NEEDED

Bachelors Degree

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TEFL qualification requirements

120-hour TEFL qualification

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MAIN JOB TYPES

Language Schools, Summer Camps, Private Finishing Schools, Higher Education Facilities, Private Lessons, Hotel School

KEY FACTS

  • Popular locations for TEFL jobs: Zurich, Bern, Basel, Luzern, Geneva, Winterthur, Ticino
  • The average salary for EFL teachers: Most jobs are freelance and paid hourly or by lesson (often 40 or 50-minutes). Hourly rates are usually around SFr60 (£50/€60) but can range from SF20 up to SFr123 per hour (£17–£100/€18–€123). Work in a hotel school and earn SFr2,200–SFr3,000 (£1,850–£2,475/€2,000–€2,080) per month. Other full-time positions might exceed SFr 5,000 per month.
  • TEFL qualification requirements: At least a 120-hour TEFL qualification
  • Prerequisite university degree: Most jobs require a degree
  • Term times: The school year starts in August/September
  • Currency: Swiss Franc (CHF)
  • Language: Mostly German (also French, Italian and Romansh)
  • Teaching programmes: Language Schools, Summer Camps, Private Finishing Schools, Higher Education Facilities, Private Lessons, Hotel School
  • Age restrictions: Postgraduate, apart from some summer camp roles
  • Previous teaching experience: Some jobs rank experience over a degree or TEFL experience, but others are happy to take new teachers. Inexperienced teachers can struggle even with getting summer camp positions, but they might get a job if they’re bilingual or multi-talented.

The average Swiss citizen can speak two foreign languages in addition to their mother tongue. Switzerland is a multicultural country with numerous official languages. English is a popular second language to learn in the German-speaking region of Switzerland. Still, it is less popular in other parts of the country where the second language is German, French, or Italian. However, teaching English in Switzerland is in high demand because English is frequently utilised as a lingua franca.

Because English is the language of commerce in Switzerland, you’ll discover possibilities to teach English to adults as well as children. In Switzerland, all children learn English in school – some as early as primary school, others not until they are around 14 years old and have already learned another language. Language schools are frequently adaptable to the needs of their students, offering sessions at various times of the day and on a variety of topics. Some schools specialise in catering to overseas students during the summer months, and there are a number of popular summer schools where TEFL teachers can find work.

Working at hotel schools—institutes that train people in the hospitality industry who may also need to improve their English–is a unique option for TEFL teachers in Switzerland. On the other hand, positions at higher education institutions (which rarely have openings because they hire experienced, skilled, long-term teachers) and private finishing schools may be simpler to obtain (where the Swiss elite send high-achieving kids). Although private classes can be profitable, they are a competitive industry.

Even if you’re experienced and qualified, language schools frequently offer in-house training, which may be required. One thing you’ll quickly learn in Switzerland is not to dispute — the boss is always right, and disagreeing might make your life uncomfortable, so if required training is requested, just do it. Also, because the Swiss are formal (both in look and behaviour), make an effort to present yourself well, shake hands with everyone, and use formal address.

Facts about Teach English in Switzerland the Complete Guide for TEFL Teachers | Reviewed May 2022

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LANGUAGE

Mostly German (also French, Italian and Romansh)

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POPULATION

8.6 Million

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TEFL TEACHERS DEMAND

High

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CURRENCY

Swiss Franc (CHF)

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CAPITAL

Bern

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OUR SWITZERLAND TEFL RATING

4/5

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Tefl Jobs In Switzerland : FAQS

Q:

How much can I earn as an English teacher in Switzerland?

English teachers with a TEFLA certification and expertise in teaching business or exam preparation can expect to earn between €50 and €72 per hour.

Switzerland is the most expensive country in Western Europe and one of the world’s top three most expensive cities. As a result, inexperienced English teachers in Switzerland may struggle to make ends meet. 

Some jobs teaching English in Switzerland may prefer teaching candidates who have a degree; however, it is not a requirement.

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