Teaching English in Denmark

By | February 24, 2014

Denmark is a Northern European country located to the south of Sweden and Norway, and it shares a border with Germany. This small country has a population of just over 5.5 million people. Although Denmark isn’t an island, it is nearly surrounded by sea and this seafaring country was the home of the Vikings!

The standard of education is very high in Denmark and education has been compulsory for 200 years! As a result of this, nearly all adults are literate and many can speak a second language, with English being one of the most popular second languages.

Denmark was also one of the first nations in the world that developed a social welfare system and for many years it has provided free health care and benefits for the unemployed. This is paid for through high taxes, but Denmark does offer on the highest standards of living anywhere in the world.

Read more about Denmark from Wikipedia.

Why Teach English in Denmark

Danish Architecture Center

Danish Architecture Center – Image courtesy of WikiMedia.

There are many reasons why you might want to go and teach English in Denmark! First of all, you will be a lot happier living in Denmark as Danish people are ranked as being some of the happiest people in the world. Moreover, it also has high social mobility, income equity and one of the lowest scores on the corruption index!

There is already a high standard of English throughout Denmark, so there isn’t a huge demand for native English speaking teachers, but there are quite a few schools that provide English classes and they do employ native English speaking TEFL teachers.

Denmark is a very safe country to live in and has a very low crime rate; this in turn makes it a very pleasant place to live. When you’re not teaching there is lots to see and do with beautiful scenery, stunning architecture and a very interesting history.

Where to Teach English in Denmark

As is usually the case with finding teaching jobs, you will find that most opportunities exist in the larger towns and cities. Copenhagen, the nation’s capital city, Aarhus and Odense are the most popular destinations for TEFL teachers in Denmark.

Types of Teaching Jobs in Denmark

Language Schools

teglværkshavnen housing, tegnestuen vandkunsten

teglværkshavnen housing, tegnestuen vandkunsten

There are some language schools in the country and they usually provide advanced and business English classes to foreigners that are working in Denmark. Although schools do have varying requirements for the teachers that they employ, most will require that you have at least a bachelor’s degree and some kind of internationally recognised teaching certificate such as a CELTA, TEFL or TESOL. Having experience or qualifications related to business will also help you.

International Schools

There are a number of bilingual international schools in Denmark and they too employ native English speaking TEFL teachers. The requirements for teachers in international schools are often much higher and you would usually need to have a postgraduate certificate in education and recent experience to even be considered for a job.

Private Lessons

It is possible to take a few private lessons to supplement your income, but finding students might be a problem because of the high standard of English in Denmark. The types of students that you are most likely to find are foreigners that are working in the country and they usually want to study business English.

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Teaching Requirements and Qualifications

arne jacobsen, skodsborg strandvej 300, 1953-1956Although you might find some language schools that don’t require a teaching certificate, most schools will require that you have one. To stand any chance of finding a job, you should have at least a bachelor’s degree and an internationally recognised teaching certificate such as a TEFL, TESOL or CELTA.

If you want to work in an international school, you will usually need to have a postgraduate certificate in education along with some recent and relevant experience as a teacher.

There is no requirement that you need to speak Danish to find work in Denmark, but an effort to speak the language will go a long way with the locals.

Expected Salary and Living Costs

[sociallocker id=”1690″]You could potentially earn anywhere between $20 and $30 per hour and in some cases you can earn even more than this. The amount that you actually earn will depend on a number of factors including where you are living, the school you are working for, and your qualifications and experience.

You will be expected to pay tax on your salary and although the tax rate is very high, you will have one of the highest standards of living out of anywhere in the world.

The cost of living in Denmark is also very high. Food, transportation and accommodation are all very expensive and most TEFL teachers will only just earn enough money to make ends meet and you shouldn’t expect to save much money, if at all.

For more information about the cost of living in Denmark, see Numbeo.[/sociallocker]

Visa Requirements

As Denmark is a member of the EU, citizens from EU countries don’t need a visa to work there.

If you are from a country outside of the EU then you will need a work permit. In order to be granted a work permit, the Danish authorities will take a number of things into consideration and will first of all look at your qualifications. Therefore, unqualified teachers from non-EU countries are unlikely to be given a work permit.

For more information about work permits in Denmark, click here.

How to Find a Job Teaching in Denmark

fisker, møller, stegmann, sørensen: aarhus university, 1931-

Aarhus University

First of all, you should look online for vacant teaching positions in Denmark. More often than not, schools make use of international, national and local jobs boards to recruit teachers and you will find many advertisements for teaching jobs in Denmark online. Moreover, you should also try to locate websites for schools that operate in the country as they will also advertise vacant positions on their own websites.

If you are already in the country, you can try some offline methods for locating work. You might find jobs in newspapers (although these are rarely in English) and other publications.

Finally, you can try contacting the schools directly and enquiring about vacant positions. You can try sending emails, calling or even going in person and asking about work.

Teach English in Denmark

If you find a job teaching English in Denmark, you will have one of the highest standards of living out of any country in the world and you’ll be living in one of the happiest places on earth!

There isn’t a huge demand for native English speaking TEFL teachers, but there are a number of schools that look to employ native English speaking teachers. You will, however, need to have at least a bachelor’s degree and a teaching certificate such as a TEFL, TESOL or CELTA to stand a chance of finding a decent paying job.

Finally, you will earn enough money to live and work in Denmark, but it’s unlikely that you will earn enough money to make any significant savings each month as the cost of living is very high.


Although I have never worked in this country, every effort has been made to ensure that this information is correct. This blog post has been written after extensive research online, interviews with teachers who have worked or are working in the country, and local schools have been contacted. If you have any questions, please leave a comment below. If you have worked or are working in Denmark, we would love to hear from you, so please leave a comment and share your experiences with us.

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