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If you're looking for information on how to find a job in Germany, you've come to the right place at the right time. With 45.5 million people in employment, including 3.5 million foreign workers, and 1.9 million job offers, Germany is Europe's biggest job market and one of the most open to foreign applicants. To keep the German economy growing, the country needs skilled foreign workers in certain professions. Furthermore, due to an aging population and the retirement of the baby boomer generation, Germany is recruiting thousands of healthcare and other professionals from abroad. Finding a well-paying job in Germany is now more real than ever for foreigners with special qualification requirements.
german economy and employment
Germany is the largest European economy and the fourth largest economy in the world, with a 4.4% share of global GDP. The growth of the technology-driven German economy relies heavily on exports, as Germany is the world's third largest exporter and has the world's largest nominal trade surplus. The total number of people employed in Germany is around 45.5 million, while the unemployment rate is extremely low at 2.8%. There is virtually no unemployment in major German cities. The only regions affected by unemployment are the rural areas, mainly in the Northeast. It is therefore not surprising that Germany is also one of the biggest importers of foreign workers worldwide, as 3.5 million foreigners already work in Germany.
There seems to be only one major weakness in the German economy, and that is German demography. It is estimated that by 2030, a third of the German population will be over 67, i.e. retirement age. An estimated net influx of 400,000 foreign workers a year is needed to keep the German economy afloat. To achieve this goal, Germany plans to further simplify its immigration regulations so that foreign professionals can help fill the gaps in the German job market.
The German job market for foreigners
The German job market currently has 1.9 million vacancies (as of June 2022 according to EUROSTAT). This alone offers huge job opportunities for foreigners. However, due to the size, steady growth and continuous structural change of the German economy, hundreds of thousands of new jobs are created every year. The German job market lacks skilled workers in several key areas, and the German government and employers welcome foreigners to fill the gap. Germany is also known for its aging population. It is estimated that 12.9 million workers will reach retirement age between 2022 and 2036, which corresponds to more than 28% of the current German workforce. This creates more opportunities for foreigners who want to live and work in Germany.
working conditions in germany
The German Labor Code (which is actually a set of labor laws) provides a high level of protection for all workers. With a five-day week, the maximum workday is defined as 48 hours a week, while most workers work 38.5 hours a week. All employees are entitled to at least 20 vacation days per year. However, most employers offer their employees between 25 and 30 days of vacation. In addition, there are nine public holidays in Germany that are observed in all federal states, as well as regional holidays that are observed in some federal states. The national average is 11 holidays per year. The minimum wage in Germany is €10.45 per hour (as of July 1, 2022), i.e. €1,818 per month.
Germany has a relatively complicated tax system. The personal income tax rate starts at zero and gradually increases to a maximum of 45% for high-income individuals (over €277,826 per year). In addition, there is a solidarity surcharge of 5.5% (earners between 74,000 and 110,000 euros a year pay less, annual earnings below 74,000 euros are exempt) and 8-9% religious tax for registered church members is charged as a percentage of income tax. Social security contributions (which total approximately 20% of income up to a certain limit) are deducted from personal income before income tax calculation. Generous tax breaks are given to families with children (cf.This articlefor more information on income tax calculation).
Jobs in the German economy
On the German labor market there is a persistently high demand for people with certain special qualifications. These include highly qualified people with university education such as doctors, engineers, teachers, natural scientists, mathematicians and computer scientists, as well as qualified specialists with professional training such as nurses, nurses and skilled workers from various professions. In addition, millions of Germans will retire in the coming years, which will also create demand in areas where there are no shortages yet. Many experts believe that these gaps can only be filled if foreign skilled workers are brought to Germany.
Which professions are most urgent in Germany?
A shortage of medical professionals, especially doctors and nurses, is a chronic problem in the German healthcare system. It is estimated that the German healthcare system currently needs around 5,000 doctors to fill the gap. At over €57,000 a year, the starting minimum wage for medical professionals in Germany is the highest among all university graduates. Anyone who has completed medical training in any country (also outside the European Economic Area) equivalent to that in Germany is entitled to obtain a license to practice medicine in Germany.
Even worse for Germany: according to estimates, another 500,000 nursing professionals will be needed over the next ten years, which are already scarce in German hospitals and nursing homes. While not all nurses and other healthcare professionals can have their qualifications immediately recognized in Germany, the Federal Employment Agency encourages foreigners to complete professional training in Germany to qualify for jobs in the German healthcare sector.
To help German employers deal with the shortage of healthcare and other skilled professionals, the federal government has launched several initiatives to recruit foreign workers from third countries. Information on ongoing projects for the recruitment of foreign nursing personnel is found below under the heading "Existing projects for the recruitment of foreign qualified workers". For a complete guide to opportunities for foreign nurses in German healthcare (including salaries), see the article “Nursing professions in Germany“.
Germany is one of the world leaders in technology and innovation. The export-intensive industry has a growing need for highly qualified specialists in certain technical areas. These include, above all, specialists from the automotive, mechanical engineering and electrical engineering sectors, as well as telecommunications and information technology specialists (eg programmers). In addition to these professions sought after by industry, many technical research institutes are looking for so-called MINT graduates (STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, also known as MINT professions in Germany). These include not only the engineers and computer scientists mentioned above, but also mathematicians and specialists in other scientific fields, such as biotechnology or nanotechnology.
The starting salary for a graduate in mechanical engineering, electrical engineering or STEM is normally in the range of €46,000 to €51,000 per year and it is not uncommon for people with 15 years of professional experience to earn over €75,000 per year. .
Who can work in Germany?
Citizens of all countries can apply for a job in Germany, but some nationals will have a harder time getting a job than others. This has to do with German foreign labor law.
Who needs a work permit in Germany?
Citizens of countries outside the European Economic Area (EU and EFTA) generally need a work permit (i.e. aresidence permitpaid employment) to be able to work in Germany. So, as you can imagine, there are two categories of foreign jobseekers in Germany, EEA and non-EEA:
Citizens of the European Economic Area (EEA), which includes the EU and EFTA states, have unrestricted access to the German job market and are treated like all German citizens when applying for jobs in Germany. They do not need a work or residence permit and their employers do not need to prove to the German employment services that the position could not have been filled by a German citizen.
third country nationals
Foreign nationals coming from countries outside the EEA need a residence permit for work purposes (also known as a residence permit for gainful employment), whereby their employer usually needs to prove that there were no suitable candidates for the position among the applicants of the EEA. Countries. This applies to all non-EEA citizens, regardless of whether or not they need a visa to enter Germany (see more information atFederal Office for Migration and Refugees).
However, there are exceptions where it is not necessary to demonstrate that there are no suitable candidates in the EEA. Examples are listed below.
- German university graduates: Third-country nationals who obtained their university degree in Germany can stay in the country for an additional 18 months and work part-time while looking for a job in their field of study. But to stay, they must apply for their graduate work visa before their student visa expires. Once they find a job that matches their qualifications, they can convert their residence permit for study purposes into a residence permit for paid work and start working full-time. Foreign graduates of German universities who left their homeland after completing their studies can still return to Germany to look for work (see visa for jobseekers below).
- Graduates of German vocational training programs: Foreigners from third countries who have completed vocational training in Germany can also extend their residence permit for a further 12 months in order to find a job that matches their qualifications. During those 12 months, they can take any livelihood job in Germany until they find a job they were originally trained for. If they leave Germany without a job offer and return to their home country, they are eligible for the German job search visa, just like the university graduates mentioned above.
- Academics entitled to an EU Blue Card: Another exception is university graduates who have a binding offer for any specialized job that pays them at least 56,400 euros per year (valid until 2022). In addition, a reduced annual minimum salary cap of €43,992 applies to certain specialist occupations with chronic shortages of suitable candidates in the EEA. These include doctors and the so-called MINT professions (mathematics, informatics, natural sciences and technology/engineering). All persons named in this paragraph are entitledEU blue card(temporary residence permit) in Germany.
- Experienced foreign skilled workers: Also in your new “competent immigration lawGermany has made it easier for non-university graduates from outside the EEA to enter the German labor market, including occupations where there is no shortage of skilled workers in Germany. This means that so-called skilled workers from third countries have the opportunity to obtain a work visa for Germany if 1) they have a binding offer for a job in Germany for which they are qualified and 2) they have completed university or vocational training in Germany. Germany Germany or another location that meets German professional standards. However, if the applicant is over 45 years old, they must earn a minimum wage of €46,530 per year (from 2022) or have an adequate pension plan.
Job search visa for Germany
University students and professionals from countries that do not have a visa waiver in Germany can apply for a job search visa at the nearest office.German consulate or embassy. This visa is issued for six months. In addition to a valid passport, a university degree recognized in Germany or professional training are required for issuing a visa for jobseekers, agerman language certificate(at least B1), CV, letter of motivation and travel insurance. Applicants must also prove that they can support themselves financially for six months, as they are not allowed to take any jobs in Germany during their stay on a job search visa, other than trial work of up to 10 hours a week. This type of visa cannot be extended. Therefore, the jobseeker must leave Germany after the visa expires and wait at least the duration of their stay in Germany (usually six months) before applying for another jobseeker visa.
Existing projects for recruiting foreign qualified labor
- Hand in hand with international talent– The aim of this project, organized by DIHK Service GmbH, the Ministry of Economy and the Employment Agency, is to support German companies in selected regions in recruiting qualified and experienced specialists from Brazil, India and Vietnam. The most sought-after professions are electrical engineers, IT and telecommunications specialists, software developers, but also cooks, hotel specialists and catering staff.
- Craft offers a futureor Handwerk Offers Future (HabiZu), is a project funded by the Ministry of Economic Affairs, which is carried out by the Central Association of German Handicrafts, Employment Agency and sequa gGmbH. The objective is to help medium-sized companies in various German regions to find workers in the sectors of electricity, fitters and mechanics of installations for sanitary, heating and air conditioning technology. Recruitment takes place in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
- Triple Win Project- jointly organized by the Employment Agency and the German Society for International Cooperation, it aims to attract qualified foreign nursing and care staff to the German healthcare sector. Recruitment is currently taking place in India, Philippines, Vietnam, Indonesia, Tunisia and Bosnia and Herzegovina.
- Fair recruitment of nursing staff Germanyor Fair Recruitment Nursing Germany, is a project funded by the Ministry of Health and implemented by the German Agency for International Health Professions to support the fair recruitment of foreign nursing staff from Brazil, India, Indonesia, Mexico and the Philippines to German hospitals and nursing homes .
- Nursing professions for Germany- is a program of the Employment Agency in cooperation with German clinics for the fair and professional recruitment of nursing staff from Latin America, especially from Brazil and Mexico. This project is an extension of the existing “Triple Win Project” mentioned above.
- THAMM project(Trainees and Skilled Professionals from North Africa): The aim of this project is to help German companies find skilled workers and trainees in North Africa. It is a joint project of the German Society for International Cooperation and the Employment Agency. The aim is the sustainable recruitment and successful integration of foreign workers in Germany.
- UBA connects– the motto of this project is “Find qualified professionals through adaptation programs”. It is therefore important to identify German companies that want to hire specialists from abroad whose qualifications are not fully recognized in Germany and to support them in obtaining the necessary qualifications through adaptation programs. Recruitment of foreign personnel for this project has not yet started (until 09/2022).
- Western Balkan settlement– Citizens of Albania, Kosovo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia have preferential access to the German job market and vocational training. The “Work and live in Germany” project started in early 2016 and was supposed to end in December 2020, but was extended until the end of 2023. Under this program, citizens of participating countries can also apply for auxiliary jobs which are normally not available to third-country nationals. For more information, seethis PDF.
Recognition of professional qualifications
It is very likely that foreign jobseekers will need to acquire their professional qualifications outside of Germany compared to German equivalents in order to be recognized in Germany. That means you get a "Comparability statement“. Some professions in Germany, such as medical specialists or lawyers, are regulated and must be recognised. For many others, it's not mandatory, but it's often helpful when applying for a job or getting a visa. Smooth recognition of school certificates and university diplomas can be expected if they are issued in another EU/EEA state or in a contracting stateBologna process. In any case, calculate several hundred euros for this process. More information can be found on the Federal Government's information portal forRecognition of foreign professional qualificationsit's atAnabin database.
self-employment in germany
In addition to working, third-country nationals can set up their own company in Germany. The aim of the new initiative is to attract entrepreneurially minded foreigners from third countries who will create innovative new jobs in Germany. However, they must prove that their products or services are in demand on the German market, that their company benefits the German economy, and that they financed their project either with capital or in advance. approved. Bank loan. Selected candidates are entitled to a residence permit for independent activity. Talented foreign freelancers can also apply for a residence permit to work on their own. Owebsiteshould help you answer some questions about starting a business in Germany.
I am looking for a job in Germany
Whether you are in Germany or not, there are several steps you can take to start a job search. For managerial or specialist positions, you can hire a renowned international recruitment consultancy or a local recruitment agency. But while you wait for the headhunters to call you with their job offers, you can explore existing opportunities on your own, especially if you're not in the six-figure range. The easiest way is to search the German job exchanges. Your first port of call should be those run by government agencies, but there are many other, mostly private, job portals that are worth a try. Here's a pretty comprehensive list to get you started:
public employment agencies
- Federal Employment Agency job exchange(Employment Agency of the Federal Employment Agency) - here you will not only find thousands of job offers, but also advice from the most competent people in the industry when it comes to helping foreigners find a job in Germany. Registered users can create their individual profile to be contacted by potential employers.
- EURES(European Employment Services) is a project of the European Commission, also known as the European Job Mobility Portal. It allows you to search for vacancies in all member states. To narrow your search, select Germany in the top left sidebar.
- Employment offers portal – Make It in Germany. This is a joint project of the Federal Ministry of Economy, the Federal Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs and the Federal Employment Agency, which aims to help foreigners with all their queries when looking for a career in Germany. This portal is an essential part of the campaign to attract qualified professionals from abroad to fill the gaps in the German job market.
- EURAXESS(Researchers in Motion) is a project funded by the European Commission and the Federal Ministry of Education and Research to promote the exchange of European scientists among the 30 member states. Universities and research institutes are encouraged to publish their vacancies online to make them accessible to researchers from other countries. Researchers can also publish their CVs on the Euraxess network.
independent job portals
The most obvious choices for any foreign jobseeker looking for a job in Germany are JobStairs, Monster, JobWare, Staufenbiel, The Local, LinkedIn, StepStone Germany and Indeed Germany, but there are also job portals that focus on a specific geographic area or region. certain kind of professions what you should check like:
- EnglishJobs– English language jobs in Germany
- WORKIN MÜNCHEN– local job search in Munich for foreign English-speaking professionals, where you can find links to other similar local job portals like JobsinBerlin or JobsinHamburg etc.
- Jobs at Medi– medical professions (doctors, nurses, medical assistants)
- my nursing job– Job portal for care and support professions
- GermanTechJobs– an IT job board created with a focus on transparency
- graduation– Jobs for students and young graduates
- academic– Positions in research and higher education
- Practice– Internships for students
(For more resources, google “Jobbörse” or “jobs in Germany”.)
Newspaper job portals
- Labor market – Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ)
- Careers and jobs – Handelsblatt
- Labor market – Süddeutsche Zeitung
- The job market at the time
- Career - The job portal of Handelsblatt and Wirtschaftswoche
(Look at thisArticlefor a more comprehensive list of the most important German newspapers and magazines).
The easiest way to look for a job is to visit the websites of German companies in your area. Most of them have a page called "Jobs and Careers" or "Open Positions" where you can find open positions that are often not seen on job search aggregators. But don't just focus on the biggest employers. Thousands of small and medium-sized companies in Germany are looking for employees from abroad. You could also try sending them an unsolicited application, which is perfectly acceptable in Germany. However, this can take a long time.
How do I apply in Germany?
If you are applying from Germany, you will likely need to submit more than just your CV and references from previous employers. In Germany it is still common to send applications by post as an application folder containing the following:
- presentation letter
- letter of recommendation
- Copy of school leaving certificate.
- Copy of university degree certificate.
- examples of work
- passport photo
Some employers will later ask for a copy of the certificate of good conduct, but this is usually not part of the application folder. While traditionally all correspondence was mailed, many employers now only require these documents in a printable electronic format such as a PDF. Of course, you must write your documents in German or English (in the case of applications in English) (and translate them if necessary). If your reference letters are written in English, it is generally not necessary to translate them into German.
A quick Internet search will provide many examples and guides on how to write an impressive and professional cover letter and resume. Just type "application" or "cover letter" or "resume template" or "free application templates" into Google. Here are some good examples:
- Europassallows you to create a professional cover letter and resume online in German, English or any other European language. Documents are not stored on the server, so you must download them before exiting the editor.
- running bibleallows you to download free Word resume and cover letter templates that are easy to use at home.
- Applicationoffers a free generator to help you write your cover letter and resume online. They will be sent to your email. You'll also find lots of useful tips for writing the perfect resume and preparing for an interview.
How to behave in a job interview in Germany
Your hard work has paid off and you've been called in for an interview. There is no universal and successful behavioral guide for a job interview in Germany, as each case is different and depends a lot on the company and the person interviewing you. But in general, if you are in Germany, follow these tips for a successful interview:
- Be punctual and polite, but not annoying.
- Dress appropriately (better keep your Rolex watch in your sleeve)
- Maintain eye contact with the person you are talking to
- Listen carefully to your interlocutor
- Don't act emotionally, but be sure to react.
- Avoid criticizing anyone (especially your former boss or colleague)
- Emphasize (and, depending on the situation, exaggerate) your past accomplishments
- Know the company and show it
- Bring a list of questions to ask
- Make multiple copies of your resume and cover letter.
- Take notes (or at least pretend you are)
- For the love of God, put your phone on silent.
Don't let anyone interrupt you during a phone or Skype interview and sound as natural as if you were sitting in the company meeting room.
We hope that this guide has been useful to you and that you will soon find a job in Germany. You can find more information about working in Germany on the pages “Immigration to Germany”, “Assistance jobs for foreigners” and “Wages and cost of living in Germany”.
All persons who wish to seek gainful employment in Germany are required to obtain a residence permit in the form of a visa. Where needed, a work permit will be included in the visa issued for this purpose.How to easily find a job in Germany? ›
- Social Media. LinkedIn. Xing. ...
- Job sites. Kununu. Stepstone. ...
- English-speaking job websites in Germany. Craiglist. The Local. ...
- Directly the company's websites.
- Look for jobs in the right place. ...
- Search for jobs at startups over big organizations. ...
- Choose bigger cities. ...
- Look for offers in the digital departments. ...
- Adapt your CV & Cover Letter to German standards. ...
- Bureaucratic visits. ...
- Sign up to services available in English.
The low unemployment rate and job opportunities make Germany a desirable place to work in by people around the world – including Americans. Although it is a different work environment and culture (and the language barrier can be tricky), jobs in Germany for Americans are not impossible to find.Is it easy for foreigners to get job in Germany? ›
How easy is it to get a job in Germany? The ease of getting career opportunities in Germany can vary based on factors like industry, experience, and language skills. Generally, the job market in Germany is competitive, and it may take time to find a suitable job opportunity.How do I get a work visa for Germany from the US? ›
- Get a job offer in Germany.
- Check if you need a visa to Germany for long stays.
- Find out where you need to submit your visa application.
- Collect all of the required documents according to the instructions.
- Make an appointment for a visa interview.
- Computer science / IT and software development.
- Electronics engineering.
- Mechanical engineering.
- Account management and business analytics.
- Nursing and Healthcare.
- Civil engineering and architecture.
- Engineers. ...
- Financial Professionals. ...
- Marketing and Sales Professionals. ...
- Human Resources Professionals. ...
- Educators. ...
- Logistics and Supply Chain Professionals. ...
- Legal Professionals.
According to this survey, skilled workers in the construction and skilled trades (349,275 jobs) and technical specialists (282,941 jobs) are currently the most in demand on the German labor market.Do you need to speak German to get a job in Germany? ›
In short, finding a job in Germany without speaking German will require you to think strategically about what types of companies to apply to and diversify the ways you learn about and apply to jobs. This path will take a bit more time and effort, but good jobs are out there and they are indeed attainable.
- Business managers.
- Account managers.
- Production assistants.
- Sales managers, representatives.
- Product managers.
- Civil engineers.
- Getting a job-seeker visa. This visa allows you to stay in Germany for up to six months to find a job. ...
- Applying for a student visa or language course visa. ...
- Freelancing or starting your own business.
A residence visa is required if you intend to stay in Germany for more than 90 days for work or study or if you intend to move to Germany permanently.Is it hard for an American to get a job in Europe? ›
Is It Difficult for Americans to Get Jobs in Europe? Although it may seem pretty intimidating, getting a job in Europe isn't as hard as you think. Due to the risk involved, local employers will generally prefer local workers over foreigners. It's a good idea to focus your job search by looking for talent shortages.How much is the rent in Germany? ›
What is the average cost of rent in Germany? Average rent costs in Germany range from €300 to €800 per calendar month for a room in shared accommodation and from €500 to €1,346 for a one-bedroom flat.How can I immigrate to Germany for work? ›
To work in Germany as a highly-qualified worker, you must first obtain a visa to enter Germany. You do not need a visa if you are from Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea or the USA. Once in Germany, you must obtain a residence/settlement permit allowing you to work.How much is a German work visa? ›
The cost for a German work permit (employment visa) is 75 EUR (90 USD). You will need to complete Germany's work permit visa (or employment permit) application form, called Antrag auf Erlaubnis einer Beschäftigung, and get a residence permit or Antrag auf Erteilung eines Aufenthaltstitels.Which profession is highest paid in Germany? ›
Doctors are the highest-paid group in Germany
In Germany, doctors were the highest-paid profession in 2022. That is according to the annual salary report conducted by the recruitment platform Stepstone, which considered wage data from 561.761 jobs from January 2021 to November 2022.
Your host must have a registered living address within Germany. Your host must be a legal resident in Germany. If they're a foreign resident in Germany, they must have a valid residence or settlement permit, or another residence permit.How long can a US citizen stay in Germany without a visa? ›
A residence visa is required if you intend to stay in Germany for more than 90 days for work or study or if you intend to move to Germany permanently.
US citizens do not need a visa to enter Germany. However, if you plan to live in Germany (or stay longer than 90 days), you can apply for a residence permit at the German Immigration Authorities after you enter.Which German city has most job opportunities? ›
Berlin - one of the economic hubs of the world
The capital city of Germany offers some of the best employment opportunities in Berlin. It is one of the economic hubs of the world and attracts a growing number of expats each year that come in search of better career options.
Data Science was one of the most in demand tech disciplines in 2022 and we expect to continue to see demand in this area increase throughout 2023. However, as more brands commit to becoming more data led, Data Visualisation is becoming one of the most in demand skills requested by our clients.What are the most stressful jobs in Germany? ›
The most stressed German workers, according to the figures, work in the financial, automotive and manufacturing industry, health care and education.What kind of workers does Germany need? ›
There is a lack of "education workers, social workers, preschool teachers. The biggest hole is for elderly and nursing care workers," she said. In other areas, such as the metal and electrical trades, there is not only a lack of skilled workers there is also a need for more experts and people with university degrees.Which skilled workers are in demand in Germany? ›
630,000 jobs in Germany for skilled professionals
The most affected fields by the shortage to work on are mainly IT, construction, and electrical engineering. The country is also facing a shortage in social services, health, education, and teaching. It needs around 80,000 teachers by the end of 2030.
According to Statista, in 2021, the average gross annual salary in Germany was 47.700 euros a year, or 3.975 euros a month.Can Americans move to Germany? ›
Do I Need a Visa to Move to Germany From The US? As a US citizen, you do not need a long-stay visa to enter Germany. But, if you plan to stay longer than three months, you must apply for a residence permit in the first few days of your arrival.What jobs are in high demand in Germany? ›
- Computer science / IT and software development.
- Electronics engineering.
- Mechanical engineering.
- Account management and business analytics.
- Nursing and Healthcare.
- Civil engineering and architecture.
In short, finding a job in Germany without speaking German will require you to think strategically about what types of companies to apply to and diversify the ways you learn about and apply to jobs. This path will take a bit more time and effort, but good jobs are out there and they are indeed attainable. Viel Erfolg!
You must make at least 58,400€ per year (before taxes). If there is a shortage of skilled workers in your field, you must make at least 45,552€ per year. This list shows which fields have a shortage of skilled workers. Your degree must be recognised in Germany.