Work in Germany | Prospects.ac.uk (2023)

Germany is a popular country among expats - they make up roughly 13% of the population. Hardly surprising when you consider the attractive career opportunities available in the country

Even once you've exhausted the tourist landmarks and museums of Berlin, Munich and Frankfurt, there's still plenty to see and do while living in Germany. For example, you could visit the remarkable old towns of Nuremburg, Freiburg and Passau, or check out spectacular castles such as Hohenzollern Castle and Neuschwanstein Castle. To get away from it all, the lakes and mountain ranges of Bavaria, close to the Austrian border, provide the perfect opportunity to enjoy Germany's outstanding natural beauty.

From its prime Western European location, you're well placed to visit the rest of the continent, starting with any of Germany's nine neighbouring countries.

Jobs in Germany

Germany has by far the largest economy in Europe and a thriving jobs market to match. It currently has the second lowest unemployment rate at 2.8% which is far below the EU average of 6.1%.

As well as spending €130billion on a stimulus programme due to COVID-19, this relatively low unemployment rate can be attributed to the German government's 'Kurzarbeit' (short-time work) initiative. At this time companies have been able to reduce staff hours and wages, with these subsidised by the state, which has helped to protect jobs.

With a strong focus on exports and heavy investment in research and development (R&D), Germany is reliant on its four main manufacturing sectors: automotive, mechanical engineering, chemical and electrical.

The country provides a base for a range of multinational companies, including:

  • Adidas
  • Allianz
  • BASF
  • Bayer
  • BMW Group
  • Bosch
  • Continental
  • Daimler
  • Deutsche Bank
  • Deutsche Post
  • Haribo
  • Hugo Boss
  • Lidl
  • Siemens
  • Volkswagen.

However, it's not just the larger companies that contribute to Germany's success story - many small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and family-run businesses play a crucial role in the country's economy.

Popular graduate jobs

  • Chemicals
  • Electronics
  • Iron and steel production
  • Machinery
  • Vehicle manufacturing
(Video) HIGH DEMAND JOBS IN GERMANY (2021) | MONTHLY SALARIES | COMPANIES | WORK IN GERMANY (Part -1)

You can search for jobs in Germany at:

Skills shortages

An article on the 'Securing of skilled labour' by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy has highlighted four key factors that are contributing to a future skills shortage.

Firstly, Germany has an ageing workforce, and it's anticipated that there will be a third fewer people of working age (20-64) by 2060, accounting for a shortfall of up to 16 million workers if the country was to block immigration.

With 352 out of 801 occupations currently facing skills shortages in Germany, there's a need for vocational training in a range of sectors.

The country is currently in urgent need of STEM graduates, particularly scientists and engineers (automotive, electrical and mechanical). More IT specialists and mathematicians are needed in banks, insurance firms and other large companies to help with software and security.

The healthcare sector is also suffering a shortage of workers as many current medical and care professionals approach retirement age. The long list includes:

  • Physiotherapists
  • Elderly care
  • Anaesthetists
  • Neurologists
  • Psychiatrists
  • Psychotherapists
  • Specialists in internal medicine.

Both STEM and the health industries offer desirable starting salaries - for instance, STEM graduates can earn €38,000-€42,000 (£32,000-£35,500), rising to €48,000-€52,000 (£40,500-£44,000) after six to eleven years.

Work in Germany | Prospects.ac.uk (1)

How to get a job in Germany

For EU citizens and those from the European Economic Area (EEA), you have the same access to the German job market as German nationals.

The job application process is similar to that in the UK, as you'll typically need to submit a well presented CV and cover letter directly to the employer, and may be invited to one or two interviews if your application is successful.

Depending on the role you're applying for, you may be required to sit psychological and aptitude tests, and for business and management roles you may also be invited to an assessment centre.

You'll need to include copies of your education certificates with your application - this includes any vocational qualifications you've completed, as well as your school leaving transcripts and university degree. If you need to get your qualifications recognised, visit Recognition in Germany.

The federal government's Make it in Germany site has a quick-check facility you can use to indicate your chances of landing a job in the country.

(Video) Germany Job Seeker Visa | Work in Germany | Moving to Germany Without Speaking German | Dream Canada

You can also follow the step-by-step guide to working in Germany at deutschland.de.

Summer jobs

Being a European holiday hotspot, Germany's tourism industry has vacancies in a range of jobs all year round. In the summer, you won't be hard pushed to find opportunities in bars, restaurants and theme parks as they usually look to hire short-term staff between April and November.

You can search for seasonal jobs in Germany at:

Alternatively, you could consider volunteering as a way to build your skillset, network with professionals, learn a new language and improve your employability.

Teaching jobs

As Germany is a popular base for large international companies, the country has a strong demand for English teachers. The majority of English students in Germany are adults, although you'll also find opportunities in summer camps and schools along with the possibility of being self-employed as a private tutor.

To teach English in Germany, you'll need a Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) certificate, which you can achieve through The TEFL.org. You'll also need a Bachelors degree and a reasonable grasp of German.

You can visit i-to-i - Teach English in Germany for further guidance, or learn about teaching abroad as an English language assistant with the British Council.

If you're ready to start looking for teaching jobs, search the Yellow Pages for vacancies and contact organisations directly.

Internships

An internship in Germany is a great way to give your career a boost, by learning how Europe's largest economy operates. You'll be able to enjoy the German lifestyle while developing your skills.

Internships in Germany typically last from three to 12 months. Many are paid, and some companies offer scholarships for unpaid positions. These factors depend on the organisation you're working for - so get in touch before you apply to discover the specific terms and conditions.

You can find internship opportunities at:

Your university may also be able to help you secure an internship, and German companies will appreciate the direct approach - send speculative applications, or use social media to start networking.

(Video) Whatch this if you want to work as an Architect in Germany!

German visas

For EU/EEA citizens, you won't need a visa or permit to work and live in Germany. However, you'll need to register your residence at your local registration office within three months of your arrival - to do this you'll need a valid passport and proof of your residency (such as a rental contract).

Coming from all other countries, including the UK, it's likely you'll need to obtain a visa or residence permit to make the move to Germany. Visit the Federal Foreign Office - Visa information to find out more about your exact entry requirements. Those from the UK can get more information from the German Embassy in London.

If you studied in Germany you may apply for a residence permit which gives you 18 months to find a job after graduation.

Read about getting a German EU Blue Card, the main residence permit for university graduates from abroad, at VisaGuide.World.

Work in Germany | Prospects.ac.uk (2)

Language requirements

While the majority of the German workforce has a strong grasp of English, being able to speak a decent level of German is essential for securing a job and living comfortably in Germany.

This is not enforceable by law and there's no compulsory proficiency test to take. While you'll need fluency in German to hold some positions, such as within the healthcare sector, for others your employer will decide whether your proficiency is sufficient for the role.

It's best to start learning from home before you move. There are plenty of language courses available in the UK, and websites such as BBC Languages - German will help you improve.

A comprehensive beginner's guide to learning German that covers German grammar, idioms and daily expressions is available at Studying in Germany - Learn German.

Once you arrive in the country, there are plenty of other opportunities to get your standard of German up to speed. For more information, see German Visa - Integration Courses.

How to explain your qualifications to employers

UK qualifications are almost always comparable to their German counterparts, and will therefore be recognised by employers. However, professionals of one of Germany's 60-plus regulated professions, such as doctors and lawyers, will need their qualifications recognised in Germany before they can begin work.

For the recognition of professional qualifications you can use the finder facility at Recognition in Germany. Applications for recognition can cost up to €600 (£508).

Applicants in a non-regulated profession should also consider having their professional qualifications recognised, so that companies will have a better idea of their skills.

(Video) GERMANY 🇩🇪 INFORMATION FROM A TO Z III VISA III WORK III CARD

What's it like to work in Germany?

According to the Federal Holiday Act, employees who work a five-day week in Germany are entitled to a minimum of 20 days' annual leave, or 24 days for a six-day week. However, in practice most companies provide their workers with around 27 to 30 days per year. Germany also enjoys more public holidays than any other European country, so you won't have trouble finding the time to explore the country during your stay.

The national minimum wage in Germany in 2022 is €12 (£10.15) per hour. Your annual earnings will be subject to a basic tax allowance of €9,984 (£8,446). Once your salary exceeds this, you'll be taxed between 14% and 42%, relative to your salary. At the top end of the scale this would be up to €58,597 (£49,571). There is an even higher tax bracket, but you'd need to be earning over €277,826 (£235,031) to pay 45% of your income.

If you're employed in Germany, you're most likely to be subject to withholding tax, where your income tax is calculated and deducted from your monthly pay.

The workplace environment is formal and professional, with a strict hierarchy in place and a strong emphasis on rank and responsibility.

Find out more

  • Discover what it's like to study in Germany.
  • For a career, education and lifestyle guide, see deutschland.de.

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FAQs

Is Germany good for job opportunities? ›

Germany has the fourth highest nominal GDP in the world, making it one of the most powerful economies. Traditionally, the rate of unemployment in Germany is small (around 5%).

Is getting job in Germany easy? ›

Is it easy to get a job in Germany? All of this may sound like a lot of work, but it's usually fairly simple. And don't become downhearted. There are various areas where employers are desperate for motivated, well-qualified staff, and they don't care which country they come from.

How can I get a job in Germany from UK? ›

The steps to getting a job in Germany
  1. Check your chances. The Quick Check on the Make it in Germany website should indicate your chances of working in Germany. ...
  2. Get your qualifications recognised. ...
  3. Look for a job. ...
  4. Write an application. ...
  5. Apply for a visa. ...
  6. Obtain health insurance.
Feb 27, 2020

Which country is best for job UK or Germany? ›

Work-life balance

German workers on average, work 1,371 hours per year and have a higher average salary than people in the UK do. The annual gross national income is 46,850 US dollars. Whereas, British workers work 1,677 hours per year, and have an annual gross national income of 39,040 US dollars.

Is working in Germany stressful? ›

With a large majority of employees, from 56% Dutch to 71% German, who indicate that they experience an unhealthy amount of stress at work, we can speak of a work-stress epidemic.

Is English enough to live in Germany? ›

Long story short: You can survive in Germany without knowing the German language; most Germans speak English, the train usually runs announcements in English and in restaurants or bars, waiters and waitresses often speak English, especially in the city center.

What are the easiest jobs to get in Germany? ›

If you are looking for a job opportunity here, then the easiest jobs you can find in Germany are the ones that are in demand.
...
Top job openings in Germany:
  • Nurses.
  • Business managers.
  • Account managers.
  • Production assistants.
  • Sales managers, representatives.
  • Product managers.
  • Architects.
  • Civil engineers.
Oct 19, 2019

Is UK degree valid in Germany? ›

Recognition of Academic Degrees from the UK in Germany

Degrees awarded by recognized British universities can still be recognized in Germany. Their formal status is that of a third-country academic degree. The withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union took effect on 31 January 2020.

How much is the lowest salary in Germany? ›

The minimum wage in Germany in 2019 is €9.19 per hour. This increase marks a €0.35 (4%) increase on the level seen in 2018. That means pre-tax wages of €1,593 for people working the standard 40 hours a week. The minimum wage will increase again from 1 January 2020, when it will be set at €9.35.

How easy is it to move to Germany from UK? ›

To move to Germany from the UK after Brexit, you must have a valid residence permit. Because of Brexit, you no longer have the right to work and live freely in Germany beyond 90 days— you must apply for a residence permit the same way a third-country national would apply.

Can I get a job in Germany without speaking German? ›

In short: yes, there are English-speaking jobs in Germany.

Foreigners who look for jobs in tech startups or digital departments have a higher chance of finding work in Germany without speaking German.

Is Germany hiring foreign workers? ›

Conceived and initiated on March 1, 2020, Germany aims to drive the influx of foreign skilled professionals with its new Skilled Immigration Act. The new system will invite all the qualified professionals from outside the EU to work in Germany, accompanied by a smooth and transparent process.

Who is richer Germany or UK? ›

Right now, Germany is by far the biggest, with a GDP of $3.6 trillion. France stands at $2.7 trillion, the UK at $2.2 trillion, Italy at $2.1 trillion.

Is tax higher in Germany or UK? ›

You pay higher taxes in Germany than in the UK. An employee earning 70,000 EUR annually before taxes owes 29,219 EUR in Germany and 19,857 EUR in the UK in taxes. Hence, one will save a significant amount on taxes when living in the UK.

Is it cheaper to live in Germany or UK? ›

Germany has a slightly lower cost of living than the UK, although Berlin is much cheaper than London, which, like Paris, skews the country's average living costs.

Which job is most demand in Germany? ›

So here are the top 5 high demand jobs in Germany:
  • Electronics Engineer.
  • Computer Science, IT professionals and Software Developers.
  • Mechanical Engineering.
  • Account Managers / Business analysts.
  • Civil Engineer / Architecht.

What is the age limit to work in Germany? ›

Typically, the Jugendarbeitsschutzgesetz (Youth Labor Protection Laws) apply to teenagers between 15-18, and children younger than 14 are not allowed to work and are required to attend school five days per week.

What is the most common job in Germany? ›

The ten most frequently sought jobs in Germany:
  • Software developer and programmer.
  • Electronics engineer, electrician.
  • Healthcare worker and nurse.
  • IT consultant, IT analyst.
  • Economist, business administrator.
  • Account manager, client consultant.
  • Production assistant.
  • Sales representative, sales assistant.
Jul 31, 2018

Is Berlin better than London? ›

Although London is a more exciting city to visit, Berlin is the better option out of the two if you're thinking of moving to a new place. The average salary is the same in both cities, but Berlin offers a better quality of life and is generally much cheaper.

Which is better for Masters Germany or UK? ›

The UK is known for the best universities in the world and easy visa process, while Germany is popular for free education (for the students with distinction) and quality education.

Are UK qualifications Recognised in Europe? ›

You'll need to have your UK professional qualification officially recognised if you want to work in a profession that is regulated in the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein. It will need to be recognised by the appropriate regulator for your profession in each country where you intend to work.

Is 3500 euros a good salary in Germany? ›

In Germany, a monthly net income between 2,500 EUR and 3,500 EUR is considered to be a good salary. You can afford a decent life in a large German city with that income, including renting a 2 bedroom apartment, regularly eating out, and weekends away.

Is 1500 euros enough in Germany? ›

You will need around 861 euros a month to cover your living expenses in Germany as of 2022. On average, to cover your living expenses in Germany you will need around 861 euros per month (around $1,002 US dollars) or 10,332 euros per year (around $12,024 US dollars).

What is the poorest city in Germany? ›

Munich, the capital of Germany's most prosperous state of Bavaria, had by far the lowest poverty rate at just below 12 percent, while the economic capital Frankfurt was just above the national average at 15.6 percent.
...
Poverty Rates in German Cities.
Berlin
200717.5
200818.7
200919.0
201019.2
16 more columns
Nov 14, 2012

Is living in Germany better than UK? ›

Work-life balance in Germany is vastly superior to the UK. Germans value their leisure time and tend to compartmentalise work time and free time.

What is the safest city in Germany? ›

Munich is the safest city in Germany.

In 2019, Mercer Quality of Life Survey awarded Munich with the 3rd highest quality of life across the world, and joint 2nd for infrastructure.

Is moving to Germany a good idea? ›

People from all over the world are finding that there are advantages to Germany that few countries have. Its favourable economy, employment opportunities, better education system with few tuition expenses have made many people, especially Americans, want to immigrate to Germany from the US.

What level of German is required for job in Germany? ›

For example, if you want to apply for a visa to look for a job, proof of German language skills might be necessary. For a visa for the recognition of foreign professional qualifications, at least an A2 level is usually required.

What level of German is required to work in Germany? ›

Working in Germany

If you´d like to work in Germany you´ll get by if your German is on level B1/B2 (online test). The certificate issued by GLS is recognized by many employers and even some universities in Germany.

How long does it take to get B1 German? ›

How long does it take to learn German?
Assess your current level & test your German online!Intensive course (20 lessons/week)
A1beginner8 weeks
A2elementary8 weeks
B1intermediate8 weeks
B2upper intermediate10 weeks*
2 more rows

Is it hard to find a job in Germany as a foreigner? ›

Germany has the largest economy in Europe and the fifth-largest in the world, so there are plenty of jobs in Germany for foreigners with specialist skills, although casual work is also fairly easy to come by.

Is Germany in need of workers? ›

In order to deal with labour shortages, Germany needs around 400,000 new workers every year, according to the Federal Employment Agency. According to the recent study by KOFA, the growing shortage of skilled workers is affecting the entire labour market.

What jobs are needed in Germany? ›

Which jobs are needed in Germany?
  • Software developers, architects, programmers.
  • Electronics engineers, electricians, electrical fitters.
  • Nurses.
  • IT consultants, IT analysts.
  • Economists, business management experts.
  • Customer advisors, account managers.
  • Production assistants.
  • Sales representatives/assistants.
Apr 26, 2019

Which is the poorest European country? ›

1. Ukraine. With a per capita GNI of $3,540, Ukraine is the poorest country in Europe as of 2020.

Which country is No 1 rich country? ›

China had in 2020-21 surpassed the United States becoming the wealthiest nation in the world, according to a report released by McKinsey & Co. The report was published after examining the national balance sheets of ten countries having over 60% of the global income.

Will the UK overtake Germany? ›

Related Stories. Actually, the UK's overall prospects are much the same as that calculated by Goldman Sachs nearly 20 years ago. In that original report, the UK was predicted to become not only a larger economy than France but also larger than Germany by 2040. The principal reason for this is demography.

What is the most taxed country in the world? ›

Again according to the OECD, the country with the highest national income tax rate is the Netherlands at 52 percent, more than 12 percentage points higher than the U.S. top federal individual income rate of 39.6 percent.

How much does it cost to move from UK to Germany? ›

How Much Would it Cost to Move to Germany? The average cost of a move from the UK to Germany is estimated at £1,500 on average. The price is calculated mainly according to the distance to be travelled and your departure city.

How much UK tax do I pay? ›

Income Tax rates and bands
BandTaxable incomeTax rate
Personal AllowanceUp to £12,5700%
Basic rate£12,571 to £50,27020%
Higher rate£50,271 to £150,00040%
Additional rateover £150,00045%

What is a good salary in Germany? ›

A good annual average salary in Germany is between €64,000 to €81,000. This gross salary (salary before taxes or social contributions) depends on your profession, industry, and education.

Is UK colder than Germany? ›

The UK has the warmest winters but coolest summers on average, whilst Germany and Switzerland have hotter summers and colder winters on average.

Which is the cheapest city in Germany? ›

Top 5 Cheapest Cities to live in Germany
  • #1 Bielefeld City Germany.
  • #2 Frankfurt (Oder) City Germany.
  • #3 Halle City Germany.
  • #5 Passau City Germany.

Is IT worth IT to work in Germany? ›

Work-Life Balance

According to OECD, Germany is ranked 8th out of 38, which means people here, while working 40 hours per week, have ample time for leisure, traveling, and personal care and do not work overtime. Salaries are pretty good too.

What are the disadvantages of living in Germany? ›

Cons of living in Germany
  • Closing times are early. ...
  • Taxes may be higher than you're used to. ...
  • Bureaucracy is everywhere. ...
  • Everyone follows the rules. ...
  • Everyone follows the rules. ...
  • Low cost of living. ...
  • Transport is easy. ...
  • Lots of public holidays.
Oct 3, 2017

Do German companies hire foreigners? ›

The German Job Market for Foreigners

The German labour market lacks skilled professionals in several important areas and German government and employers are welcoming foreigners to fill this gap.

Is working in Germany hard? ›

But Germans aren't actually compelled by law to work that hard. The statuatory working week averages 37.6 hours a week across eastern and western Germany. The extra hours are due to the 3.6 hours of overtime Germans clock a week. Only Czechs worked more overtime, squeezing in 3.7 hours a week.

Why is it better to work in Germany? ›

1. Good work/life balance. On average, Germans work 35 hours per week, 20% less than the UK where full time workers typically complete 44 hours. Every full-time worker is entitled to 20 days holiday plus 9 public holiday days, ensuring that they are fully well rested and enjoy a decent amount of leisure time.

Is Germany a good country to work in? ›

Employment Opportunities

Germany is a great place to work. The country has a strong economy and is home to some of the world's largest companies. German companies also offer many job opportunities for those who are not German speakers.

Can I get a job in Germany without speaking German? ›

In short: yes, there are English-speaking jobs in Germany.

Foreigners who look for jobs in tech startups or digital departments have a higher chance of finding work in Germany without speaking German.

What is the biggest problem in Germany? ›

What are the most important problems facing Germany? (January 2020 to September 2021)
CharacteristicCoronavirusSocial Inequality
May 21, 2166%6%
May 7, 2174%6%
Apr 16, 2184%5%
Mar 26, 2185%3%
9 more rows
Jan 20, 2022

What should I avoid in Germany? ›

Here are 10 rules that you must follow in Germany if you don't want to ruffle any feathers.
  • Don't do the Nazi Salute. ...
  • Avoid jaywalking. ...
  • Never walk on the bicycle lane. ...
  • Avoid talking about the war. ...
  • Don't point a finger to your head. ...
  • Don't chew gum or place your hand in your pocket while talking.
Oct 15, 2018

Is life hard in Germany? ›

Life is pretty busy in Germany as in any other place. But in general, there is peace and quiet anywhere you go. Except for the clubs, which will rave with techno music. Other than that, you will find that Germans love their silence, that there is low corruption, and that it won't be that difficult to find a job.

Is Germany looking for workers? ›

BERLIN, Jan 21 (Reuters) - Germany's new coalition government wants to attract 400,000 qualified workers from abroad each year to tackle both a demographic imbalance and labour shortages in key sectors that risk undermining the recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

Is it hard to find a job in Germany as a foreigner? ›

Germany has the largest economy in Europe and the fifth-largest in the world, so there are plenty of jobs in Germany for foreigners with specialist skills, although casual work is also fairly easy to come by.

Can I work in Germany as a UK citizen? ›

Working in Germany

If you are planning to move to Germany and work, you will need a visa or residence permit. You cannot work until you have the relevant permit. To apply for a job you may need to provide a: UK police certificate.

Why Germans are so hardworking? ›

Originally Answered: Why are the Germans extremely hard working? In fact, they work fewer hours than most. They are hard-working only in the sense that their work is very focused and efficient. They have to spend fewer hours during their commute to work.

Are Germans overworked? ›

Large numbers of German workers are unhappy with the amount of time they spend on the job. And it's not just because they feel overworked. Millions of Germans wanted to work more in 2018, according to results of a "micro-census" researched by Germany's statistics office and published on Thursday.

Do Germans love work? ›

Work Relationships/Friendships: Work relationships are considered very important in Germany, but friendships aren't developed too quickly.

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