One of the largest countries in the European Union (EU), no doubt the abundance of jobs and thriving economy are what makes working in Germany so appealing
With the fourth largest economy in the world and a population of over 80million, Germany has a wide range of diverse opportunities and job prospects for its workers.
According to recent figures by Eurostat Germany has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the EU so while you're busy working, don't forget to enjoy your surroundings in your free time, perhaps by taking a trip to the Bavarian Alps or shopping in Berlin.
Job market in Germany
This densely populated country houses the largest economy in Europe. The German job market is generally strong and employment is high for skilled workers coming into the country, specifically in engineering, manufacturing and the IT sectors.
Germany is highly industrialised with manufacturing setting the foundation of the German economy.
Certain occupations are in demand, the sectors currently in need of skilled workers include:
- vocational experts.
While the German-based multinational companies, such as Allianz, BMW, Siemens, Adidas and Volkswagen, employ thousands of people, it is the plethora of small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) that can be held accountable for the success and size of the German economy.
Germany is also a popular destination for those who want to teach English as a foreign language. However, Germany is one of the few countries that expect English teachers to be able to speak the local language. For more information, read i-to-i Teach English in Germany.
To work as an English language assistant, the British Council - Language Assistants in Germany scheme is available for students who have a minimum of AS level in German or equivalent.
To find out more information about teaching English in Germany, check out TEFL.com.
Casual work and jobs in hospitality are also easy to come across.
For jobs in Germany, search:
Usually there are no graduate schemes at companies in Germany, and it is with previous work experience that students secure jobs after university.
Work experience and internships in Germany
To find out about internships, go to DAAD - Internships.
Internships and summer work placements for students can also be arranged by:
- AIESEC UK - for students and recent graduates;
- IAESTE UK - for science, engineering and applied arts students.
Volunteering in Germany
Voluntary work is a great way to build your skill-set and learn a new language. It will help to have some money saved before you set off, as the vast majority of voluntary positions are unpaid. Volunteer positions look great on your CV and give you the chance to network and build contacts.
The European Commission (EC) funds a scheme called The European Voluntary Service (EVS), which is aimed at people aged 17 to 30 wishing to volunteer abroad. It offers young people the chance to volunteer for up to 12 months in a number of European and non-European countries.
Opportunities vary from placements concerned with sport and culture to others focused on social care and the environment. For successful applicants, accommodation, travel, food and insurance are all covered by a European grant and you even receive a personal allowance each month.
Make sure you thoroughly research all volunteering opportunities and always check the terms and conditions before committing yourself to a scheme.
The majority of well-educated Germans have a strong grasp of English and can speak the language fluently. You will be expected to have a good knowledge of German, both spoken and written, to stand a chance of finding work. It is worth learning some before you go.
There are lots of German language courses in the UK and many good websites exist to help you learn a language or improve your skills. To test and then sharpen your skills, visit BBC Languages - German.
German visas and immigration
According to the EC, European Union (EU) citizens have the right to:
- move to another EU country to work without a work permit;
- enjoy equal treatment with nationals in access to employment, working conditions and all other social and tax advantages;
- stay in the country even after employment has finished.
For more information and to check what conditions and restrictions apply, see:
- European Commission - Free Movement EU Nationals
- Europa - Work-Related Rights
- Europa - Workers and Pensioners
EU nationals must obtain a certificate of residence upon gaining employment. To do this, you will need to show proof of employment and accommodation. This certificate will be allocated by the local Ausländeramt (Foreign Nationals Authority) or Einwohnermeldeamt (Residence Registration Office).