As one of Europe's greatest economic powers and one of the world's five largest economies,Germanyit has long been an attractive destination for job seekers. From its traditional engineering and manufacturing industries to its modern and innovative technology sectors, Germany's sixteen federal states offer a wealth of opportunities.
With such popularity, competition to find a job in Germany is fierce. Knowing how to find a job in Germany comes down to your approach and understanding of how the country works professionally. These range from getting to know the internal German work culture, the requirements needed to apply and secure a job, to knowing the paths to follow. Throughout this guide, we'll strive to answer these questions and more, helping you find a job in central Europe's biggest country.
1- Is it easy to get a job in Germany?
With a wide variety of career opportunities and roles across Germany, getting a job is not as difficult as it is in other countries around the world. Therefore, the ease of finding a job will depend on the potential employee being prepared and taking the necessary steps to put him in a good position. These range from understanding German culture both professionally and personally, improving your German language skills and preparing for an interview.
While the simple question of "is it easy to get a job in Germany?" can be answered in passing, it all depends on the type of work and the industry in which you want to work. Germany has a wide variety of industries. Some more competitive than others. With much lower unemployment levels in Germany than in many European countries and not affected by a major skills shortage. That said, there is a high demand for skill sets in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, along with a demand for health-related employees in much of southern and eastern Germany.
2- What is the work culture in Germany?
One of Germany's main cultural exports that much of the world continues to look forward to is the German work ethic. The work culture in Germany is recognized by many industries, and it's no surprise that this has given the nation an edge when it comes to business and entrepreneurial success.
Productivity is one of the greatest weapons of German work culture. Although the shorter German workdays are more in line with liberal and modern approaches, much more work is done during these hours. This focus on efficiency and productivity in the German work culture has ensured that the German national economy has become one of the largest in the world.
There is a growing balance between this hard-working, busy way of life and achieving a more modern work-life balance. In the workplace, there are certain points of etiquette that, while not unique to German work culture, are definitely an important component of it.
One of the strongest components of the German work culture is the strong hierarchical structure. German companies are based on this well-defined and respected hierarchy. There are clearly defined roles and responsibilities, which, working in close harmony with each other, achieve results. Other elements of German work culture revolve around people's manners and social interactions, especially when first introduced. For example, if you are greeting in German, be sure to use the formal version of 'you' (Sie), unless you are asked to use the informal 'Du'.
These social interactions and etiquette also apply to the way German employees communicate with one another. In Germany, the way of speaking and communicating is ultra direct, something that can often be seen as cheeky for English-speaking cultures. This direct and simple way of speaking is another reason for the efficiency of the German workforce.
3- What is the minimum wage in Germany?
As of July 2022, the minimum wage in Germany will increase to €10.45 per hour from the current €9.82 per hour. Any employment contract or agreement below this threshold may become invalid. That said, across Germany, many industries and sectors agree on their own minimum wage established on the basis of a collective agreement within that industry.
The German Minimum Wage Law states that employees can claim the difference between the minimum wage and the salary they receive. Under this same law, companies can be fined up to €500,000 for violating the laws. The legal minimum wage applies to those over 18, but under certain conditions, interns may also qualify for the minimum wage. Due to German labor laws, the German government revises the minimum wage twice a year. Therefore, it is essential to keep up to date with the new legislation on minimum wages.
4- How many hours are there in a working week in Germany?
As in other parts of the world, the workweek in Germany will depend on whether you work part-time, full-time or as a student. An average workweek in Germany for a full-time employee is between 36 and 40 hours. The days are spread between seven and eight hours of work, five days a week. The laws establish that the limits for these working hours are eight hours a day and 48 hours a week, with an average of six months. Most occupations will reserve a 30-minute lunch break, which can be split into two breaks, however 45 minutes should be allotted for employees who work more than nine hours a day.
Between workdays, there must be at least 11 hours of rest from the end of one workday to the next. Like the standard minimum wage, some companies and employers will operate a longer workweek. This, however, is offset by higher wages or much more annual leave. In general, working on Sundays or public holidays is prohibited, although this is not a foregone conclusion. Certain industries, such as the service sector, may hire workers on Sundays and public holidays, but this is usually offset by time off for the next six to eight weeks.
5- Which websites should I use to find a job in Germany?
Like most in the global working world, the search for new jobs and jobs in Germany can be done online, which streamlines the whole process. The process is facilitated by the large number of websites available, all of which help Germans and expats find work in the country. These sites are divided into different sections, all depending on the type of job you are looking for. Whether you're looking for a general job in Germany, an internship, a postgraduate job or a job at a start-up, the options are endless. Let's take a look at the top sites to use in Germany to find a job.
- General job sites
If you're looking for a job in general, there are a handful of long-established job search companies in Germany that have great websites, the first of which isstone step. Stepstone was founded in the mid-1990s and allows you to search for a wide range of jobs in Germany. You can cover several German cities and towns in your search. This site is the go-to place for many jobseekers throughout Germany and includes most professions.
Other well-known international job search sites are also great places to find a job in Germany, even just by going directly to the German site. These sites includeMonsteryin effect. While both are US-based companies, both of these job search giants have German-based websites, allowing you to find occupations that are entirely German-based.
- Websites for students, graduates and interns
If you are looking for jobs specifically for working students or graduates, or if you are looking for an internship, you can use a website designed specifically for this. the web pagegraduationis created with students, graduates and young professionals. The site will take you directly to these types of jobs and ensure that you can filter out roles that do not or do not apply to these categories. By creating an Absolventa profile, companies can easily find their internships or positions that fit their professional role.
Another site created specifically for searching for internships isJobTeaser. A company based in France, JobTeaser has a vast database of jobs from across Europe, including Germany. If you're a student looking for a job while studying in Germany, it's a great idea to use university portals. Many German universities will have an open access job portal that will take you to a forum where local companies can post jobs directly to students.
- Sites for startup jobs
In an era of growth for start-ups, you may choose to secure a position with a new company. To find these roles, it's best to go directly to the source and filter out other employees. There are several Germany-based websites that are exclusively curated for those looking for entry-level jobs.Gruenderszeneis one of the most popular of these sites and allows you to find quick results on startup jobs. Other sites designed specifically to find jobs at startups includeAngelywork now.
- Websites for jobs in English
Those who are looking for work in Germany but just want to find English speaking jobs can search for such jobs on websites likeEnglisjobs.de. Here, you can search for English language jobs in all sixteen German states by narrowing your search settings. With English jobs aimed squarely at a foreign English-speaking workforce, you can overlook any other jobs that require you to speak German.
6- Can I find a job in Germany without speaking German?
It is possible to find a job in Germany without speaking German, but it all depends on the profession you pursue. If you're taking a role in a tech company, start-up or digital department, you're much more likely to succeed without having to learn the local German language. Most large German companies will have a digital department and it is in these areas that you are likely to find a job without knowing how to speak German.
At the other end of the spectrum, trying to find employment in roles such as human resources, medical professions, accounting or any other profound profession that requires you to deal with German laws, legislation and technical language.
Although you will find that many Germans are bilingual, especially in the big cities, having a basic understanding of the German language helps a lot when working in most professions. Even with a basic knowledge of the German language, you will be able to work in more informal roles, such as a waiter, cook or bar. If you want to work in the German business world, you will need to speak German at a B2 language level to be able to work in such an environment.
7- Must my CV/resume be in German?
As expected, even if you are not a German employee and do not speak German, a German-speaking employer will read your resume. This being the case, you will need to ensure that your application is written in German. There are some expectations for this rule, often whether you are applying for an international position, an English speaking position or in the world of digital and technology departments.
If you are applying for a job in Germany, it would be beneficial if your CV/resume is in German. You can use a free translation tool, but it is always better to look for a company that providesEnglish to German translation serviceswith certified native translators registered with Justiz Uebersetzer, Germany's official database of interpreters and translators. Having your resume in German will give you more chances of getting the job you are applying for.
Whether you apply with a CV written in German or in English, it is essential to adhere to the German CV/CV structure. Unlike many western countries, especially the US, CVs and resumes are two different entities. In Germany, CV and resume are interactive names and should be treated as such. Keep your resume to two pages or less, including concise information about yourself as a person, education, qualifications and experience.
8- Can I live and work in Germany as a freelancer?
It is possible to live and work in Germany as a freelancer, but you must ensure that you apply through the correct channels and have the correct visa and documentation. Initially, the first thing you need to do is get a visa to enter Germany. The first one is known as Freelance Entry Visa.
An independent entry visa is also known as a D national visa, which must be applied for at the German embassy in the country where you live. This visa is only valid for a few months, but it will ensure that you can get through German immigration and let them know you are in Germany to work. Once inside, you will need to exchange your self-employed entry visa for a self-employed residence permit.
The self-employed residence permit is the authorization that allows you to stay and work in Germany as a self-employed person for a long period of time. To apply for a residence permit on your own, you will need to visit and apply at the German Immigration Office, known as the Ausländerbehörde. Once you have obtained a residence permit, you will no longer need an entry visa.
There are two different types of residence permit for self-employed people, the self-employed visa, known as Freiberufler, and the self-employed visa, known as Selbständiger. The self-employed visa can be obtained by those whose work has a positive effect only on German or on promoting culture in the country. To qualify for the self-employment visa, you will need to be the founder of the business, sole proprietor or legal representative of the corporation.
In addition to job descriptions, there are certain criteria that are required before receiving a self-employed residence permit. To begin with, there must be an economic need or a demand for your profession in the region where you settle. You must also provide evidence that there are clients willing to work with you and retain your services; it doesn't have to be a binding contract, but rather a letter demonstrating your interest.
You will also need to prove that you are legally resident in Germany; this includes finding accommodation and registering your address with the local municipal office, known in Germany as the Bürgeramt. If you come to Germany to work as a freelancer and you are over 45, you will also need to prove that you have a pension plan.
As with freelancing in most countries, you will need to organize and file your tax information before you can start trading. To do this, you will need to register with the German tax office, known as the Finanzamt. Here you will declare your freelance activity and they will provide you with a freelance tax identification number or in German a Steuer Nummer.
9- What are the requirements to work in Germany?
Before you leave to start a new working life in Germany, you'll need to make sure you meet all the requirements to legally work in the country. This ranges from getting the right work permit, a health insurance plan and dealing with the Aliens Authority.
The first requirement you need to have is a German visa. There are two types of German work visas, the work visa and the job search visa. Which one you apply for will depend on whether you have a previous job offer or not. The work visa will be issued if you already have a job offer from a company based in Germany and intend to obtain a work and residence permit. If you don't have a job offer from a German company and you want to go there to look for work, you will need to apply for a Job Seeker Visa. The job seeker visa is valid for six months. During this semester, you will need to actively look for work, and after you get a job, you can apply for a work and residence permit.
Those who are not EU citizens may qualify for something known as a Blue Card or Blaue Karte in German. The Blue Card can be issued in place of the traditional work permit, but it can only be obtained under certain conditions, all with the aim of bringing highly qualified and financially growing professionals to the country.
The first condition is that you must have a higher education diploma from a German university or from a recognized university in Germany. Second, you must have a certified job offer from a company in Germany; You must present an employment contract when applying for the Blue Card to prove this offer.
Thirdly, the salary you receive from this job should be one and a half times the national average salary in Germany. Thus, in 2022, the minimum that you must accumulate to be entitled to the Blue Card is €56,400, before taxes. However, if your job is in an industry with a shortage of professionals, such as science, medicine, engineering or information technology, you may qualify if you earn at least €44,304 before tax.
As part of working in Germany, you will also need to obtain a health insurance plan. After obtaining your work permit, you will be able to qualify for German statutory health insurance, but first obtain your work permit; you will need insurance. Selecting a private health insurance plan during enrollment is the best way to meet this requirement.
Final thoughts on finding a job in Germany
As we have seen, choosing Germany to find a job is a fantastic choice. Germany is a country with a booming economy, a strong work ethic, a structured work culture and a system for making change permanent. While it may seem like a web of bureaucracy awaits you, once you know the correct channels to follow and where your particular situation is in the system, it will soon become clear. All this makes finding a job in Germany a well-oiled process, allowing you to start a new working life in the heart of Europe.
How to find rental properties in Germany
- If you're moving to Berlin, seeApartments in Berlin
- If you are moving to Munich, seeApartments in Munich
- If you are moving to Cologne, seecologne apartments
- If you move to Düsseldorf, seeApartments in Dusseldorf
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