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:
- BMW Group
- Deutsche Bank
- Deutsche Post
- Hugo Boss
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
- Iron and steel production
- Vehicle manufacturing
You can search for jobs in Germany at:
- Federal Employment Agency - Job Board
- The Local - Germany
- Make it in Germany
- TotalJobs - Jobs in Germany
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:
- Elderly care
- 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.
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.
You can also follow the step-by-step guide to working in Germany at deutschland.de.
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:
- One World 365 - Jobs in Germany
- TotalJobs - Seasonal jobs in Germany
- Work in Germany - Seasonal jobs
Alternatively, you could consider volunteering as a way to build your skillset, network with professionals, learn a new language and improve your employability.
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.
If you're ready to start looking for teaching jobs, search the Yellow Pages for vacancies and contact organisations directly.
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:
- AIESEC - for students and recent graduates.
- GoAbroad.com - Internships abroad in Germany
- GoOverseas - Internships in Germany
- IAESTE - for science, engineering and arts students.
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.
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.
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.
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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UK citizens wanting to work in Germany must ensure that they have the skills that German employers need and apply for a visa. In this article, we'll explain step-by-step how to work in Germany and why working in Germany is so popular.Is it hard getting a job in Germany? ›
Germany has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the European Union. The country has a very attractive job market for qualified workers as their highly competitive companies are always in need of well-trained employees. After officially completing your degree, you will have 18 months to find a job.Which country has more job opportunities UK or Germany? ›
Germany is the largest country in the EU and has the strongest economy. At the same time, the British capital London is a truly global city with many opportunities for expats looking for a good job.Is it easy to get a job in Germany as a foreigner? ›
You can live and work in Germany even if you are not an EU citizen, provided that you meet the set eligibility criteria. To be allowed to live and work there legally, you must have a German work and residence permit.Do you need to speak German to work in Germany? ›
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 minimum salary to get work permit in Germany? ›
If you apply for a Blue Card, your salary must be at least 56,400€ per year (before taxes). If there is a shortage of skilled workers in your field, your salary must be at least 43,992€ per year. This list shows which fields have a shortage of skilled workers. If you can, find a job before you come to Germany.What is a good salary in Germany? ›
According to the StepStone Salary Report 2021 (Stepstone Gehaltsreport 2021), the average gross salary in Germany amounts to €56,985. But most Germans consider a salary ranging between €64,253 and €81,503 a good salary.Which job is easy in Germany? ›
Top job openings in Germany:
- Software developers, architects, programmers.
- Electronics engineers.
- IT consultants, IT analysts.
- Business managers.
- Account managers.
- Production assistants.
- Sales managers, representatives.
The highest-paid professions in Germany belong to the medical, engineering, and financial sectors. The top-paying jobs require a degree related to your domain because unskilled jobs do not fetch a good salary. Surprisingly, research has found that Germany's average highest-paying job rate is at least €55,475 per annum.Is life better in Germany or 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.
Cost of living in the UK vs. Germany. 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.Are taxes higher in Germany than UK? ›
Germany. Basic rates of tax are around the same as in Britain (ranging from 19% to a top rate of 45%), but workers have to pay an extra 10% for state pensions, 8% for health, 1.5% for unemployment cover and 1% for care insurance.Can you survive in Germany with English? ›
There's no doubt that you can survive in Germany without knowing German. Every German usually studies English from the age of 5 and especially the younger generation watches British or American series.Can I live in Germany without speaking German? ›
Can you live in Germany without knowing German? It is just about possible to live in Germany without knowing much German. But in order to find employment and to fully integrate into society, you will need to be able to speak and read German to a good standard, especially if you live outside the major cities.Do German companies hire foreign workers? ›
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 German hard to learn? ›
With plenty of straightforward rules, German is not actually as hard to learn as most people think. And since English and German stem from the same language family, you might actually be surprised at the things you pick up without even trying! And on top of it all, it's definitely a useful one, too.What level of German do I need to work in Germany? ›
Generally, German language skills at level A1 of the CEFR are required here. However, there are numerous exceptions, which you can read up on in this section.How long does it take to learn German? ›
German is rated as a category 2 language and considered to be similar to English. The FSI estimates that German takes approximately 30 weeks, or 750 classroom hours to learn. This study was conducted on a group of language students who spent 25 hours per week in class, and three hours daily on individual practice.What is the age limit to work in Germany? ›
Officially there is no age limit for Job Seeker Visa Application. You can apply at any age if you feel that you still have a chance to get a job in Germany. However, you shouldn't be older than 67; as it is the retirement age, no employer will hire someone at that period of life.How much bank balance is required for Germany work visa? ›
German embassies and consulates generally require that you provide a bank statement of an escrow/blocked account (Sperrkonto) with a balance of at least €720 for each month of the visa. For a six-month Job Seeker Visa, this is €4,320 (although this may vary depending on where you apply).
- Medical and healthcare service professionals.
- Engineering professionals (mechanical, automotive, and electrical engineering), software development/programming, supply and waste management, STEM-related fields.
- Electricians, plumbers, pipefitters, toolmakers welders, etc.
Which region has the highest cost of living in Germany?
|Berlin||795.90€ – 4|
|Hamburg||838.94€ – 3|
|Frankfurt||868.91€ – 2|
It's a progressive tax: if you earn more, you pay a bigger percentage of your income. If you earn less than 10,347€ per year, you don't pay income tax. The median income tax rate is around 18%. The maximum income tax rate is 45%1.How much does Mcdonald's pay in Germany? ›
|Mc Donalds Crew Member salaries - 4 salaries reported||Berlin, Germany Area||€21,667/yr|
|Cashier salaries - 3 salaries reported||Berlin, Germany Area||€22,256/yr|
|Schichtleiter salaries - 3 salaries reported||Berlin, Germany Area||€27,178/yr|
- Software developers, architects, and programmers.
- Electronics engineers, electricians, and electrical fitters.
- IT consultants and analysts.
- Economists and business management experts.
- Customer advisors and account managers.
- 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.
You are required to have a Bachelor's or Master's degree from a German university or other equivalent foreign degrees. Experience requirement. You should have a minimum of 5 years of work experience to be eligible for the Germany job seeker visa.Can Brits work in Germany after Brexit? ›
If you have the citizenship of an EU Member State in addition to your British citizenship, you can continue to live and work in Germany without a residence title thanks to the right to freedom of movement. This regulation applies to all non-EU citizens with another citizenship of an EU Member State.How long can UK citizen stay in Germany? ›
British citizens require a visa and/or residence permit for any stay beyond 90 days within any 180-day period. British citizens may apply to the local immigration office (“Ausländerbehörde”) for their residence permits after arrival in Germany and do not need to have obtained a visa prior to travelling to Germany.Can I live and work in Germany after Brexit? ›
Moving to Germany from the UK After Brexit
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.
Generally speaking, you can work remotely for some company (German or foreign) or being self-employed and reside in Germany. BUT there are a lot of details to it. In some cases, remote work leads to a change in taxation rights or in the tax and social security status of the employee.How much money do I need to move to Germany? ›
On average, to cover your living expenses in Germany you will need around 934 euros per month (around $906 US dollars) or 11,208 euros per year (around $10,876 US dollars). The prices for food, accommodation, bills, clothes and entertainment are basically in line with the EU average.How can I move to Germany in 2022? ›
- Find A Job Or Get Enrolled At A German University.
- Get Expat Health Insurance.
- Apply For Your Visa In Time.
- Book Your Flight In Advance.
- Find A Place To Live In Germany.
- Get An Appointment To Register (Anmeldung)
- Look Into Which Bank You Want To Use.
UK nationals arriving in Germany for long term stays, such as study or work, do not need a visa. However, after entry into Germany you will have to apply for a residence permit from your local immigration office (Ausländerbehörde).How long does it take to get a German work visa from UK? ›
Processing Time for Germany Work Visa
The processing time for a German long-stay work visa may take from one to three months from the application day. The processing time also depends on the number of applications the embassy is receiving at the time, as well as your situation.
Yes, all Germans and legal residents of Germany are entitled to free “medically necessary” public healthcare, which is funded by social security contributions. However, citizens must still have either state or private health insurance, covering at least hospital and outpatient medical treatment and pregnancy.Can I just move to Germany? ›
For US citizens, the Schengen Visa is not required. This lack of Schengen Visa requirement means that you can move to Germany and you can stay there for 90 days until you get your residence permit. Since you are moving to Germany from the US, you will need a residence permit.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.Where Can UK citizens work without a visa? ›
- The Common Travel Area. The Common Travel Area was introduced in the 1920s. ...
- The Isle of Man and Alderney. The Isle of Man and Alderney are part of the UK. ...
- Gibraltar. If you have a valid British passport, you don't need a visa to live or work in Gibraltar.
You'll have the same rights as nationals of the country you're working in when it comes to working conditions, pay and social security (for example, benefits).
You can be resident in both the UK and another country ('dual resident'). You'll need to check the other country's residence rules and when the tax year starts and ends. HMRC has guidance for how to claim double-taxation relief if you're a dual resident.Can a UK employee work in Germany? ›
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).Can I live in Germany while working remotely? ›
Can someone who works remotely in a German company, apply for a residence and work permit in Germany while currently living in a non-EU country? No. You would need a qualifying job offer in Germany in order to be eligible to apply for a work permit there.