Welcome to your future career! In this article we inform you about the opportunity of participating in apprenticeships in Germany. Whether you want to start in high tech as robotos or in traditions crafts like a carpenter: The aprenticeship positions in Germany are open for internationals from all countries. As of now, already around 15% of all participants come from abroad. Will you be one of them?
First, let’s take a look at why you might want to pursue apprenticeships in Germany. There are many benefits to doing so, including:
- Practical experience: One of the most significant benefits of an apprenticeship is the practical experience you gain. You’ll work alongside experienced professionals in your chosen field, putting your knowledge into practice in real-world situations.
- Job prospects: Completing an apprenticeship in Germany can significantly improve your job prospects. The country’s VET system is highly respected worldwide, and completing an apprenticeship can lead to job offers both in Germany and internationally.
- Earnings potential: Apprentices in Germany earn a salary from day one, and the pay increases over time. In some cases, you may even be offered a permanent position with the company you completed your apprenticeship with.
Types of Apprenticeships in Germany
In Germany, there are many different types of apprenticeships available, covering a wide range of industries. Here are a few examples:
- Industrial: These apprenticeships cover areas such as mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, and construction.
- Commercial: Commercial apprenticeships cover fields such as banking, insurance, and retail.
- Craft: Craft apprenticeships cover areas such as baking, butchery, and hairdressing.
- Service: Service apprenticeships cover areas such as hospitality and tourism.
- Healthcare: Healthcare apprenticeships cover fields such as nursing and dental technology.
How to Apply for Apprenticeships in Germany
If you’re interested in pursuing an apprenticeship in Germany, here are the basic steps you’ll need to follow:
- Research available apprenticeships in your chosen field. You can use websites like the Federal Employment Agency’s job board to find open apprenticeships.
- Apply for the apprenticeships you’re interested in. You’ll need to provide a cover letter and a resume, and in some cases, you may be required to take an aptitude test.
- Attend interviews. If you’re selected for an interview, you’ll have the opportunity to meet with potential employers and ask questions about the apprenticeship.
- Sign an apprenticeship contract. If you’re offered an apprenticeship, you’ll need to sign a contract with the company or organization offering the apprenticeship.
Apprenticeships in Germany: additional information
How much do I earn during apprenticeships in Germany?
During your training you will receive a training allowance from your employer. The monthly remuneration ranges from at least approximately €600 gross in the first training year to at least €900 gross or more in the third training year. The amount of the monthly allowance might be higher and depends to a large extent on your employer and your curriculum vitae.
Employers often offer additional support such as free local transportation tickets or financial support for your accommodation. Inform yourself about this in the job openings and during the apprenticeship application process.
When can I start apprenticeships in Germany?
Apprenticeship training in Germany starts each year only in August/September. However we advice to send your application as soon as possible. This enables you to have sufficient time for visa application. The visa application process might take up to 4 months. Only non-EU citizens need such a visa.
Which apprenticeships are available?
In Germany, there are currently more than 300 apprenticeships available. They range from popular metal apprenticeships over electrical apprenticeships, IT apprenticeships to traditional craftsmen apprenticeships like Construction apprenticeships, apprenticeships in Health, personal care, social services, and Economy and administration apprenticeships. We have compiled a full list in English language.
How long are apprenticeships in Germany?
The training period up to the acquisition of the professional degree lasts depending upon training between 3 and 4 years. During the training in Germany, foreigners will be employed by a German company with a German contract providing the same rights and obligations as for German nationals.
You will learn your profession to 50% within the company by practical work and to 50% in a special vocational school. All lessons will be held in German language only – therefore foreign applicants need German skills on level B1 of the GER already when applying.
More you need to know about apprenticeships in Germany
Which degree do I acquire with an apprenticeship in Germany?
As a rule, a certificate as ‘skilled worker’ is awarded as degree. This degree offers excellent career opportunities in Germany and worldwide. The skilled worker qualification enables you to apply for a permanent residence permit in Germany, provided that some other requirements are met.
Which is the minimum and maximum age to apply as a foreigner for an apprentice in Germany?
There is no maximum age limit. However, you should note that as a foreigner you will learn at the vocational school together with German students who are usually between 16 and 25 years old. The minimum age limit is usually 18 years, applicants from EU member countries might apply even under 18.
Vocational training in Germany for foreigners: Which German language skills do I need?
You must speak German at least at level B1 at the beginning of the training in August. If you already speak German, then this applies:You must prove your knowledge of the German language before the start of the training. You usually can forward the following documents for this purpose:
- Certificate from a language school / institute in your home country
- Certificate of the Goethe Institute
- Certificate of the German Language Diploma of the Kultusministerkonferenz DSD I or DSD II, a partial confirmation of performance may be sufficient.
- telc certificate
- DSH certificate
- a university degree in German language and literature studies or similar
If you don’t speak German yet, you can reach level B1 within a few months with daily learning. Good learning opportunities are based on our experience:
- Find your personal German teacher on Superprof
- App Duolingo
- Free online learning course of Deutsche Welle
Read here our comprehensive guide on learning German.
With which foreign school leaving certificate can I apply for a vocational training in Germany?
A foreign school-leaving certificate of 9th grade or higher (usually a middle-school) of your home country is sufficient to start an apprenticeship in Germany. For technical professions, you should have good grades in mathematics as well as computer skills.
I want to do an apprenticeship in Europe in the IT business. Do I need to have special knowledge in this field?
Germany is known for its thriving technology industry, making it an excellent destination for those interested in pursuing an apprenticeship in the IT sector. In fact, there are many IT apprenticeships available in Germany, covering areas such as software development, network administration, and cybersecurity.
IT apprenticeships in Germany are typically offered by IT companies and startups, as well as larger corporations that have IT departments. The duration of IT apprenticeships in Germany can vary, but they typically last between two and three years.
Popular IT apprenticeships in Germany
- IT Specialist for Application Development: This apprenticeship involves learning how to develop and maintain software applications. Apprentices will gain experience with programming languages such as Java and C#, as well as web development technologies like HTML and CSS.
- IT Specialist for System Integration: This apprenticeship involves learning how to install, maintain, and troubleshoot IT systems. Apprentices will gain experience with network infrastructure, server administration, and virtualization technologies.
- IT Security Specialist: This apprenticeship involves learning how to secure IT systems and networks from cyber attacks. Apprentices will gain experience with security technologies such as firewalls, intrusion detection and prevention systems, and vulnerability scanners.
An apprenticeship does not require any specialized knowledge in advance. However if you want to apply for an apprenticeship in the IT area you should have good marks in Mathematics. Furthermore you should know how to basically work with a computer and you should be interested in technical issues, the Internet, and computers.
As with other types of apprenticeships in Germany, IT apprenticeships are highly respected and can lead to job opportunities both in Germany and internationally. If you’re interested in pursuing an IT apprenticeship in Germany, be sure to research available opportunities and apply to those that interest you.
Real and legal training places for foreign entrants to the labour market
We promote training places in Germany in closest cooperation with German industry and excellent educational institutions as well as vocational schools.
In most companies there are further career opportunities. Amongst other options you can engage with a higher vocational qualification (master craftsman). There are even options to study at a German university later.
Vocational training in Germany for foreigners: Living in affordable regions
If you start vocational training in Germany as a foreigner, you often have to cope with the training allowance “apprenticeship pay”. Despite all the thrift, this money is very, very tight. However, there are ways in which you can still cope with it:
- As a rule, the training places located in large cities come with high living costs. Look for economically well developed areas beyond the very large cities in Germany. Often not far from the big cities there are more affordable living conditions and a very good infrastructure – big cities can often be reached by train in 30 minutes to 2 hours.
- Many employers also help their trainees with benefits such as housing subsidies or subsidies for monthly tickets for bus and train.
- As a trainee you can work up to 10 hours a week and earn extra money.