What career opportunities are currently available at the state in Germany? Are applications for jobs with the government in Germany worthwhile? We give our answers.
What jobs with the government are available in Germany?
Compared to other countries, the “state” in Germany is extremely small, ramified and confusing. You can find jobs at these institutions, among others:
- Public service and public administration of federal government, states, counties and municipalities
- Municipal enterprises (transport companies, water and wastewater associations, waste associations, etc.)
- Corporations, institutions under public law, foundations under public law
- Churches, charities and independent organizations (including schools, for example)
- Municipal clinics and nursing services
- Universities and research institutions
- Public enterprises, state-owned enterprises and state-related enterprises.
In what fields can you find jobs with the government?
As diverse as government jobs are, so are the professions, jobs and training you can find with the state.
Among other positions, you can work for the state as:
- Administrative assistant
- Bus driver
- Office clerk/office administrator
- IT employee
- Businessman / Businesswoman
- Kindergarten teacher.
There is a really wide variety of jobs beyond that. In some cases you can take over these jobs even if you have no direct qualification. It is possible, for example, that you can also work as an assistant in the public sector with practically any degree.
Especially for young professionals and foreigners it is often interesting to start with a “simple” job and then develop step by step.
What jobs are available with the government in Germany?
The sum of all employees in the federal, state, and local governments and their affiliated sectors is called the civil service. In the public service, there are employees as well as civil servants. Likewise, there are temporary as well as permanent employment relationships for employees at the start. In most cases, remuneration is based on a clearly defined salary scale. Certain positions are assigned to a specific pay grade and are generally paid accordingly – regardless of the qualifications and performance characteristics of an applicant. Apprenticeships, internships and dual studies are also possible in Germany with the state.
In the wake of the Corona pandemic, many people had to change jobs. In some sectors there was almost a clear cut in employment: especially in the catering and accommodation industry, but also in many other sectors. People who used to work in these sectors are looking for alternatives.
The state has continued to hire during the Corona pandemic, and it is expected that many vacancies in state structures will continue to be filled in the coming years. So it may be worth taking a look at this.
Jobs with the government in Germany: What do I need to know?
The jobs available in the state are as varied as the tasks of the state. This starts with street cleaners or garbage collectors, and goes on to clerks, teachers and police officers, and even heads of government agencies and ministries. By the way, with more than 50%, most of the government jobs are in the federal states – here it is mainly many teachers and the police. One third of all civil service jobs are found in the municipal sector, i.e. in cities and municipalities. Around ten percent of employees work in the federal sector, i.e. federal ministries and federal authorities. Around 7.5 percent of public sector employees work for social security funds. Due to this frequency distribution, it is often advisable for applicants to first look for suitable jobs at the federal states.
Questions and answers
Can foreigners get jobs with the government in Germany?
Foreigners from the European Union can apply for all public service jobs in Germany. In most cases, very good German language skills are required. Applicants from non-EU countries can also apply for public service jobs. In addition to language skills, however, there are other requirements that must be met in this case: to this end, applicants should contact the agency that is advertising the position. Certain sectors, for example the German Armed Forces, are not open to applicants from third countries.
Do jobs with the government in Germany have advantages?
Among the advantages of working at the start is the strong job security, regular pay and a variety of additional benefits that are provided in the civil service. There are opportunities to further your qualifications and pursue a higher career path. Jobs with the government are generally considered to be crisis-proof – however, forced transfers may occur, for example, if an agency is closed or restructured.
Which disadvantages do jobs with the government in Germany have?
In our experience, working for the state is interesting mainly for those people who are oriented towards a stable employment relationship with fixed working hours, fixed tasks and a high degree of routine. Those who are looking for variety, novelty, strong advancement and a diverse activity are in many cases ill-suited to the public sector. In our experience, you also often encounter older material equipment in the state, especially in the area of IT. It can also be disadvantageous that the employer has a say in transfers and can also prevent them. If you want to change jobs, this can be quite difficult. In the private sector, it is often much easier to change jobs.
How do jobs with the government differ from jobs in the private sector?
Jobs in the private sector are often better paid than in the public sector. Jobs with the government also typically have a stricter hierarchy and more strictly separated areas of responsibility. Compared to employees in the private sector, government employees have a number of more established rights. This may include, for example, flexitime, the right to work from home or the right to work part-time.
Where can I apply for jobs with the government?
Most municipalities, states, the federal government of Germany and all related structures usually published their job postings on the following sites:
In addition, the federal states, counties, district governments, independent cities, towns and municipalities, as well as associated institutions, published job advertisements on their own websites and in official gazettes.
Since there is no obligation to publish a job advertisement electronically, it is often safest for applicants to also search the direct homepages of the state structures for job advertisements.
Is it attractive to work as a public servant in Germany?
Working as a public servant in Germany can be an attractive option for some people. Public servants in Germany are employees of the state or federal government and work in a wide range of fields including education, healthcare, social services, and more.
Some of the benefits of working as a public servant in Germany include:
- Job security: Public servants in Germany generally have a high level of job security, and their positions are typically not subject to the same level of layoffs and downsizing as in the private sector.
- Good working conditions: Public servants in Germany are entitled to a number of benefits and privileges, such as generous vacation time, flexible working hours, and good retirement benefits.
- Social impact: Working as a public servant in Germany can provide an opportunity to make a positive impact on society by providing important public services to the community.
- Career development: Many public servants in Germany have the opportunity to advance their careers through training and professional development programs.
- Competitive salaries and benefits: Public servants in Germany typically earn competitive salaries and benefits packages that are comparable to those in the private sector.
- Social recognition: Public servants in Germany may receive social recognition for the work they do in the public interest, which can be rewarding.
However, it’s also worth noting that working as a public servant in Germany can come with its own set of challenges, such as bureaucracy and red tape, that can make the job more challenging. Additionally, the recruitment process for public servant jobs can be competitive and rigorous, with many applicants for a single position.
How can I apply for state jobs in Germany as a non-German?
How to apply to state jobs in Germany as a foreigner
Search for a job
Search the Internet for a job or apprenticeship that is right for you. Use a variety of resources to do so. Look at the homepages of cities, counties, states, and the various government agencies such as tax offices, police, colleges, etc.
Apply for a specific job or send a general application. On more and more sites you can also apply to the state electronically. However, some agencies still require hardcopy applications: You must then send your papers in an envelope.
Confirmation of receipt
The public authorities are obliged to send you an acknowledgement of receipt. If you do not receive this, you should ask after a few days whether the application has arrived and when you will receive your confirmation of receipt.
Government agencies have very strict guidelines for filling positions and the selection processes often take several weeks. We have also experienced processes of months and in one case over a year. So be prepared for it to take a long time.
Most interviews at the state still take place in person and not online. Committees of several people (usually at least three people) are formed. If you make it to an interview, you often have a high chance of being taken – but of course there is no guarantee.
If you are hired by the Civil Service, you will have to submit an endless amount of papers – often even including your school reports. Fulfill the requirements completely if you do not want to be disadvantaged. The documents are often the basis for calculating your actual pay.
If you do not like it at the state, you can also quit. As a rule, there is a three-month notice period, but it can be shorter or longer. You must discuss this with your employer. However, you often have the option of simply transferring to another position within the civil service. Sometimes this is a good option.