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A future in a skilled craft or trade

Interested in a craft apprenticeship in Germany? Here are four facts in favour of the idea.

Klaus Lüber, 09.10.2021
Sought after: an apprenticeship with a major automobile manufacturer
Sought after: an apprenticeship with a major automobile manufacturer © Daimler AG
  1. Wide range of occupations
    The skilled crafts sector in Germany comprises more than 130 trades. About 5.62 million people currently work in approximately one million companies in this sector and 360,000 young people are getting qualified training there. In 2020, turnover in the skilled crafts sector reached 650 billion euros.
  2. Dual vocational training
    In Germany, craftsmen/craftswomen are trained primarily in what is known as the dual system: it combines theoretical training at a vocational school or college with practical work in a company. This form of teaching is admired all over the world and many countries have developed similar approaches – in some cases with Germany's support.
  3. Good earnings
    Apprentices in Germany earn between 800 and 1,200 euros per month before tax. After successfully completing their final apprenticeship exam, craftsmen and -women can expect an annual salary of around 43,000 euros before tax. Journeymen and -women (people who have passed their apprenticeship exam) can go on to further training in a technical or business field at the bachelor level; they can also take the master craftsman's examination. The title of master craftsman/craftswoman allows you to run your own business and train young people. Salaried master craftsmen and -women earn around 58,000 euros per year.
  4. Also attractive for interested people from abroad
    The Skilled Immigration Act (Fachkräfteeinwanderungsgesetz), passed in March 2020, makes it easier for well-trained people from countries outside the EU to access the German labour market. They can apply for a residence permit for six months to find a job. During this time, they are allowed to work on a trial basis for up to ten hours per week or to complete an internship. They need a good knowledge of German (level B2) and independent funds to finance their living expenses. Job entrants can apply for an apprenticeship. They will need a school-leaving certificate (after at least nine years) and level-B1 language skills.

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