Career start in Germany

More than 330 professions to choose from: here’s how you find a training place in Germany.

Training in the automotive industry
Training in the automotive industry Jan Woitas

Cars fascinated Rodrigo as a child. When it came to choosing a career, it was clear to him: "Where is the best place to learn about cars? In Germany! "That's why the Spaniard has now completed an apprenticeship as a motor vehicle mechatronics engineer. Germany not only stands for high-quality cars, but also for an excellent training system. The dual training programme provides practical training and theoretical foundations in vocational school. With a German vocational training, you have best international career opportunities.

What are the chances for international applicants?

Skilled workers are lacking in many industries; moreover, in 2018 almost 58,000 apprenticeship positions remained vacant. Apprentices from other countries are therefore welcome. This is especially true for occupations in health and care, construction, information technology, catering, sanitary, heating and ventilation engineering, retail sales, and the baker and butcher trades.

What training professions are there?

In Germany there are about 330 recognized occupations for which training is required. The websites planet-beruf.de and berufe.tv provide an overview. Apprenticeship positions can be found at the employment website of the Employment Agency, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry and at the Apprenticeship Radar of the trades.

Do I need a visa?

Young people from the European Union, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Iceland do not need a residence permit. But if you come from another country, you have to apply for a visa.

So far, the condition is that you have already found a training position at a company in Germany and the Employment Agency has given its agreement. But the envisaged Skilled Labourer Immigration Act will facilitate the search for apprenticeship positions: foreigners under the age of 21 may come to Germany for up to six months.

Two conditions still apply: you must be able to speak German well and prove that you have enough money for your livelihood – about 600 to 700 euros per month.

Where can I get my school-leaving qualification recognized?

To apply for an apprenticeship you need translated and certified credentials. You can find information about the recognition of school-leaving qualifications at anabin.kmk.org.

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