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Looking for Jobs in Germany

Jobs in Germany, particularly for citizens of a non-EU member state, can be rather difficult to find. Focus your job search on the service sector, where about 75% of Germany’s working population is employed: Expat jobs in manufacturing are rare, unless you are a qualified engineer.
Finding suitable jobs in Germany can involve some obstacles for self-made expatriates.

Another potential obstacle when looking for jobs in Germany is the local system of trade associations and chambers of crafts. If you want to find a job as a skilled worker or artisan in Germany, they need to recognize your qualifications first.

Jobs for English Speakers

Good knowledge of the German language can be crucial when you are searching for jobs in Germany. Native-level English skills are not a guarantee for finding employment. Nowadays, proficiency in English is a prerequisite for many jobs.

Studying or working abroad has become very popular among young Germans over the past twenty years or so. Therefore, there is little demand for native English speakers unless they speak other languages as well.

Asian languages in particular can be of advantage for anyone who’s hunting for jobs in Germany: Chinese, Japanese, etc. are not widely spoken here.

However, advanced language skills are far less important if you are interested in new jobs requiring little contact with customers, clients, or investors. Jobs in Germany’s technology sector, in research and development, or engineering, should be more easily attainable for English-speaking expats.

Major cities with a variety of international companies and organizations provide substantially more jobs for native speakers of other languages. In larger urban areas, language schools are also interested in hiring part-time teachers for English classes and similar courses.

Of course, learning German will make it easier for you to adapt to German business culture. It might also prove an asset when you repatriate from Germany. Studying and practicing German can mean exciting opportunities for jobs back in your home country as well.

Formal Qualifications

The strict regulations for access to Germany’s labor market can be another obstacle. A work permit alone does not guarantee that you are actually allowed to pursue your profession.

Obtaining the necessary certificates or licenses can be difficult and time-consuming. Whether your qualifications are accepted as equivalent to the German ones is decided by the business organization, chamber of crafts, or trade association in charge of your field.

This frustrating complication applies to a wide range of jobs, from academics (e.g. dentists) to artisans (e.g. hairdressers). If you are admitted to the profession or if you need to get further job training mostly depends on your country of origin and the status of its educational institutions.

Please get in touch with the corresponding trade or business association in Germany for further details.

Job Hunting

Which method of looking for jobs in Germany is the most efficient depends on your personal profile, your CV, and the type of job you prefer. The Federal Employment Agency (Agentur für Arbeit) runs so-called job centers providing a variety of listings.

If you file for unemployment benefits in Germany, you must turn to the employment agency for assistance. They will assign you an administrator who helps you to find a job matching your profile. You can also sign up for further training, etc. to increase your chances on the labor market.

There are also quite a few private recruitment agencies specializing in certain regions, fields of employment, or management levels. They are probably very helpful to filter out jobs for which you need to be fluent in German.

Classified ads in the newspaper are a time-honored way of hunting for jobs in Germany. Most national dailies and local newspapers feature vacancies on the weekend. National papers often address executive positions and highly-qualified job-seekers, whereas local papers in Germany advertise less senior vacancies.

If you prefer speaking to potential employers in person, career fairs are the way to go. If you are searching for jobs in a highly specialized field, such as biochemistry or software engineering, a trade fair can be a great chance to get a first impression of the job market in Germany, as well as selected companies.

You can also get in touch with a company directly, or have a look at their website. Big global companies often advertise new jobs on their homepage. Or contact your chamber of commerce in Germany and similar institutions.

Online Resources

Many people just use online job search engines. You can quickly get a number of results not limited to a certain area in Germany.

However, you’ll rarely find detailed information on the companies themselves, or be provided with the name of a contact person. It’s perfectly acceptable to call the company and ask for additional information on the job or recruitment process.

These are some popular job search engines for Germany:


The Federal Employment Agency hosts its own search engine. The European Union provides EURES, where you can look for jobs in Germany, as well as work in other European countries.


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