The labour market in Germany is in good shape. The country’s unemployment rate is among the lowest in the world at just 5.0%. Finding a job in Germany is easy if you know where to look and if you can speak German. It is important to know that there is a minimum wage in Germany (currently €9.82 per hour and €10.45 per hour from July 1, 2022). So if someone offers you less, you can report it, definitely not accept it. I will divide the article about the labour market in Germany into 3 parts, in the first I will write about manual jobs. In the second I write about training and mini-jobs and in the third about qualified jobs.
Labour market in Germany, manual and unskilled jobs
Even if these jobs do not require any special skills, it is not safe to be hired in Germany if you do not know a word of German. My advice is to take a course and reach at least level A2 before you leave. There are some exceptions to this rule and you can find them in the article Jobs in Germany without German skills.
Hospitality and Cleaning
Finding a job as a dishwasher is relatively easy. Almost every restaurant is always looking for someone, and you have some chances even without knowing German.
Do not forget the Indian restaurants, where many of the employees speak English and are therefore much easier to understand.
If you are a cook and know a little German, you will have many opportunities and be well paid. With an acceptable knowledge of German (at least B1), working as a waiter will be a breeze. In this job, you can get a lot of tips in addition to the salary. It is not uncommon for waiters to receive the equivalent of another salary as a tip.
Working in hotels is also a possibility. If you know other languages besides German (especially English and French), you can work as a receptionist. This is a quiet job that is in high demand and pays well.
If you do not have language skills, hotels are always looking for cleaning staff. This job is hard, the hours are long, and the pay is often the minimum wage. But for starters, it’s better than nothing.
The customer service of many companies always needs employees who speak English. For internal communication, German language skills are often required. These are not particularly well-paying jobs, and one should be wary of possible scams.
It is not uncommon to hear complaints from people who have received promises that turned out to be false. When working with call center companies, you should carefully review the terms of the contract.
Factory or warehouse workers
Regardless of your qualifications, it’s pretty easy to work as a worker in a warehouse or factory. Medium and large companies are constantly looking for employees. In these industries, the percentage of foreigners is high, so there is a possibility of finding a job with only English. (At Amazon, this is certainly possible for some jobs).
If you want to make a career, of course you need to improve your German. In many cases, language courses will be paid for you. I have known people who started as unskilled workers with no knowledge of German and then were able to change jobs thanks to language courses paid for by the company.
Delivery jobs are in high demand and require little German or training. Many restaurants, especially now that there are so many delivery apps, are looking for messengers. Often you do not even need a driver’s license, as delivery is done by bicycle.
These jobs are low paying, but you can get tips and usually have flexible hours.
Courier companies are always looking for couriers (Deutsche Post, DHL, etc.). In these cases, however, a good knowledge of German is required.
Shops and Supermarkets
In many small stores, if you speak enough German, you will have no problem finding work.
Large supermarket chains are always looking for shelf-stockers (people who put products on the shelves in the stores), and in this case a very basic knowledge of German is sufficient.
Lehifirma hires you and finds a suitable job for you depending on your skills and knowledge of German. They take a percentage of your salary. This is not a good thing, but if you have no alternatives, it may be fine at first.
Ausbildungs and Minijobs
The training is a vocational training. The training lasts between 2 and 4 years, the person works and studies at the same time. It is usually focused on technical professions: e.g. plumber, electrician, etc. However, a German level of at least B1 is required for access to this training.
The advantage of these courses is that you will receive money while you study, and the company where you will work will often offer you a job once the course is finished. So for those who want to move to Germany, this is a good way to work. The occupation rate after the training is between 96 and 99%.
Mini-jobs are jobs that last several hours, where you can earn a maximum of 450 €, which are tax-free, but for which you have to take out employment insurance. Minijobs are not subject to pension insurance, but they are a good alternative.
You can have two mini-jobs at the same time. The working hours can vary between 8 and 20 hours per week. It is very easy to find a minijob, it is easy to manage and allows you to enter the labor market in a few days.
You can search for minijobs on the Internet, but it is usually better to visit the companies in person.
Even people who have a full-time job can do a mini-job. I have known people who worked full time and at the same time had a mini-job of 8 or 10 hours a week. This way they could earn extra money tax-free.
Another advantage of minijobs is the flexible working hours. You can usually find minijobs in stores, department stores, restaurants and other companies with many employees. You usually work one shift, at most two per week, and you can schedule them in consultation with the manager and your colleagues.
Labour market in Germany, skilled jobs
Teaching English is possible if you have the right training. Language teachers are well paid (even 20-25 euros per hour). Several private schools are looking for teachers, especially in the summer, and you can easily live with a few hours of work a day.
Engineers are in high demand at many German companies. Chemists, mechanical engineers, aeronautical engineers or other engineers have many opportunities. Many companies in Germany need skilled workers. If you want to work in the automotive industry, Stuttgart and Munich are the two centers par excellence, for example. In the chemical industry, Ludwigshafen is the headquarters of BASF, the largest chemical company in the world in its sector. And hundreds of examples could be cited. You may not even need to learn German, English may suffice.
The sector IT is another important source of employment. For example, SAP, the world’s largest enterprise software company, is a German company, and IBM also has several of its European offices in Germany. Knowledge of German is often not required; a good level of English is sufficient.
The labor market in Germany needs bricklayers, carpenters, solar installers, etc. All professions related to the construction sector are in great demand.
Due to its geographical location, Germany is the logistics center of all of Europe. Germans do not want to be truck drivers anymore, so it is not unusual to find many job offers.
Basic German language skills are sufficient for this job. I have met many truck drivers who could barely speak a few words of German. These are jobs that require special training and pay well.
There is a chronic shortage of staff in German hospitals. If you are a doctor, you have many opportunities, but you need almost perfect German. If you are a nurse, the language requirements are less, but the opportunities are not as good
The labour market in Germany needs a lot of workers, every year 400,000 foreign workers are hired. Working in Germany is not a problem, the problem is having the right skills and knowing what to look for.
If you want to have all the information about how to work in Germany, I recommend you to read the Guide to Work in Germany
If you want all the information on how to work in Germany I suggest you read the Guide to working in Germany