If you are wondering if it is possible to work in Germany without knowing German, the answer is yes, as long as you are willing to make sacrifices and, in some cases, swallow a toad. In various industries and under certain conditions, it is possible. We are not talking about highly qualified workers here (IT or scientists), where knowledge of English is often sufficient.
Work without knowing German
Let us take a closer look at the various options:
I am talking about pizzerias, restaurants, ice cream parlors and pastry shops run by compatriots living in Germany who are looking for workers, e.g. pizza makers, cooks, waiters, pastry chefs, ice cream makers, etc.
In some cases, no knowledge of German is required, and accommodation is often included.
Eures, the European mobility website
Among the many job opportunities posted on the EURES website, you will sometimes find vacancies for English speakers in Germany.
You can send your CV (in German) to one of the many agencies such as Manpower or Adecco, indicating your knowledge of German. They will then send you job offers that match your requirements. The jobs offered are manual jobs: Cleaners, maids, assembly line workers, warehouse workers, dishwashers. Sometimes, especially if there are other English speakers already working in the company, it is possible that they will hire you even though you do not speak the language (lorry driver, electrician, plumber, bricklayer, etc.). But it’s getting harder and harder, so do not get your hopes up.
Leihfirma hires you as an employer and sends you to work in companies that need personnel as long as they need you. For example Avis, is a temporary employment agency with branches throughout Germany.
Amazon in Germany was looking for more than 700 workers at the time of writing. For many positions, such as warehouse workers, even English is sufficient. Be sure to take a look at the website.
Although it is not a real job, working as an au pair in Germany is a way to earn money without knowing the language. Working as an au pair has the advantage that in many cases no previous knowledge is required and another great advantage is the possibility to learn the language.
Picking fruits and vegetables
Another way to work in Germany without knowing the language is to work in agriculture, picking fruits and vegetables, especially in the summer. This is a good way to get to know the German culture and learn the first basics of the language. You can search through the classic job search websites or you can use the special websites for searching agricultural jobs WWOOF
Exchange: work for free board and lodging
There is also the possibility of working for a certain period of time, but not exceeding a few months, in exchange for room and board, usually 4/5 hours per day, wherever you stay (farms, families, B&B farms, hostels, etc.). This is a great way to come to Germany and learn German. There are special offers for language courses, but you can find all the information on the following websites. HelpX and Workaway
Although in some cases it is possible to find a job in Germany without knowing the language, keep in mind that you must be local to find a job.
If you decide to go without knowing the language, once you arrive in Germany you will be competing with thousands of other workers from all over Europe who, unlike you, know German. Therefore, I advise you not to go if you do not meet at least one of these conditions:
- You have personal connections in Germany (friends, relatives, etc.) who can help you at the beginning
- You have found a job before your departure
- You have at least A2-B1 knowledge of the German language
To learn the language, you can download some apps, learn on the Internet or, even better, attend a German course in your country. Germans appreciate those who know the language, and without knowing German, even if you find a job, you will find a low-skilled job with no career opportunities.
If you really need to move to Germany, even if you do not meet any of the above conditions, I recommend you to make an appointment with the German Consulate in your country and organize a meeting to explain your situation and hear what solution is suitable for you, and once you arrive in Germany, go to the Caritas office near you, they will give you all the information about work, language courses, etc.
Work in Germany without German, conclusion
Finally, I would like to share with you an article from the Internet that should encourage all those who have decided to move to Germany, even if they do not know German: “I worked in a restaurant for a month (where I earned €1,200 a month and worked 14 hours a day, but I did not complain about Germany). I immediately found another job, although I did not know the language, in a German shopping center, I worked 7/8 hours a day (through a temporary agency), and that gave me the time to take a six-month German course, and thanks to the course and the German colleagues, I learned the language quickly, and the company where I worked hired me directly. I feel very comfortable and I can also improve my level. So work hard even if you do not know the language and do not always let other people help you
If you need all the information about how to work in Germany, I recommend you to read the Guide to working in Germany