How to Get a Job in Germany

Article reading time: 20 min. | 17. May 2024, written by Shahgoontalai Manirajah
Tags JobSearch GermanyJobs WorkInGermany CareerAbroad InternationalJobs JobHunting WorkOpportunities JobTips JobSeekers CareerAdvice

How to get a job in Germany as a foreigner: A Step-by-Step Guide

In this article, we will provide a step-by-step guide on how to find a job in Germany as a foreigner.  

The German job market is a thriving hub for international professionals looking for job opportunities and career progression. From understanding the German job market and working culture, to obtaining an employment visa, finding resources and navigating the job application process, we will cover all the important aspects of finding a career

Job Market

Overview of the German Job Market

The German job market is renowned for its stability and low unemployment rate, which makes it an attractive place for individuals seeking to start or advance their careers.  

The key industries in Germany include management, computer science, and finance, with leading companies such as Siemens, BMW, and Deutsche Bank setting the pace in these sectors. 

Additionally, Germany is known to be a popular destination for international job seekers, as the country has a well-established immigration process and supports integration initiatives for immigrants to help them settle into the country and its job market smoothly. 

Working Culture

Understanding the Working Culture in Germany

The working culture in Germany is renowned for its strong emphasis on punctuality, efficiency, and high-quality work.  

Employees are expected to adhere to set schedules and deadlines, and to take their job responsibilities seriously.  

A hierarchical structure is often present in the workplace, with clear lines of authority and communication.  

In terms of work-life balance, Germans tend to value their leisure time and prioritise it over long work hours.  

However, the culture is shifting towards a more flexible approach, with many companies now offering flexible working hours and remote work options.  

Additionally, the country has a strong focus on continuing education and professional development, with employees encouraged to upskill and progress in their careers. 

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Salaries and Benefits

Salaries and Benefits for Employees in Germany

Salary and benefits packages

The salary and benefits packages for employees in Germany are generally considered to be comprehensive and competitive.  

The minimum wage in Germany is €12.41 ($13.51) per hour [2] for most industries, and many companies offer salaries above this level, often based on the employee's qualifications, experience, and job responsibilities.  

Mandatory employee benefits in Germany include retirement, unemployment insurance, healthcare, long-term nursing care and workers’ compensation [3].  

Meanwhile, common supplementary employee benefits include retirement, life insurance, and disability. Perks may also include company cars, job bikes, transportation allowances, childcare, gym memberships, and lunch vouchers.  

Additionally, Germany is known for its generous statutory holiday entitlements, with workers typically receiving around 24 paid holidays per year. 

Tech and startup scene

The German tech and startup scene is thriving, and salaries and benefits in these industries reflect this. Companies in the tech industry offer competitive salaries and benefits packages, with a focus on attracting and retaining highly skilled workers.  

In the startup scene, salaries may be lower, but employees are often offered a range of benefits, such as equity in the company, flexible working hours, and a dynamic and fast-paced work environment. The salary and benefits packages in these industries are designed to support and encourage innovation and growth.  

Overall, the salary and benefits packages in Germany, including those in the tech and startup scenes, are designed to provide employees with a good standard of living and security. For international students planning to study and work in Germany, it's important to understand the costs involved in living and studying in the country. Check out our ultimate guide for international students to get a comprehensive overview of the cost of studying in Germany.

Work Visa

How to Get Work Visa for Germany

There are specific steps you need to follow to get an employment visa for Germany: [1]

First things first, find a job offer in Germany.  

This is your ticket to getting a work visa, so make sure you secure a job offer from a German employer before applying for an employment visa. 

Next, determine whether you need a visa for long stays in Germany.  

If you're a citizen of the European Union (EU) or European Economic Area (EEA), you're in luck as you do not need a German work visa. However, if you're not from the EU or EEA, you’ll need an employment visa

Once you've sorted that out, it's time to determine where to submit your visa application.  

This can vary depending on your location, so be sure to check whether you need to submit your visa application to the German Embassy or Consulate. 

Now comes the time to collect all the necessary documents.  

Before applying for an employment visa, you'll need to gather all the relevant documents, including your passport, CV, job offer letter, and other certificates

Finally, attend a visa interview to submit your documents and answer questions related to your application.  

Be sure to schedule an appointment and prepare for your interview in advance. 

Job Seeker Visa

How to Get Job Seeker Visa for Germany

If you're a non-EU citizen and wish to search for employment opportunities in Germany, you can apply for a Job Seeker visa.  

Here are the general steps to follow to obtain a Job Seeker visa for Germany: 

  • First, you should check if you meet the eligibility requirements, which include providing proof of vocational or academic training and having qualifications recognised in Germany or equivalent to a German degree or diploma. If you are seeking employment in a regulated profession like healthcare, a professional practice permit is mandatory [3].  
  • To apply for a job seeker visa for Germany, you need to find out where in your country to submit your application.  It's likely you'll submit your application to an embassy or consulate where a fee is required [1][2]. 
  • Once you have completed all necessary steps and submitted your application, you can retrieve your job seeker visa upon entering Germany [1][2] and if you find a job within the six-month period, you can then apply for a work visa to stay and work in Germany. 

As an international student learning on-campus at IU International University of Applied Sciences, you can change your residence permit into an 18-month post-study job seeker’s visa as soon as you finish, allowing you to stay in Germany and find work.  

Finding Jobs

Resources for Finding Jobs in Germany

Making a career in Germany can be a challenging process, but there are many resources available to help job seekers. The following are some of the most useful resources for finding jobs in Germany: 

Online Job Portals:

Popular online job portals such as,, and can be a great starting point for job seekers. These websites host job postings from employers across various industries and allow you to create a profile with the option of uploading your resume. 


Networking is a key component of the job search process in Germany. Attend career fairs, industry events, and connect with people in your field through professional organisations and social media.

Recruitment Agencies:

Recruitment agencies specialise in finding job candidates for employers. Many job seekers find success by working with a recruitment agency that understands their skills and qualifications. 

Company Websites:

Directly applying to companies through their websites can be a good way to find job opportunities. Many companies post job openings on their websites, and you can also use the company’s website to learn about the company culture and see if the company aligns with your values and career goals. 

Internship Programmes:

Internships can be a great way to gain experience and make connections in your desired industry. Many companies offer internships to students or recent graduates, and these opportunities can lead to full-time employment. 


How to get job in Germany FAQs:

How easy is it to get a job in Germany?

The ease of getting career opportunities in Germany can vary based on factors like industry, experience, and language skills. Generally, the job market in Germany is competitive, and it may take time to find a suitable job opportunity. However, there are various resources available, such as job search websites and recruitment agencies, to help individuals find job openings. 

How to get a job seeker visa in Germany?

To be eligible for a job seeker visa, applicants must have a recognized university degree and proof of sufficient funds to support themselves during their stay. The process of obtaining a job seeker visa includes submitting a visa application to the German embassy or consulate in their home country and attending an interview. 

How can a foreigner get a job in Germany?

Foreigners can get a job in Germany by searching for job openings, networking, and applying through various resources such as job search websites, recruitment agencies, and LinkedIn. It is also helpful to have a good understanding of the German language and cultural expectations in the workplace. 

How to get a job in Germany without speaking German?

There are job opportunities available in Germany for non-German speakers, particularly in international companies or in industries such as IT and finance. However, it is recommended to learn some basic German as it can increase job opportunities and help with daily life in Germany. 

This article has last been updated on May 2024

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