How to get a job as an expat in Germany
One of the most desirable places to move to in Europe is Germany. The country offers you an opportunity to expand your horizons while working abroad as an expat. Before you head off, though, check out our tips on the following:
What kinds of jobs are available in Germany?
German employers are in search of skilled workers in a variety of fields, so you have a lot of choices when it comes to where you can work in the country.
A few examples of the sectors in which qualified candidates are in demand:
- Software development
- Social workers
- Health and nursing
- Geriatric care
Also, if you have qualifications in the following fields, you might find it easy to land a great job in Germany as an expat:
- Engineering is a sector that is in need of qualified professionals. If you are a specialist in telecommunications, computer science, mechanical and automotive engineering, structural engineering, or electrical engineering, Germany might be the ideal place to go if you hope to live abroad.
- Medical professionals, including doctors who have the skills to work in medical practices and hospitals, are also in demand. If you have acquired a degree in the field of medicine, you might be able to get a license that will allow you to work in Germany.
- Individuals who have graduated with a degree in what’s known as a MINT subject—that is, math, IT, natural sciences, or technology—might be able to find a lot of job openings with private companies and research institutes.
How to find work as an expat in Germany
With the right strategy and plan in place, you can boost your odds of finding and landing a job that you’ll love. Here are a few tips that you can try:
Keep abreast of employment opportunities with large corporations and multinational brands that have operations in Germany. A few examples include Volkswagen, BMW, Siemens, and Adidas. And if you work for a company that has offices in Germany, you can even ask about being transferred to the German office to continue working for them there.
In addition to international companies, Germany is also home to plenty of excellent small to medium sized businesses (SMEs). In fact, the vast majority of the companies that are in the country are SMEs, so you can find a lot of employment opportunities with them as well, particularly if you have in-demand qualifications that help you stand out against the crowd.
Another source that you can check is the Federal Employment Agency and its International Placement Service. There, you can gain insight into employment opportunities, and you can post your profile and qualifications to a job portal to let them know what type of work you’re hoping to get.
Are you from Switzerland, the EEA, or the EU? Then check out the European Employment Services (EURES) website. This job portal network can assist you in your job hunt. Use it to post your CV, get information about upcoming job fairs, and access helpful advice.
Becoming a teacher of English in Germany is a great way to work with students of all ages while making a good income as an expat. If you’re a native English speaker, you can also seek out opportunities as a private tutor or a teacher in a language school. To prove that you’re qualified, you might need to show your degree, TEFL qualification, and previous work experience.
Getting help from a recruitment agency can be a good way to get a fantastic job in Germany, as some of these agencies will help foreigners, in particular, with filling positions in the country. For the best results, stick with those that are members of the Federal Employer’s Association of Personnel Service Providers.
Networking is a smart way to land a great job anywhere in the world, including in Germany. Consider using free online resources like LinkedIn, joining professional organizations, and attending conferences to meet people and let them know that you’re open to opportunities in Germany.
There are also many online boards that you can check out to see the latest job openings. A few examples are:
- Top Language Jobs
- The Local Jobs
Pro tip: Did you know that Germany regulates roughly 60 professions? These include doctors and teachers. If you’re hoping to gain employment in a regulated field, the key will be to have your qualifications in that field recognized by the appropriate professional association or authority in Germany.
Note: It’s smart to learn to speak German at least on a basic level, even though there are some jobs where English is the main language used.
What are the requirements to work in Germany?
German visa requirements vary based upon where you’re coming from:
Planning on moving to Germany from the EU, EEA, or Switzerland?
You won’t need to get a permit in order to work there, provided that you register your address and show a valid passport or ID card.
Are you a citizen of the United States, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, South Korea, Japan, or Israel?
You can head to Germany without getting a visa. However, within three months after you arrive, and prior to starting a job, you’ll need to apply for a residence permit for the purpose of employment.
All others will need to apply for a visa prior to heading to Germany.
Plus, you will need a residence permit that will allow you to be employed in Germany. Factors that might determine whether or not you can get your residence permit include the sector you hope to work in and the qualifications that you hold.
How to send earnings abroad when working in Germany
After working in Germany for a while and getting settled in financially, you will be ready to do more with your money. You might, for example, want to make international purchases, or you may decide to be more conservative and send money back home to your family or to your home savings account.
Regardless of your reason for wanting to send money abroad from Germany, you can do so with the help of OFX in order to save money that you’d otherwise spend on bank margins and fees. Plus, you can also use OFX to make your transfers at the most opportune times, thanks to their market rate alerts and currency charts.
Now is a great time to consider moving to Germany
If you’ve always wanted to live in Europe and Germany has been on your radar, there’s no need to hesitate. With the help of myriad online resources, you can easily begin researching the job opportunities available to foreigners. Then, as an expat living in Germany, you’ll be able to take in everything that makes this country so special.
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