This is for all the Germany fans out there: If you ever thought of moving to Germany to push your career, this is your year! 2018 has started off with great news for you: The German unemployment rate is very low and there are plenty of vacancies to fill—there are more than one million open jobs in Germany! This labor shortage is too much for Germany to handle on its own. Freshen up on your German skills, get your CV polished and find out what you have to do to start work in Germany. What do you need to know to snag one those 1,000,000 open jobs in Germany? Keep reading to find out!
German language skills: Are they necessary for finding a job in Germany?
There are certain professions that require proof of German skills for practicing the job, for instance health care professions. And there are professions where German skills are not mandatory (by law). Instead it’s the recruiter who decides whether you need German language proficiency in order to be hired.
There are plenty of jobs in Germany waiting for international talent! However, although Germany needs international skilled labor, most companies here are still relatively inflexible when it comes to hiring candidates without German language skills. Of course, there are some companies who would accept English speaking applicants, or who even have English as their corporate language – but such companies are still in the minority in Germany. The good news: this will probably change as the skills shortage worsens, increasing number of open jobs in Germany.
You better do some research to find out whether practicing your profession in Germany requires German proficiency. And, regardless of your profession, we hope you’ve learned German—if not, start now!
Have you found a job in Germany without German proficiency or have any experience with this topic? Please share your experience with us! We look forward to your comment!
Skills shortage in Germany: Your chances of getting a job in Germany
Everybody is talking about the skills shortage in Germany. The problem affects many German companies: they have full order books, but not enough staff, meaning they can’t accept new contracts. The bottom line: companies suffer from sales losses due to their lack of employees, and the problem has only started. In 2030, when the baby boomer generation in Germany retires, the skills shortage will increase drastically.
Twice a year, the Federal Employment Agency releases the Fachkräfteengpassanlyse in which it lists the skills shortage professions in Germany, among them: engineers, IT professionals, health care professions, driving instructors or professional hairdressers (more specifically: professional hairdressers who have completed a vocational education training to become a Friseurmeister).
Because the technological branch is rapidly expanding, the number of technological jobs in Germany are also multiplying. The same holds true for the health care branch. The growing number of elderly people in Germany leads to a growing demand of health care services, and again, a growing number of jobs in Germany in this sector. This means the skills shortage in the health care sector will be far worse in the near future.
Your chances of finding a job in Germany are good, especially if you want to exercise one of the skills shortage professions.
“Was du heute kannst besorgen, das verschiebe nicht auf Morgen“. This is a German saying, meaning don’t put off till tomorrow, what you can do today. The time is ripe: Get your documents together and be ready for a job search in Germany!
Work visas for Germany: Which is the correct work and residence permit for you?
German immigration law is complex and confusing (which applies to third-country nationals only, since EU and EEA nationals are free to move, work and settle anywhere in the EU). But many improvements have been made, giving international professionals and skilled workers legal access to jobs in Germany. It’s difficult to get an overview of German work visas if you are not well read on the topic. To help you out, below is a mini crash course in work/residence permits for third-country nationals.
The first thing you need to know: If you work in one of the skills shortage professions, you have easier access to the labor market in Germany than those working in other professions.
Academics can apply for the Blue Card, which requires proof of a workplace in Germany and earning a minimum gross salary of EUR 52.000 (for 2018) annually in the respective job, or a lower minimum salary for skill-shortage professions in Germany of EUR 40.560.
If you do not qualify for the Blue Card, you can apply for a residence permit in accordance with Section 18 of the Residence Act (AufenthG). But be prepared for a longer bureaucratic process due to the priority check. Find out more about the priority check in this post.
Non-Academics can also apply for the residence permit in accordance with Section 18 of the Residence Act (AufenthG): Prerequisites are that the profession is one of the skills shortage professions in Germany published as a shortlist on the basis of a bi-annual skills shortage analysis by the Federal Employment Agency, as well as proof of employment or a binding job offer in Germany. Furthermore, the worker’s training qualifications must be recognised as equivalent to German vocational training qualifications.
German immigration law is a jungle, but there are laws enabling work migration for academics and non-academics. You just need to cut your path through it!
For more information read: What you need to know about the German residence permit
Have an experience you’d like to share about getting a residence title in Germany? What was the process like, which title did you apply for, which challenges did you face? Leave a comment below!
Qualification recognition: Is it necessary for you?
The recognition of foreign qualifications is a procedure by which a professional’s qualification is compared to its German reference qualification in order to assess whether the foreign degree is equivalent to the German reference qualification for the same profession. If so, the appropriate German authority (Anerkennungsstelle) grants proof of equivalence, which is a prerequisite to exercise certain professions in Germany.
Do you need to have your qualifications recognized? You sure do if you want to exercise a profession which is regulated in Germany, such as: teacher, nurse, medical doctor or psychotherapist. Qualification recognition is not necessary when it comes to non-regulated professions in Germany. Still, be aware that qualification recognition could nevertheless be helpful to you in finding a job, since it makes your qualifications transparent for German employers who might be unfamiliar with the education system and degrees of your country of origin, hence, are unable to assess your degree.
Is this the first time you’ve read about the recognition of foreign qualifications? No idea, what happens behind the scenes? Let’s break it down: During the recognition procedure the responsible authority compares your educational degree’s duration and content with the German reference degree. If the authority finds relevant differences, it also considers your professional experience, which may compensate for any deficits.
If the authority does not confirm full equivalence of your qualification with the German reference qualification, but instead grants you partial recognition, the authority will describe your individual qualifications as well as the particular deficits you have, e.g., lack of theoretical knowledge, lack of practical skills, a language deficit, or a lack of experience in professional practice. The authority will also let you know what adjustment qualification measurements are necessary for you to obtain full recognition.
An important side note: There is one exception when it comes to the non-existing necessity of recognition in case of non-regulated professions. For third-country nationals who want to exercise jobs in Germany that belong to the non-academic professions in Germany (which they can only do if this profession is one of the skills shortage profession published in the Whitelist), full recognition of their qualifications is mandatory.
For more information read our Guest Post at LiveWorkGermany: A Guide To Foreign Qualification Recognition In Germany
We’d love to hear about your experience: Let us know how your recognition procedure went, how long it took, and if it was easy or very bureaucratic. We look forward to your comment!
Jobsearch – How to find a job in Germany
It’s hard to find jobs in Germany when you’re abroad, of course. Chances are you will utilize the Internet, for your German job search. There are many online job markets as well as job advertisements in online newspapers and online! Create your profile on business networks so that employers who are in search for candidates can find you. (We here at Employland are one such platform – check us out and create your personal profile free of charge!). A company’s career website is also a good way to start your German job search. Don’t forget, you can also be the first to take the initiative: Even if there is no open position in a company you’re interested in, you can still send in an application. Sometimes open positions are not published as job ads in public spaces. Even if there is no open position today, the HR manager may keep your application on file and consider you when a position opens up in the future. You never know.
It’s not easy to find a job in another country, but the Internet helps. Use all your online options to find a job in Germany!
Job Seeker visa: Your option to search for a job on-site in Germany
If you don’t want to rely on the Internet to find jobs in Germany, but instead want to go on a jobsearch on-site in Germany, you as a graduate can enter Germany for six months and do so with the job seeker visa (§ 18c Abs.1 AufenthG). It is required that your diploma is recognised in Germany. Note: You are not allowed to work in Germany during your stay with the job seeker visa, and need proof that you have enough money to support yourself during your stay.
As soon as you find a job, you can apply for the residence title without first having to leave Germany, and you can stay in Germany until you hear back from the respective authority regarding your Blue Card or Residence permit.
Conclusion: It’s not easy to find a job in another country, but you have the option to enter Germany with a job seeker visa to find a job on-site.
Job searching in Germany? What challenges do you face, what questions and tips do you have? Please share your experiences with us; we look forward to your comments!
Also in our blog: Do you need more information regarding the work and residence permit in Germany? What you need to know about the German residence permit.
We also have interesting information and tips regarding your application in Germany (beware: it’s in German).
Main photo: Photo: NorthernStock / Istockphoto.com