Training in Germany for foreigners

Information about opportunities and requirements

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von Kerstin am 15.06.2021

What is meant by dual training?

A vocational training in Germany consists of two parts, a school-based and a company-based training. This is called "dual training". The company-based part is predominant and consists of a lot of practical work. The school-based part is spread over one or two days a week at the vocational school. In some training occupations, the learning units are also offered in blocks of four weeks. In other words, the theoretical knowledge of the respective profession is taught at vocational school.

By combining theoretical knowledge and practical utilization, you are optimally prepared for your future profession. With a dual education, you have very good chances of finding a job in Germany.

By the way, there are about 350 recognized training professions in Germany, which means there is a wide range of possibilities. Here you can find out what these are.

How does your training work?

The training year usually begins on August 1 or September 1. As already mentioned, the training is spread over the time spent in the company and at school. At vocational school, two-thirds of the lessons consist of topics that are important for your chosen profession. In addition, you have the subjects German, English and social studies. During your training, you are entitled to at least 24 working days or four weeks' vacation per year - but only during the time when the school also has vacation time.

After the first half of the training period, you have to take an intermediate examination, which asks what you have learned at school and how you will apply your knowledge in your company. The final examination takes place at the end of the training period.

Do you earn money during the training period?

During your dual training you will receive a monthly salary from your employer. On average, a trainee in Germany currently earns 908 euros gross. Depending on the region in which you do your training, you may receive more or less. For example, if you are training to become a mechatronics technician, you will earn an average of about 1,088 euros gross per month. Your salary also increases with each year of training. A portion of this money is deducted for social insurance purposes. If you earn more than 9,000 euros per year, you also have to pay taxes.

What are the advantages of a training in Germany?

Here are five reasons why training in Germany makes sense:

  • Through dual training you combine theory and practice.
  • There is a lack of young professionals in Germany.
  • You can already earn money during your training.
  • After successfully completing your training, you have a very good chance of being hired.
  • You have a wide range of career opportunities, because committed, professionally qualified specialists are in demand on the job market.
     

By the way: In Germany, all training is state-controlled and offers education at the highest level. This means that German professional qualifications are world leaders!

Which requirements do you have to meet for an apprenticeship?

To be able to complete an apprenticeship in Germany, various requirements must be met. These include required visas, language skills, age restrictions and school qualifications.

When do you need a visa and what is necessary for the application?

Are you a citizen of the EU, Liechtenstein, Iceland, Norway or Switzerland you do not need a visa to enter Germany and to start an education. If you want to live in Germany, you only have to register at a registration office or at a citizens' office.

If you are a citizen of a non-EU country, you need a visa. You can apply for the visa at the responsible foreign mission of your country. Please note that the visa can take up to three months to be issued.

If you are applying for a visa for a dual education, you must enclose the following documents:

  • Proof that you are able to finance your own living expenses. The cost coverage is 650-700 Euros.
  • The confirmation from the training company; in the best case a copy of your training contract.
  • A health insurance that is also valid in Germany.

What language skills do you need?
 

If you would like to apply for an apprenticeship as a nurse, you need German language skills at level B2. For all other training courses you must speak at least level B1 at the beginning of the training. You have to prove your language skills in your application. You can do this with one of the following documents:

  • Certificate from a language school / language institute in your home country
  • Certificate of the Goethe-Institut
  • Certificate of the German Language Diploma of the Standing Conference of Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs DSD I or DSD II, a confirmation of partial performance may be sufficient
  • telc Certificate
  • DSH certificate
  • University degree in German studies
     

Up to what age can you start an apprenticeship?

When applying for a visa for training, the age limit for starting your vocational training is 25 years. At vocational school you will find that most of your German classmates are between 16 and 20 years old. 

What high school diploma do you have to prove?

You need a school-leaving certificate of the 9th grade or higher to be able to start an apprenticeship in Germany. If you have good grades in math or good computer skills, this is an advantage for an apprenticeship in the technical field. Please note that your certificates must be in German. All information on the recognition of your diploma can be found on the information portal on foreign educational qualifications anabin.

How do you find an apprenticeship position?

First of all, you need to know which training suits you best. What talents and interests do you have? Which school subjects do you like? Do you like working with people? Are you fascinated by working on a PC or would you rather work on large machines or with tools? As soon as you have found the answers, you can start looking for your apprenticeship profession and a free apprenticeship place.

How can you apply?

You can find many tips on how to apply in our blog posts. There we have summarized what you need to include in your application. With the right cover letter you can get started. To give you an idea of what it should look like and what it should contain, we have prepared a template. We also give you the necessary structure for your CV. Of course, your certificates also belong in the application. Remember to have them translated. Some applicants send their application by post using an application folder. For applicants from abroad, however, an online application makes more sense.

What qualification do you have as a trainee in Germany?

As a rule, you will complete your training with an examination as a skilled worker. As a trained skilled worker you have excellent career opportunities. The skilled worker qualification is also an important step towards applying for a permanent residence permit in Germany.

And after a few years of working in Germany, it is also possible to acquire German citizenship.

What happens after the training?

If you have successfully completed your training in Germany, you will be offered various opportunities:

  • You will be taken on by your training company into a permanent employment.
  • Your company will not take you on or you would like to get to know another company and apply for a position in another company with your final certificate.
  • You would like to further your education, specialize, advance professionally or become self-employed. Which further training is suitable for you depends on the profession and the industry.
  • You would like to continue your studies. Then you need a university entrance qualification from your country of origin.

We hope that you now have all the necessary information about the requirements for a dual education in Germany. Good luck with your application!


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