Introduction

Why is Germany a popular destination for people looking for work?

Germany is a popular destination for skilled professionals and people searching for a job for several reasons. One of the first is the strong and stable economy of the country, which is the largest in the European Union and the fourth largest in the world, being known for its strong manufacturing and export industries. This provides a wide range of job opportunities across a variety of sectors for skilled professionals interested in moving to Germany.

Another reason why Germany is a popular destination for skilled expats, is the high standard of living. The country has an excellent infrastructure and social welfare system, with top-level healthcare, and a well-educated population. Germany is also known for its high-quality education system, which attracts many international students who are looking for job opportunities after graduation, while the German labour market is characterized by stability, security, and high wages, which attracts many professionals and job seekers from almost all over the world.

How is the current job market in Germany?

The current job market in Germany is characterized by low unemployment and high demand for skilled workers. The unemployment rate as of 2022 was around 3% (look at the picture below, from Statista 2023), which is considered low by international standards. Moreover, based on the data again reported by Statista, the trend shows a decrease in the unemployment rate, while, but in the Corona crisis, an increase in the number of job vacancies (https://www.statista.com/statistics/1292971/job-vacancies-germany/). Germany is also one of the countries in Europe with the most job vacancies in 2021 (https://www.statista.com/statistics/987143/job-vacancies-by-country/).

Many sectors, such as IT, engineering, healthcare, chemical industry and renewable energy, are facing a shortage of skilled workers. There is also a high demand for professionals in the service sector, particularly in the fields of finance and consulting. However, as already mentioned, the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the job market, with some sectors such as the hospitality, tourism and the retail sectors facing a downturn more than others.

Overall, the job market in Germany is considered stable and strong, offering many opportunities for skilled professionals and job seekers. Companies are actively seeking to hire and retain employees, offering competitive salaries, benefits and good working conditions.

Skilled workers in Germany

What constitutes a skilled worker in Germany?

In Germany, a skilled worker is considered someone who has a vocational training or apprenticeship (“Ausbildung”), or a university degree. Skilled workers are expected to have a certain level of knowledge and experience in their field, and to be able to perform their job independently. Additionally, the German government have certain criteria that a foreign skilled worker must meet in order to be eligible for a work permit, such as described on the website of Ministry of Foreign Affairs (https://www.auswaertiges-amt.de/en/skilled-worker-immigration/2304796?openAccordionId=item-2304802-2-panel):

  • If your foreign degree or certificate has been officially recognized;
  • If you have already been offered a specific job offer (you must ask your future employer to fill out the “Declaration regarding a contract of employment” or in German “Erklärung zum Beschäftigungsverhältnis“);
  • If you have been issued written permission to exercise your profession (of if you have been expressly assured that you will receive this permission) and if you wish to work in a so-called regulated profession (e.g. in the healthcare sector);
  • If you meet the respective requirements for foreigners, e.g. a valid passport, secure means of support, etc.

Which are the most in-demand skilled jobs and industries in Germany?

As of 2021, some examples of the most in-demand skilled jobs in Germany include:

  • Engineers: Germany has a strong manufacturing and export industry, and there is a high demand for engineers in various fields such as mechanical, electrical, and industrial engineering (I am one of those).
  • IT professionals: The IT industry is growing rapidly in Germany, and there is a high demand for professionals in fields such as software development, cybersecurity, data science, and artificial intelligence.
  • Healthcare professionals: Germany has an aging population, and there is a high demand for healthcare professionals, particularly in fields such as nursing, physiotherapy, elderly care and occupational therapy.
  • Finance and consulting professionals: The service sector is also growing in Germany, and there is a high demand for finance and consulting professionals, particularly in fields such as accounting, auditing, and management consulting.
  • Skilled tradespeople: Germany has a strong tradition of vocational training, and there is a high demand for skilled tradespeople in fields such as construction, automotive, electro-technology and many more sectors.
  • Teachers and Researchers: German universities are well-renowned in Europe and the world, and there is a high demand for teachers and researchers particularly in fields such as engineering, technology, natural sciences, and mathematics.
  • Sales and marketing professionals: German companies are always looking for talented sales and marketing professionals to help them expand their businesses.

These examples of in-demand jobs will be considered more in the details in other sections of the blog. Crosslink

Finding work in Germany

Tips and resources for job searching in Germany

There are various ways to find jobs in Germany, and many resources available to help with the job search. Here are some tips and resources that can be useful:

  • Job portals: There are many online job portals in Germany that list job openings from various companies and industries. Some popular ones include:
    • Indeed (indeed.de)
    • Stepstone (stepstone.de)
    • Monster (monster.de)
    • LinkedIn (linkedin.com)
    • Xing (xing.de)

Here cross link to an article about the Best X job Portals to find a job in Germany.

  • Company websites: Many companies in Germany post their job openings on their own websites. It’s worth checking the career section of the websites of companies that interest you, after broad research in the sector you are interested into.
  • Recruitment agencies: There are many recruitment agencies in Germany that specialize in finding jobs for foreign workers. They can provide guidance and assistance in the job search process. (links? Hays, etc)
  • Professional networks: Joining professional organizations or networking groups in your field can be a good way to learn about job opportunities and connect with potential employers (LinkedIn, Xing).

Government resources: The German government provides various resources and support for job seekers, such as the Federal Employment Agency (Bundesagentur für Arbeit, https://www.arbeitsagentur.de/en) and the EURES portal (https://eures.ec.europa.eu/index_en).

How to navigate the German job application process

When it comes to the German job application process, it is important to note that it is generally more formal and structured than in other countries. Here are some things to keep in mind to be successful in your job search in Germany:

  • Tailor your CV and cover letter to the specific job and company you’re applying for. Show that you have done your research and understand the company’s products/services, values and goals;
  • Highlight any relevant international experience or qualifications you have. This can include language skills, cultural awareness, and experience working in a diverse environment (if you are targeting a german company, previous experience in german companies is a plus, and sometimes a must);
  • Show that you have a good understanding of German culture and the German job market. This can include knowledge of the German language, understanding of German business customs and practices, and familiarity with German laws and regulations;
  • Emphasize your ability to work independently and in a team. German companies value employees who can work well in a team and also take initiative;
  • Highlight any relevant certifications or training you have, such as German language certificates, degrees or professional training in your field. Also, generally companies expect you to upload related documents (“Zeugnis”) in their application portals;
  • Show that you are flexible and open to learning new things. German companies value employees who are willing to learn and adapt to new situations;
  • Be sure to follow the instructions of the application process carefully and submit all required documents (try to be as structured as possible);
  • Be prepared for potential tests and interviews. German companies often use written tests and/or interviews to evaluate candidates, so it’s important to be prepared for these. Some companies may ask you to prepare some tasks to be shown during the interview process;
  • Show enthusiasm and passion for the job and the industry. German companies value employees who are passionate and committed to their work;
  • Get in contact with recruitment agencies that specializes in placing foreign workers in German companies and ask for their advice;
  • Provide the application in German language if the position is advertised in German. English applications can be submitted if the position is advertised in English. Don’t try to apply for a German job in English. This will probably mean you will not receive any reply.

If you already are familiar with German language, please refer to a very good website such as Karriere Bibel (https://karrierebibel.de/)

Which are the requirements for foreigners to work in Germany?

There are certain requirements that foreigners must meet in order to work in Germany. These requirements include:

  1. A valid work permit: Foreign nationals must obtain a valid work permit in order to work in Germany. EU citizens do not require a work permit, but they may need to register with the local authorities. Non-EU citizens will have to apply for a work permit before entering Germany;
  2. A recognized vocational qualification or a university degree: To qualify for a work permit, foreign nationals must have a recognized vocational qualification or a university degree (https://www.anerkennung-in-deutschland.de/html/en/index.php);
  3. Proof of sufficient German language skills: Many jobs in Germany require a good knowledge of German, so foreign nationals must be able to demonstrate that they have sufficient German language skills. It is anyway also possible to find employment with a good English language knowledge, especially when considering international companies in your job search. Anyway, it is very important to learn the local language, also in order to be able to deal with everyday life situations (link to a possible article about the topic).
  4. A job offer from a German employer: Foreign nationals must have a job offer from a German employer in order to be eligible for a work permit, even though generally EU citizens could generally move to Germany before having a fix employment.

For more information and detail on the above points, you can refer to the following websites:

It’s worth noting that the requirements and application process may change depending on the current situation, the region and the specific profession, it’s important to check for the most updated information.

Germany is looking for Skilled Workers

Current shortage of skilled workers in Germany

Germany is currently facing a shortage of skilled workers in various sectors and industries. This is due to a combination of factors such as an aging population, a generally low birth rate, and a growing economy. The shortage is particularly acute in some of the fields mentioned in this article and has led to an increase in competition for skilled workers, with companies offering higher salaries and benefits to attract and retain employees. This situation has been further exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has caused a lot of uncertainty in the job market and made it harder for companies to find the workers they need.

Efforts, programs and initiatives by the German government to attract skilled workers from abroad

As a result, the German government has been taking steps to address the shortage by encouraging immigration of skilled workers and implementing various programs and initiatives to help attract and integrate them into the German workforce. This includes initiatives to improve language training and integration services as well as launching campaigns to promote Germany as a destination for skilled workers.

The German government has been taking steps to address the shortage of skilled workers by encouraging immigration of skilled workers and implementing various programs and initiatives to help attract and integrate them into the German workforce. Here are some examples of current efforts by the German government to attract skilled workers from abroad:

(https://www.make-it-in-germany.com/en/visa-residence/types/eu-blue-card)

  • The ICT Card: The ICT Card is a work permit for highly skilled non-EU citizens in the field of information and communication technology (ICT). It is designed to make it easier for ICT professionals to come to Germany and work in high-demand fields such as software development, cybersecurity, and data science (https://www.make-it-in-germany.com/en/looking-for-foreign-professionals/entering/admission-labour-market/ict-card)
  • The shortage occupation list: The German government has a list of shortage occupation, which is a list of jobs for which there is a shortage of skilled workers in Germany. The list is updated regularly and includes jobs in various fields such as engineering, healthcare, and IT. The positions listed on this list are those that are most open to hiring foreigners.
  • The EU-Turkey Mobility Partnership: The EU-Turkey Mobility Partnership is a program that aims to increase the mobility of Turkish workers in Europe, including Germany. The program provides training and support to Turkish workers to help them find work in Germany.

A German body involved in the programs is:

  • The Federal Employment Agency (Bundesagentur für Arbeit): it provides various resources and support for job seekers, such as job portals, career counselling, and language courses.

Some other resources can be provided by European bodies such as:

  • The EURES (European Employment Services) network: The EURES (European Employment Services) network is a cooperation between the EU countries and other European countries to help job seekers find job opportunities in other European countries, including Germany.

The German government also offers language courses and integration services/courses to help foreign workers adapt to life in Germany and find work in their desired field.

It also runs campaigns to promote Germany as a destination for skilled workers and to attract international talent to Germany.

It’s worth stating that the German government is continuously updating its policies to attract more skilled workers, and the programs and initiatives might change depending on the current situation, so please do you own research before taking a final decision.

Benefits of working in Germany for skilled workers

As a wrap-up to push the reader to consider the option of moving to Germany, working in Germany can offer several benefits for skilled workers. Some of these benefits can be summarized in some bullet points here below:

  • Strong economy: Germany has a strong and stable economy, which can provide job security and opportunities for career advancement;
  • High standard of living: Germany has a high standard of living, with excellent healthcare, education and social security systems;
  • Competitive salaries: Skilled workers in Germany can expect to earn competitive salaries and benefits, particularly in high-demand fields such as engineering, IT, and healthcare;
  • Professional development opportunities: Germany is home to many world-class companies, research institutions, and universities, which can provide opportunities for professional development and career advancement, even if you are a foreigner;
  • Cultural diversity: Germany is a diverse and multicultural country, which can provide opportunities to learn about different cultures and ways of life (it is anyway very dependent on the region you settle in);
  • Excellent infrastructure: Germany has an excellent transportation system, which makes it easy to travel around the country;
  • Quality of life: German cities are known for their high quality of life, with plenty of parks, recreational activities and cultural events;
  • Job stability: German companies are known for their stability and long-term planning, which can provide job security;
  • Professional recognition: The German vocational training and professional recognition system is well-renowned for its quality and rigor, which can make it easier to find job opportunities and be recognized for one’s skills and qualifications (meritocracy);
  • Support to families: the German government developed several policies in order to provide support, help and security for a good family life.

Conclusions

To wrap up the article has highlighted the many opportunities available for skilled workers in Germany. The German job market is strongly in need of skilled professionals, probably like you.

If you are a skilled worker looking for new opportunities, Germany is definitely worth considering. With its strong economy, high standard of living, many professional opportunities and solid government support, Germany can provide a great environment for career development and growth, while also allowing security and stability for the future.