Job Opportunities in Germany for International Students

Job Market for Foreign Students in Germany

Germany is one of the most popular study destinations with relation to its evolving job market and  the rising demand for fresh talent in a range of fields. Among the main sectors looking for international workers are chemical, engineering, IT, electronic, machinery, coal, food and beverages, vehicles, machine tools, shipbuilding and textile. For many students, choosing to study abroad is accompanied by finding a job and settling in the country as well. Germany, like other countries, allows students to both find jobs after their graduation as well as find work while studying in the country as well.

All Non-EU students are allowed to work in Germany, provided they have applied for the appropriate Visa after studies. The visa will allow you to work in the country, however, will not classify you as a citizen. If you wish to settle, you must apply for a settlement permit.

Rules and Regulations to Work in Germany While Studying

Most international students in Germany choose to work during the course of their studes. While many of them work to pay off their education loans, students also take up jobs to earn extra-pocket money. As per the rules, international students are allowed to work in Germany provided they adhere to certain rules and regulations, such as hours of work per week, employment types and approval, if needed.

The current rules and regulations to work in Germany While Studying include:

  • Students can work up to 120 full days a year or 240 half days a year. Any additional hours that a student may require will first need to be approved by the FEA, the Employment Agency of the country.

  • Students will be allowed to work in any kind of employment except freelancing or self-employment.

  • Those students enrolled in language or preparatory courses will first need to get approval from the FEA and then find a job.

Note: All universities in Germany have a Career Guidance counsellor or International Students Office that can help you in not only finding a job but also help you understand the rules and regulations of working while studying in the Germany. They may also assist you or inform you of the processes that you need to complete before you are able to work in the country.

Also Read: Number of Indian Students in Germany Has Almost 'Doubled in Last 5 Years

Jobs You Can Take Up While Studying

Like any other country, students are allowed to take up jobs to reduce their financial burden. Therefore, like other countries, students will be able to find jobs in retail stores, supermarkets, the university, and other profiles as well. The ability to work while studying also helps in enhancing a student's resume, which can further boost his/her chances in finding a long-term career in Germany as well, provided they find a part-time job in the relevant field. Here are a few jobs On-Campus and Off-campus that you can take up to earn a few bucks.

On-Campus Jobs: On-campus jobs can be an easy option for students who do not wish to travel much. With the opportunity of working where you are studying, you need not worry about scheduling your service shift according to your classes. However, working in the university may not do much in terms of gaining work experience for your field.

  • Library Supervisor
  • Research Assistant
  • Tutoring Assistant or Tutor


Off-Campus: A popular option among international and national students alike is finding off-campus jobs. This is so due to the chances of finding a job that pays a little better than On-campus jobs. However, working off-campus may make you feel a little stressed due to several reasons such as inadequate physical rest, work environment stress, etc. 

  • Trade Fair
  • Media
  • Bartending
  • Cashier
  • Babysitter
  • Waiter or Waitress
  • Courier

Also Read: Part-Time Jobs in Germany for International Students

Visa Requirements to Work after Studies in Germany

Many countries abroad and in the European Union require international students, who graduated from a German University to apply for Visas. In Germany, international students do not need to apply for Post-Study Work Visa, however, they are required to extend their Visas to stay in the country, if they wish to Work after graduating in Germany. This is applicable to Non-EU and EEA students only. As per regulations, students who wish to extend their stay should apply for the same at the Alien’s Registration Office.

In Germany, for those aspiring to work after their studies, they must extend their residence permit for up to 18 months in order to get a job pertaining to their field of study. Here are the documents you, as a student, needs to provide the Registration Office regarding extension of their residence permit.

  • Passport

  • Document or Certificate of completion of your studies from a recognised German Higher Education Institution.

  • Proof of Financial Support for the next 18 months.

  • Proof of Health Insurance in the country.

Students are required to extend their residence permit if they wish to find a job in the country. After finding a job, students can then apply for an EU Blue Card, much like the Green Card in the USA. An EU Blue Card will enable you to work in any EU State. Students will also be able to live in Germany with their applications.

Also Read: 60% of International Students Want to Remain in Germany After Graduation: Survey

Post-Study Work Regulations in Germany

Students from outside the EU/EEA can work after graduating from a German university and extend their residence permit for up to 18 months to look for work related to their course of study.

The 18 months will begin immediately after the student receives their final exam results which lets them find work during their final semester. During these 18 months, the student is allowed to seek any kind of employment and work as much as they want.

As soon as a student finds a job he/she likes, they must apply for an EU Blue Card which is the US equivalent of a Green Card. Applicants will be allowed to stay in German until the application for EU Blue Card is processed.

The EU Blue Card is preferable for those who intend to live and work in another EU state. In case a student wishes to apply for the Blue Card, they must have been offered a job that pays a minimum of €53,000 (US$57,844) a year or €41,808 (US$45,629) a year for engineers, natural scientists, mathematicians, physicians or technicians.

In case a student wants to stay in Germany and become a permanent resident, they can apply for a ‘settlement permit’ two years after receiving their work and residence permit or EU Blue Card.

Post-Study Work Opportunities in Germany

In Germany, an international graduate is offered a number of opportunities to choose from and make a living. Here are the most popular post-study work opportunities in Germany:

Starting a Business: In case someone has at least one unique innovative idea that they believe could become a business, then they can think of setting up a business. To get more information about the same, one can visit the Competence Centre on Migrant Entrepreneurship website.

Research: One may also carry on working in research by applying for research posts at higher education institutions. These posts are usually temporary as they are related to a particular project. However, one may find such opportunities not only at higher education institutions but also at a research institute or industry.

Industry: Germany as a range of small, medium and large-sized businesses that have a history of employing international students for various job roles. Working in an industry also means that salaries would increase on a yearly basis depending on the profits made by the company.

Public Service/NGOs: Germany also encourages international students to work in the public service which means working for a public body, foundation or institution. Such employees are employed at local, federal state or federal government level. While NGOs, institutions and foundations are set aside from public service, they are based on it and collective agreements apply to salaries at NGOs as well. They also have the same labour conditions as the German public sector.

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