Visa, school-leaving certificates or language skills – there are certain requirements you need to meet before being admitted to a vocational training course in Germany. More detailed information on the requirements can be found in the Do I Qualify for Vocational Training in Germany? section.
Which profession suits me?
The choice is yours: at the moment, you can choose from around 350 occupations that require vocational training in Germany. Firstly, you should think about what you enjoy doing the most and what you are good at: What subjects did you like at school? Do you like working with people? Do you like working on a computer or would you rather operate larger machinery or work with tools. As soon as you are aware of your own preferences, you can look for a suitable vocational training programme. The websites Planet Beruf and Beroobi are designed to help you with your decision. However, these two sites are only available in German. You can find further information about four occupations in our Training Profiles at a Glance section. Lastly, you might also be able to get some information and career advice in your country of origin.
Looking for a place as a trainee
You have worked out which occupation is best for you? Then the next step is looking for a place as a trainee and applying for it. Depending on which occupation you have chosen, you can find a place for your apprenticeship using one of the various online job markets for apprenticeships. Apprenticeships for a large range of occupations can be found in the Federal Employment Agency’s job listings. Select "Ausbildung" in the “Sie suchen” drop-down menu and start your search. A list of places for apprenticeships for different occupations in companies around Germany will be displayed. If you are looking for vocational training in crafts, we recommend that you use the "Lehrstellenradar" (online search tool for vocational training positions; only available in German) of the German Chamber of Crafts. Simply click on a flag on the map and then select “Lehrstellenangebote”. This will take you to the regional job listings where you can search for apprenticeships, e.g. in mechatronics or electronic engineering. If you are looking for vocational training in the trade or commercial sector, we recommend the job site of the Chambers of Industry and Commerce (website only available in German).
Another option for finding the right vocational training programme can be specific job and vocational training fairs. You can get in touch with educational experts to find out which training programme is the most suitable for you. The Planet-Beruf.de website provides you with an overview on current and upcoming fairs.
Please note: Make sure that you submit your application for an apprenticeship in good time. Many companies advertise vacancies for apprenticeships as early as one year in advance. Training usually starts in August or September.
How to apply correctly
When you have found a vacancy you are interested in, do not hesitate to apply. At Planet-Beruf.de you will find a step-by-step guide to writing applications for apprenticeships (in German). The website also tells you how to prepare for a job interview and what should be included in your employment contract. Further information on application procedures in Germany is available in our website's Applying for a job section.
Having a command of the German language will be a major advantage. After all, the working language at the company where you will train and your vocational school will be German. Some companies offer German language courses for young apprentices from abroad or support their efforts to improve their German skills in some way or another. Thus, when you apply for an apprenticeship, we suggest you inquire in what way the company will support you in improving your German. Or you can already learn German in your home country, for example at a Goethe-Institut. Addresses of Goethe-Instituts can be found on our interactive world map.
Further information on where else you can learn German can be found in our Learning German section.
Your rights and obligations
Vocational training in Germany is regulated by law. This has many advantages for you, as the law serves to protect your rights. For example, the company you work for as part of your dual training programme has to pay you a monthly remuneration and provide all the equipment that you need for training, such as tools or safety equipment. The law also stipulates that the tasks you are given at your company have to contribute to your training, in other words, your company is obligated to teach the skills and expertise you require in your occupation.
The law also defines your obligations as a apprentice towards your company. Your most important obligation is to learn. What does that mean? When you follow vocational training, you are expected to make an effort to learn your trade. For example, you have to attend classes at your vocational school on a regular basis, make sure to call in sick at your company and provide a doctor’s note when you fall ill.
Are you from a non-EU country and are unable to complete your vocational training, e.g. due to illness? According to Section 16a para. 4 of the German Residence Act (AufenthG) you will then be given the opportunity to stay in Germany for another 6 months to find another training position.
Further information on your rights and obligations during vocational training is can be found on the Federal Employment Agency's website (only available in German).
Moving and settling in
In order to really feel at home in Germany, there are a number of basics to sort out first. First, you need to find a place to live. Some companies provide accommodation for apprentices from abroad. Others may help you find a suitable flat. The best thing to do is to ask your employer for help. If you would rather look for a flat yourself, you can find some useful tips in our Housing & Mobility section.
Going out with friends, doing sports or going shopping – Germany offers plenty of opportunities for leisure activities that you can enjoy with your friends. Further information on this topic can be found in our Living in Germany section.
Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi)
Federal Employment Agency (BA)