Working in Germany: the official website
for qualified professionals

Prospects after your vocational training

You may think it’s still early days, but have you thought about what you are going to do after you have completed your vocational training? Here are some opportunities you may want
to consider:

  • Working for a company: Many German companies are currently looking for qualified professionals. This means your chances of being offered a job with your company after you have completed your training are good. If your company doesn’t offer you a job or you prefer to gain some new experience elsewhere, you will find useful tips for job hunting under "Jobs". You come from a non-EU country and have completed your vocational training in Germany? You may be granted a residence permit for a period of 12 months for the purpose of seeking employment in Germany (in accordance with § 20 Para. 3 No. 3 AufenthG). You can search for vacancies in the job listings of the Make it in Germany portal.
  • Continuing education and training: If you feel that you still have potential to develop and would like to take on more responsibility, you should consider continuing with further training in order to obtain additional qualifications. This will give you the chance to specialise, to further your career or to start your own business. Which type of continuing education and training is available and most suitable for you depends on the industry and occupation you work in.
    • Engineering: If you work in construction or mechanical engineering, you can pursue continuing training to become a certified engineer (staatlich geprüfter Techniker). Full-time training takes at least two years and involves classes at a higher vocational school (called Fachschule). At the end your training you will sit a state examination. 
    • Crafts: If you have trained as a craftsman, you have the possibility of training to become a master craftsman. This will lead to the German title of "Meister" which is an officially recognised qualification. Many people who have completed a continuing training course as a master craftsman work in leading positions or set up their own business. Furthermore, as a Meister you will be allowed to take on trainees yourself.

Furthermore, you have the opportunity to specialise in specific fields of your occupation. More detailed information on specialisations in your area of occupation is available at BERUFENET (German).
When you pursue continuing training to become a master craftsman or certified engineer, for example, you may be entitled to a form of financial support called Aufstiegs-BAföG. You
can find out if you are eligible at (German).

  • Studying: After completing your vocational training you may also start a degree course at a higher education institution. For this purpose, you are usually required to hold a higher education entrance qualification – a school-leaving certificate that allows you to study at a higher education institution in your country of origin. There are exceptions, however: The German Meister qualification also entitles you to study any subject you like at German universities. If you do not hold the title of Meister, but have worked in your occupation for several years, you may be allowed to study certain subjects that are closely related to the vocation you trained for. The best thing to do is to ask the university you want to apply to what their specific admission requirements are.

Do you want to study and work at the same time? You can do that in Germany, too. You can work and pursue a degree course in your spare time, study part-time or pursue a distance learning. Further information on this subject is available here.
Further information on studying in Germany can be found in our section on “Study”.

Information on the web

Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi)

Federal Employment Agency (BA)

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