Group of international students at university

Prospects after your vocational training

Have you already completed vocational training in Germany? Find out here which options are now available to you.

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 vocationally trained skilled workers. This means that your chances of being offered a job at your company after you have completed your vocational training are good. If the company cannot employ you, or you wish to get to know another company, you can find tips for job-seeking in the “Looking for a job” section.


Are you from a third country and you successfully completed your vocational training in Germany? In order to look for a job, a residence permit for up to 18 months can be granted to you after your vocational training (according to Section 20 (1) No. 3 of the Residence Act [AufenthG]). You can look for open vacancies in the Make it in Germany job listings.

  • Continuing education and training: If you feel that you still have potential to make progress 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 advance in your career or to start your own business. The type of continuing education and training that 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 further training to become a certified engineer (staatlich geprüfter Techniker). Full-time further training takes at least two years and involves classes at a higher vocational school (called Fachschule). At the end of your training, you will take a state examination
    • Crafts: If you have trained as a craftsperson, you have the option of training to become a master craftsperson. 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 craftsperson work in leading positions or set up their own business. Moreover, as a Meister you will be allowed to take on apprentices yourself.

In addition, 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.
When you pursue continuing training to become a master craftsperson, certified engineer or specialist clerk, for example, you may be entitled to a form of financial support called Aufstiegs-BAföG. You can find out if you are eligible at

  • 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. However, there are exceptions: 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 enquire the specific admission requirements from the university you want to apply to.

Do you want to study, but also work at the same time? In Germany, you can work and either pursue a degree in your spare time, study part-time or get a degree via distance learning. Further information on this topic is available here.

If you need more information on studying in Germany, please visit our "Studying in Germany" section.

Information on the web

  1. Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK) Info paper: The dual vocational training system in Germany
  2. Federal Employment Agency (BA) Tips for writing job applications
  3. Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training (BIBB) Profiles of several occupations requiring vocational training
  4. Planet Beruf Find out which profession is best for you
  5. Youth migration services The advice portal for your life in Germany

Do you have any questions?

Let us advise you on your opportunities to work and live in Germany. Our experts will support you with questions regarding job search, visa, recognition and learning German. 

You can find out more about the various contact options by clicking on one of the icons in the bar below.

Smiling young woman working on her laptop at work
Skyline of Hamburg