Craftsman at work


 The German crafts and trades stand for customer-friendliness, high-quality products and practical solutions – become an active part of this sector!

What are skilled crafts and trades?

Skilled crafts and trades are not only the heart and soul of small and medium-sized businesses, but also Germany's economic engine. Thanks to the proximity to their customers, they create high-quality products and bespoke solutions for problems using their wide range of services and goods. The skilled crafts and trades are directed towards private individuals as well as the manufacturing industry, commerce and the state sector. Moreover, the skilled crafts and trades are an extremely versatile sector and include the following areas:

  • Construction and development
  • Metal and electronics
  • Wood and plastics
  • Industrial cleaning
  • Artisanal food production
  • Healthcare and personal hygiene
  • Clothing, textile and leather
  • Graphic design

The German crafts and trades in figures

Start your career in a skilled craft or trade in Germany

Alongside a long tradition and dual vocational training for a period of 2 – 3.5 years, the skilled crafts and trades also encompass a high degree of innovation. This means that they are future-proof and offer attractive promotion prospects, such as further training and professional self-employment as a master craftsperson. Qualified professionals are needed in the following areas:

  • Tinsmith: as a tinsmith, you will carry out a variety of preparatory tasks relating to the construction of metal or plastic building units, which you will then install in properties, for example on roofs or facades. This can be in newly constructed or renovated buildings, for example in order to fulfil new environmental constraints in the fields of energy utilisation systems, water drainage and thermal insulation.
  • Plumber for sanitary, heating and air-conditioning technology: in this field, you will install water and air supply systems (toilet assemblies) in buildings, as well as heating systems, such as solar power units, heat pumps and wood pellet heating systems. Aside from the manual and mechanical processing of pipes, sheet metal and sections, you will be responsible for regularly inspecting the functionality of the various systems after installation. You will also install smart home systems and device-specific software.
  • Construction: in the construction sector, there is a particularly high demand for skilled workers in Germany.
  • Structural engineering:  in structural engineering, you plan and build structures that are above ground level.
    • Concrete and steel construction worker: alongside the production of concrete or reinforced concrete, you will fabricate the formwork before continuing to process the individual elements on building sites, for example to construct staircases, walls, bridges and dams.
    • As a mason, you will mainly be working outside on building sites, both independently and in a team of colleagues, site managers and architects. Your field of work includes masonry itself, as well as planning and constructing the necessary components.
  • As a floorer, you will be an integral part of construction projects: customer consultations and preparation of the subsoil, laying of the floor itself and, if required, further surface finishing. You can obtain a master craftsperson qualification in the field of parquetry.
  • Civil engineering: as part of a team, you will be involved in the construction and planning of structures on or below the earth's surface, such as tunnels, roads, railway tracks and pipelines. As a skilled construction worker in civil engineering, you will carry out physically demanding construction work, but you can also work as a civil engineer.
    • As a well builder, you drill underground to make drinking water accessible. You drill well shafts, lay pipes and install pumping stations for the water.
    • As a railway track constructor, you will, for example, install rails and points and build level crossings. You are also responsible for the inspection of tracks and repairs.
    • Sewer and tunnel construction: as a sewer construction worker, you lay pipes, build sewers and renovate old pipes. As a tunnel construction worker, you work with construction machinery to loosen layers of rock, secure tunnels, build ventilation shafts and more.
    • Road and asphalt construction: as an asphalt construction worker, you prepare and process asphalt mixtures. As a road construction worker, you build roads, motorways, pavements and airfields and carry out repair work. You work with construction machinery, but also with your hands.

In addition to the construction sector, skilled workers are particularly sought after in the following crafts and trades:

  • As a floor layer, you will be part of projects from the beginning to the end, i.e. from customer consultations to preparation of the ground, laying of the floor itself and, if required, further surface finishing. You can obtain a master craftsman or master craftswoman qualification in the field of parquet laying.
  • Electrical engineers with a specialisation in energy technology: in this profession, you will be involved from the moment of design/planning and production/installation of the electronic systems up until the final handover and after-sales support. Vacant positions are mainly found in automation engineering, electric utility, mechanical engineering and plant construction as well as vehicle construction.
  • Industrial cleaning: in this essential profession, you will work in office buildings or public buildings, such as administrative buildings, hospitals and swimming pools, as well as in public transport and parks. Acting in a strategic manner is required to be able to select the appropriate tools and dosage of cleaning agents.
  • Automotive mechatronics engineer: in this profession, you are responsible for the maintenance of motor vehicles such as cars, motorbikes, etc. You inspect the systems, carry out measurements (e.g. of exhaust gases), repair and install accessories. Automotive mechatronics engineers can also work in the field of electromobility.


Find out more about training and further education opportunities in the “Skilled crafts and trades” career portal!

A craftsman at work in the workshop

The title of master craftsperson or tradesperson

If you have learnt a profession in the crafts and trades, you can continue your education in Germany to become a master of the craft. The title of master craftsman or master tradesperson is an officially recognised advanced training qualification in Germany and is a mark of quality for managers. Especially in crafts and trades subject to authorisation, a master’s title is often required for setting up a business. In the Trades and Crafts Code, you can find out which professions are subject to authorisation.

The country’s trainers

The skilled crafts and trades do not only contribute to society’s prosperity, but also to the training of qualified professionals. 29% of apprentices in Germany are employed in the skilled crafts and trades. However, many apprenticeship positions remain vacant. That is why new talent is urgently required. Find out more about internships, vocational training positions and vacant trainee positions in the crafts and trades industry!

Info box

Are you a skilled worker from Bosnia and Herzegovina with completed vocational training? Seize the opportunity to come to Germany via the HabiZu (Handwerk bietet Zukunft) project and work in your profession with the status of being officially recognised. You can find more information on the professions and services involved in the project on the home page of the Federal Employment Agency.

Do I need a visa?

As a citizen of the European Union, Liechtenstein, Iceland, Norway or Switzerland, you do not require a visa or a residence permit to work in Germany. Citizens of other countries do require a residence permit for this purpose. You can find more information on the work visa for qualified professionals in the “Visa” section.


In certain cases, entering Germany for up to one year after completing your professional training in order to look for a job is also an option. Find more information in the “Job search opportunity card” section.

A craftswoman cuts metal
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Do I need official recognition of my qualifications?

In the so-called regulated professions, you will need recognition of your foreign professional qualifications in order to practise these professions in Germany. In the non-regulated professions, recognition of your foreign professional qualifications is usually not required. However, if you come from a non-EU country and need a visa or residence permit for Germany, recognition is mandatory. For your professional qualification, you must go through the recognition procedure. You can find out more about the recognition process in the “Recognition” section.

Did you apply for recognition of your professional qualification and the certification authority in Germany has determined that you require further qualifications for full recognition? Then you can find out whether the visa for the recognition of foreign qualifications is an option for you.

Next steps

Next steps
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✔ Your career prospects: with our Quick-Check, you can find out about the opportunities available to you for working and living in Germany.

✔ The German employment market: find more information on job-hunting and get useful tips in our section “Looking for a job” section.

✔ Apply now: find a suitable position in our “Make it in Germany” job listings and use our tips for a successful job application in Germany.

Information on the web

  1. German Confederation of Skilled Crafts Information about the German craft
  2. German Chamber of Trades and Crafts Central platform for the Chamber of Crafts
  3. Trades and Crafts Information for craftsmen and craft enterprises
  4. Central Department for Further Education in the Skilled Crafts and Trades Service institution for craft training centers

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.

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