Germany being the ideal study destination for students from all over the world, employment gets created in large numbers, which are either full-time jobs or part-time jobs.
Working a job is an experience for international students, making them more knowledgeable and known to the surroundings they live in and studying in. Approximately two-thirds of Germany’s students work during their studies, which provides them with extra income and an opportunity to enhance their skills and knowledge.
The living cost in Germany is affordable compared to other European nations, and hence students get attracted to Germany for education. As of 1 January 2021, an international student will need around 861 EUR/month to cover their living expenses, which translates to around 10,332 EUR/year.
Rules for international students
When it comes to working a job, not every student is treated equally. Students from the European Union, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland have the same rights as German students in the job market. In case these students want to work more than 20 hours per week. However, they are eligible for specific insurance contributions, just like German nationals.
International students have different sets of rule and criteria for them to work a job. Some restrictions are imposed on them, which are discussed below:
- Restricted working hours: You can only work 120 full days or 240 half days per year.
- Restricted employment: You are not allowed to undertake self-employment or freelancing.
- Special permission: If you want to work more than the hours allowed, you should ask for permission from the local employment agency and the foreigners’ registration office.
- Language course students: International students who are undertaking a language course or preparatory course are only allowed to work (during recess periods) with permission from the Federal Employment Agency and the Immigration Office.
Where can you find a part-time job?
Students wanting to work a part-time job must be alert and observant at all times and grab the right opportunity for them. Job listings are mentioned in the newspapers, university bulletin boards and even in the university magazines.
Some places where you can find a reference for a job are given below:
University Bulletin Board
The university bulletin board can be an efficient way to find a student job while at university. Typically, these boards are full of flyers for students to see, and in some instances, employers are also offering jobs with flexible hours, perfect for university students.
University Career Centres
Usually, universities have their career centres to help students find a job they can do alongside studying. These career centres are constantly in contact with a wide range of industries and employers, meaning they are up to date with the job market.
Online Job Portals
Online job portals are also helpful for students wishing to work part-time in Germany. Employers post their job offerings in different job portals so potential employees can see them and apply.
Friends and Fellow Students
Whether they have heard of any job openings, asking friends and fellow students, or any other type of acquaintance, is undoubtedly something to be advised. This is not always helpful, but it can prove to be beneficial in certain situations. Besides, once you let your friends know that you are looking for a job, they will inform you if they hear someone hiring.
How much do these jobs pay?
Student jobs in Germany pay enough for a student to earn an extra income or extra pocket money. However, they do not pay enough to cover all living expenses. Generally, the minimum wage in Germany currently (as of 2019) stands at 9.19 EUR/hour, and it is updated every two years.
The pay largely depends on the students’ skills as well as the industry they are employed in. Some jobs pay higher amounts while other industries might pay less, depending on the regional labour market.
Do the students have to pay any tax on this income?
Students who earn 450 EUR/month from a part-time job do not need to pay any income tax in Germany. If you are making more than that amount monthly, regularly, you will be required to obtain a tax number. This way, a certain amount will be deducted from your wage every month, but you will be able to get it back at the end of the year if you submit a tax return.
Typical part-time jobs for international students in Germany
Here is a list of standard part-time job that any international student can take up during their study in Germany:
- Library supervisor
- Literature researcher
- Tutorial assistant
- Trade Fairs
- Filing office documents
- Media (Journalism students)
- Tutoring (Students in teacher training)
Here, we have answered some questions for your ease.
Q1. Can you get a job in Germany without speaking German?
Ans. Yes. But it’s tough out there in the German jobs market if you do not speak German. We are frequently asked the question: “Do I need to speak German to work in Germany?”. While technically the answer is no, the reality depends mainly on you.
Q2. How much can I earn as a student in Germany?
Ans. As a student, you may earn up to 450 euros a month without paying taxes to the state. If you are paid a wage every month on a mini-job basis, you can earn up to 5,400 euros a year. For students, there is an annual tax exemption threshold.
Q3. What happens if I work more than 20 hours in Germany?
Ans. If students work more than 20 hours a week, they risk breaching annual limits (120 half days and 240 total days). There is also a monthly income limit of €450. Above that point, you will need to pay standard German taxes, while income below €450 is tax-free.
We truly hope we were able to resolve any queries you might have had.