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Degree and certificate

You usually get a good job in Germany with a degree or vocational training. The vocational training should be finished. And you need a certificate. Do you have certificates from your home country? Have them translated and certified.

© Goethe Institute

Course of an apprenticeship

For an apprenticeship you need at least a secondary school diploma. Without a qualification, it is very difficult to get an apprenticeship position. In Germany there is a dual system for most of the apprenticeships. You learn the profession directly at a company. And you go to a vocational school. Here you learn the theoretical basics for the job. And you also have a few general subjects such as German, politics or sports. Practice your German for the workplace on the Goethe-Institut website.

Practical training is done in the company. You work 3 - 4 days a week in the company and 8 - 12 hours a week in the vocational school. Or you spend a few weeks at the company and a few weeks in vocational school. You can do an apprenticeship in many companies and in almost all areas. You can find an apprenticeship as well as a job. You also have to write an application (see: Job Search). You get some money while training in a company.

Duration of training

Vocational training usually lasts 2 or 3 years. But there are also training courses for professions that can be learned in a short time, for example in the areas of childcare, elderly care, catering or cosmetics. Find out more from the employment agency in your city.

© Goethe Institute


With the Abitur or another university entrance qualification you can study at a university (Uni). With the technical diploma one can go to a technical college (FH). Studying at a technical college is usually more practice-oriented than at a university. At German universities (Uni and FH) you have to be able to speak German very well as a student. If German is not your mother tongue, you will need proof of your German language skills. Mostly you need the "German language test for university entrance" (DSH) or TestDaF. There may also be other requirements such as a specific grade point average (numerus clausus). Find out more about this from the respective university.

The tuition fees depend on the state. Normal bachelor's and master's degrees are free at state universities. Administration, the student union and the semester ticket may incur costs per semester. Information on this is available at or

For the Bachelor's degree, you need 6 - 8 semesters. After a further 2 - 4 semesters you can do a master’s degree.

There is a career information center (BIZ) in every city. You can find the BIZ through the employment agency in your city. Here you can advise employees on the following topics: vocational training, studies and further education.