Do you want to work in Germany and don’t speak German? Finding a job in Germany without speaking German should not be a problem.
Can I get a job in Germany without speaking German?
In short, yes, you can get a job in Germany without speaking a single word of German. There are several industries, like digital departments in more extensive cooperations as well as tech startups, that hire English-speaking staff. There is a higher chance for you to get hired there.
As mentioned in my previous article about what level of German is required to work in Germany today, there are jobs where you can easily find work.
Some information available online will help you understand the bigger picture. The Arbeitsagentur (job center) in Germany published a statistic in May 2019. This statistic states that around 12% of foreigners working in Germany have regular employment contracts.
Can you get a job in Germany with just English?
From my own experience, I can tell that it is possible to get a good-paying job in Germany with just English. I can only advise you that job listings on platforms like meinestadt.de, LinkedIn, or indeed, written in English are not necessarily suitable for only English-speaking candidates.
Please make sure that you read the whole listing because most require you to be fluent in German and have good knowledge of English.
As mentioned above, tech startups, digital departments in more extensive cooperations, or tech companies are a good starting point for you to find a job in Germany without speaking German.
What jobs are available in Germany for non-German speakers?
There are specific kinds of jobs available in Germany for non-German speakers, such as IT, engineers, and English teachers, but also some positions in the healthcare system in Germany. Indeed does have a specific category for non-German speaking jobs on its website, but it’s unfortunately not that well maintained.
Other jobs available are data scientists or software engineers. From my own experience, I’d also like to tell you that it is easier in bigger cities to be hired as a non-German speaker. This leads me to my answer to the next question.
German Job Market Analysis: Who’s hiring English speakers and where?
The best opportunities for you are most likely in Berlin, Duesseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, and Munich. As long as you are not a local, it might be hard to grasp where specific industries are in Germany. So let me start with the capital of Germany.
In general, if you are an expat searching for a job in Germany, please ensure that you are not only applying to larger companies. Initially, you might need to choose a smaller company open to hiring international employees. So, finding a job in Germany without speaking German is easier than you might expect.
Finding a job in Germany without speaking German in Berlin
In Berlin, there is a huge tech startup scene with a very international vibe. In addition to that, many larger cooperations have their headquarters in Berlin. The top five companies that hire English speakers are:
Jobs for English speakers in Düsseldorf
Duesseldorf, or “Düsseldorf,” has, for example, the most significant Japanese expat community in Germany. The reason is that many Japanese companies are hiring, and many international companies specifically search for non-German speakers. Some of the top 10 companies are in that area:
Finding a job in Germany without speaking German in Frankfurt
Frankfurt is considered the banking city and financial capital of Germany. One reason for that is the German stock exchange located close to Frankfurt. Frankfurt might be a good destination for you if you are into marketing and sales.
Because Frankfurt also has the largest airport in Germany and is home to Lufthansa, you might also find suitable job offers there. Other top 5 companies are:
English jobs in Hamburg
Hamburg is not only a beautiful city to visit as a tourist but also a great place to live, based on what I learned from a coworker. As the second-largest city in Germany, it is very expat-friendly and offers an outstanding work-life balance.
You might find good opportunities in IT, the banking sector, and science and research. Other companies that you might consider during your application process could be:
How to find a job in Munich without speaking German
Last but not least, there is the secret capital of Germany, Munich, or “München.” Besides its outstanding quality of living, this city offers opportunities in many industries. Those are the health sector, science, IT, marketing, biotech, tourism, and hospitality.
Munich is also home to BMW, one of the most famous German car brands besides Audi. Audi’s headquarters are, by the way, located in Ingolstadt, which is a city located only 35 minutes by train from Munich. The top 5 companies where it can be easy finding a job in Germany without speaking German in Munich are:
For your information, a friend who works in recruiting for a company helped me provide this data for you. His information comes from insights from Jobfeed.
Opportunities in smaller cities in Germany
But, Germany is a huge country with a strong economy, and many medium-sized companies are not necessarily located in bigger cities. The German “Mittelstand” sometimes operates internationally from the countryside or smaller towns.
One example is Wacker Chemie AG. The heart of the company sits in Burghausen, based on information on their website. Burghausen itself is a small medieval city with roughly 19.000 citizens in Bavaria.
Other international operating companies like Würth have their headquarters in Künzelsau. This city has only 15.000 citizens and is in the middle of nowhere between Nürnberg and Heilbronn.
How to find a job in Germany if you don’t speak German?
As I mentioned in one of my previous posts about how to apply in Germany, it’s sometimes not easy to get a new job immediately. You will need patience, and I ask you to give yourself some time.
There are specific industries, like Science, Technology, and Engineering, where German knowledge is not mandatory. If your profession is not in that field, you might want to look at other areas like hospitality, caretaking, etc.
The best way to find a job is to look at some job platforms that are genuinely relevant in Germany. I’ve put a list of portals for you in my list of the top 15 job portals in Germany.
Will you be able to manage everyday life in Germany without speaking German (at least at the beginning)?
When I arrived in Germany, my experience was mixed. Many of the younger generation in Germany, between 20 – 45, have excellent English skills. The older generation in Germany, especially people above 60, feel hardly comfortable speaking English with someone.
Many years ago, helpful tools like Google Translate, Google Lens, or the Apple Camera App were unavailable. So, grocery shopping has sometimes been a pain if you don’t understand the ingredients or the type of food you buy.
Thanks to digitalization and excellent internet connection almost everywhere, I feel that the situation is much easier. So, yes, I would say that you can get along pretty well without speaking or understanding German at the beginning.
Only one thing might be harder at the beginning: Socializing and finding local friends. I experienced that it does take time for Germans to open up and become true friends. But as soon as they are friends, they will stick around and be happy to support you.
After finding a job in Germany without speaking German, you will soon get to know your coworkers and start learning the language by using it daily. This is at least the experience I had shortly after I started working in Germany.
Even if finding a job in Germany without speaking German might seem impossible initially, you will soon realize it is not so hard. There are many industries, cities, and sometimes even rural areas where companies specifically search for English-speaking foreigners. As you learned from this article, you don’t have to move to bigger cities to get a job if you don’t speak German. I only can encourage you to broaden your search and stay flexible!
USEFUL INFORMATION ABOUT GERMANY
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> How To Get A Job In Germany
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