Are you planning on getting a new job and wondering what level of German is required to work in Germany today? If you are unsure about it, check out this article to find out more.
It highly depends on your profession and what level of German language is required to work in Germany for you. To give you a better understanding, I put together all information based on my own experience or official online resources.
You will learn more about whether the German language is mandatory and whether an A2 level of German is enough. You will also learn to understand the difference between B1 and B2 levels.
Besides that, I researched specific industries that are usually in high demand by job seekers. Those are IT (information technology), doctors, engineers, drivers, and nursing staff. So let me jump right into it.
Is the German language mandatory when working in Germany?
Undoubtedly, requiring a certain level of German helps find work in Germany. But there are jobs in many industries where a basic knowledge of German is enough. In those, it’s pretty easy to get full-time employment at a company.
From a visa perspective, you might need some level of German. For example, if you plan to apply for a job seekers visa in Germany, you must show at least an A2 level of German language skills.
Even if you start seeking a job in Germany from your home country, it is always beneficial to show some commitment. From my experience, it is helpful to demonstrate some German skills. Even if they are not mandatory for the desired position.
Is A2-level German enough?
As an A2 level German course provides you with slightly more basic language skills, it would be enough to go to Germany and seek a job while already living there.
You could more or less easily find a job in restaurants or cafes in bigger cities, in the service sector, or even at a hospital. For example, hospitals have a high demand in Germany, as there is too little workforce available.
Also, for becoming a part-timer in specific areas, the A2 level in German can be enough. But you might end up in one of the low-income jobs.
Can I get a job in Germany with a B1 level?
Obtaining a B1 level of German makes it easier to land your next job in Germany. This level is the required minimum for many industries, but I will talk about that later.
From my experience, German employers take you more seriously as soon as you get your B2 certification. You can read more about the difference between B1 and B2 levels of German in my article about the different language skills.
What level of German language is needed to work in IT in Germany?
IT jobs in Germany are in high demand by many international companies like Volkswagen or Wacker. You might ask yourself what level of German is required to work in IT in Germany.
The excellent news about IT jobs is that many open positions do not require a higher qualification in German. Especially in IT, and I know this from my experience, especially in IT, and many companies hire international IT teams.
You should be able to land a job in IT with only basic German language skills.
What level of German is required to work as a doctor?
I found a good website called praktischarzt.de that offers a helpful resource for all doctors who want to work in Germany. But let me summarize it here for you. To work as a medical practitioner in Germany, you must meet the following two requirements.
- It would be best if you got the official, state-issued accreditation called “Approbation,” an alternative for “Zulassung” (or approbation in English).
- It would help if you acquired at least the C1 level of German.
Working as a guest doctor or “Gastarzt,” you must show the same German level. These rules apply to EU and non-EU citizens alike.
Level of German required for engineers in Germany
Many engineering jobs are in high demand in German companies. Even though Germany is famous for its skilled engineers and their education, German companies are recently not able to hire enough staff for those positions.
This Industry 4.0 and energy transition happening in Germany allows companies to offer diverse development opportunities for engineers. You can find out more about specific requirements for jobs in that area here.
Landing a job as a software engineer can be easy, even if your German knowledge is not very profound. But if you want to step up the ladder and advance your career, having a better level of German is almost required.
There is one exciting read on an online platform for engineers in Germany called ingenier.de. This article clearly states that proficient English is more important nowadays due to the ongoing trend of globalization.
What level of German should a driver in Germany have?
Whenever I travel in Germany for business reasons, I usually take a taxi or an Uber. What’s quite apparent to me is that taxi drivers are generally more likely to be German. On the other hand, Uber drivers are primarily foreigners with less proficient German knowledge.
Taxi drivers must pass a challenging test before getting an official taxi license. I once learned from a taxi driver that this test is quite hard, and you must understand street names and communicate in German with the guest.
It is not the same if you plan to be an Uber driver. As you might know, the Uber app tells the driver exactly which route to take and how to get to the destination. So there is less of a need for you to speak German fluently.
What level of German is required to work in home care?
If you plan to get a job in nursing and elderly care in German, I can tell you that a German language level of either B1 or B2 is sufficient. However, this depends on in which state you’d like to live.
The good thing for you is that Germany has a very stable healthcare system. As the aging population in Germany is one of the main reasons for it, most of the time, nursing homes, hospitals, and other facilities are understaffed. Still, the nursing and home care sector jobs are in high demand.
The governmental website make-it-in-germany.com offers a specific page on their website only about nursing professionals. It states that about 40,000 jobs are vacant in this sector, so there is a good chance of you getting hired.
To find work in home care in Germany, the same level of German is required as if you would work for a care facility.
Even if not all jobs require a higher level of German, you may still want to consider that you might feel socially and culturally isolated regardless of your employment situation.
As soon as you get to know some locals and, for example, go out for dinner, you will realize that they will not always speak English to suit you. I recommend finding a job matching your education and continuing to learn German afterward.
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