Summer jobs in Germany

summer job in Germany
Updated 2019-08-28 11:25

Two-thirds of German students work to finance their studies. A summer job is a great way to boost your budget and gain new work experience. To start working in Germany, you must be at least 15 years of age. The minimum age can increase depending on the type of job you intend to do. Finding a summer job in Germany is relatively easy and allows good earning opportunities.

Finding a summer job in Germany as a student

Students from the EU or EEA are basically on the same terms as German students and have free access to the German job market. During term break, students are allowed to work full-time for a maximum two months a year (or 50 working days). During lecture time, different rules apply and regular students can work for only half time, up to 20 hours a week. Students from Poland, Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia, Czech Republic, Slovenia and Slovakia can work on similar terms.

Students from outside the EEA can work up to 120 full or 240 half days a year. In case you want to work more, approval by the Foreign Department and the Employment Agency is needed. This also applies to work placements. Even unpaid work experiences count as work and every day will be subtracted from the 120 days. If you are enrolled as a language student, you will need prior approval by the Employment Agency and the Foreign Department.

Agriculture, retail and the catering industry are the most popular recruiting sectors for seasonal jobs. However, don’t hesitate to apply for jobs related to your field of study or expertise. Send unsolicited applications and search job offers online and consult student boards. Remember the possibility to find a summer job in Germany will be higher if you directly apply on the spot. Additionally, internship experience in your working field is useful for finding long term employment and opens the doors to future work opportunities. It is a good idea to contact the International Placement Services (ZAV - Zentrale Auslands- und Fachvermittlung), who help German companies recruit foreign workers.

 Good to know:

Look out for Studentenjobs or Ferienjobs. Even if you aim at doing a seasonal job, apply as soon as possible for the position. The best places to search for a job in your study field are, XING, Monster, Moberries, Glassdoor, or LinkedIn. If you desire to find a part-time job, you can also check out sites like,,


Remember that if you hold a full-time job after your period of study, your student visa is not sufficient anymore to allow you to stay in the country. You will need a new residency visa and a new work permit.

Finding seasonal jobs as a non-student in Germany

Theme parks such as Europapark are good alternatives for seasonal jobs, even if you don't have student status. Catering service and in-door selling are working sectors which offer many jobs, but these are not accessible under 16 years old, and not under 18 years old if they deal with working on the rides. These temporary jobs are generally available between April and November.

Becoming an Au Pair (performing basic domestic chores and looking after host family's children in exchange for food and accommodation) is another good way to work while being immersed in the German culture. You can check with the German Embassy in your country if you need to apply for a holiday visa.

If you come from the European Union or European Free Trade Association countries (EFTA; Switzerland, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway), you must:

  • be between 18 and 30 years old,
  • not be married nor have children,
  • have some basic knowledge about the German language and
  • have enough money to finance your stay in Germany.

For non-European Union nationals, conditions are almost the same. You must:

  • be between 18 and 27 years old,
  •  have an A1 German language certificate and
  • stay in Germany for at least six months.

 Good to know:

As an Au Pair, you can benefit from discount cards such as the Stadtpass. Check with the municipal authorities in your host town.

Wages in Germany

The minimum wage for student jobs in Germany is about 8 to 10 euros per hour. If you are not a student, consider finding a “mini-job” with a monthly salary of up to 450 euros. Generally, it is a part-time job exempt from income tax. Working hours can vary depending on the nature of the job.

Freelancing in Germany

Freelancing in Germany is considered a self-employment job, however with lower taxes. According to the German Residence Act (Aufenthaltsgesetz), the process of acceptance of freelances depends on the current situation of the German labour market. The rules for a freelance visa for non-EU nationals vary from the country of provenance, except for those coming from countries like US, Japan, Israel, Australia, Canada, Korea, and New Zealand, who are able to apply directly from Germany. The acceptance depends on the Employment Agency of Germany and with that the possibility to get a freelance visa. After getting a visa, it is essential to register at the Local Registration office to get a personal tax number. Be careful with the income taxes, which have to be declared with the electronic system, called ELektronische STeuerERklärung – ELSTER. Here you need to fill your information like bank details, level of income, and personal details. Freelances, in their first years, have 50% discounted social security fees. There are some private pension options for those who seek a more extended residence period, and for those who earn a lot as freelancers.

Job application in Germany

Make sure to translate your CV and cover letter into German. Don't forget to include a rather formal picture of yourself. Research German resume models and list all relevant work experience. Europass is a European website that gives you the possibility of creating your resume in compliance with recruiters' expectations depending on the foreign country you would like to work in. Europass also offers a Language Passport, which is a self-assessment document that attests of your language skills and qualifications. The Language Passport could be an important tool to highlight your fluency in German (or, indeed, any other languages) to German recruiters.

The importance of learning German

Summer jobs allow you to gain new work experience abroad and are an excellent way for young students and workers to enjoy discovering a new way of life. Good command of the German language is a crucial element to facilitate your experience abroad. Indeed, it usually plays a vital role in convincing German recruiters. Most of the seasonal and part-time job offers come from the tertiary sector that requires direct contact with customers. Thus, you would be well advised to read books or use audio-visual media specialised in learning current German language, before getting into a new adventure in the country.

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