Summer jobs in Germany

summer job in Germany
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Updated 2021-12-02 13:50

The summer season in Germany begins in June and lasts until the end of August. These three months of the year offer an opportunity for various summer jobs in different sectors (e.g., hospitality, agriculture, education, etc.). However, seasonal jobs can be competitive due to the high demand, especially among students and young adults, flexibility for employees, and their short-term nature. 

The aim of this article is to give clarity about how to get a summer job in Germany to finance your studies, boost your budget, and gain new work experience. Note that 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.

Summer jobs for students

Finding a summer job in Germany is relatively easy for students and allows good earning opportunities. Students from the EU or EEA are 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 full two months a year (or 50 working days). Different rules apply during lecture time, and regular students can work for only half time, up to 20 hours a week.

Students from outside the EU-EEA can work up to 120 full or 240 half days a year. If you want to work more, approval by the Federal Foreign Office and the Federal 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.

Employed teenagers between 15 and 18 are protected by the Jugendarbeitsschutzgesetz (Youth Labor Protection Law), which imposes restrictions on the types of work performed by teenagers, hours of work, and types of shifts. For example, teenagers are entitled to 30-minute breaks for every 4.5 hours of work, and teenagers under 16 must finish their shift by 8 PM and start no earlier than 6 AM. Also, teenagers must have two weekends per month off.

Attention:

If you enrol in a German language school and arrive in Germany on a German Language Course Visa (which is different from the Student Visa for higher education studies), you cannot work in Germany.

Good to know:

The minimum wage for student jobs in Germany is about 8 to 10 euros per hour.

Useful links:

Federal Foreign Office

Federal Employment Agency

Seasonal jobs on a Working Holiday Visa

Nationals of Australia, Japan, New Zealand, the Republic of Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Israel, Chile, and Brazil, aged between 18 and 30, can stay in Germany for up to one year on the grounds of experiencing the culture and daily life in Germany while undertaking short-term jobs to support themselves. Visa requirements, conditions, restrictions, minimum age, length of stay, and fees may vary according to your country of origin. In general, it is necessary to be the holder of a valid passport issued in one of the above-mentioned countries, have sufficient financial guarantees to sustain oneself in the country, have valid return tickets, have a minimum study level and some knowledge of German (except if the purpose of the stay is to take German classes). The WHV application must be filed in a German embassy or consulate abroad.

Useful link:

Working Holiday Visa (Auswärtiges Amt)

Getting a summer job

Summer jobs can be competitive due to the high demand, especially among students and young adults, flexibility for employees, and their short-term nature, which most applicants are looking to benefit from. Hence, applicants must be strategic in order to secure a position and close a good deal with their employer.

For summer jobs, often, references matter more than an impressive CV and cover letter. For example, if you are looking for a job in a bakery or a restaurant, your employer may be more interested in your social values, customer service experience, and personal interactions rather than your academic background and research interests. Hence, they will want a person to confirm that you are a genuinely kind person, caring about others, and willing to work hard, even under pressure. These kinds of personal references don't necessarily have to come from previous employers — they can be provided by a tutor, a family friend, or a mentor.

If a resume and cover letter are required at the application stage, 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 allows you to create 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 to 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.

Good to know:

If you are a student, you can ask your university or college's career centre or student union for assistance with your summer job applications.

Useful link:

Europass

Types of summer jobs

A summer job should be fun, or at least a learning experience that will help you move your career in the right direction. It is your summer holiday you are sacrificing after all! Before starting applying for summer jobs, consider what type of job matches your personality, professional profile, and interests. For example, if you are a caring and responsible character, you may be interested in working with children as a camp counselor, an au pair, or a tutor. On the other hand, if you are an adventurous person, being outdoors in the mountains or at a national park as a tour guide may be your ideal job for the summer holidays. If your career aspirations revolve around hospitality, look for summer jobs in resorts, amusement parks, and theme parks.

Good to know:

Au pairs usually receive a monthly stipend and health insurance and are accommodated for free by the family whose children they care for.

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 of finding a summer job in Germany will be higher if you directly apply on the spot. Additionally, internship experience in your working field is helpful for finding long term employment and opens the doors to future work opportunities.

Useful link:

Careers at Europa Park

The German model of mini-jobs

The model of mini-jobs is quite unique and a very popular form of marginal employment in Germany. In fact, one in five employed Germans has a mini-job, whether as their only source of income or alongside full-time employment. However, mini-jobs are also suitable for expats and international students, as long as they have the right to work in Germany, as stated on their visa or residence permit.

But what is classified as a mini-job? A mini-job is employment from which you earn no more than 450 Euros per month or 5400 Euros per year. In principle, it doesn't matter how many hours you work, and if one month you earn more than 450 Euros and another you earn less or nothing, as long as you don't make more than 5,400 Euros (including bonuses) for the whole year. One important factor mini-jobbers-to-be should take into account is that you are required to pay for health insurance since a mini-job does not account for social insurance. But on the bright side, mini-jobbers have no tax obligations, which the employer covers in the form of a 2% flat tax rate.

Tip:

If you want to look for a mini-job, consider sectors such as hospitality, catering, retail, and domestic help.

Good to know:

Mini-jobs shouldn't be confused with short-term employment (Kurzfristigen Beschäftigung), which is conditioned on working less than three months or 70 working days per year.

The importance of learning German

Summer jobs allow you to gain new work experience in Germany 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 summer job experience. Indeed, it usually plays a vital role in convincing German recruiters. Most of the seasonal and part-time job offers come from the sectors requiring direct contact with customers. Thus, you could consider practising your German language skills by reading books or using audio-visual media specialised in learning the German language. Having said that, some sectors are catering mainly to non-German clients, meaning that the knowledge of any other language may be preferred to German.

We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.