How to find a job in Berlin

Work in Berlin
Updated 2022-11-13 22:08

Berlin is Germany's biggest city and Europe's fifth-largest metropolitan area, meaning that it comes as no surprise that it is an international city and one of the most popular expat destinations worldwide. One of the reasons for the latter is that Berlin offers high rates of employability and a wide range of successful work sectors, allowing the conditions for career growth opportunities.

Hence, the city continues to attract professional expats, international job seekers and interns, global talent, investors and students from all over the world, adding to its diversity. Finding a job in Berlin should not be difficult, considering the many options. However, one should make sure that they meet the criteria to enter Germany and live and work

Berlin's economy

Berlin has a significant tradition of being a large industrial center thanks to dynamic business figures such as the entrepreneur Werner von Siemens who revolutionized the electrical goods industry in the 1800s, and his name is associated with some of the most powerful moments in the history of electrical engineering. Hence, Berlin's economy is founded on a firm base, and financial crises such as the 2009 economic crisis or the crisis caused by the outbreak of COVID-19 did not create long-lasting or irreversible damage as in other parts of the world. 

Nowadays, Berlin's most profitable and pioneering industrial sectors are the sectors of energy, clean technology (i.e., eco-friendly power plant engineering, photovoltaic, etc.), information and communication technologies, and life sciences (i.e., biochemistry, genetics, immunology, biotechnology, pharmacology, virology, bacteriology, etc.). But what makes Berlin a firm economic power is the fact that two-thirds of the sales generated by the pharmaceutical industry, and mechanical and electrical engineering industries are the result of exports. 

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Berlin's main economic pillars are economic and financial services, the processing industry, automotive manufacturing, trade, and the hospitality industry. Many big German companies, including Siemens, Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe, Deutsche Telekom, Deutsche Bahn, Axel Springer, as well as several international firms, have their headquarters or subsidiaries in Berlin.

The labor market in Berlin

Berlin is an international and German students' hub with 40 higher education institutions, some of which are the most renowned in Germany, Europe, and even the world. Berlin hosts about 154,000 students, and every year, it releases to the global labor market around 26,000 qualified graduates ready to be employed, of which 35% are STEM students. According to information from university admissions offices, 50% of the annual graduates are absorbed by organizations and businesses in the region. Job vacancies in Berlin mainly relate to the following jobs: nurses and health care assistants, energy professionals, tax advisers, train drivers, plumbers, and heating and air conditioning specialists. Meanwhile, the most sought-after jobs are those of teachers, media professionals, technicians, social scientists, or sales advisers. 

Despite Berlin's continuous growth in employment opportunities since 2010, the city's labor market scenery changed abruptly in 2020 due to the measures against the spread of COVID-19. In fact, in 2020, the number of employed people in Berlin fell by -0.4% compared to the year 2019, along with the gross domestic product. Nevertheless, the declines that Berlin experienced were among the lowest in the country. Generally speaking, most Berliners are employed in major industries such as public service, financial services, healthcare, social services, business operations, and automotive manufacturing. It's worth mentioning that in 2017, Berlin's GDP was over EUR 129.9 billion, which was a 4.1% contribution to the national GDP. 

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Berlin has a lively start-up community. There was a time when Berliners used to say that every 20 minutes, a new start-up was founded in Berlin. Maybe this is not the case anymore. However, start-ups continue to play an important role in job creation and employability.  

Finding work in Berlin

Finding work in Berlin is not an easy task. However, it can be a pleasant experience as there are jobs available and employers are used to communicating with international candidates. First and foremost, as a job seeker, it is your responsibility to ensure that you have the right to live and work in Germany. If this is not the case, you should be transparent when presenting your profile to potential employers and discuss with them whether they are willing to sponsor your German work visa. Then, you have to present your skills and qualifications in your CV in such a way that it resonates with German employers. For many professions, you may have to transfer your foreign qualifications into the German system. 

Tip: We recommend raising your questions regarding finding work in Berlin to the active members of's Berlin Forum. Besides receiving advice regarding your job search, you may come across potential employers. 

Useful links:



Jobs in Berlin

Berlin Business Location Center

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