Finding a job in one of Germany’s most prosperous cities is fairly easy, especially so in the service and hospitality sector. Finding steady and well paid employment according to one’s education is a different story, unless your qualifications fall into one of the most sought for ones. If you are an EU citizen, the paperwork and permits won’t be a problem. Since 2012, and the introduction of the Blue Card, highly qualified foreign experts from any country also have the doors to the German market wide open. If you don’t belong to one of the mentioned categories, the mission to find regular work is almost impossible.
Nationals of the EU Member States can take advantage of unrestricted freedom of movement for workers and are not subject to any restrictions regarding work permits. The same applies to nationals of the EEA States Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein. Swiss nationals are equivalent to EEA nationals.
Nationals from countries that do not belong to the European Union or the European Economic Area - so-called third country nationals - need a residence title (visa, residence permit, EU Blue Card, settlement permit or the permanent EU residence permit). Access to the German labour market is determined by the provisions of the German Residence Act. For a residence for the purpose of gainful employment, the approval by the Federal Employment Agency is always required. This approval can be obtained in an internal procedure from the German agency abroad in the country of origin (visa centre) or the responsible local immigration authority in Germany. The permit for taking up employment is awarded along with the residence title.
For an approval, it is always required that
- A legislative provision grants access to the German labour market
- There is a concrete job offer and
- There are no preferential workers available for the concrete job and the conditions of employment are comparable with those of domestic employees (labour market test).
Specialised expert teams at the employment agency in Munich are responsible for the approvals regarding residence permits. You can find more general information on working in Germany in English language at the official site of the Federal Employment Agency (Bundesagentur fur Arbeit).
The Federal Employment Agency offers an International Placement Services for those who think about working in Germany. The service assists in taking the correct decisions while preparing a future stay in Germany. The International Personnel Service offers comprehensive information on working and living in Germany and helps you find a job. The “How to Find a Job in Germany” by Get Germanized also offers valuable tips and info for finding a job in Germany.
If you are looking for a job at a bar, restaurant and the like, the best thing is you just walk in and ask for the manager. If you get one of those jobs, you’ll most likely be employed as a mini jobber earning some €450 and something extra on the side. If you are studying at one of Munich’s universities, they have many job offers at their official sites and you should be able to find something suitable there. You can also find part-time jobs in Munich at jobsinmunich.com (ads for English speakers) and similar sites. If you are looking for a bit more lucrative work during the Oktoberfest, it helps if you know somebody and apply for a job in advance. There are also special agencies which bring together supply and demand especially for the Oktoberfest, such as Wiesnjobs.de.
If you are looking for work as a skilled worker or have higher education, it is almost unavoidable that you learn some German. Munich is a prosperous area, greater Munich is Germany's Silicon Valley, which creates many jobs for academics and workers alike. Around 50,000 people are employed in research alone, and the abundance of building land around the metropolis makes expansion easy.
If you are considering moving to Munich with your family, your children's education is the last thing you need to worry about: state schools at all levels are free and provide a sound education including at least one foreign language according to your child's personal talents and preferences. Universities do not charge fees either.
The fastest way, and often the only one in the beginning if you don’t have anyone to recommend you, to find a job is if you apply at one of the numerous Zeitarbeitsagenturen (temporary employment agencies). Although most of the time you won’t get paid as much as the employees of the company the temporary employment agency sends you to, at least you have a foot in the door of a company and they might take you after a few months or a year. A list of Munich based temporary employment agencies can be found here. Again, use the time you are looking for a job to learn at least some German, as Jesse in the video below points out.
If you are a highly educated expert or researcher, here is another alternative for you. The Welcome Center is part of the network initiative MUNICH WELCOME!, whose official network partners include TUM and the Max Planck Society. The initiative is designed to promote the recruitment, integration and securing of international professionals and scientists in the Greater Munich area. For talented international professionals with a degree or other higher education diploma, our jointly run office serves as an initial point of contact and offers a range of tailored welcome services:
- Help with preparing all types of official paperwork
- Finding a place to live
- Family service (childcare/schools)
- Career advisory service for partners
- Guidance, integration and networking in Munich
- Presentations and events relating to social insurance topics and intercultural aspects.
More information on Munich Welcome is available here.
The Federal Employment Agency offers a perspective to foreign skilled workers in Germany. However, immigration from states outside of the European Union, the European Economic Area and Switzerland - meaning from the so-called third countries - must also be responsible regarding labour market and integration policy.
For this reason, an overview of professions in which the employment of third-country nationals in Germany is basically possible has been developed – the so-called Whitelist. You can find the current whitelist here.
In your search for any kind of job in Munich you need to have a resume or CV (curriculum vitae) filled out in English, or better, in German as part of your application (along with a cover letter, a passport photograph, copies of school certificates and testimonials of previous employment). You can download CV examples in both languages from here. More general information of how your application documents should be put together is available from iagora.com.
Some of the most popular German online job-portals are: arbeitsagentur.de, experteer.de, IT-Jobkontakt.de, stepstone.de, monster.de, jobpilot.de and jobscout24.de.