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Part-time jobs in Germany

Your guide to finding part-time jobs in Germany in 5 steps.

Part-time employment is a good way to cover the cost of your study abroad. In this article, you will find part-time work options for international students from India in Germany.

Working part-time in Germany

Studying abroad can be expensive and often involves substantial costs. However, German universities offer a good working environment for students, as Germany is the largest economy in Europe, despite being the fifth smallest country in the world.

We've put together this guide to part-time work to help you support your studies abroad and maybe even find your dream job in Germany!

Why do students look for a part-time job?

Students in Germany need around €870 per month to cover their living costs. On top of that, there are semester fees and, depending on the housing market, higher rents.

Working while studying is a good option for many students. With a part-time job, they can continue to concentrate on their studies and at the same time increase their monthly income and perhaps even top up savings.

A part-time job is not only good for your finances as a student. You will get to know yourself in different roles (e.g., as a team member or expert) and perhaps even in difficult situations, giving you the opportunity to learn more about yourself on a personal level. In addition, a part-time job spices up your resume: If you work while you study, you prove that you can manage your time well and that you are resilient. It doesn't matter what industry you work in - the main point is that you have gained experience in the job market.

Before you inquire about a student job, you should find out about the general conditions for international students. You can find answers to the most important questions here:

How do international students find part-time work?

How to find part-time jobs? Most job opportunities can be found on online job portals or the university bulletin board. Here are some more ideas:

At the university

A position as a research assistant at the university is ideal for students from a non-EU country. To find such job opportunities, you can check the university bulletin board or the university's online job exchange. Wissenschaftliche Hilfskräfte or “Hiwis” (= academic assistants) are responsible - for example - for supervision in the library, leading tutorials, or research literature for the professors.

Note: Hiwi-jobs are ideally suited for working longer hours because you do not have to adhere to the 120/240 days rule. This rule states that international students from other countries may only work part-time and no more than 120 full days or 240 half days per year.

Tip

Ask friends or fellow students if they have any good tips for a job.

Outside the university

To find a part-time job outside the university, you can search on online job boards, and often there are also job offers at the Studierendenwerk. Sometimes it is also worth looking in local and regional newspapers. Typical student jobs outside of uni include waitressing, working at fairs, and courier services. Tutoring is also a good way for international students to supplement their budget.

Through the Federal Employment Agency

The Employment Agency has a job placement service for students. You can also get personal advice there. So a visit is definitely worthwhile if you are looking for a part-time job!

What are the rules and restrictions about working as an international student?

International students in Germany definitely have the opportunity to earn money while studying. For example, they can work as waitresses, research assistants (e.g., preparing research literature), or provide tutoring (for example, in their native language). This is especially interesting for international students working during their lecture-free time, as they can then earn some extra pocket money or even cover their living costs.

However, there are certain rules and restrictions, especially for students from non-European countries. Please keep this in mind because it is extremely important for you in case you are not from the European Union:

  • Limited working hours: International students are allowed to work 120 full days or 240 half days per year. This means that they cannot accept continuous full-time jobs lasting one year.

Note: If you want to work more, you need the approval of the Employment Agency and the Foreigners' Registration Office. The only exception is working as a research assistant (Wissenschaftliche Hilfskraft). This can be done for an unlimited period of time. However, the Foreigners' Office must be informed about this, and the university rules must be adhered to as well.

  • Restricted employment: Self-employment is not allowed for international students.

Note

Foreign students attending a preparatory course or language course can only work during the semester break with permission from the foreign authority (Immigration Office and the Federal Employment Agency).

What is the process of finding a job in Germany?

Part-time jobs are plentiful in Germany, and there are many job opportunities for Indian students or any other foreign students who study abroad:

1. Check out the job market

Take a look at the regional labor market: After you have checked out job openings for international university students at the local employment agency, online job portals, local newspapers, or university notice boards and found some interesting offers, it's time to apply!

2. Apply for relevant part-time jobs in Germany

Just like German students, in most cases, you are required to apply by e-mail and attach a CV and a letter of motivation to your application documents. In Germany, a good cover letter matters a lot and can also be useful for part-time jobs.

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3. Make a good impression at the interview

One of the job openings you applied to has invited you for a face-to-face interview? Try to make a good impression and talk about previous experience in the field, if you have any. It could also be very helpful if you mention that you are attending or have attended a German language course.

4. Take the job opportunity

One of the student jobs or part-time jobs you applied for has offered you a position? Take advantage of this opportunity! After you have set some basic conditions like your working hours with the employer, start your part-time work while you study abroad!

5. Make use of the work permit after graduation

If students want to find full-time employment in Germany after their study abroad, they can use their student visas and get an 18-month residence permit for the time after their degree. This also allows them to work full-time in any type of job while launching their career in Germany! Please bear in mind that you need to apply for an employment visa as soon as you have found professional employment.

How much do part-time jobs in Germany pay?

There is a minimum wage in Germany. Since July 1, 2021, it has been €9.60 per hour and it is set to rise to €10.45 in July 2022. However, how much you earn depends largely on your own skills, the industry, and the regional labor market. In cities like Munich and Hamburg, hourly wages are usually higher, but so is the cost of living. For academic assistants, industrial production assistants, or service staff at trade fairs, the average hourly wage is often slightly higher than the minimum wage.

Highest paying part-time jobs in Germany

Are you looking for a lucrative job opportunity? These are the best paying part-time jobs in Germany for students:

  1. Research scholars
  2. Research assistants/academic assistants
  3. Support staff
  4. Teaching English as an English tutor
  5. Industrial production assistants
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Do international students in Germany have to pay social security contributions?

You only have to pay social security contributions if you have a permanent full-time job in the country. Anyone who is permanently employed in Germany pays the following contributions: Health insurance, pension insurance, unemployment insurance, and nursing care insurance.

Tip

Keep your employment under or equal to 20 hours per week. Only then you do not violate university regulations and do not have to pay insurance contributions. If you work more hours, you will have to pay certain insurance contributions, just like all the German students.

Do I have to pay taxes as an international student in Germany?

Students can earn up to €450 per month without paying taxes. However, as soon as they regularly exceed this limit, they have to pay taxes. The tax number will be sent to you automatically by mail after you have received your residence permit and registered your address with the city. Be sure to keep this letter.

Note

Students can reclaim this amount at the end of the year after submitting their tax returns.

What are the best part-time jobs for international students in Germany?

These jobs are great for international students:

1. Student assistant

One of the most popular jobs among international students is that of a student assistant. The reasons are obvious: You work at the university, often in a field related to your studies, and you can easily combine your working hours with your studies. Jobs as a student assistant usually offer the opportunity to work regular hours during the semester and to reduce your working hours during the exam period.

Your tasks as a student assistant can vary greatly. Depending on which institute you are assigned to, you will work on experiments, compile material for lectures, provide administrative support, or work on theoretical projects.

The salary range in this job is from about €10 to €17 per hour.

2. Tutor

If you are particularly passionate about the content of a seminar in your degree program and enjoy sharing your knowledge with others, this job can be especially rewarding for you. A tutor organizes courses that reinforce the study content as an exercise. Tutors either prepare the content themselves or get help from professors or other university staff.

You should have a talent for teaching and speaking freely and be very interested in the subject matter. You should also be prepared for possible background questions and therefore have a thorough knowledge of the subject.

Your salary will be comparable to that of a student assistant, as you will be employed as such under contract.

3. Courier

Food, clothes, books, medicines and almost everything else we need on a daily basis can be delivered directly to our doorstep nowadays. As a courier, you will find a job very quickly, because they are always needed. As an international student, you will most likely be delivering by bike, so you should be physically fit for the job. Some delivery services also use e-bikes. Your hours will depend on your employer but can extend into the late evening.

Your wages will be paid by the hour or per delivery, depending on the company. You will also receive a small tip from many customers, which can be used to supplement your salary. As a rule, courier drivers receive €9 to €12 per hour.

4. Waiting tables

Waitressing can be a job that serves as a communicative balance to studying at a desk all day. You'll often work afternoons, evenings and weekends in bars or restaurants, so the job doesn't clash with your studies. Some days the job can be pretty stressful, but lots of guests also mean lots of tips. This is actually the biggest plus of the job because there is hardly any other job where tipping is so important.

However, the supervisors also know this and therefore often pay no more than €10 per hour. On good days, however, it is not uncommon to earn more as a tip than in the best-paid student jobs.

5. Part-time jobs for English speakers

Speaking German will greatly boost your job prospects. Nevertheless, you can also find part-time jobs on the job market that are well suited for English speakers with little or no knowledge of German. All of the above jobs can be done even if you speak only English.

While it can be difficult to waitress in English in the countryside, it should not be a problem in big cities like Berlin. It is easier to find jobs in big cities on an English-speaking basis.

Conclusion

The decision on which part-time position to apply for should depend mainly on your personal interests. As an international student, you should also be careful not to violate any rules related to your visa status. The time as a student employee is often a good time to gain an impression of later professional life. Not only do you gain a few extra euros in your bank account, but you also improve your resume and your professional and social skills.

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