23/10/2017

Demanded professions

Sought after: good doctors

Germany has one of the best healthcare systems in the world. A tightly woven net-work of hospitals and medical practices ensures that patients rapidly receive the treatment they require. The use of the very latest therapies and medical equipment helps guarantee an exceptionally high level of care. At the same time, doctors are held in great esteem by the German population. In surveys, the medical profession is consistently one of the most highly regarded in Germany, followed in second place by the nursing profession.
Career opportunities for doctors in Germany

In Germany, doctors work

    in hospitals, generally as an employee
    in their own medical practice
    in large group practices, as an employee

In Germany, the average starting salary for medical graduates is higher than in any other field of study and currently lies at around €49,000 a year. On average, doctors in Germany are paid more than graduates of any other academic discipline.
Career opportunities for doctors in Germany

German hospitals have had to contend with a shortage of doctors for quite a number of years now. There is a need throughout Germany for several thousand additional doctors. This demand will continue to rise in coming years, particularly as many hospital doctors are soon due to enter retirement.

In the field of private practice, there is primarily a need for general practitioners, particularly in eastern Germany and rural areas, where there are often difficulties recruiting doctors to fill practices as they become vacant. These shortages will soon spread to other regions of Germany and other areas of specialization, since here, too, many doctors are due to retire in coming years.
Foreign medical training

As of April 2012, if you have completed your medical training in a foreign country, you are eligible to receive a medical license in Germany, regardless of whether you are from an EU or a non-EU (third) country – provided that the training is equivalent to the German medical training.

Wanted: innovative engineers

Germany is the global leader in numerous high-tech fields. Thanks to a constant stream of innovations, German companies are hugely successful on the world's export markets. Sophisticated technology combined with quality manufacturing ensure that German cars, machinery, and electrical and electronic equipment remain in big demand. Behind this achievement are thousands and thousands of engineers who work in design, development, and production. They all have a major share in the "Made in Germany" success story.

The fields in biggest demand

 

There are vacancies in many technology-driven companies in Germany. There is a need for new recruits in all sectors, but most particularly in the fields of mechanical, automotive, and electrical engineering. Job prospects are also good in the field of building engineering.

Career prospects

For engineers in Germany, there are opportunities to climb to the very top of the career ladder - all the way to the very highest level of management. In German industry, many board members and managing directors of manufacturing companies started their working life as engineers. Such shining prospects are also reflected in salary levels. Job starters with a degree from a university of applied science in, for example, electrical or building engineering can expect to earn, on average, between €36,000 and €45,000 a year. Incomes rise with each year of service, reaching levels of around €50,000 to €64,000 after 10 years. For university graduates, average earnings in some fields can rise to over €70,000 a year.

Foreign vocational qualifications

If you want to hold the job title “engineer” or “consulting engineer” in Germany, it will be necessary to have your foreign qualification verified to determine its equivalence to the German qualification. Further details are available at www.anerkennung-in-deutschland.de (English).

Urgently needed: Scientists and IT specialists

Germany has often been called a nation of poets and philosophers. Yet it is also a land of invention and innovation. Many essential products of the modern world are based on German discoveries. This story of technological ingenuity stretches from the automobile and the X-ray machine to headache tablets and rotor blades for wind turbines. Today, the country remains a centre of innovation, with a host of German companies from diverse sectors operating at the very cutting edge of technology.

The acronym STEM refers to the fields of knowledge - science, technology, engineering, and mathematics - that are of vital importance in this context. Although the great majority of STEM jobs are to be found in the private sector, the state also provides for employment in this field, by funding a whole range of world-class scientific and technological research institutes such as the Max Planck Society and the Fraunhofer Society.

A shortage of STEM graduates

It is not just the research institutes that are looking for well-qualified, new staff. Industry, too, is finding it increasingly hard to secure graduates with a degree in STEM subjects. In addition to engineers, there is also a substantial demand for scientists, mathematicians, and IT experts. For it is not only German carmakers and engineering companies that are among the very best in the world: some of the global players in the chemical and pharmaceutical industries are likewise from Germany. And the same is true of the German biotech and nanotech sectors. In all of these areas, the demand for first-rate scientists is consistently high.

Similarly, many of the larger companies from throughout the German economy need IT specialists to perform a range of tasks. These include programming advanced machine-control systems, writing company software, ensuring the security of complex systems, and managing the ever larger field of online applications. Mathematicians are also in great demand, particularly in banks and insurance companies.

Career opportunities

No matter which area – job prospects for graduates in the STEM subjects are favourable in Germany. Indeed, in recent years, German companies have been unable to recruit anything like the number of scientists, mathematicians, and IT experts needed to fill vacant positions. Compared with typical graduates of other disciplines, STEM graduates are much more likely to be offered a permanent contract when entering the job market and have a significantly higher earnings potential. Average starting salaries for STEM graduates are between €35,000 and €40,000 a year. After 10 years of professional experience, salary levels rise to an average of about €70,000.

Foreign degrees

If you have a degree from your home country in one of the STEM fields, you may apply to have your degree verified by the Central Office for Foreign Education (ZAB). This will permit you to show on your job applications which German educational qualification your degree corresponds to. Further details are available at www.kmk.org/zab/zeugnisbewertungen.html (German).

In demand: Experts with vocational qualifications

If you are a professional with vocational qualifications, you will not require a unversity degree to work in Germany. For EU citizens with vocational qualifications that are recognised in Germany, employment prospects are currently good. Since July 1, 2013, citizens from non-EU countries holding vocational qualifications have also been able to take up employment in Germany, if they meet the following criteria:

  • There is a shortage of qualified professionals in the profession you wish to pursue in Germany. For a list of jobs with a shortage of qualified staff, click here (PDF, 132 KB).
  • You have received a binding job offer. A list of vacancies is available here.
  • Your qualification has been recognised as being equivalent to a German qualification. Further information on the recognition of vocational credentials is available here. You will have to apply to have your qualifications recognised while you’re still in your home country.

Shortage of caregivers in Germany

Due to the increasing number of elderly people, the need for caregivers in Germany is also increasing. It is predicted that there will be a shortage of up to 152,000 caregivers in 2025. But hospitals and nursing homes are already complaining of personnel shortages today. There is a particular demand for geriatric, health and nursing professions. For every qualified geriatric nurse, for example, there are three positions currently needing to be filled. Germany currently offers a variety of employement opportunities for nursing professionals. Nursing personnel are needed not only in hospitals, nursing homes, clinics and health centers, but also in home care services and doctor’s offices. Apart from basic nursing, nursing tasks in Germany also include such things as preparing patients for medical procedures or monitoring patient health. Nursing personnel in Germany also have access to numerous advanced training options, such as courses leading to a particular qualification or training as a business administrator.

Recognition of foreign vocational qualifications

Each country has its own specific system of vocational training. For this reason, there are often differences in the length of training and the qualifications thereby attained. In many cases, therefore, vocational qualifications acquired in a foreign country are not directly comparable with those awarded in Germany. Nevertheless, many German companies still prize the know-how, foreign-language skills, and professional networks of skilled employees from abroad. As of April 2012, people with foreign vocational qualifications are legally entitled to apply to the German authorities for verification that vocational training completed abroad corresponds to a German qualification. Further information on the procedure can be found at www.anerkennung-in-deutschland.de.
Information for employers is available at www.bq-portal.de (German).

The training system in Germany

Vocational training enjoys an excellent reputation in Germany. The country’s dual system of vocational training and education combines on-the-job training at a company with a parallel course of study at a vocational school. German companies customarily employ not only graduates but also large numbers of people with vocational qualifications. Many people who have come through the dual system go on to pursue further training in order to attain, for example, the German qualification of “Meister/in” (master craftsman) or “Techniker/in” (engineering technologist). Master craftsmen are qualified to head a team in their company of employment or to run their own business in their chosen vocation. Engineering technologists perform complex tasks in the fields of product development and production management, head production facilities, or work as lecturers at technical colleges.

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