Earning a bit of extra cash besides studying

A glance in your purse or wallet and it's easy to decide: You need some cash and so a part-time job. Perhaps you'd like to gain some experience in the German job market? Or make new contacts and put yourself to the test? There are plenty of reasons why students go to work while also studying. Just like the paths to a dream job.

Kellnern ist sehr beliebt, Bild: DAAD
Kellnern ist sehr beliebt, Bild: DAAD

Waiting, cleaning, babysitting

You can best top-up your budget by taking a job at a university department, in one of the libraries or at another uni institution. Waiting is THE classic student job in cafés, pubs or bars. Other students look after guests at exhibitions and trade fairs, or work as delivery drivers and cycle couriers, go cleaning, work in a copy shop, or as a babysitter and so on.

You should also check the noticeboards (Schwarzesbrett) at uni, in the libraries, supermarkets and so on. Many unis also have a job agency service for students. Contact student services or the local job centre (Agentur für Arbeit).

Five to ten euros per hour

How much you earn on the side depends greatly on your knowledge and skills, the region and the business you would like to work in. The following generally applies: You can earn more in expensive cities like Munich, Hamburg or Cologne, but you also have to pay more for your board and lodging. Office jobs, waiting or promotional jobs are popular, as are student assistant (HiWi) jobs at a uni department, where students support their prof.

While you can earn around six euros an hour as a cashier in a supermarket or fast-food chain, working in an office or as a promoter could well bring you up to ten euros an hour.

Please Note: Regardless of what kind of job you decide for, it's almost impossible to completely finance yourself with secondary jobs whilst studying at the same time.

How much am I allowed to work?

There are labour laws that precisely stipulate how many hours students are allowed to work. The regulations vary according to where the students come from:

  1. Are you a citizen of one of the following countries: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, or United Kingdom (Group 1)? You may work as much as you’d like without any additional permit. However, like German students, you should not work more than 20 hours a week during the semester. If you do, you will have to pay into social security.
  2. Are you a citizen of Bulgaria or Romania (Group 2)? The regulations for Group 3 also apply to you until 2014. Then you will become members of Group 1.
  3. Are you a citizen from a country not listed above (Group 3)? You are allowed to work 120 full days or 240 half days in a year. Those who wish to work longer require a work permit from the Federal Employment Agency and the Aliens’ Registration Office.

Leaflet: Gainful employment

The DAAD provides a summary of the legal conditions of working in Germany. Click here to download this informative leaflet.

Please note: The labour laws pertaining to international students are very restrictive, and if you break them, you risk being expelled from the country.

Compulsory internships do not count as work

Perhaps you want to do an internship during the semester break and wonder whether this counts as work? Internships are regarded as regular employment. This applies even when the internship is unpaid. Every day of your internship is subtracted from your 120-day employment credit. It's not work, if it involves a so-called compulsory internship as specified in your study regulations.

Career in Germany

If you wish to work in Germany after your studies, you should start making plans while you're still a student. Our tips will help you get your career off to a successful start.

 

Special Student Jobs

Part 1: Jobs in the Great Outdoors
Part 2:
Jobs in transportation
Part 3: Jobs at university
Part 4: Jobs in the city
Part 5: Christmas Jobs

 

Frequently Asked Questions

JobsHow many days am I allowed to work? How much can I earn and can I live on this job during my time in Germany? These are only three of many questions answered by our experts. Read the FAQs!