Jobs in Germany for Americans: An expat guide
Take a look at our guide to some of the most common issues that American expats in Germany face.
Do Americans need a visa for Germany?
You have the right to enter Germany without a visa as an American citizen, and you can apply for a temporary residence permit once you arrive, which can be used for studying, looking for work, or joining a family. If you already have a job offer, you should consult with a lawyer.
How to find work as an American in Germany
Many companies value native English speakers, and there is often fierce competition for English-speaking jobs in Germany. Determination and perseverance pay off, but there are some smart, quick fixes that can give you a fighting chance of success.
1. English speaking jobs in Germany
Employers in Germany are looking for English-speaking internationals, and by focusing on recruiters who are looking for expats, you can dramatically speed up your job search.
2. International jobs for Americans
If you’re looking for a job in Germany, working with an expat-focused recruitment agency can help you save time and money by targeting your applications to international companies. There are several recruitment agencies in Germany that specialize in matching international talent with German employers.
3. Tailor your resume to a German audience
The embellishment, business jargon, and buzzwords that abound in American resumes are frowned upon by Germans; read our CV guide to learn what recruiters are looking for.
4. Freelance in Germany
To stay afloat, all you need is a good skill set and a small amount of start-up cash; see our guide to Going freelance in Germany for more information.
Largest German companies
In 2018, 32 German companies were named to the Fortune Global 500, a Forbes magazine ranking of the world’s top 500 corporations by revenue, three of which are car manufacturers; other notable global companies with German headquarters include sportswear brand Adidas and pharmaceuticals company Bayer.
Working for German companies as an American
You’ve figured out your visa and work permit situation; now comes the difficult part: adjusting to life as an American in Germany. While the two countries are similar in terms of working culture, there are some significant differences.
German working hours
Americans are among the worst offenders when it comes to checking emails outside of office hours. The average working week in Germany is between 36 and 40 hours, with a 30-minute lunch break, and new EU working-hours legislation will soon begin to enforce these longer hours.
Holiday leave in Germany
While most companies offer two weeks of paid vacation, many employees take even less, according to Glassdoor, with the average American employee taking only 54% of their vacation time. In Germany, workers are legally entitled to at least 20 days of paid vacation per year, and it’s common to take it!
Maternity & Paternity leave
Only unpaid leave is guaranteed at the federal level; paid leave is up to individual employers. Parents in the United States take less time off after having a child than parents in Germany, where both parents are entitled to 24 months of parental leave and parental allowance, as well as the world’s most generous allowances.
Employment contracts in Germany
The most important thing to remember is that notice periods in Germany are typically much longer than in the United States, which means that if you want to change jobs, you must give at least one month’s notice.
German working culture
Unlike Americans, Germans don’t sugarcoat things and can come across as disarmingly direct. Working relationships are also fairly formal, with Germans typically using the polite “Sie” form in office conversations. Taking time off when sick is not frowned upon in Germany.
Taxation for Americans living abroad
Every year, you must report your worldwide income to the IRS; however, consulting with a tax advisor can greatly reduce the stress of the situation, and you may even be entitled to a sizable refund!
Jobs for Americans in Europe
You do not have the same working rights as Europeans as an American citizen; some countries allow you to enter without a visa, while others require you to apply for permission to stay.
Ready to start your European adventure?
Can I work in Germany as an American?
Notably, US citizens are permitted to enter Germany without a visa for a period of 90 days in order to find suitable employment to support their visa application, after which they are permitted to apply for a Work Visa or EU Blue Card at the Berlin Immigration Office (Auslu00e4nderbehu00f6rde).
Is it easy to get a job in Germany?
Is it easy to find work in Germany? All of this may appear to be a lot of work, but it’s usually not. And don’t get discouraged; there are many areas where employers are desperate for motivated, well-qualified employees, regardless of where they come from.
Is it easy for an American to move to Germany?
Emigrating to this wonderful country is thankfully simple, even for those who live outside of the European Union: the first step is to apply for a Standard Residence Permit, which is simple to obtain if you have a job lined up in Germany.
Can an American citizen move to Germany?
Because the Schengen Visa is not required for US citizens, you can move to Germany and stay for 90 days until you receive your residence permit, which you will need because you are moving to Germany from the United States.
Can you move to Germany without a job?
The simple answer is YES u2014 it is absolutely possible; however, the more realistic answer is that it is highly dependent on a number of factors, including your ability to learn German quickly, your skillset, and, perhaps most importantly, your own self-confidence and drive.
How much is good salary in Germany?
In 2017, full-time employees in Germany earned an average gross salary of 3,770 euros per month (self-employed, part-time workers, and people with very low income below the taxable level were excluded from these statistics), or around 45,000 euros per year gross (before income tax and social contributions).
What jobs are in demand in Germany?
Professionals in science, engineering, business, healthcare, and education are expected to be in high demand in 2020. Engineering professions:
- Mechanical engineering.
- Electrical engineering.
- Automotive engineering.
- Structural engineering.
- Computer science engineering.
How much is the lowest salary in Germany?
The minimum wage in Germany is u20ac9.19 per hour in 2019, up u20ac0.35 (4%) from 2018. This translates to u20ac1,593 in pre-tax wages for people working the standard 40 hours per week. The minimum wage will rise again on January 1, 2020, to u20ac9.35.
Can I work in Germany without speaking German?
Yes, but it’s difficult to find work in Germany if you don’t speak the language. We’re frequently asked, “Do I need to speak German to work in Germany?” While the answer is technically no, the reality depends largely on you.
How much is average rent in Germany?
In Germany, you’ll need around 861 euros per month (around $1,002 US dollars) or 10,332 euros per year (around $12,024 US dollars) to cover your living expenses.
|Average Monthly Rent||534.65 €|
|Average Monthly Rent||672.22€|
How can I legally live in Germany?
To be considered for a move to Germany, you must meet the following requirements:
- Prove Financial Stability.
- Have Health Insurance.
- Have at Least Basic Proficiency in German.
- Obtain a German Visa.
- Standard Residence Permit.
- European Union (EU) Blue Card.
Is Germany safe to live?
When it comes to safety and peace in the country, Germany is ranked 16th out of 163 countries in the 2020 Global Peace Index, and 11th out of 36 countries in Europe.
What happens if an American marries a German?
If a U.S. citizen marries a German citizen, he or she does not gain German citizenship, and the German citizen does not gain U.S. citizenship. If you want to live in the United States after you marry, the U.S. spouse must apply for an Immigrant Visa on the foreign spouse’s behalf.
Is it worth moving to Germany?
Germany respects its citizens, and if you have the opportunity to work there, you should take it. Germans work fewer hours than UK and US citizens, have a lower unemployment rate, and get at least 30 days of vacation time.
How much money do I need to move to Germany?
So, becoming a permanent resident of Germany is possible, but it will take some effort. The average cost of relocating from the United States to Germany is $4,450; however, Americans on the East Coast will pay less than those on the West Coast, simply because they are closer to Germany.