Can I do an apprenticeship?


If you want to learn a trade in Germany, you have to meet certain requirements. For example, you may need a visa to live in Germany for a longer period and to complete your training.

Citizens of the EU, Liechtenstein, Iceland, Norway or Switzerland

You are very welcome to start an apprenticeship in Germany. You do not need a visa to enter Germany or to start an apprenticeship. If you want to live in Germany, you have to register with a residents ‘registration office or citizens’ office. You can find out how to do this here.

Citizens from other countries

You are very welcome to start an apprenticeship in Germany. To do this, however, you need a visa. You can apply for a visa at the responsible diplomatic mission in your country. In order for your application to be successful, the following requirements must be met:

You have already found an apprenticeship position at a company in Germany.

The Federal agency for work has agreed to your training because there are no German or privileged foreign applicants (e.g. from other EU countries) available for the specific position. Graduates from German schools abroad are exempt from this examination. In addition, the working conditions must not differ from those of German employees.

When applying for a visa, regardless of whether you want to complete dual training or school-based training, you must prove that you can finance your own living. This is particularly important if you want to start school training – because you will earn nothing in most professions during the training period.

You can find out from the German embassy in your current country of residence whether you have to meet other requirements for the visa, such as knowledge of German and which documents are required. You can find the addresses of the German diplomatic missions abroad ” here .

Would you like to do a part-time job in Germany in addition to your training? You can also work ten hours a week in a job that has nothing to do with your education. If you are completing an apprenticeship as a mechatronics engineer, you can work in a restaurant, for example.


Whether you need a specific school leaving certificate for an apprenticeship in Germany varies depending on the apprenticeship you are interested in:

Dual training: For training in a company, you do not need a specific school leaving certificate in Germany. Each company decides for itself which qualifications it has Junior staff have to bring. If a company can choose from a large number of applicants, however, a school leaving certificate, good grades, and appropriate language skills are decisive. You can find out how good your chances are in your dream job at BERUFENET. First, look for your apprenticeship there. Under the heading “Training” you can find out which entry requirements are important for this profession.

School education: For an apprenticeship at a vocational school or a vocational college, you must first have completed a general school, e.g. a grammar school, a secondary school, or a comparable institute. In addition, you must prove experience for certain professions, for example through internships, or have a certain minimum age. You can find out more about the requirements for various apprenticeships under BERUFENET.

Dual training with integrated training: You need one for this special combination of university studies and training in a company
University entrance qualification . You also need to sign a training contract with a company.

Have school qualifications recognized

So that you know whether you meet the requirements for a particular training course, you should have your school leaving certificate recognized. It will be decided which German qualification your qualifications correspond to, for example the secondary school qualification or the higher education entrance qualification. This also makes it easier for companies to assess your qualifications. Here you can check who is responsible for the recognition of certificates in Germany. If you only want to translate your school report and your professional experience for a German company and present it in an understandable way, the europass will help you.

Linguistic proficiency

If you want to apply for an apprenticeship in Germany, knowledge of German is very important. Because German is spoken in companies, vocational schools, and technical schools, the exams are also held in German.

If you would like to learn German in your home country, you can find out where this is possible, among other things, on the websites of the branches of CareLend abroad.  You can read more about language courses in Germany here.

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