What is an apprenticeship?

Dual vocational training

In Germany, there is a special way of learning your profession: dual vocational training. The dual training consists of a lot of practical work. It usually lasts between two and three and a half years and has two phases: Each week you spend one or two days or longer consecutive blocks in a vocational school. There, teachers impart theoretical knowledge to you. On the other days, you will be in a company and apply this knowledge, for example by working on a machine. You will also see how the company works, what it does and whether you can imagine continuing to work there later.

The combination of theory and practice prepares trainees particularly well for what companies expect from them: not only specialist knowledge but also practical experience in applying this knowledge. And with around 325 recognized training courses in Germany, you are sure to find one that you enjoy and that matches your talents. You can find out which one this could be, for example, at one of the numerous training fairs that are regularly held in various German cities. Information about which trade fairs there are and when and where they take place can be found on the Planet Beruf website.

The dual training offers you very good chances of a job and is therefore particularly popular with German schoolchildren: Around two-thirds of all young people who leave school then do an apprenticeship. What requirements you must meet to start an education in Germany, learn here.

Income in dual vocational training

In Germany, you will receive a monthly salary from the company you work for during the dual training program. On average, trainees currently earn EUR 963 gross. You can get more or less depending on your profession and the region in which you work. For a mechatronics technician apprenticeship, for example, the average gross monthly amount is around 1,152 euros. The salary of the trainees also increases with each year of apprenticeship. A part of this money is deducted for social security.

If you earn more than 9,744 euros a year, you also have to pay taxes. You can find out what you earn in various apprenticeships in this one Publication by the Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training .

Course of dual training

The dual training usually begins on August 1st or September 1st of each year. In addition to practical work in the company, you will attend vocational school during your training. There you will not only learn German, English and social studies. Two thirds of the hours consist of topics that are especially important for your apprenticeship. During your apprenticeship you are entitled to at least 24 working days or four weeks vacation per year – but only during the time when the school also has vacation time.

Your teachers, your trainers and your colleagues will support you in your training. After the first half of your training, you will have to pass an intermediate examination in which you have to show what you learned in school and how you apply it in the company. The training ends with a final exam. The exams are usually held in German. If you are successful, you have a good chance of a career in German business.

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