Ausbildung in Germany – A chance to both earn and learn in Germany

Ausbildung in Germany

If you possess an 'Abitur' or an equivalent qualification (12th pass), you have the opportunity to pursue dual-track vocational training in Germany. This type of training encompasses both theoretical and practical aspects.

What does 'Ausbildung' entail in Germany? What are the prerequisites for it? How long does it last? Is there a language requirement? We provide answers to these inquiries and more regarding dual education in Germany.

German vocational training (Ausbildung)

The German Vocational Training System (VET) is built upon a dual training methodology, utilizing the apprenticeship model. It integrates theoretical knowledge acquired in classrooms with practical, work-based training within companies.

The educational aspect within schools is regulated by federal states, whereas the practical training is organized by companies. The dual training model has evolved over several decades.

In Germany, students have the option to opt for either vocational training or pursue university degrees. This dual system offers numerous advantages, allowing apprentices to progress to master's degrees, subsequently enhancing their responsibilities and earning potential. However, entry into this system has specific requirements.

Requirements for Vocational Training (Ausbildung) in Germany

International students seeking eligibility for a Vocational Training program (Ausbildung) in Germany must meet specific prerequisites.
In Germany, prospective candidates are required to demonstrate completion of their previous education in a school with an appropriate proficiency level in the German language.
For instance, applicants are expected to validate their proficiency at the B1 language level, showcasing effective communication skills in German. A higher proficiency in the German language enhances the likelihood of acceptance into a Vocational Training program.
Different prerequisites apply to trades and craft occupations. For example, individuals pursuing nursing spend two months in school, followed by two months in practical training. The duration of a typical program ranges from two to three years.
Upon successful completion of the program, graduates have the option to work as specialists in a company, pursue additional qualifications, establish their own businesses, or return to their home countries for employment.

Duration of Vocational Training (Ausbildung) in Germany

The length of Vocational Training or Dual vocational Training (Ausbildung) in Germany varies based on the chosen profession, with many occupations following block-based programs.

For instance, nurses typically spend half their time in school and half in practical training. However, most trainees allocate only a portion of their time to school, with the remaining time devoted to practical experience.

Trainee salaries fluctuate depending on the profession, with some receiving compensation of up to 1,000 EUR per month. Different occupations may have varying requirements and time commitments.

In Germany, the standard duration of an Ausbildung program is three to four years, although this timeline can be shortened based on individual circumstances. Depending on factors such as the department, vocational training school, and company, it is possible to complete Ausbildung in a shorter duration.

Proficiency in the German language is a crucial requirement for successful completion of an Ausbildung program. The program typically takes up to three years to finish, and graduates can secure employment immediately after completing their training.

Language Prerequisite

If you are a foreign national with German as your mother tongue, you are eligible to apply for an apprenticeship in Germany. However, if German is not your mother tongue, you can still pursue this program, provided you demonstrate fluency in the German language. Additionally, individuals with no formal education but a keen interest in technical fields can apply for an Ausbildung in almost any field of study. The program may encompass dual education or vocational training.

Advantages and Significance of Dual Vocational Training

Dual vocational training offers invaluable work experience, often surpassing the learning acquired in traditional college settings. Participants receive a salary, and some firms provide additional benefits and support.

Participants enjoy the same number of holidays as regular employees, ranging from 24 to 30 days per year, which are usually taken during internships. Additionally, many instructors are industry professionals, bringing current work experience into the classroom.

Vocational education enhances individuals' work capabilities by providing an excellent learning opportunity. Participants have the chance to refine their skills while earning a salary.

Acquiring professional skills through vocational training underscores the importance of manual labor, contributing to physical strength, health, and engagement.

By bridging the gap between demand and supply with highly qualified workers, vocational education plays a transformative role in the economy. It empowers students to apply marketable knowledge directly in the workplace.

Vocational education is accessible to school dropouts and adults aged 18-30, offering a chance to acquire valuable skills and trades. Numerous well-paid career paths do not require a college degree.

The importance of vocational education lies in providing fulfilling work opportunities for those uninterested in obtaining college degrees but fully capable. Individuals leverage vocational education to prepare for rewarding and useful careers.

Participants in dual education are employed by the company from the beginning, receiving tasks aligned with their growing abilities. Companies willing to offer employment contracts after the dual education period gain employees familiar with the company's workflow.

Students benefit from the expertise in both hard and soft skills of experienced colleagues, developing under real-world conditions. Additionally, students earn a salary from the outset.

Given the high-quality vocational training and education received in dual education systems, students are well-prepared to enter the job market at a young age, making firms more inclined to hire them upon graduation.

Vocational Training Categories

  • Hotel Expert
  • Baker
  • Industrial Clerk
  • Metal & Electrical Profession
  • Electrician / Industrial Electrician
  • Nursing
  • Gardener
  • Warehouse Logistic Specialist
  • Automobile Profession
  • Cosmetics
  • Salesmen/Women
  • Cook or Chef
  • Spa & Wellness Specialist
  • Mechatronics Technician

Certification Upon Completion of Training

Germany's vocational education system operates through collaboration between small and medium-sized enterprises, regulated by law, with employers and trade unions responsible for crafting new training regulations.

The dual education system ensures standardized certificates across industries, providing consistent training for apprentices regardless of region or company. These certificates are highly trusted by employers as they attest to an individual's knowledge.

A collective responsibility involving the government, employers, and trade unions enables responsiveness to digital landscapes and evolving job markets, ensuring the effectiveness of future employees in the dynamic job market.

Vocational education aims to facilitate employers in the hiring process by allowing them to assess potential candidates as apprentices, streamlining the recruitment process.


  • Completion of 12th grade in any stream
  • Age between 18 and 30
  • Proficiency at B1 level in the German language
  • Valid passport

Think Europe Services Guidance:

  • Comprehensive training in all three German language levels (A1, A2, and B1)
  • Preparation for the German Language Exam
  • Document collection assistance
  • Guidance on vocational training application
  • Facilitation of admission and offer letters
  • Accommodation arrangement support
  • Visa assistance

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