- Friday, July 10, 2015
International students in Germany opt to work while they pursue a degree for various reasons. It may be simply to make it easier to live in the country or to finance their education. Some students opt for a job to gain valuable work experience for their future careers, while some work fullfilling course requirements. Whatever the cause may be, it is necessary for the student to be familiar with all aspects of the job scenario in Germany before looking for work.
Working in Germany
International students who come from EU countries or EEA countries can freely access the job market in Germany. There are no regulations associated with their work. The only rules they have to follow are those that are applicable for German residents. However, international students who come from other countries have to follow a certain set of regulations.
Such international students can only work for a maximum of 120 full days in a single year or 240 half days annually. If the students want to work for a longer period, they have to get a permit from the Federal Employment Agency as well as the Foreigners’ Authority. Students will not be given a permit in regions that have high unemployment rates.
Such restrictions do not apply if the student is looking for a research assistant's job There are no time limits either. Nonetheless, the student will have to inform the Foreigners' Authority beforehand. Students, who come from countries other than those in the EU or EEA, will not be allowed to work as a freelancer or be self-employed.
Searching for a Job
There are job exchanges available at most students union and university websites. Students can seek the help of the Federal Employment Agency to locate agencies. Additionally, many offices have tools for recruiting students. In many cases, available jobs are posted in the boards at the universities.
Students can also work as research assistants at universities. Such jobs typically include giving tutorials and serving as library supervisors. They may even include conducting research on literature for their professors. The secretariat for the appropriate department will help the student get such jobs.
Wages and Earnings
The money earned by the student is dependent significantly on the experience and the sector of the job. The regional employment situation will also be taken into consideration. In some places such as Hamburg and Munich, the wages for students are higher but the living expenses are significantly high as well.
Most students can expect to earn between €5 and € 10 on an hourly basis, . Research assistants can typically earn € 5 to € 15 per hour. However, the average is usually around € 10. Jobs that can pay more than €10 each hour include service personnel at the various fairs or industrial production assistants. The restaurant sector offers a more lucrative option as the basic wage is topped up with tips.
Social Security Contributions and Taxes
It is possible for students to earn around €8354 each year without having to pay any taxes. In other words, international students can have a part-time job and enjoy earnings of €450 each month without any tax payments. Some employers do withhold the income tax of students despite the low income. However, once the student submits the income tax statement, the amount is returned.
Students who work for less than two months consecutively do not pay the social security contributions. The same applies to those who work for less than 50 days over the year. Anyone who works for a longer period has to contribute to pension insurance.