STUDENT JOB EARNING IN GERMANY: HOW MUCH IS IT?

In our recent video, we shared insights into working and studying in Germany, especially on how you can successfully combine studying and working together – but more importantly, the major things to keep in mind when preparing to study in Germany. Student job earning in Germany depends on the type of mini job that you take on.

As you maybe already know now, your German student visa comes with a work permit which allows you to work 240 half days or 120 full days in a year. As a student, it is expected that you only work as much as you can still actively participate in your studies. Student jobs in Germany are described as Nebentätigkeiten or Nebenbeschäftigungen, which means side jobs or side employment. There are also officially known as Mini jobs. As a student with a mini job, the legally allowed number of work hours per day week is 20 hours, whereas it is 40 hours for full time (regular) workers. Also, for you to work tax-free, the maximum amount you are allowed to earn is 450 EUR; hence the description of mini-jobs sometimes as 450 basis jobs.

Although you have permission to work and the number of hours and amount to earn per month are specified, there are many factors you need to keep in mind while you search for a job. A major smart move would be to find a job that pays more per hour, so you’d need fewer hours to earn up to the maximum allowed tax-free amount per month. Depending on the city you are studying in, most student jobs pay around 9 – 10 EUR per hour, hence you’d need a minimum of 50 hours to earn 450 EUR in a month. This is usually the case for student jobs like bartenders and waiters in restaurants, coffee shops or bars. These kinds of jobs, although come with some advantages, there could be quite stressful and not the best jobs to combine your studies with. If you do such jobs weekdays in the evenings after your studies say 4 hours per day times 5 days (20 hours), you may be too tired for classes the next day. If you opt for them at weekends and work 8 hours Friday and Saturday evenings each (16 hours per week), you may not have time for other things during our weekends which is your only free time to rest. The major challenges here are the working times, tasks and amount paid.

Although bartending and waiter jobs are the easiest to find and they give you ample opportunities to interact with the locals and easily make friends, they may not be the best jobs for you as a student. In any case, you should decide what kind of job you want to go for based on your plans while studying abroad. If you have an interest in learning the local language, meeting new people; if you don’t have to finish your study program in time – you don’t mind spending one or two extra semesters; if the amount you earn per month isn’t important, then for sure a mini-job like bartending and a waiter would be something good to consider.

If you are looking for mini-jobs that are flexible, you earn more, work fewer hours, and professional, then seeking a student assistant job or tutoring jobs is what you need to do. This kind of jobs, although have the merits mentioned above they may give you fewer opportunities to; improve on the language because you’d most likely either be communicating in English or a much higher standard of German (not a good idea for beginners of the language); meet new people and get integrated into the society. Most student-assistant jobs are open to those studying in that department or faculty and are usually announced on notice boards on campus, general student emails or verbally communicated by some professors. You have to keep your ears to the ground to get the information; it could be very competitive. Such jobs usually pay as from 15 EUR per hour, hence you may only need to work at most 30 hours per month ( ~ 7 hours/week) to earn 450 EUR per month.

Besides student assistant jobs within the university that you are studying in, there are also others that you can find in companies where can either work remotely or from the office. Jobs like these are usually available for people with soft skills like computer/software programming, web/graphic designing, and their likes. This kind of jobs also pay very well; you can expect to earn from 15 EUR per hour on such jobs.

Other kinds of student jobs include working in factories, warehouses, cleaning jobs, hotel jobs…. and the likes. These jobs may not be the best option for you to combine with your studies; they pay less, not flexible, quite tedious, less exposure to the locals (you mostly find yourself amongst other foreigners and barely have anything beneficial to learn), maybe be degrading to your personality – if there are options to get something better, why settle for less?

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