In (very, very short): yes, there are (a lot of) English-speaking jobs in Germany. Foreigners who look for jobs in the tech industry or any sort of digital departments inside bigger companies have a higher chance of finding work, without speaking German. However, if your domain of interest is one that requires direct interaction with the German consumer market, or any sort of community inside the German society, expect to be required to at least start taking classes sooner or later. For jobs inside HR, PR, Marketing & Communications, accounting, banking, law or the medical field, you can expect to be required some sort of proficiency in German.
How it started
Hey, hi, hello, Ioana here! I started working for a company in Germany (it’s Relosophy, surprise, surprise!) since January 2021, firstly as a part-time social media intern and later transitioned to a full-time Marketing Assistant position and living in Munich. So how did this work out when I just mentioned marketing as a domain that requires the use of German?
My case is a bit special, but of course not completely isolated. Relosophy addresses mostly expats in their communication, so people who are relocating from anywhere in the world to Munich, Germany. Most of them use English as their main language for communication. It only makes sense to communicate to your prospect clients in their preferred language.
Perks of working for a relocation company. Speaking of relocation. You won’t always need to already be located in Germany to apply for a job. Depending on the company and your position, there are plenty of opportunities that come with a relocation package. This sort of packages usually include temporary accommodation budget, house search budget and immigration support. Or why not, make the most out of the remote work trend.
But how realistic is to secure an English-speaking job in Germany? Are they available around just any corner? Well, not quite.
Finding an English-speaking job in Germany
Finding an English-speaking job in Germany is challenging but not impossible. Let’s look at some data which proves this point.
According to the German Federal Employment Agency, 12,7% of Germany’s employed workforce was foreign in 2020.
Sites like LinkedIn or Indeed show hundreds of thousands of job listings in English. However, when you read the requirements closely, you will often find something along the lines of: “conversational level of German required, advanced level of English”.
In 2018, Indeed interviewed over 2.000 employees in Germany and presented this report about languages in the workplace in Germany:
- 44% of German employees use a foreign language in their job. The main language used in German companies is English, followed by French. As companies, and especially start-ups, open more in more to workers coming from Ireland, UK, Australia and the US, this trend is only growing;
- 29% speak a foreign language at work every single day and 35% at least 2-3 times a week;
- 47% use a foreign language to communicate with international colleagues.
Additionally, the German Federal Office of Migration and Refugees issued over 25.000 Blue Cards in 2021. The Blue Card is the main document used for immigration to Germany by non-EU citizens. You can read more about the process of immigration and obtaining a Blue Card in this article on our website.
From a very brief search, you can tell that most English-speaking jobs are available in Berlin, followed by Munich, Frankfurt, Hamburg and Dusseldorf.
How to look for an English-speaking job in Germany
1. Start looking in the right place.
Below is a list of English websites that list quite a big range of English-speaking jobs:
- Make It In Germany
- The Local Jobs
- Jobs in Germany
- Europe Language Jobs
- Honeypot(developer focused)
- Imagine(for software developers)
- German Tech Jobs
- Germany Startup Jobs
- Berlin Startup Jobs
- Munich Startup Jobs
- Frankfurt Startup Jobs
Additionally, be sure to have a strong and well updated LinkedIn profile. Recent pictures (not necessarily passport photo mugshots, selfies or pictures from graduation) and definitely an “elevator pitch” type kind of introduction in the Summary box (no empty slot for the description). You can find most companies being active on LinkedIn and posting their openings on the platform as well, which allows you to apply directly.
2. Look into start-ups
Startups tend to be more open to having an international and sometimes remote team, approximately 63% of them to be more exact, so it’s more common for them to use English as their main language inside the company.
Germany is supporting Germans and international residents to found companies. According to the German Startup Monitor, only in 2022, 1976 start-ups were created, most of them in the tech industry, employing over 35.000 people.
3. Go big or go home
We’ve already mentioned them, but there are a few cities on which we believe you should be concentrating your efforts: Berlin, Munich, Frankfurt, Hamburg and Dusseldorf.
Here is why we believe this list should be your focus:
- Berlin: The biggest start-up scene in Germany. Known for being the creative and cultural centre of Germany. The city where people want to be.
- Munich: The digital capital of Germany. Companies such as: Amazon, Apple, Google, Microsoft have important offices here. Alongside those, you will find influential automotive, semiconductor and electronics companies such as: BMW, Siemens, Bosch.
- Frankfurt: The financial district of Germany, home to all major German banks and the European Central bank. Other industries include logistics and IT.
- Hamburg: Biggest and most important harbour in Germany. Other industries: renewable energy, sports, and aviation.
- Dusseldorf: Broadly known for media, fashion, and telecommunications. Bonus: big start-up scene.
Bonus: Keep your eyes on Stuttgart. More affordable than Munich and with an upcoming and growing start-up ecosystem.
4. Polish your CV and cover letter
Even if you apply for a job in English, there is a high chance that the recruiter reviewing your application is German, or the very least, accustomed to the “standard” applications used in Germany. Here are a few things you should consider including:
- A recent picture of you (open for discussion)
- Your work permit benefit (if you can start working immediately)
- No extra/no fluff details;
- Hobbies reflecting your personality (medals and achievements do make you stand out);
- Max 2-pages.
Bonus: A lot of companies will offer you paid for German classes, so show some interest and ask the question.
After you secure your job in Germany (congrats, btw!!), there are still plenty of things to take care of, like house search, immigration, registration with authorities, insurances. Luckily, with all of these, we are here to help. 😉
All in all, can you get an English-speaking job in Germany? Yes. Is it going to be easy? Not necessarily. Will it be worth it? We believe that the standard of living in Germany, the security and the further career opportunities, are all contributing to making Germany an excellent choice when it comes to relocating.