Best Skilled Crafts and Trades Jobs in Germany for Foreigners in 2023

You’ve probably thought about getting a job abroad, but what are the most in-demand skills and trades jobs in Germany? Are you more of an artisan or someone who wants to work with your hands? Would you be more interested in working in construction or retail? Finding the right type of job that fits your background and personality can help you determine which country would be best for you to live and work in.

Best Skilled Crafts and Trades Jobs in Germany for Foreigners in 2023
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In Germany, skilled crafts and trades jobs are among the most common professions sought by foreign workers. According to the National Association of German Employers (Bundesvereinigung der Deutschen Arbeitgeberverbände or BDA), employment in skilled crafts and trades jobs increased by 22% from 2008 to 2015, with the highest levels of employment reaching over 200,000 workers in 2015.

With its large population, the skilled trades and crafts jobs in Germany are many and varied, from carpentry to hairdressing, but that’s not the only reason it’s one of the best countries to work in if you want to work in this industry. In fact, many foreigners are drawn to Germany precisely because it offers so many different job options when it comes to skilled crafts and trades jobs.

The German workforce consists of about 41 million workers, with the service sector employing about two-thirds of the workers and manufacturing employing another third. Jobs in Germany are highly coveted, but only skilled craftsmen and tradespeople will be able to secure the more desirable positions in this country's economy. Whether you're interested in plumbing or carpentry, here are some of the most desirable jobs you can take on in Germany in 2022 that don't require fluency in German to succeed.

For those looking to start their career in Germany, there are plenty of skilled trades and crafts jobs available. Particularly in the manufacturing sector, these jobs involve using machines to make all sorts of products, from automotive parts to electronic equipment and more. They’re also in demand because there aren’t as many people in Germany with relevant skills, especially from outside the EU. If you’re considering a skilled crafts or trades job in Germany and have some experience already, this guide will help you find the best such jobs based on your qualifications and geographic location. These are jobs across various industries and include a range of positions from labor to management, so read on to learn more about your options!

What are Skilled Crafts and Trades?

Skilled crafts and trades are not only the heart and soul of the small and medium-sized businesses but also Germany's economic engine. Thanks to their proximity to their customers, they create high-quality products and bespoke solutions for problems using their wide range of services and goods. The skilled crafts and trades are directed toward private individuals as well as the manufacturing industry, commerce, and the state sector. Moreover, the skilled crafts and trades are an extremely versatile sector and include the following areas:

  • Construction and development
  • Metal and electronics
  • Wood and plastics
  • Industrial cleaning
  • Artisanal food production
  • Healthcare and personal hygiene
  • Clothing, textile, and leather
  • Graphic design

How to Become a Craftsman in Germany

You can apply for vocational training as a foreigner, provided you have a school-leaving certificate from abroad (at least 9 grades) and speak German at level B1. All vocational training in Germany always starts at the end of August/beginning of September each year. If you want to do vocational training, you should apply as a foreigner at least half a year in advance, so that you can still get all the documents (including visa) in time.

After passing the vocational training examination and gaining some professional experience, craftsmen can also become self-employed, i.e. set up their own company in Germany and earn even more money. This also counts for international applicants, even from non-EU countries. Also, after successful vocational training, there are very good career opportunities throughout Germany as an employee in craft businesses, in the public sector, or in industry. German craftsmen are also often highly sought-after and well-paid specialists abroad.

Best Skilled Crafts and Trades Jobs in Germany

Furthermore, alongside a long tradition and dual vocational training for a period of 2 - 3.5 years, the skilled crafts and trades also encompass a high degree of innovation. This means that they are future-proof and offer attractive promotion prospects, such as further training and professional self-employment as master craftspeople. Qualified professionals are needed in the following areas:

Tinsmith:

As a tinsmith, you will carry out a variety of preparatory tasks relating to the construction of metal or plastic building units, which you will then install in properties, for example on roofs or facades. This can be in newly constructed or renovated buildings, for example in order to fulfill new environmental constraints in the fields of energy utilization systems, water drainage, and thermal insulation.

Plumber for sanitary, heating, and air-conditioning technology:

In this field, you will install water and air supply systems (toilet assemblies) in buildings, as well as heating systems, such as solar power units, heat pumps, and wood pellet heating systems. Aside from the manual and mechanical processing of pipes, sheet metal, and sections, you will be responsible for regularly inspecting the functionality of the various systems after installation. You will also install smart home systems and device-specific software.

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Structural engineering:

  • Concrete and steel construction worker: Alongside the production of concrete or reinforced concrete, you will fabricate the formwork before continuing to process the individual elements on building sites, for example, to construct staircases, walls, bridges, and dams.
  • In furnace and chimney construction, you will be high up in the air working next to chimneys up to 300 m tall. Aside from producing fireproof structures, you will also install a variety of insulation materials, for example for protection against the cold or as thermal insulation. Your field of work also includes the installation of lightning protection systems.
  • As a mason, you will mainly be working outside on building sites, both independently and with a team of colleagues, site managers, and architects. Your field of work includes masonry itself as well as planning and constructing the necessary components.
  • As a floorer, you will be an integral part of construction projects: customer consultations and preparation of the subsoil, laying of the floor itself and, if required, further surface finishing. You can obtain a master craftsperson qualification in the field of parquetry.

Electrical engineers with a specialization in energy technology:

In this profession, you will be involved from the moment of design/planning and production/installation of the electronic systems up until the final handover and after-sales support. Vacant positions are mainly found in automation engineering, electric utility, mechanical engineering, and plant construction as well as vehicle construction.

Industrial cleaning:

In this essential profession, you will work in office buildings or public buildings, such as administrative buildings, hospitals, and swimming pools, as well as in public transport and parks. Acting in a strategic manner is required to be able to select the appropriate tools and dosage of cleaning agents. 

FAQs

Furthermore, here are some of the most commonly asked questions about crafts and trades jobs in Germany.

Can a foreign woman get work as a craftsman/ craftswoman?

All craftsmen professions in Germany are fully accessible to both women and men. As a woman, you may learn any skilled trade. This also counts for you in case you do not identify yourself as a woman or a man.

Can non-EU citizens become craftsmen in Germany?

Even if you are not an EU citizen, you can work as a craftsman in Germany. Either you do vocational training in Germany or you get recognition for your foreign educational qualification as a craftsman and can work directly as a craftsman in Germany. Vocational training as a craftsman can also be done by non-EU citizens without any problems if you have a school-leaving certificate (at least 9 grades) and speak German at level B1. The age of the applicant and other qualifications are often less important factors.

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