You graduated high school, you are enrolled at a university - finally growing up... For many students, happiness is only perfect when they say goodbye to their childhood bedroom and move into their own flat or shared flat: Three-quarters of all students move out of their family homes while studying. Alongside the joy, there is suddenly a new problem: finances. According to the Federal Statistical Office in Germany, a one-person household needs 1,629 euros a month. According to the German Student Union, however, student life is cheaper, as they get by on 867 Euros per month. On top of that, however, there are tuition fees and, depending on the housing market, a higher rent than the 332 euros. Will Bafög, financial support, savings, or a scholarship be enough for the new life? Should I work while studying? How much can I earn as a student? How can I work while studying in Germany? Luckily, Germany's good economy offers working student job possibilities for students who need some extra income while studying.
A working student's job during your studies does not only boost your finances. The job requires many facets of you as a colleague, employee, supervisor, newcomer, or expert. You get to know yourself in different roles and perhaps in difficult situations. You also meet people outside your university circle and circle of friends. Of course, a job will also enhance your CV: Working while studying in Germany proves that you can manage your time well, and work hard. It doesn't really matter what industry you're in - it's important to recruiters that you have practical experience. Before you start working as an international student in Germany, you should find out about the general conditions and rules that are in place. They are important to know as making a mistake can increase your insurance and tax bills considerably. You can find answers to the most important questions here:
Studying and working is perfectly OK in Germany. However, there are limits to how many hours you can work before being required to pay full insurance contributions.
In order not to lose your status as a student, the amount that you are allowed to work full-time outside of the lecture period is limited to 182 calendar days (26 weeks) within one year of employment.
International students have their own set of regulations, which govern how long they can work before their taxes and social contributions rise.
For EU nationals, the limit is 20 hours per week during the semester. For students coming from outside the EU, the limit is either 120 full days, or 240 half days every year.
A full day is defined as 8 hours a day and 40 hours a week in Germany, This means that students are allowed to work only 2.5 full days per week during the semester. This limit can be exceeded during the semester and during the summer break, however, international students should keep the annual quota in mind and make sure not to exceed the 120 full-days per year limit.
Part-time or half-days are defined as anything under the definition of a full week. So a part-time job in Germany usually is a job that requires up to 20 hours or less per week.
You may not spend more time working than you do studying. Otherwise, studying is no longer your main occupation. Therefore, as a student, you may not work more than 20 hours a week during the lecture period. You may work more during semester breaks: Students are allowed to work more than 20 hours per week for 26 weeks during the period of one year of employment (note that this does not have to correspond to a calendar year). In this case, it has no effect on your “student” status with regard to social security.
There are some exceptions to the 20 hours rule mentioned above. Academic jobs are usually categorized differently. If you take a student assistant role at CBS, this won't count towards the 120-full days limit that applies to international students. In addition, mandatory internships that are a part of your study programme also are exempted from the 120- full days rule.
The amount of your income plays a role in several aspects. On the one hand, it affects your student status: It's not the amount you're earning, but the amount of time you're working. (see question 1: How much can I work as a student in Germany?). Another aspect of income are taxes: If you exceed certain limits, you will be liable for wage tax (for example, as an employee) or income tax (for example, as a working student or self-employed person). In any case, you should file a tax return for each year in which you study and work in Germany. The respective income limits and tax-free amounts also depend on your age and marital status. Your income is also important for your health insurance. To remain in the family health insurance and be exempt from paying your own health insurance contributions, you may not earn more than 5,400 euros per year in a part-time job. The minimum wage in Germany is around 9 € per hour. Higher-skilled student positions could offer a higher pay range from 11-20 € per hour. Side jobs such as babysitting, catering, and working in a cafe or a restaurant mostly pay somewhere around the minimum.
First of all, you must report any changes in your income to the Bafög office as certain income limits apply. If you earn more than this, the additional income will be deducted from your Bafög. You can earn a gross income of 5,422 euros per year or 452 euros per month without it being deducted from your Bafög. Anything above this amount will be deducted from your Bafög. You can find detailed information on the topic of Bafög and additional income here. With a 450-euro minijob, students who receive Bafög are definitely on the safe side. Whether the job is related to your studies or not is irrelevant. The number of hours worked is also irrelevant for the Bafög.
For starters don't worry about working while studying. It's very common in Germany, especially among international students, and there are many opportunities to consider.
As a student, you have even more options than "normal" employees. For example, you can work as a student trainee or intern. The sticking point is usually the obligation to pay social security. In turn, your marital status, income, and type of employment count towards this.
You work in a company in a field that is related to your studies. For example, as a business student in marketing, human resources, or sales. A working student's job has many advantages: First, you can apply your knowledge in practice. Second, you get to know new areas from your field of study in practice. Third, you have your foot in the door of a company that may offer you a permanent job after graduation. Fourth, you gain sound work experience and enhance your CV. Fifth, you have probably successfully practised a demanding application process. Sixth, you get to know people and their experiences in an environment that is relevant to you. Seventh, the earnings are usually somewhat better than in side jobs like babysitting or waitressing. Eighth, a working student is considered a normal part-time employee and has the corresponding holiday entitlement.
The classic among the part-time jobs is the minijob. You may earn up to 450 euros per month. With a minimum wage of 9.50 euros per hour (as of Jan. 2021), you have to work a maximum of around eleven hours per week or around 47 hours per month for this amount. As a full-time student, you do not have to pay taxes or social security contributions on this amount. This also makes the minijob attractive for employers. If you are under 25 years old and have family health insurance as a student, you can work in a minijob without having to pay extra contributions.
More than a minijob, less than full-time - the midijob is in between. The basic difference: health insurance and unemployment insurance are due, of which the employer pays a higher share than in a full-time job. Earnings may be between 450 and 1,300 euros per month. Like normal part-time employees, you are entitled to holidays and continued payment of wages in the event of illness and you pay pension contributions. Students are only allowed to earn up to 850€ per month as to not loose your student health insurance.
You can also work without an employer in jobs such as promotion, copywriting, tutoring, or web design. Check with your tax office to see if you need a trade license for this.
You have to distinguish between a compulsory internship, a voluntary internship, and an internship abroad. As the name suggests, a compulsory internship is an integral part of your studies. Employers do not have to pay a minimum wage for compulsory internships. Therefore, you often earn nothing or very little during a compulsory internship. The situation is different for voluntary internships: If it lasts longer than three months, you are entitled to the minimum wage. The CBS International Business School attaches great importance to practical experience. Both the Bachelor's and Master's degree programmes include a compulsory internship. This way, all students can gain practical experience in order to be able to apply what they have learned in real situations. Companies place a lot of value on relevant practical experience when hiring new staff. You can find out more about integrated mandatory internships in our study programme.Here you can find more information about internships in Germany for international students.
A good way is your network: Ask your flatmates, fellow students, and friends about job opportunities. Best case scenario, they can recommend you and you'll already know what to expect. Otherwise, there are job portals like stellenwerk.de, appjobs or Young Capital that filter jobs according to the city and feature up-to-date listing. CBS enables its students to work in a wide variety of areas, be it in teaching as a student assistant or in different departments of the administration. In addition, the CBS Career Service Center has many current job advertisements for CBS students in its own job portal.
With around 100,000 students, Cologne is one of the largest university cities in Germany. Life in the cosmopolitan metropolis is varied, colourful, but also more expensive than in rural areas. This primarily appliesto the housing market. This is why many students work alongside their studies. Cologne offers a wide range of jobs for students: On the one hand, as a media city with renowned publishing houses and numerous radio and television stations, Cologne is an attractive place for student jobs. Students willing to work while studying in Germany can find long-term student jobs in well-known corporations such as Ford, Bayer, REWE or AXA. Good to know: At CBS, our Career Service, takes care of the contact to local, but also internationally active companies and supports you in your job search.
The capital of Rhineland-Palatinate is located in the middle of the economically strong Rhine-Main region. Well-known companies such as SWR, ZDF, Boehringer Ingelheim, Schott AG, Frankfurt Airport, and Schenker Deutschland offer attractive opportunities for student jobs in Mainz. You can work during your studies and build up an attractive professional network. The gastronomy and leisure industries also offer plenty of opportunities to work in Mainz. The CBS Career Service offers a comprehensive job portal for students at Mainz campus.
The research and tourism industries offer a variety of student jobs in Potsdam. The city near Berlin is home to universities and around 40 research institutions. Theses or internships in the field of research are therefore very possible. You can also find a job in one of the approximately 800 IT companies, for example at SAP, Toll Collect or in the neighbouring town of Kleinmachnow at eBay or PayPal. The CBS Career Service has its own online job portal with lots of job offers in Potsdam ranging from part-time jobs to internships, or full-time entry-level positions.
A full timetable, exams, homework, and a job on top? Many people ask themselves whether they still have enough time and energy for a part-time job. Especially at the beginning of their studies. It depends on you: Experience shows that most students studying full-time at CBS find enough time for a job. What kind of job exactly is up to each student individually. Some need more time to prepare for and follow up on university lectures and seminars, some prefer to work a lot during the semester break and only a little during the lecture period. Others prefer to work less, but continuously throughout the year. Jobs as a working student are attractive – CBS supports this with its network and plentiful information about job opportunities.
Studying while working is becoming more and more popular. The reasons are obvious: You acquire a full university degree and at the same time do vocational training or gain extensive work experience in a company. This makes you extremely attractive to companies and offers you excellent career opportunities. Companies also appreciate the advantages of part-time study for their employees: The managers of tomorrow can be tied to the company in the long term.
The course contents provide you with valuable practical knowledge for your professional career. But outside of the lectures, there are also ways to improve your career. CBS employees in the Career Service department are available to advise you on all questions regarding your professional future. With the help of the job portal, application training, recruiting events and much more, you will be supported on your way.
Networking and recruiting events are only one component of how CBS supports you for a career in management. There are more good reasons why you should study at CBS.