Find a proper job in Berlin

As of 2016, Berlin had an unemployment rate of around 10% overall compared to the 5% in Germany on average.  You might think it’s still doable to find a job in Berlin but those statistics are also counting the infamous mini-jobs and nebenjobs that are widespread in Germany.

The thing is: it is not that difficult to find a job in Berlin.

Yep, I said it!

What is really difficult is to find a stable and decent one that is calling out to your education field. I have seen several people come to Berlin to enjoy its sweet life, stay for about 1 year and a half; and leave again because they didn’t have money anymore. It is apparently symptomatic of a city that is counts numerous underfunded start-ups & little money for the art scene.

Find a job in berlin

The key to a proper job in Berlin is…

I will give you however a little secret of mine, the key to a durable career in Berlin. You won’t get away with it: you need to master German!

You need to speak German fluently to find a job in Berlin.Sure you will be able to English-speaking jobs in cool companies, but that won’t get you too far at some point.

The first reason for that is that there are many overqualified foreigners like you applying for the same jobs. And even if you get the position, you won’t be able to progress within the company. I am sure that there are plenty of people out there that got their jobs in Berlin without peeping a word of German! But on the long-run, those people are likely to hit a glass ceiling and his/her colleague who spoke German got the long deserved promotion.

Learn german to find your job in Berlin

The Door to Success : German

The reason I’m telling you all this is that the key decision makers are almost always German people. They make the decisions, hire or fire and set-up strategies. If you are not able to play on the same level with them, it won’t be possible to eventually convince them that you are the good manager for the Berlin unit. Another valid reason beyond promotion and career is that not speaking German might negatively impact on your salary.

Now if you are planning to stay only a little while, it might not be necessary to learn German to find a job in Berlin. You might not find the best fitting one or the best pay, but it will be enough to pay your rent and parties.

The best places to look to find a job in Berlin depending on your industry & skills

You are young and hungry for experience, it might be why you came to Berlin: for its vivid start-up scene. Berlin has impressively raised up its profile and it is now known as true hub in Europe. Start-ups provide a lot of opportunities and are usually a lot more flexible concerning German skills. Showing motivation and spirit is often key. Money is sometimes not great but that can change quickly if you do well. Online Marketing, business intelligence, product management, sales & customer support know-hows are often what they are looking for.

Here are the best websites to start-up jobs in Berlin:

You can also check the major venture’s websites that constantly looking for fresh blood for new ventures. Turnover can be quite high in those ventures but you will get plenty of responsibilities & experience and learn a lot in a very short time.

The following placement companies can also help you if you work in e-commerce or online marketing. They work for companies which search specific profiles for a position. You send them a CV and go through an interview, and they call you when they have a match. They get paid by the company with successful placements.

 

If you have graphic design skills, those website are a good starting points. Berlin is a great place for graphic designers. Each start-up more or less needs one. In that case, to know a bit about HTML & CSS is often a big plus :

 

If you are an IT rock star, you won’t have much trouble finding a job in Berlin. Thanks to the many web based start-ups, you can hope for a good situation here, even if you don’t speak German at all. In addition to all the generic websites, you have those:

If you are more of a creative type and want to find something in the arts, dance, music, film or theater industry, you might want to have a look at those websites. Competition is tough but the scene is very vivid and full of opportunities.

If you want to commit to a career in NGO or non-profit organisations, you might want to give this a shot:

You can also turn to science and engineering jobs on this job board:

People interested in the hospitality industry can turn to:

Another few more with English speaking jobs in Berlin:

Some Facebook groups are also offering jobs in Berlin for English speakers especially:

You have of course the big generic job boards:

All those are included in the meta-search engine made by Indeed.com so you can do a very broad search with the following fields. It’s a good way to get a first look at the current job market:

WhatWhere(opens in new tab)

Job title or company

City or postal code

job search

 

Don’t forget the listings like:

How to make sure your are getting a fair salary offer:

Don’t sell yourself short by doing your research on how much you should ask when negotiating your salary. I have made a dedicated post on how much you should get paid in Berlin this way. This is an important step to getting a job you are excited about. Added to that: don’t forget that rent prices have increased much quicker than salary levels in Berlin; the excuse that some employers used (“You should decrease your expectations because the city is cheaper than where you come from.) is now more and more obsolete.

How to make sure the company you applied for offers a good work environment:

One of the trends that came with web 2.0 is the ability to leave reviews for pretty much anything on the web. What started on Amazon products has expanded to local shops, tourist attractions, services or hotels. Companies and employers did not escape that trend and platforms have emerged to provide insider information on what it is really like to work there. You can access testimonies by former/current employees or people that applied to some jobs. Although reviews are by nature biased, they can give you a good idea of what’s it like. If you are interested head to:

Alternatively, you can also try to search for former employees on Facebook groups above or via a quick Linkedin search and ask there.

Tip 1 : I really can’t state that enough : to find a job in Berlin, you need to learn German. Please do invest some time in the language!
If you need some guidance on this topic too, you might be interested in this article.

Tip 2 : Improve your chance to find a job by signing up for a profile on Xing. It is the German equivalent for LinkedIn or Viadeo. Xing has also a job board of its own with many job offers that cannot be found elsewhere. Having a profile there also allows to do better networking and shows that you are proactive to integrate the local job market. Interface can be switched to English. It is a must-have for anyone being serious about their work profile in Germany. It’s totally worth 2 min of your time to get started.

 

Good luck. 🙂

65 Comments

  • Reply Vivienne 14/06/2017 at 22:40

    Thank you so much for putting in time to make this article. I found it very helpful

  • Reply Catherine 06/05/2017 at 15:56

    I have a question to work in Berlin, do I need a permit? register some where?

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 08/05/2017 at 10:12

      Hi Catherine, i cannot answer to this question. If you are an EU citizen, no work permit needed. If not, you will probably need to apply for a visa.

  • Reply Sofie 28/04/2017 at 14:56

    Really good article, with lots of helpfull information. As I am in the natural science field of work, I can recommend you the side https://jobtensor.com. They are specialist on natural science and engineering jobs and have a lot of vacancies in Berlin. Also available in english language.
    Maybe you can add in your list as I missed a bit the science area 🙂
    Thanks

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 29/04/2017 at 10:12

      Hi Sofie, great recommendation. I will add it to the list.

  • Reply anne 23/02/2017 at 11:15

    Hello! First of all, thanks for your website and the hard work you must have put in this, i’m glad there is a website like yours, it helped me for many things so thank you!!
    I have a question regarding self employed job: is it possible to be freiberufler and have a gewerbe statut at the same time? Everywhere it says that you have to choose, but i want to work as a freelancer AND have my small artisanal company (both are artistic)… and i can’t find any answer about it on how i can register for this kind of status, if its possible to cumulate these two…
    thanks a lot!!

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 23/02/2017 at 23:09

      Hello Anne. I don’t think there is anything that prevents you from doing that. A little research uncovered this. Hope this helps.

      • Reply anne 24/02/2017 at 08:28

        Yes it helped! thank you so much 🙂

  • Reply Satyam Sundar Panda 01/02/2017 at 19:01

    Hey very nice and use full information. I am a System Engineer in IT. How is the IT market over there?as i don’t no German.

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 01/02/2017 at 20:06

      Hi Saytam. As mentioned in the article, IT profiles are quite in demand as there are lot of start-ups. It shouldn’t be a problem for you. The best way to know for sure is make a search. 🙂

  • Reply Alice 18/10/2016 at 22:44

    Hi, Just moved to Berlin and I work in hospitality, I hear you need a red card licence to work in the industry – do you know where I can get this? Also I have really appreciated your page do you have a donation page to keep it going – really helpful to anyone moving here x

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 19/10/2016 at 10:27

      Hi Alice. A short research made me land on this page which explains how to get this in Berlin. It seems to be some sort of permit proving that you are not contagious and that you are allowed to work with food products with no risks for your patients/customers. There is a donation page this way :). Thanks for that!

    • Reply Devan 19/01/2017 at 19:27

      Hey im from an asian country. Im doing a course of chartered accountancy i plan to learn german and give its ielts. My current qualification is alevels subjects accounts/economics/english language. So can i get proper job of accounting in berlin!

    • Reply Karrie 30/01/2017 at 13:41

      hi Alice,

      how have you found living there working in hospitaility? Did you learn a lot of the language before you go. Ich kann sprache und verstehe eine bischen Deautch. Wurd es genug sein?

      Thanks in advance for your answer!

  • Reply Stela 11/10/2016 at 20:35

    Hi, thanks for all the invaluable info. Do you have any recommendations on CV formats? I’ve found the basics but one controversy is whether to provide personal interest and hobbies as it is in some german templates. Thanks!

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 12/10/2016 at 11:49

      Hi Stela. Wether or not you apply for german companies or international ones, it is fine to indicate a few personal details like those. It can grasp the interest of the recruiter and give him/her material to interview you one, to see how you talk about things you are passionate about. It also helps to stand out but just one or two lines will do.

  • Reply Amber 11/10/2016 at 16:52

    This is probably a stupid question but I can’t find the answer anywhere……. on most job ads that I’ve seen for Germany, it always lists the title followed by (m/f). Does this mean Monday to Friday?

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 11/10/2016 at 18:57

      Hello there Amber. It is a legal requirement for job ads to include this to fight against discrimination. It just means (male/female).

  • Reply Paola 21/09/2016 at 23:41

    Hello,I am a lawyer from Venezuela and I will be applying for a student visa to study German for at least 6 monthts, and with the mentioned visa I am only allowed to work for 120 full or 240 half days per year. Do you think I could pay the bills in Berlin working only this hours? What kind of jobs would you recommend me if I only speak Spanish and English… I know a few words in German but i Believe is not enough… Thank you for your help…

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 22/09/2016 at 10:09

      Hi Paola. I guess it depends on how well paid this job will be. It’s more or less a part-time job so it will probably cover the rent a bit more maybe. Hard to say from here. There are lot of start-ups catering the Spanish markets in Berlin, maybe you can find something there in customer support or sales.

  • Reply jay martinez 15/08/2016 at 04:46

    hi any info on fitness industry jobs be great

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 15/08/2016 at 09:53

      thanks for the suggestion. I’ll add anything i can find. Do you have any ideas yourself ?

  • Reply Satyam Sundar Panda 30/06/2016 at 16:37

    Hi. Thanks a lot for your info. I am a system Engineer having around 2 years experience in IT and now i am planning to move to Berlin from India for job search. I don’t no German so How is the system Engineer/ System Administrator opening in Berlin? Any idea!!.

  • Reply Michelle 06/04/2016 at 14:09

    HEUREKA has a new job board (all with English ads for jobs in Berlin and beyond)! Please add to the list and share 🙂 http://theheureka.com/jobboard/

    • Reply settle_in_Berlin 07/04/2016 at 10:12

      Hi Michelle. Venture Village’s job board was already on the list so i just updated the link. 😉

      • Reply Premtim cengu 10/08/2016 at 12:46

        Hello, i am from albania. I want to live in berlin. For a long time a have worked as truck driver and forklift. I am good in english. Can i find a work to do in berlin. Pleasure

        • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 10/08/2016 at 16:15

          Hi Premtim, i’m sure that they are opportunities for you in Berlin too but i don’t know if your line of business requires German. Try to look at job descriptions and see if it’s necessary.

  • Reply Danee 22/03/2016 at 17:06

    Awesome post, so so true about learning German. For anyone looking for PR and Marketing jobs in Berlin, I started this Facebook group while I was job hunting in Berlin because I wanted to share the love and help others find jobs too. Here’s the link: https://www.facebook.com/groups/934989843180264/

  • Reply alias 28/02/2016 at 15:10

    Fantastic source! Thank you very much for this.
    I moved to Berlin just over a month ago with good understanding but less perfect speaking knowledge of german language. I am learning left and right (mostly via apps, but still).
    I am now strugeling to get a job. Fair to say that my lack of language is my main handicap because when in Rome.. or in Berlin in this case.

    Would you recommend any site for english speaking mini jobs? I have to pay my bills somehow and the clock is ticking.

    Thank you in advance if something happens to cross your mind.

    Kindest,
    b

    • Reply settle_in_Berlin 28/02/2016 at 18:23

      I don’t have any more resources in mind right now but it’s an interesting category i could put in this page in the future. Thanks for suggesting.

  • Reply Anna Jones 08/01/2016 at 06:56

    This one is great. This article gives more knowledgeable tips to young job seeker to be ready and confident in their chosen startup job.

  • Reply TRINA 31/08/2015 at 16:38

    Hi i will be going to berlin for a year on dependant visa. can i get a job over there on dependant visa if i learn basic german language. i am good in english???

    • Reply settle_in_Berlin 01/09/2015 at 09:41

      What is a dependant visa ? Does it allow to work here ? If yes, you can find a job if you’re good enough in English but maybe it won’t be your dream job.

  • Reply Myrto 17/07/2015 at 00:30

    I heard that craiglist is kinda crap for jobs. Have you had any bad experiences ?

    • Reply settle_in_Berlin 28/07/2015 at 11:18

      Personally no since i never applied to a job on craigslist. The way i see it is that you never know what’s on there, and when you need a job, you shouldn’t dismiss any resources. 🙂

  • Reply Hugo 19/06/2015 at 08:35

    Really useful ressource of links. I can also recommend http://joblistberlin.com trying to compile all companies hiring in Berlin.
    Thanks!

    • Reply settle_in_Berlin 21/06/2015 at 13:23

      Awesome. Thanks for the add.

      • Reply Lisa Brown 27/09/2015 at 13:01

        Hi do you know of a good sight for community Care work a good link or job site .Thank you

        • Reply settle_in_Berlin 27/09/2015 at 18:19

          I dont really understand your request. Can you rephrase ?

  • Reply Growing up and taking a language course - die DeutSCHule • 18/05/2015 at 12:50

    […] Find a proper job in Berlin […]

  • Reply Christine Retschlag 10/06/2014 at 23:18

    Thank you for this excellent post. A really great resource for people considering moving to Berlin.

  • Reply Pan 05/06/2014 at 12:46

    English speaking jobs & internships in Berlin startup

    http://www.onstartupjobs.com/?job_listing_region=berlin

    • Reply Waster 16/09/2014 at 14:15

      Sorry bud but you’re wrong. Iv been living in Germany for two years with sadly minimal language skills and have found acquiring jobs here easier than in the UK.
      One call center paying 22.000 per year and now working as a sound engineer for 12 euro per hour.

      Nough said.

      • Reply laura 16/10/2014 at 13:43

        Hi could you offer any advice or direction for such jobs? Thank you

      • Reply VICKY NIFOROU 06/05/2015 at 17:26

        Hello! I think you are my savior! I am planning to move to Berlin but I speak only some low-level rusty German! I intend to learn the language in time but for now i just need to go to Berlin and just find a simple job (preferably office job) in English! I am Greek,I have a bachelor in social politics and i think I’m good at English too.. i have friends there and i also intend to take a masters degree course on Jan. 2016. But first I need a job! I am desperate for an English speaking job! I would be deeply grateful if you could give me your lights! Thank you in advance! Vicky

        • Reply Myrto 17/07/2015 at 00:27

          Vicky have you found anything already? ( I am Greek too and willing to move in Berlin)

      • Reply Searcher 09/11/2015 at 22:04

        Waster can you hook me up with a contact please? Want to earn some money on the site while attending a german class

      • Reply Alka 25/12/2015 at 16:52

        U being sound job, do you have your own equipments or companies provide you .

      • Reply Shashan 07/01/2016 at 10:51

        Hey
        I have completed my MBA. Can you help me find a job in Berlin.
        please revert me at shashan.pande.14mb@bml.edu.in

  • Reply Fucks 30/04/2014 at 19:24

    If you don’t speak German you will end up washing dishes for filthy Hotels even if you are close to a nobel prize in Chemistry.

    nouf said.

    • Reply Myrto 17/07/2015 at 00:26

      Well, maybe it is not that bad to begin with the kitchen help job. I mean if you do not know the language , working in a job like this seems to be the best solution in order to start learning German.

  • Reply Sara 15/04/2014 at 17:55

    Hello there
    Thank you very much for this useful website .
    I am an IT Expert , and I have many expereinces in teaching Math , Computer ,
    I have Network+ , MCITP , Security+ , Storage + , Vmware , Virtualization CERTIFICATIONS .
    How can I find a good job in Berlin , english is not my native language , but I am very good at it , and now I am starting to learn Germman ,
    I am waiting for your answer .
    thank you

  • Reply Keerthi 20/02/2014 at 14:53

    Hi,

    Glade to see your valuable info.As i wanted to know how can i search a job for oracle dba position in Germany from India.

    share the related sites which are important.

  • Reply nath 09/02/2014 at 17:55

    thank you very much for this incredible website! my dream is to move to berlin, hopefully i’ll make it next semester 😉 i’ve been studying german for 6 months now and of course there’s still a lot to learn, but i’m very optimistic! can’t wait to master it 🙂 anyways your posts are very useful. thanks!!

    • Reply settle_in_Berlin 11/02/2014 at 20:34

      I am so very glad so that you find this useful. You can share this website with as many people as you can to show your support. Like the FB page also ! 🙂

  • Reply Lala 10/11/2013 at 15:34

    Hi. I’m non-native speaker of English. I have degree on bachelor of “Teaching English as a Foreign Language” . and I have some basic German laguage skill. Can i find a suitable job in berlin as English teacher?

    • Reply settle_in_Berlin 19/11/2013 at 19:46

      It’s quite risky because a lot of people offer to teach English even if that’s not their main occupation. There is certainly abundance of offer for the current demand. That’s not so much your german skills that is the problem here but more how much offer there is here for that service.

  • Reply Dan 28/10/2013 at 19:59

    This seems to be an agency for helping immigrants find jobs and stuff http://www.oase-berlin.org/

  • Reply Feliks Divelli Fyhr 24/09/2013 at 14:25

    This doesn’t really have anything to do with what you’re writing about, but do you know if busking is allowed in Berlin?

    • Reply settle_in_Berlin 03/10/2013 at 19:10

      In short, i would say yes. Tons of bands are playing in the streets. In truth, i never checked if they had some kind of authorization

  • Reply katarina 21/09/2013 at 00:20

    hey ! what about hospitality, hotels, hostels and stuff. i will need some extra money to cover my rent beside playing in a small band. do you think i will need to speak a perfect German for this sort of job ?

    • Reply settle_in_Berlin 23/09/2013 at 12:42

      I left the tourism industry out because i’m not really knowledgeable about it.
      By definition, if you are dealing with tourists, it’s likely that you won’t need a perfect german. Any other language than english is a plus and as stated in this article, german is needed in the long run.

  • Reply Are expats unwelcomed in Berlin ? What Berliners say 04/09/2013 at 19:59

    […] Find a proper job in Berlin […]

  • Reply Dan 23/06/2013 at 13:52

    This seems to be the extension of the Berlin Startup Map data to all of German startups. I don’t know which is more current.

    https://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UTF8&oe=UTF8&msa=0&msid=206061765290418449171.0004793741e0b06245ddd

    • Reply settle_in_Berlin 10/07/2013 at 09:09

      Wow ! Great Map Dan. Did you do that ?

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