4 Things you need to know before starting a mini-job in Germany – My story as a minijobber in Berlin (2023)

My German mini-job story

4 Things you need to know before starting a mini-job in Germany – My story as a minijobber in Berlin (1)

I arrived in Germany to study without knowing anything about mini-job opportunities.

But, like many other students, I wanted to work during my studies.

On the one hand, I wanted to do it to get some hands-on experience and try working in a multicultural environment. On the other hand – I wanted to earn some extra pocket money.

In the beginning, I didn’t know a lot of important details about what exactly it meant to have a mini-job in Germany.

I thought, literally, it was a “small job”, or a “job that pays you little money”. Haha.

While that held true, I wish I had done a little more research about what exactly a mini-job was.

As I discovered later, not only students are looking for mini-jobs in Germany.

A lot of expats who come to Germany to find a full-time job, also work part-time until they receive their dream full-time job offer.

I don’t know why it surprised me, but Germans, of course, also have mini-jobs.

Sometimes it’s their only income, sometimes they have a mini-job in addition to their normal, full-time job (saving money on tax!).

Why would you do that?

Well, I can tell you. When I got a mini-job, I always got 450 Euros. Every month. I was told that was the maximum amount before it was taxable.

(Video) Mini-Jobs in Germany (Part-Time) | What You Need to Know

In other words. No matter if I had an additional job earning me, e.g., 1500 Euros or 2000 Euros – I would always get 450 Euros for my mini-job. This is because the German mini-job always arrived at my bank account with tax deducted already.

What I can say for sure is that all of these aspects were new to me. But they seemed very important, especially in terms of the complex German bureaucratic system.

I thought it’s worthwhile sharing the insights I’ve gained. So that you won’t waste time surfing through the internet or getting into some troubles.

So. What exactly is a mini-job in Germany?

Let me share my own experience with you.

#1 What is a German mini-job?

Having a mini-job in Germany means to have any kind of legal employment with a maximum monthly salary of 450 Euros– that was the first thing I learned about this job type.

And not one Euro more!

Why is that important and what conditions come attached with that?

For me accepting the mini-job meant that the company I worked for did not have to pay for insurance obligations. This made the salary cheaper for them. They paid about 600 Euros, and I got 450 Euros after all tax got deducted.

They told me that if I got 460 Euros a month, they would have to pay around 700-800 Euros. The moment they paid me more than the mini job allowance of 450 Euros, the company will pay for my social security insurances! If it is 450 Euros or less, then I have to pay for them.

This was good for them. They were a young startup company. So it allowed them to hire someone. But they did not have enough money to spend 800 Euros each month, they only had 450 Euros for that.

The mini job was created to help small companies and shops to hire employees more quickly. And to make it more flexible. It is also good for the employees because it means you can always have a quick mini-job in addition to your normal job if you want to get an ‘extra’ 450 Euros pocket money.

So, an advantage for me was that I could also get another full-time job later. This other job would pay my insurance – I would get these 450 Euros as a sort of pocket money, that just did not have anything to do with my other income. For my employer, it was a big plus was that he didn’t have to spend extra money paying taxes for a person who only works part-time.

Mini-job, is this just an easy way to fire someone quickly?!

So what I suspect is… a mini-job is also convenient because the employer can fire you quickly. It sounds harsh, but in a way I understand.

If you do not resign voluntarily and you have worked at a place for sometime, I have heard that it is super hard for a German company to terminate the contract of their employees.

It is not at all like in the US, “hire and fire”. Germany seems super protective of its workers.

I guess when, for example, if you own a little cafe in Berlin. It’s good money in summer. But there are not as many customers at your cafe in winter – how do you pay your employees?

(Video) Mini Job In Germany || what is minimum wage in germany || Shawal Khan

You can’t. And you cannot easily fire them. So you go bankrupt in the worst case.

So being a little flexible is good. Hence a mini-job seems a good way to solve that problem for some companies.

You can just hire two people on a mini-job for a couple of months in winter. And then you can let them go with a month’s notice.

Now something else.

Health insurance.

It happened so, that after I took a mini-job, I discovered it did not pay my German public health insurance payments!

I was confused at first. However, as I was told – that’s common procedure.

So, make sure to check the details!

#2 Why mini-jobs are more popular among students in Germany?

Having a mini-job as a student in Germany was an easy way to earn money for me!

As a student in Germany, I wasn’t allowed to work more than 20 hours per week.

The cost of my student health insurance at the time was about 80 Euros monthly. This was for public insurance.

It would have been even less if I would have had private health insurance.

80 Euros or less – it did not really affect my budget. I thought that was quite cheap for health insurance every month. And with this mini-job, I still had spare money left.

When I had “werkstudent job” and mini-job at same time, my monthly salary was around 1360 Euros. As it was more than 450 Euros, it was already turning into another type of employment in terms of the legal obligations.

important to note:

You might have heard about “Werkstudent” jobs. It’s something slightly different. I had such a job once. I got paid per hour. The salary can vary – the maximum I heard was about 17 Euros per hour… but that was in companies such as BOSCH or Mercedes. So chances are that other positions may pay less…

(Video) Minijob and students-job for international students in Germany!

When I had Werkstudenten and mini job at the same time my monthly salary would be around 1360 Euros. As that was more than 450 Euros, it was turning into another type of employment in terms of the legal obligations.

#3 What you should know before getting your first mini-job in Germany?

  • Is it difficult to get a mini-job in Germany?

For me, it was easy to get a mini job in Germany. I checked websites such as indeed.de, jobbörse.de or berlinstartupjobs.com and searched in different Facebook groups, such as Mini Jobs Berlin, Jobs Berlin-Brandenburg, English Jobs Berlin.

Basically, the job can be anything from cleaning to part-time professional help. And if it’s a job in a bar or a restaurant, they can hire a person without any prior experience.

  • What is it like to be the only mini jobber in your job?

So, I was the only one with a mini job contract in the place I worked for. Everyone else had a part-time or full-time job.
A good thing is that I felt like a part of a professional collective from day 1.

I also made new profitable contacts for my future employment opportunities.

That’s why I highly suggest looking for something you are really passionate about, even if it’s 20 hours per week. You can actually gain a lot of new knowledge and experience if you are willing to. And meet nice people!

You can also see for yourself if you like or dislike a certain type of job or working culture if you are still undecided what you want to do in life.

  • Student job VS Expat job

As said, having a mini job was a great opportunity for me as a student. Also, because as a student in Germany, I could work 120 days of 240 half-days in a year and you can hardly exceed this amount having a mini-job. However, I would advise counting a number of hours you work not to go beyond accidentally because it can cause problems.

Why is it only a short-term solution for an expat?

As an expat, I was willing to stay in Germany. I learned that eventually, I would have to look for a full-time position, preferably related to my diploma or professional skills. Unfortunately, a mini-job can’t give you a work permit in Germany and that was important to me. Also, most probably it won’t cover your expenses.

  • What type of contract comes with a mini-job?

From my experience having a mini job, I strongly advise clarifying your conditions with your employer before signing a contract.

I heard stories when dishonest employers asked people to work extra hours as included in a mini-job, but therefore avoiding paying extra-money and taxes. Sometimes they asked if my friends are fine receiving a salary in cash from time to time. I think it’s also illegal, even if this amount is included in your contract. And probably if these sums exceed this amount.

  • And again – I had to pay for your health insurance myself!

I repeat it because some people think, that after graduation (when their health insurance payments exceed 80 euros) the situation changes so that the employer pays half of the insurance in spite it’s a mini-job. It’s not the case!

Also, I thought the solution would be to take two or three mini-jobs, all for 450 Euros so that it compensates my insurance taxes. But it didn’t work, because in this case, I had to pay additional income taxes on my own plus my health insurance. So, beware!

4 Things you need to know before starting a mini-job in Germany – My story as a minijobber in Berlin (3)

(Video) Find Your First Part Time Job in Germany in JUST 3 DAYS

#4 Switching from a mini-job to a full-time position

That’s what I did!

I knew that a mini-job was only a mini-job. It would not be enough to earn me living in Germany.

Unfortunately, it’s not certain that you will get a full-time position after having a mini-job. In any case, that’s not what happened for me. But I know others who took over full-time positions.

I think it really depends on where you work.

If you have a job in a German café or restaurant. And the place is successful and perhaps one employee stops working – maybe you are lucky and can take their place.

Or, as in my case, you do a mini job for a company that is still growing. And the success of the company is not for certain. Well then – it can go either way.

In this scenario, for example, my employers were just not able to change my mini job to a full-time position. They could not afford to pay roughly twice as much every month.

It’s crazy how much they have to pay, and how little you get in the end – I was surprised how much money goes into the welfare state, income tax, social security, health insurance, etc.

But I guess that’s also a good thing.

Eventually, you will have to look for something else, especially if you are interested to stay and live in Germany.

So, while having a mini-job, I suggest continuing searching for something that will be perfectly adequate for your life situation.

All and all, I wish you great luck finding a mini-job

…that will take you to the next level in terms of your career!

…or that works a nice source of pocket money – to buy you that extra pair of shoes, or start saving money like the Germans do :)

Want to add something?We do our best to keep this article up-to-date. Nevertheless, if you spot anything that’s unclear or inaccurate, then pleasecontact us.

©2019 Copyright Expat Services UG (haftungsbeschränkt). All rights reserved. Expat Services UG (haftungsbeschränkt)assumes no liability for the correctness,accuracy, relevance, reliability or completeness of the information published.

FAQs

How does mini-job work in Germany? ›

With a mini-job as a "short-term employment" ("Kurzfristigen Beschäftigung"), you work less than three months (for a 5-hour week) or 70 working days (if you work less than five days per week) per year.

Do I need a work permit for a mini-job in Germany? ›

You need a work permit before you can start to work in Germany. And whether you would be issued a work permit depends on your residence permit. Here you can learn more about the regulations which apply to you when it comes to obtaining a work permit in Germany.

Can I work in Berlin without speaking German? ›

The city of Berlin, at least in its central districts, is very geared towards anglophones. And in fact, if you speak English, there's not much that'll be closed off to you.

Why Germany is best for work? ›

Germany is the biggest economy in Europe and one of the leading economies in the world. Within the country there are currently more than 500.000 jobs to be filled. According to prognosis Germany needs migration of up to 100.000 persons from non-EU countries alone to keep current level of economy.

Do you pay tax on a mini job? ›

Relatively few hours are therefore worked per month. The mini job is also referred to as “marginal employment”. As an employee in a mini job, you are not required to pay any social security or income tax contributions. This means you receive all of the wage.

What is minimum wage in Berlin? ›

Share page
Minimum wagesGenerally binding / valid untilWest (including Berlin)
EUR
Unskilled workers01.12.23 to 31.01.2414.15
Skilled workers, carers01.09.22 to 30.04.2314.60
01.05.23 to 30.11.2314.90
31 more rows

How much is mini job in Germany? ›

What is a mini-job in Germany? In Germany, the tax system clearly outlines 450-euro-minijobs and short-term mini-jobs. Thus, a mini-job is determined by the wage you receive or by the hours you put into the work. The 450-euro-minijob requires that the affected person must not earn more than EUR 450 on a regular basis.

What jobs are in-demand in Berlin? ›

Here are some of the most in-demand fields.
  • IT & Software Development. ...
  • Marketing / Communications. ...
  • Design / UX / UI. ...
  • Sales. ...
  • Finance. ...
  • Customer Support. ...
  • Operations. ...
  • HR & Recruiting.

What is the minimum salary to get blue card in Germany? ›

You have an employment contract or a binding job offer. You have a minimum annual gross salary of 56,400 Euros.

What is the minimum salary to get work permit in Germany? ›

If you apply for a Blue Card, your salary must be at least 56,400€ per year (before taxes). If there is a shortage of skilled workers in your field, your salary must be at least 43,992€ per year. This list shows which fields have a shortage of skilled workers. If you can, find a job before you come to Germany.

How many hours a week is a mini-job in Germany? ›

Part-time work in Germany

Anyone working in Germany for less than 30 hours per week is considered a part-time employee. Once you have been at your company for six months, you have the right to request a reduction to your weekly working hours (as long as the company employs more than 15 people).

What is the minimum wage in Germany 2022? ›

Minimum Wage Updated in Germany from 01 October 2022 - September 19, 2022. The minimum wages are revised in Germany from 01 October 2022. The minimum wage has increased from €10.45 to €12.00 per hour. Note: This minimum wage increase might not reflect the inflationary trends.

How much is the basic salary in Germany? ›

Minimum wage in Germany
DateMinimum wage (gross)
January 1 - June 30, 20219,50 euros per hour
July 1 - December 31, 20219,60 euros per hour
January 1 - June 30, 20229,82 euros per hour
July 1, 2022 onwards10,45 euros per hour

Can you speak just English in Berlin? ›

Berlin – English very widely spoken in Berlin. You should be fine in almost all hotels, shops and restaurants. Elsewhere most people will either speak at least basic English or be able to get someone who does. You don't need German when visiting Berlin.

How can I make extra money in Germany? ›

If you prefer to work from home, see my 20 ideas to make money from home that anyone can do.
  1. Internship. ...
  2. Student work in a company. ...
  3. Writing thesis in a company. ...
  4. Scholarship. ...
  5. University jobs. ...
  6. Bartender/ waiter. ...
  7. Babysitter, and other jobs from private persons. ...
  8. Street performance.
19 Apr 2022

Is it easy to get a job in Berlin? ›

If you are thinking about how to get a job in Berlin, you are especially lucky if you are looking for something in one of the above-mentioned in-demand jobs. However, know that if you do not speak fluent German, finding a job will be more difficult.

What is the easiest job to get in Germany? ›

If you are looking for a job opportunity here, then the easiest jobs you can find in Germany are the ones that are in demand.
...
Top job openings in Germany:
  • Nurses.
  • Business managers.
  • Account managers.
  • Production assistants.
  • Sales managers, representatives.
  • Product managers.
  • Architects.
  • Civil engineers.
19 Oct 2019

Which career is best in Germany? ›

Top 10 Highest Paid Professions in Germany 2022 - 23
  • Pilots. ...
  • College professors. ...
  • Researchers in Biotechnology and Neuroscience. ...
  • Surgeons and doctors. ...
  • Judges. ...
  • Bank managers. ...
  • Director of Finance. ...
  • Tourism and hospitality professionals.
3 Aug 2022

What skills are in demand in Germany? ›

So here are the top 5 high demand jobs in Germany:
  • Electronics Engineer.
  • Computer Science, IT professionals and Software Developers.
  • Mechanical Engineering.
  • Account Managers / Business analysts.
  • Civil Engineer / Architecht.
2 Aug 2022

Can you have two mini-jobs in Germany? ›

You can have two or three mini-jobs if you'd like. However, if you earn more than the earning cap per month (in a three month average), you are no longer considered a mini-jobber and will become liable for taxes and social contributions.

Can I work 2 jobs at the same time? ›

The Right to Work a Second Job

As a general rule, unless you've signed a valid employment contract that prohibits you from taking a second job, there's no law against working for more than one company. That doesn't mean, though, that your employer can't terminate you for moonlighting or participating in a side hustle.

Can you work two jobs in Germany? ›

Secondary employment is generally permitted in Germany and does not have to be approved by the 'main' employer. Secondary employment can take the following forms: another salaried employment relationship with another employer; or. a freelance employment relationship (self-employed secondary employment).

What is the lowest paid job in Germany? ›

The lowest-paying jobs in Germany include:
  • Waitress.
  • Backer.
  • Dental Assistant.
  • Call Center Agent.
  • Receptionist.
  • Chef/Cook.
  • Salesperson/Customer Advisor in Retail.
  • Cashier.
12 Oct 2022

How much is rent in Germany? ›

On average, to cover your living expenses in Germany you will need around 934 euros per month (around $906 US dollars) or 11,208 euros per year (around $10,876 US dollars).
...
Which region has the highest cost of living in Germany?
Rent
Munich1,094.30€ -1
Berlin795.90€ – 4
Hamburg838.94€ – 3
Frankfurt868.91€ – 2
9 more columns

How much is a waiter paid in Germany? ›

1.430 € (EUR)/yr

The average waiter/waitress gross salary in Germany is 27.039 € or an equivalent hourly rate of 13 €. In addition, they earn an average bonus of 1.430 €. Salary estimates based on salary survey data collected directly from employers and anonymous employees in Germany.

How much tax do students pay in Germany? ›

Tax returns for working students

For 2021, the tax-free allowance for annual income is €9,744, and in 2022 it's €9,984. If you're a working student earning €450 a month, your annual salary will fall below this allowance, meaning you won't need to pay any taxes.

How does a mini job work? ›

A mini-job, also called a 450-euro job, is meant to be a part-time job. The job itself is a job that is not subject to compulsory insurance. This means that if you have no other income, the job does not ensure that you are covered by social security. For example, you do not have statutory health insurance.

Do I pay tax on a part time job? ›

If you work part-time and earn over a certain amount your employer will have to deduct tax and national insurance contributions from your salary in the same way as if you were working full-time. If you work part-time for more than one employer you will get a special tax code so that you are taxed at the correct rate.

Which skill is best in Germany? ›

  • Top 5 skills you need RIGHT NOW to find jobs in Germany.
  • Writing skills.
  • ​2. Verbal Communication skills.
  • Technical knowledge.
  • ​4. Empathy.
  • German language.
  • Do you know the TOP 10 Mistakes you should avoid while you find jobs in Germany?
2 Aug 2022

What do German employers look for? ›

German employers typically look for your education, professional experience, skills and extracurricular activities. Learn more about writing German CVs from this comprehensive guide. Career events are your chance to connect directly with German employers and to learn more about their organization and opportunities.

Which jobs are in demand in Germany 2022? ›

Work in Germany: High Demand Jobs in 2022
  • IT Specialists.
  • IT Consultants/Analysts.
  • Data Scientists/Analysts.
  • Software Developers.
  • Doctors.
  • Engineers.
  • Mechanical and Vehicle Engineers.
  • Electrical Engineers.
12 Aug 2022

What if I lose my job in Germany? ›

If you have been working in Germany and making regular contributions to the social security system, you should be eligible for Unemployment Benefit I. This is administered by the Federal Employment Agency (Bundesagentur für Arbeit), and they will pay you an income while you seek new work.

What are the benefits of Blue Card? ›

What are the benefits? Apart from being able to live and work legally in the EU, an EU Blue Card also allows its holders to move freely within the Schengen area, entitlement to a series of socio-economic rights (e.g. unemployment benefits), and the prospect of permanent residence in the EU.

How can I become a 5 year German citizen? ›

To be eligible for naturalization, a person has to have lived legally in Germany for at least eight years and possess the appropriate residence permit. Foreigners who have successfully completed an integration course are eligible for naturalization after seven years.

What are the 4 types of visa? ›

Which type of visa do you need? Probably one of the four main types: tourist, immigration, student, or work.

How much bank balance is required for Germany work visa? ›

German embassies and consulates generally require that you provide a bank statement of an escrow/blocked account (Sperrkonto) with a balance of at least €720 for each month of the visa. For a six-month Job Seeker Visa, this is €4,320 (although this may vary depending on where you apply).

What is the age limit to work in Germany? ›

There is no maximum age for an apprenticeship. As a German or a foreigner, you can apply for vocational training at practically any age. Traditionally, it is still common in Germany for apprentices to be of a younger age: most are between 15 and 25 years old.

Is it necessary to learn German to work in Germany? ›

Learning German is one of the most important steps you can take to prepare yourself for your life in Germany. This will help you settle in more quickly and facilitate making new friends. For certain purposes, such as work or studying, it may even be necessary for you to provide evidence of certain German skills.

How can a foreigner work in Germany? ›

To be allowed to live and work there legally, you must have a German work and residence permit. You don't have to apply for a German work permit separately from a residence permit; you get them both through a single application at the German Immigration Authority Office (Ausländerbehörde).

How much German do you need to know to work in Germany? ›

The requirements can vary per person, but generally speaking this means you need to attend at least 18 hours of German lessons from an intensive learning course. It lasts from anywhere from 3 to 12 months, but can also be extended.

Is it difficult to get a job in Germany? ›

With a huge range of professional opportunities and roles throughout Germany, securing a job isn't as hard as it may be in other countries around the world.

How can I make extra money in Germany? ›

If you prefer to work from home, see my 20 ideas to make money from home that anyone can do.
  1. Internship. ...
  2. Student work in a company. ...
  3. Writing thesis in a company. ...
  4. Scholarship. ...
  5. University jobs. ...
  6. Bartender/ waiter. ...
  7. Babysitter, and other jobs from private persons. ...
  8. Street performance.
19 Apr 2022

Is B1 level German enough? ›

The third level in the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) for Languages is level B1. It is definitely a step beyond the A1 and A2 exams. Passing a level B1 exam means that you are entering the intermediate level of your journey through the German language.

Can I live in Germany without speaking German? ›

Can you live in Germany without knowing German? It is just about possible to live in Germany without knowing much German. But in order to find employment and to fully integrate into society, you will need to be able to speak and read German to a good standard, especially if you live outside the major cities.

What is the minimum salary to get work permit in Germany? ›

If you apply for a Blue Card, your salary must be at least 56,400€ per year (before taxes). If there is a shortage of skilled workers in your field, your salary must be at least 43,992€ per year. This list shows which fields have a shortage of skilled workers. If you can, find a job before you come to Germany.

Which course is best for job in Germany? ›

Popular Courses in Germany
  • Medicine and Dentistry.
  • Law.
  • Industrial Engineering.
  • Engineering.
  • Mathematics and Computer Science.
  • Natural Sciences.
  • Business and economics.
  • Architecture.
22 Aug 2022

How much bank balance is required for Germany work visa? ›

German embassies and consulates generally require that you provide a bank statement of an escrow/blocked account (Sperrkonto) with a balance of at least €720 for each month of the visa. For a six-month Job Seeker Visa, this is €4,320 (although this may vary depending on where you apply).

Can you survive in Germany with English? ›

There's no doubt that you can survive in Germany without knowing German. Every German usually studies English from the age of 5 and especially the younger generation watches British or American series.

What is B1 level German? ›

The Goethe-Zertifikat B1 is a German exam for young people and adults. It certifies that candidates are independent users of the German language and corresponds to the third level (B1) on the six-level scale of competence laid down in the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR).

How long learn German fluently? ›

So, how long do you need to learn German if you want to reach this level of fluency? According to the U.S. Foreign Service Institute (FSI), you'll need about 750 hours of study to become fluent in German. This means that if you study 12-15 hours a week, you'll be able to speak like a pro in just a year!

Which job is easy in Germany? ›

You can receive your license from the state to practice in Germany even if you have a foreign degree.
...
Top job openings in Germany:
  • Software developers, architects, programmers.
  • Electronics engineers.
  • IT consultants, IT analysts.
  • Nurses.
  • Business managers.
  • Account managers.
  • Production assistants.
  • Sales managers, representatives.
19 Oct 2019

What is a good salary in Germany? ›

A good annual average salary in Germany is between €64,000 to €81,000. This gross salary (salary before taxes or social contributions) depends on your profession, industry, and education.

Is it easy to get a job in Berlin? ›

If you are thinking about how to get a job in Berlin, you are especially lucky if you are looking for something in one of the above-mentioned in-demand jobs. However, know that if you do not speak fluent German, finding a job will be more difficult.

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