Munich at a Glance
Working in Munich
In Munich, you will join the labor force of one of Germany’s strongest economic regions. Together with Frankfurt/Main (Hesse), as well as Stuttgart and Mannheim (Baden-Württemberg), the Bavarian capital forms a cluster of thriving metropolitan regions in the south. The state of Bavaria creates about 18% of Germany’s GDP. However, in 2012, its economic growth was slightly below the national average (0.7% as opposed to 0.87%). Nonetheless, with 3.6%, the Bavarian unemployment rate remains the lowest in the entire country. This largely positive economic climate is also due to the effort of those working in Munich.
Sectors and Industries
Although many picture postcard clichés of Bavaria involve happy cows on verdant pastures, working in Munich is unlikely to provide you with a job in agriculture. The city, its rural hinterland, and the metropolitan region rely strongly on the service sector and, to a lesser extent, on high-tech manufacturing.
If you are planning on coming to Munich without a typical intra-company transfer, the following industries may offer you decent employment opportunities: automotive and mechanical engineering, aerospace and defense, the petrochemical industry, life sciences, IT/CT, media, tourism, and business services. Furthermore, the city’s Department of Labor predicts an increasing number of jobs for the people working in Munich’s educational and healthcare services.
Since the Greater Munich Area is comparatively huge, working in Munich or nearby can mean finding employment in one of southern Bavaria’s smaller cities. Augsburg is an important location for international companies, such as betapharm, EADS, MAN, and Osram. Ingolstadt, a town approximately 70 km from Munich, features a number of sub-contractors for the automotive sector, and the so-called “Bavarian Chemical Triangle” stretches across the countryside southeast of Munich, along the River Inn and down to the Chiemsee. If the petrochemical industry is of interest to you, you should opt for this area rather than for working in Munich itself.
Resources for “Self-Made” Expatriates
If you are a “self-made expat” keen on working in Munich, how do you proceed? There are several ways to go about it. First, you could search for job opportunities by means of the standard online resources. The following (mainly German-only) websites are those that most German job-seekers interested in working in Munich would use:
- Jobs in Munich (English)
- Süddeutsche Zeitung
- Münchner Merkur
- Federal Employment Agency
- EURES (multi-lingual)
Since having a personal contact in a company often means having your foot in the door, networking is an essential part of job hunting. Once you seriously consider working in Munich, you could expand your business network by attending one of the many annual trade fairs based in Munich.
Moreover, both the German chambers of commerce and the Bavaria International organization organize events with the aim of strengthening foreign trade for German or Bavarian enterprises. Last but not least, the Bavaria International association has set up the Key Technologies in Bavaria database to promote specialized small and middle enterprises. If you have a specialized skill set, these companies – in addition to global players like Microsoft or BMW – might be potential employers for working in Munich, or finding a job in Bavaria in general.
Also make sure to take a look at the articles in the Jobs & Business Category of our Extended Guide to Germany. Here you can find advice and information on various topics, including German business culture, job applications and self-employment in Germany.
Language Skills and Qualifications
If you want to increase your chances of working in Munich, try brushing up your German language skills. At the Goethe Institut, you can take language classes as well as official exams adhering to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. When you have arrived in Munich, you can continue your lessons at one of the city’s numerous private language schools. There are also a few consultancy services that offer cross-cultural training aimed at expats in Munich.
Last but not least, if you think of working in Munich, you should have your academic and professional qualifications recognized in Germany. For further questions on how this works, please contact this government hotline (+49-30-1815-1111, Monday-Friday, 9am-3 pm) or have a look at the relevant flyer issued by the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees.
In Munich, there is also a separate office where skilled immigrants can get advice on having their qualifications recognized in Germany. Please contact them via phone or email for a preliminary consultation and a personal appointment.
Landeshauptstadt München: Sozialreferat
Amt für Wohnen und Migration
Interkulturelle Arbeit und Migration
Servicestelle zur Erschließung ausländischer Qualifikationen