Bremen’s economy was built on its sea port and this sector is still an important contributor today, though Bremerhaven is home to the modern port.
Bremen has many thriving, high-tech industries, including wind energy, maritime and logistic industries, aviation, aerospace and space research – the COF Space laboratory that contributed to the development of the ISS Space Station is situated in Bremen.
The automotive industry has several factories in the area, including the DaimlerChrysler plant, which manufactures cars including the Mercedes Benz and is one of the biggest employers in the area.
Food and drink production is also an important driver of the local economy. Companies including Kraft, Kellogg’s, Kaffee HAG, Anheuser-Busch (who produces Beck’s beer) and fine chocolate makers Hachez all have headquarters or production outlets here.
English is taught in schools as standard and young people in Germany are encouraged to become fluent in a second and even a third language. For expats, this means that English teachers are in demand. Potential employers in Bremen include the private International School of Bremen, which teaches an international curriculum in English, and CASA Language School, which primarily teaches German but offers courses in other languages including English, Italian, and Russian. There is also the Berlitz Language Center and the English Language Service which, as the name suggests, runs English language courses.
New business and entrepreneurship is encouraged in Bremen and the surrounding area through local grants and support programs, such as the Bremen business start-up development program, open to people wishing to set up a company and who have a college or university degree, or people who wish to establish a craft business.
While you may be transferring to a job from your previous work at home, or may already have something new lined up, you may also decide to move to Bremen first and look for employment once you get there.
The traditional method of looking for a job is to check the advertisements in local newspapers. Weser-Kurier is Bremen’s daily newspaper. Not all opportunities will be listed in newspapers, however, and your best bet is to check online: try websites such as Xpatjobs or Indeed. There are also websites with vacancies in specific industries, such as aviation.
Once you have lived and worked in Germany for six months, you could be considered a fiscal resident and have to pay income tax in Germany.
The current personal income taxation rates are as follows:
For more information on income taxation, check our in-depth article in our Germany Guide.