Dortmund at a Glance
Working in Dortmund
Dortmund is the second biggest city by population in the Ruhr Gebiet, a post-industrial landscape made up by 53 cities and home to 5.3 million people. Once Germany’s coal and steel powerhouse, after the demise of these industries in the 1960s the region reinvented itself and revived its economy through the 21st Century pursuits of technology and science.
Famous throughout the 20th Century as a city of iron, coal and beer, Dortmund has shed its industrial past and embraced a technology-driven future providing “demand driving employment and training opportunities,” according to the city’s official website.
The city is now a leading location for the development of micro system technology and there are over 30 different scientific research institutes in the city. The Dortmund Technology Centre (TechnologieZentrumDortmund) has strived since 1985 to connect scientific research and economic implementation. Now surrounded by the TechnologiePark, these two hubs house around 225 businesses employing over 8,500 employees. The city is home to the headquarters for ThyssenkruppUhdeGmbh, Signal Iduna, and Wilo, as well as numerous medium-sized IT companies.
Job Hunting in Dortmund
Employment can be found through online searches, local papers, and the Federal Employment Agency, which has 700 branches across Germany. Its website offers specialist advice to expats looking to work in Germany.
The website Make it in Germany carries adverts for jobs in all sectors. It has both German and English versions.
While many Germans and German corporations use English, learning German should be a priority for expats looking to settle in the longer term to broaden their job prospects significantly.
Work Permits for Dortmund
Citizens of EU countries do not need work permits to be employed in Germany.
Citizens of other countries need to apply for a work permit or visa, which fall into three categories:
- General employment - granted according to the employment needs of Germany, and requiring a vocational qualification as well as a firm job offer.
- Special professionals – aka a “Blue Card EU” for university graduates who should be able to find well paid jobs.
- Self-employed – granted to those who can prove they can invest and bring economic benefit to Germany.