Working in Munich?
Working in Munich
At a Glance:
- If you work in the service or engineering sectors, Munich is a good location choice for your next career move, with many key companies based there.
- You can typically have your foreign qualifications, both academic and professional, recognized in Germany.
- When you start working in Munich, you will have a probation period of between three and six months. In this time, you will likely not be able to book annual leave.
- Germany offers a comprehensive scheme for new parents, which guarantees your return to work after parental leave.
- Depending on your country of origin, you may have to pay into the German social security system when you start 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. In 2015, the state of Bavaria had a GDP of 549.19 billion EUR, having grown by 12.5% since 2008. At 4.1% as of 2016, the Bavarian unemployment rate is also much lower than the German national unemployment rate of 6.1%. This largely positive economic climate is also due to the effort of those working in Munich.
Key Sectors in the City and the Hinterland
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.
Some of the top industries for employment opportunities in Munich are in automotive and mechanical engineering, aerospace and defense, environmental technologies, life sciences, ICT, tourism, and business services.
Since the Greater Munich Area includes nearly half of Bavaria, you may end up finding employment in one of southern Bavaria’s smaller cities rather than in Munich proper. Augsburg is an important location for international companies, such as betapharm, Premium AEROTEC, 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.
Job Hunting Resources
If you are keen on working in Munich, but not being sent or actively recruited by an employer, 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 in Munich.
Moreover, both the German chambers of commerce and Bayern International organize events with the aim of strengthening foreign trade for German and Bavarian enterprises. The Bayern International association has also 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.
Ensuring You Find a Job: Language Skills and Recognizing Qualifications
If you want to increase your chances of working in Munich, try brushing up your German language skills. At the Goethe Institut, for instance, 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. The Federal Office for Migration and Refugees offers a service providing information about the relevant authority to recognize your qualifications dependent on your profession.
In Munich, there is also a separate office where skilled immigrants can get advice on having their qualifications recognized in Germany. You can find out more about this service and what information is provided on the Munich portal website.
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