My German mini-job story
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.
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?
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.
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.
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…
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 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 :)
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- Quick links. ...
- German Tax ID (Steueridentifikationsnummer) ...
- German Health Insurance Certificate (Mitgliedsbescheinigung) ...
- German Social Insurance Certificate (Sozialversicherungsausweis) ...
- Work Visa for Germany. ...
- German Bank Details. ...
- A Red Card (Rote Karte)
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 do I need to get a job in Berlin? ›
Before your job search
You might need a residence permit to work in Germany. Most of the time, you need a work visa or a Blue Card, but there are many other residence permit options. It takes around 2 months to get a residence permit, but it can take longer. You can't work before you get your residence permit.
Because a salary in Germany comprises more comprehensive social security and health insurance benefits than in most other countries in the world, half of which is paid by the employer so that the acutal cost of employing someone is about 25% higher than their salary.Which job is most demand in Germany? ›
- Electronics Engineer.
- Computer Science, IT professionals and Software Developers.
- Mechanical Engineering.
- Account Managers / Business analysts.
- Civil Engineer / Architect.
Do I have to pay taxes as a mini-jobber? In principle, incomes obtained from mini-jobs are also subject to taxation. In the case of a mini-job with “income limit”, however, a so-called flat-rate tax ("pauschale Versteuerung") is applied, i.e. your employer pays 2% of your gross monthly salary as a flat-rate tax.How many hours is mini-job in Germany? ›
A mini job can be taken during the six weeks of maternity leave prior to giving birth and during parental leave. However, the worker is not allowed to work more than 30 hours a week. Christmas bonuses or holiday pay may cause the €520 limit to be exceeded. The employer must pay tax on such income.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.Do and don'ts in Germany? ›
- Don't #1. Cross the street when the traffic light is red. ...
- Don't #2. Make loud noise in public. ...
- Don't #3. Open closed doors without knocking. ...
- Don't #4. Call people late in the evening. ...
- Don't #5. Make jokes about nazism. ...
- Don't #6. Stare at naked people. ...
- Don't #7. ...
- Don't #8.
- Software developers, architects, and programmers.
- Electronics engineers, electricians, and electrical fitters.
- IT consultants and analysts.
- Economists and business management experts.
- Customer advisors and account managers.
- Medical and healthcare service professionals.
- Engineering professionals (mechanical, automotive, and electrical engineering), software development/programming, supply and waste management, STEM-related fields.
- Electricians, plumbers, pipefitters, toolmakers welders, etc.
60.000 euros a year in Germany is considered a good gross salary as it is well above the average salary of 47.700 euros a year for the whole country. Most Germans who earn 60.000 euros or more are very happy with their salary.What is the best salary in Berlin? ›
Top Berlin Salaries - By Job
The highest paid Berlin are Executive Management & Change professionals at $122,000 annually. The lowest paid Berlin are Support Functions & Translation professionals at $33,000.
The median income in Berlin is 41,800€ per year1.How much is rent in Germany? ›
Which region has the highest cost of living in Germany?
|Berlin||795.90€ – 4|
|Hamburg||838.94€ – 3|
|Frankfurt||868.91€ – 2|
- Dental Assistant.
- Call Center Agent.
- Salesperson/Customer Advisor in Retail.
It's a progressive tax: if you earn more, you pay a bigger percentage of your income. If you earn less than 10,347€ per year, you don't pay income tax. The median income tax rate is around 18%. The maximum income tax rate is 45%1.Which is the cheapest city to live in Germany? ›
Despite being the capital, Berlin is one of Germany's cheapest cities. Rental prices vary massively, but as a rule of thumb, the west remains much more expensive than the east. You can rent a one-bed flat in Berlin for €00 upwards.Which city in Germany pays highest salary? ›
Frankfurt am Main accounts for the largest average gross salary at €66,529, followed by Stuttgart (€66,174) and Munich (€65,164).What is the easiest job to get in Germany? ›
Top job openings in Germany:
- Business managers.
- Account managers.
- Production assistants.
- Sales managers, representatives.
- Product managers.
- Civil engineers.
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.How can I make extra money in Germany? ›
- Internship. ...
- Student work in a company. ...
- Writing thesis in a company. ...
- Scholarship. ...
- University jobs. ...
- Bartender/ waiter. ...
- Babysitter, and other jobs from private persons. ...
- Street performance.
Minimum and maximum working time
However, the law stipulates that the working hours on business days (Monday until Saturday) must not exceed an average of eight working hours per day, ie 48 hours per week, over a period of six months or 24 weeks.
An average working week in Germany as a full-time employee is between 36 and 40 hours, with daily working weeks in Germany between seven and eight hours five days a week. Speaking for students, this means that you are allowed to work 2.5 hours per week in addition to your studies.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.
The German Working Hours Act therefore prohibits employers from allowing their employees to work on Sundays and general public holidays. Sunday is considered the time on Sunday from 12:00 am to 12:00 am the following day.Do I pay tax first job? ›
Nonetheless, you may still be wondering: do I pay tax on my first job? The answer to this is yes. Even though this is your first job, as an employee you'll need to start paying taxes.How many hours is a part-time 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.
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.Is kissing allowed in Germany? ›
You have probably noticed too that in Germany it's acceptable for couples – whether of the same or different sexes – to hug or kiss in public. But there are boundaries here as well. Anything beyond hugging and kissing can be considered a legal offense and could be reported as "indecent behavior".
Germans, however, tend to wear much sleeker and dark-colored footwear. While it's perfectly acceptable to wear flip flops to the beach or sneakers while hiking, Germans would never think of wearing athletic shoes or flips flops into town. When travelling abroad, it's best to pack sensible flats or loafers.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.What are German hobbies? ›
Here is a list of key words for hobbies in German: Hobbies Hobbys (hobbis) playing football Fussball spielen (foos-bahl shpeelun) playing the guitar Gitarre spielen (gueetarer shpeelun)Is working in Germany easy? ›
Is it easy to get a job in Germany? All of this may sound like a lot of work, but it's usually fairly simple. And don't become downhearted. There are various areas where employers are desperate for motivated, well-qualified staff, and they don't care which country they come from.Is Germany PR is easy? ›
In order to apply for a PR in Germany, you must meet certain legislative requirements, meet the eligibility conditions, and submit the required documents. It will be simple to obtain permanent residency if you grasp the regulations and requirements and follow the application process meticulously.Is Berlin better than London? ›
If you're planning to move, Berlin would be a fantastic choice even though some travelers claim London is more exciting. The average salary in the two cities is similar, although Berlin boasts a higher quality of life than London.Which city in Germany has more job opportunities? ›
Berlin - one of the economic hubs of the world
The capital city of Germany offers some of the best employment opportunities in Berlin. It is one of the economic hubs of the world and attracts a growing number of expats each year that come in search of better career options.
|Date||Minimum wage (gross)|
|January 1 - June 30, 2021||9,50 euros per hour|
|July 1 - December 31, 2021||9,60 euros per hour|
|January 1 - June 30, 2022||9,82 euros per hour|
|July 1, 2022 onwards||10,45 euros per hour|
€3000 before taxes is ~120% of the median income in Germany. €3000 after taxes ~175% of the median income in Germany. Berlin, while getting more expensive, is significantly cheaper to live in than say Munich, Cologne or Hamburg.How much does a waiter earn in Berlin? ›
The average waiter gross salary in Berlin, Germany is 30.152 € or an equivalent hourly rate of 14 €. This is 10% higher (+2.764 €) than the average waiter salary in Germany. In addition, they earn an average bonus of 1.613 €.
It's official: Berlin is the cheapest city in the world. These days, living in a city that isn't expensive seems like a total luxury. Pretty much everywhere you go, people seem to complain about rising rents and costs.What is a good salary to live in Germany? ›
In Germany, the net monthly salary between 2,500 EUR and 3,000 EUR is good, and over 3,500 EUR is very good. The average gross wage in Germany in 2022 is 51,010 EUR or 31,386 EUR after-tax for a single person. This translates to the 2,615 EUR net monthly salary.What is the minimum wage in Germany 2022? ›
The statutory minimum wage in Germany will increase to €12 per hour, effective October 1, 2022. On June 3, 2022, the German Bundestag approved legislation introduced by a coalition of parliamentary groups that will raise the national minimum wage from the current €9.82 per hour to €12.00 per hour by October 1, 2022.What documents are required for work permit in Germany? ›
- Application form & declarations duly signed.
- Copy of your passport's data page (A4 size copy)
- Annexure for employment visa.
- Employment contract with a company in Germany.
- Deputation order from Indian employer confirming deputation, if applicable.
- Personal covering letter explaining the exact purpose and duration of stay.
1- Is it easy 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.Is it easy to get a job in Germany as a foreigner? ›
Although it's possible to find a job in Germany with only speaking English, knowing German will skyrocket your chances. Of course, there are plenty of international job positions that only require the English language, but these tend to be more competitive, so speaking at least some German is a huge asset.Can I directly apply for job in Germany? ›
Before they can take up work in Germany, new arrivals will need to secure a Job Seeker Visa. This document is issued by the German state via consulates or embassies abroad, and grants foreigners permission to find work in Germany itself.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.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 salary is required in Germany? ›
60.000 euros a year in Germany is considered a good gross salary as it is well above the average salary of 47.700 euros a year for the whole country.
According to the StepStone Salary Report 2021 (Stepstone Gehaltsreport 2021), the average gross salary in Germany amounts to €56,985. But most Germans consider a salary ranging between €64,253 and €81,503 a good salary.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.Which IT skill is most in demand in Germany? ›
- 5557 +54. Active Jobs.
- 1518 +14. Companies.
- 364 +2. Locations.
- Software developers, architects, and programmers.
- Electronics engineers, electricians, and electrical fitters.
- IT consultants and analysts.
- Economists and business management experts.
- Customer advisors and account managers.
|Less than 9.984 euros||0%|
|9.985 - 58.596 euros||14% to 42%|
|58.597 - 277.825 euros||42%|
|More than 277.826 euros||45%|
In short: yes, there are English-speaking jobs in Germany.
Foreigners who look for jobs in tech startups or digital departments have a higher chance of finding work in Germany without speaking German.
Salary negotiation and feedback
Whether you pass an interview round or not, it is always a good idea to ask for feedback. Usually the entire process from sending in the application until the final offer takes around 4-5 weeks.
- Craftsman (like locksmiths, plumber, carpenter etc.)
- Professionals in the hospitality industry.
- Sales experts.
- Medical professionals (especially nurses)
Estonia is one of the easiest European countries to get a work visa for digital nomads. It offers an excellent visa program allowing you to stay in Estonia for a year as a tourist while working remotely.