Live, Work & Travel in Germany
Though still regarded as the engine room of Europe English speaking working travellers will face stiff competition from eastern Europeans for jobs. With Germans mainly renting rather than buying their home, the surprisingly low prices for apartments in Berlin and other cities draws property investors to the country and Germany is a popular destination for British expats. The Berlin scene attracts hip, young travellers from across the world, many of whom decide to stick around a while.
Working in Tourism
The hotels and restaurants using Hogastjob.com, a tourism job portal for the German and Austrian Alps, require employees to have an adequate level of German. Nevertheless the site says they will help English speakers with German skills not good enough to register and apply online by themselves.
Though some businesses aimed at international clients will welcome English speakers most tourism jobs in Germany will require decent German. If you do speak the language more vacancies can be found via Hotel Career.de or Rolling Pin, or perhaps visit the careers page of the AKZENT hotel family of privately run hotels.
Germany was an enthusiastic pioneer of spa holidays and though not a recruitment site more than 350 health resorts and spas are listed on this map.
Bilingual German and English speaking hairdressers can find work on Europe’s waterways with Lueftner Cruises. The job also involves staffing the onboard shop. Waiters, chefs, managers and cruise directors may find work here too. Bar tenders, bar and restaurant stewards, and chefs should also investigate G & P.
More river based jobs on the Rhine and Rhone may be found with European Waterways, where positions include tour guide, chef and host/ess, Viking Cruises, for who most jobs are in the galley or housekeeping staff, and CroisiEurope. They accept CVs here. Try also the RiverStar agency.
Swiss shipping company Scylla AG mostly employs Dutch nationals but other Europeans are welcome to apply too. Their ships travel on European rivers and canals from the end of March to the end of October. In the winter they are used as hotel ships during trade fairs and for Christmas cruises. Depending on their function crew members live in large single to three bed cabins, have a comfortable crew room and get all their food on board. Try also Uniworld, who employ 500 staff aboard their ten ship fleet.
Camp Adventure runs adventure camps in Germany. They pay a small remuneration, along with board and accommodation, to their cooks and counsellors. The camp counsellor roles with Camp Europe are voluntary, circumventing those tricky work permit issues for non EU nationals. They pay a weekly stipend to cover inter-continental transportation expenses for applicants from both inside and outside the European Union. Locations vary year to year but some camps are usually in Germany. A few more summer camps, more focused on language learning, are given in the teaching and TEFL section below.
Ski Resort Jobs in Germany
France, Austria and Switzerland are far better bets for finding jobs in the Alps. While ski job adverts for France are commonly sent to our Jobs Abroad Bulletin, I can't recall the last time we had one for Germany. As JAB appears on the first page of a Google search for “ski resort jobs germany,” alongside some pages for Austria, this doesn't bode too well for an online job hunt.
This search though did unearth the Edelweiss Lodge and Resort, an Armed Forces Recreation Center in Garmisch-Partenkirchen. Fun facts: Garmisch-Partenkirchen is both the site of the 1936 Winter Olympic Games and nearby to a mountain named Wank. Applicants must be US citizens who should apply up to five to six months in advance of availability. If you can't or don't want to work for the US military try the Riessersee Hotel Resort, who may have vacancies in Kitchen, Service, Housekeeping, Front Office or Sales. Six shiny new adverts, in German despite the employment page in English, had been posted the day we looked in July. Knocking on doors and asking in person is the best way to get hired with one of the 130 or so bars and restaurants in the town, many of which are listed here.
Other German ski resorts are described at j2ski.com with Oberstdorf, Oberstaufen and Mittenwald being the most likely to be a future place of residence for working travellers.
Teaching & TEFL in Germany
Approximately 1,100 foreign language assistants work for eight to nine months each year in schools in Germany. Their role is to support subject teachers in teaching modern foreign languages, particularly English, French, Italian, Spanish and Russian. Assistants receive €800 per month. Participants from the USA are also refunded their travel expenses.
ESL Base list loads of English language schools in Germany while between them TeachAway, Kristi Fuoco, writing for Young Germany, and Quinn's World of TEFL have plenty of advice on finding and doing the job.
For those looking to cut thier teeth in the profession language counsellors are taken on by LEOlingo during the German summer holidays to help German children learn a language, gaining confidence through games and activities. Applicants should be native English, French or Spanish speakers. Try also Yo Yo Camps or Alpadia.
Au Pair & Nanny Jobs
Appropriately aged - 18 to 30 except Canada where it's 18 to 35 - nationals from Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Hong Kong can join EU/EEA nationals in working as au pairs in Germany with minimal restrictions. Plenty of agencies can place au pairs with families across the country.
Other Ways to Work in Germany
As the EU's engine room Germany has numerous other opportunities for working travellers beyond the categories we deal with on our sites. A good place to start is with Expatica's presentation of options for finding a job in Germany.
Low Cost Options for Volunteering
From local NGOs to work exchanges we track down and list a number of opportunities for free or cheap volunteer work in Germany on another website in our small group.
Other Ways to Travel or Stay for Free
Stay for free in return for caring for local residents' homes or pets. Join Trusted Housesitters to live rent free as a house sitter (Americans may prefer this link).You can get a free $25 Airbnb credit from us here.
More Resources from our Sites
Directory > Germany Links - A large selection of links for finding work, searching for a home and travelling in Germany.
Jobs in Germany, Austria & Switzerland - Current vacancies from the Jobs Abroad Bulletin.
More Working in Germany Resources
Finding a Job in Germany - How To Germany's knowledgable guide. Related pages include using temporary work agencies, information on work permits and social security benefits.
Hospitality & Tourism Graduate Jobs in Germany - Job listings.
Articles on Living, Working & Travelling in Germany
Articles from our sites and blogs:
TEFL & Culture in Germany - Becca Elliot worked in Bochum as a teaching assistant in a school for disabled childrenComenius Language Assistant scheme.
A Language Assistant in Germany - As a Modern Languages student, Kate Jones had to spend a year abroad and chose to work in Germany as a Language Assistant.
Help to Create an English Speaking Environment in Germany - If you have spent the past week talking English but paying for your meals and accommodation, then I’m afraid to say you are doing something wrong. There are places in this world where we can do what we do all day anyway and people will feed us and give us a free bed to sleep in.
Andrew Couch: Why I Live In… Freiburg - Andrew Couch is an American who has been travelling back and forth to Germany for half of his life until he moved on a leap of faith to Freiburg.
Ali Garland: Why I Live in Freiburg - A while back we received a tweet from Ali Garland asking if we knew of any job opportunities in Freiburg. We didn’t but suggested she talk to Andrew Couch (see above). Unknown to us, Andrew was the reason why she was looking for work in Germany.
Peter Geyer: Why I Live in… Berlin - When Peter Geyer popped up in our twitter feed with his arms around a piece of street architecture we were intrigued and had to investigate further. We are glad we did as it turns out he makes a habit of this sort of thing and few things in life raise a smile as easily as a photo of a grown man cuddling a clock, railway viaduct, zoo, or ice hockey rink.
Adam Groffman: Why I Live in… Berlin - Adam Groffman is an American who decided on a flight from Reykjavik to Boston that he could keep on travelling if he put his mind to it. He is currently living in Berlin and tells us more about his life there.
Blogger's Guide to Berlin - We thought of doing a guide to Berlin but after careful reflection decided: nah! Let someone else do it. What’s the point of all these travel bloggers roaming the world otherwise?
Articles on other websites and blogs:
Employed! Katie the Nanny - Katie prepares for her first day in charge of two German children.
A Day in the Life of a Housesitter - Christy and Kali wake up in German suburbia to a day of incompetent mouse rescuing.
Slow Travel Germany: George on How Teaching in a Little German Village Changed Her Life - Despite her initial disappointment in not being placed in a lively city, Georgina Young’s English language assistant job in Rodenbach led her into the life of travelling slowly and teaching she enjoys today.
Au Pair Affairs - Another day in the life of post, this time from Christina, an American living in Germany.
My Life as a German Movie Star - Considering some of the scrapes she’s been in since, Adventurous Kate’s brief career as a film extra in a German movie called Tourist in Danger was prophetic.
Travel the World as an Au Pair: What Real Au Pairs Say - Five au pairs working in France, Germany and Spain field questions about their hours, wages, duties and job perks.
Got information about living, travelling or working in Germany? Write us an article or pass on a tip to other travellers here