Vocational training in Germany – looking for Ausbildung

Last Updated on April 8, 2024

Have you considered pursuing vocational training in Germany because you can’t find a job in your field and don’t know where to start?
This information will also be useful if your child is approaching 10th grade, and it’s time to decide what path to take. Remember, Abitur, the university admission qualification, can be obtained not only at the gymnasium. Let’s explore what official sources offer us. By the way, a lot.

What is Aufhebungsvertrag
Deductible expenses for second home for work in German tax return
Changes in Germany 2024. Finance, tax, insurance
Freiberufler in Germany: how to fill in Anlage S and Fragebogen zur steuerlichen Erfassung
Part time work in Germany. What does freiberuflich, nebenberuflich, ehrenamtlich, gewerblich, Minijob mean
Who should file a tax return in Germany
And you thought you were being praised. German certificate of employment Arbeitszeugnis

If you are thinking about where your child will go, pay attention to topics about school education in different German federal states: German secondary schools

Free consultations in Arbeitsamt

If your specialty is not suitable at all (for example, I, as an editor, cannot work in Germany), then it makes sense to first undergo career guidance. Arbeitsamt provides free consultations for those who would like to go to work or vocational training, but do not know what to choose.

The consultation is not conducted by the people who offer jobs and register you as unemployed. This is a different department and it is about your abilities/opportunities and their prospects in Germany. What is very useful is that they will also tell you about prospects and trends in your region. You do not need a referral to attend a consultation; you can do so regardless of your (un)working status.

To make an appointment, you need to write a letter to the consultants or call. The consultation department is now thoroughly buried on the Arbeitsamt website.

Go to the Arbeitsamt website https://www.arbeitsagentur.de. In the menu select Karriere und Weiterbildung. Next, scroll down and find Berufsberatung im Erwerbsleben. On the page that opens, explore the possibilities for scheduling a consultation (the easiest way is to write an email).

Free online testing

While we wait for our consultation (or also if we opt not to have one), we can take an online test. The Arbeitsamt website offers two testing systems: one for individuals entering the workforce and planning training, and the other for those already employed. The second test is more concise and better executed in some aspects, but it is (at least it was at the time) still in development and was poorly integrated with the available specialties. Therefore, the first test is generally better suited for our needs.

The first test is called Check-U and can be accessed directly from the menu. They test social competencies, abilities, interests and preferences.

Only the abilities test is partially objective because it requires solving tasks. It includes various components such as tables akin to Raven’s IQ tests, physics tasks (involving spinning wheels, fluid movement, and other practical applications), and mathematics tasks (involving mathematical series and proportions).
Partly because the abilities section also includes your assessment of your ability to be creative, lead, work with your hands, etc. Your skepticism about yourself weighs more than it should, so don’t be hard on yourself.

Social competencies are also determined by you yourself, choosing your attitude to the issue on a scale from 0 to 100. And there is no need to be modest here. If you generally consider yourself responsible, there’s no need to lower your rating by remembering that very rarely you may be tired, sick or inattentive. The system rates the answer below 75 very low.

In preferences and interests, the opposite is true: the average interest rating weighs too much. If you don’t want to be offered a physics-related specialties even though you know physics, put physics at the bottom of your preferences rather than in the middle.

As a result of testing, we obtain a list of specialties for Ausbildung and for studying at university. By the way, the test results can be downloaded (small button on the right).

Go to the Passende Ausbildungen page. Here you need to limit your choice, raising the boundaries of compliance with your abilities and your interests to at least two. It makes sense to play around with different settings and see what they offer first. Specialties can be displayed in the form of a list, which will be more convenient.

Let’s say a few words about another test – New Plan. You can also access it from the menu (Karriere und Weiterbildung). It is in many ways similar to the first – also abilities and capabilities. The tasks are better designed in some places, but the results are rather further from reality than the first test, at least for me, because a lot is based on self-esteem and self-criticism is an unnecessary quality here.
The biggest disadvantage, however, is that the main thing is missing – conclusion to a specialty based on the results.

Therefore, let’s return to our list of specialties from U-Check

Vocational training in Germany – studying the list of specialties

I will focus on Ausbildung, since for most of us it is too late to go to university. But you can study specialties for Studium in the same way. However you must first somehow get an Abitur or have your diploma recognized at least for this level and pass German to the level that universities require (and exactly the test that they accept).

In Germany there are two types of Ausbildung:
– dual (in Berufsschule)
– school (schulische Ausbildung, in Berufsfachschule)

First of all, we will be interested in the first one, since it allows you to immediately work and receive a salary and increases the chances of subsequent employment. But for this you need to have an agreement with firma. In this case, school part takes place either in blocks of weeks or on certain days during the week.

Many of the specialties offered will be completely unfamiliar to you or very vaguely familiar. But even well-known specialties make sense to check.

A short check: click on a specialty in the list of specialties and check what it is about and what restrictions exist. For example, I don’t know what a plastic inspector does. In the window that opens, I see what results of my test suit this specialty, I see the restrictions (loudness, asthmatics, etc.) and the content of the activity.

I decide that this specialty is worthy of more detailed study. I click on the Weitere Informationen button. Here we are taken to a separate Arbeitsamt subsite called Berufenet. It contains a lot of information.


Let’s say I want to know everything about the Werkstoffprüfer specialty. First they offer me varieties. Here we see different options for vocational training in Germany: dual, school (Ausbildung Berufsfachschule), advanced training (Weiterbildung).

Choose Werkstoffprüfer/in – Kunststofftechnik.

On the main page they will tell us what workers in this specialty do, show pictures and even a film. On the right is the Steckbrief tab – all the most important things about the specialty for printing.

vocational training in germany

The second tab is Zugang / Anforderungen. Here we will be told what certificate is needed for this specialty, and, more interestingly, what certificate did the Azubi (trainee) who studied in it a year ago have. This information will tell you what the real competition is like. There are specialties (for example, design or programming) that many schoolchildren with Abitur take. Most likely, it will be difficult to get in if you do not have experience in this field.

Also on this tab is a list of subjects studied. Topics studied in more detail on the next Ausbildung tab. Here is the salary paid by Azubi in the federal states. The salary has a minimum, which is regularly increased (depending on the specialty). But some organizations voluntarily pay more.

A detailed description of professional activities is on the Tätigkeit tab. Here you can find health restrictions and working conditions. In the Berufsperspektiven tab you will find out what further training is available and whether this specialty is facing an invasion of robots.

If we have decided that all this is quite suitable for us, the final tab is the Arbeitsmarkt. This tab contains a link to search for a place of study, place of work, salary data and unemployment data for this specialty.

For example, you can see on which sites you should look for a job in this specialty:

Now let’s move on to looking for places to study. Since training in this case is dual, the search for places to study leads to a job search site.

When searching for a place for dual training, limit your search radius (some specialties are only available in one or two federal states). And be sure to scroll through the organization’s advertisement to the place where it is indicated which school you will need to attend. In the example under, the organization is located in Thuringia and the school is located in Bavaria. That is, for a block of schooling for three to four weeks, you/your child will have to go to another land and live there.

If the specialty you choose does not involve dual training, but school training, you will be offered schools where training takes place.

Vocational Training – Find Schools

If you have already decided on a specialty, you can study which vocational schools teach them. This is a separate page of the Ausbildungssuche, which can be accessed from the menu.

When searching by specialty, be sure to check so that you can be shown options. Different lands have different names for some specialties. In addition, you may unexpectedly find a better option for you.

find vocational education in germany

The search displays both Berufsschule (dual) and Berufsfachschule, including paid ones. Pay attention to the various filters on the left, the form of training (block training indicates that the training is dual, Vollzeit – school).

What is Aufhebungsvertrag
Deductible expenses for second home for work in German tax return
Changes in Germany 2024. Finance, tax, insurance
Freiberufler in Germany: how to fill in Anlage S and Fragebogen zur steuerlichen Erfassung
Part time work in Germany. What does freiberuflich, nebenberuflich, ehrenamtlich, gewerblich, Minijob mean
Who should file a tax return in Germany
And you thought you were being praised. German certificate of employment Arbeitszeugnis

Do you enjoy the site without cookies and maybe without ads? This means that I work for you at my own expense.
Perhaps you would like to support my work here.
Cookie settings change: round sign bottom left

Leave a comment

Email is not compulsory