Work while studying

How much can I work?

Students from non-EU countries:

Students from non-EU countries may work 120 full days or 240 half days per year without being self-employed. A day on which they work more than four hours counts as a full working day (Residence Act §16b (3)). Paid compulsory internships during studies are not included (Residence Act §16b (1)). It is also possible to work as a student assistant at the university without limitation. In this case, or if students want to work more, they need the approval of the Foreigners Authority (DAAD and German Rectors’ Conference).

Students from EU countries, the European Economic Area (EEA), Switzerland, Cyprus, and Malta:

Students from these countries can work in Germany under the same conditions as German students without restrictions.

Source DAAD

What should I consider?

In Germany, social security contributions are often deducted directly from wages. These include income tax, health insurance, and pension insurance. However, students can be exempted from these taxes under the following conditions. For more information, contact your health insurance company, for example: AOK

The Mini-Job:

  • Earnings: up to 450 Euro per month
  • Taxes: no tax contributions or payments to health and pension insurance. The exemption from compulsory pension insurance must be made explicit. 
  • Note: Even if several jobs are performed but the total income does not exceed 450 Euro per month, this applies.
  • Special model short-term employment: A job that is performed for less than 3 months or 70 working days in one year also counts as a mini-job, regardless of income.

The mini-job centre provides information on taxes and income limits for mini-jobs.

Working during the semester break:

  • Earnings: more than 450 Euro per month
  • Taxes: Taxes are deducted, but can be refunded in the following year
  • Note: The tax-free allowance for income tax is 9,408 Euro in a calendar year (as of 2020). In this case, a full refund of the taxes paid is possible through an income tax return.

Activities requiring approval by the Foreigners Authority and the Employment Agency

  • Activities over 120 full days or 240 half days per year
  • Voluntary internships
  • Work as a research assistant at the university with more than 120 full days or 240 half days per year

Further tax contributions and payments to health and pension insurance must be expected if students regularly earn more than 450 Euro per month - even during the lecture period. From 1,300 € monthly earnings onwards, the full social security contributions must be paid. Before that, only reduced contributions are deducted for working students (AOK). It is important to note that full-time students are not allowed to work more than 20 hours per week.

What documents do I need in case of employment?

  • Personal tax number: Assignment is automatic after registration at the place of residence. A request can be made at the responsible tax office.
  • Personal social security number: Issued by the statutory health insurance.
  • Certificate of matriculation: Available on the BTU online portal.
  • Health insurance certificate: Can be requested from the responsible health insurance company.Important: The health insurance company should be informed of any new activity before signing the contract. In addition to your own information, the employer will also provide you with information about your employment.  

What rights do I have?

  • Statutory minimum wage: 9.35 Euro per hour (as of 2020).
  • Right to a written employment contract.
  • Holiday entitlement also exists in mini-jobs.
  • In the event of illness, there is an entitlement to continued payment of wages for up to 6 weeks. The illness must be reported directly on the first day of illness. A medical certificate must be submitted as soon as possible, at the latest on the 3rd day of illness.
  • Entitlement to a qualified certificate of employment. 
  • Dismissals in accordance with the law, the conditions for which are laid down in the employment contract.

Where can I find job offers?

Internships, working student positions, student assistant positions at BTU, mini-jobs

Internships abroad

Placement of side jobs for students

A part-time job during your studies is the perfect way to prepare for your later career start. For example, a position as a student assistant or working student can already provide important experience in research and practice. The first point of contact for questions regarding applications and careers is the Career Center at BTU:  https://www.b-tu.de/careercenter/

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