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Ausbildung in Germany: Age Limit

Ausbildung in Germany: Age Limit titlecard

Are you looking for the Ausbildung, also known as vocational training in Germany but concerned whether you are too old? Or do you already have a profession, yet, want to make a career change? The completion of an Ausbildung will be one of the ways to do it. 

Ausbildung in Germany doesn’t have age limits or age restrictions. Regardless of the future profession, there is no maximum age for applying and starting Ausbildung or apprenticeship.

Maybe you are over 30 or over 40 and consider professional training in Germany. Ausbildung is a common path for school graduates, but it shouldn’t stop older people from applying. In fact, the number of people applying later in their life is increasing every year. Whether you’re in your early 20s, late 30s, or mid-50s, it’s never to late for something new.

Is There Any Age Limit for Ausbildung in Germany?

Woman thinking while looking at her laptop screen

Germany doesn’t have age limits for Ausbildung. Regardless of which profession you want to start, the law says there is no maximum age for applying and starting Ausbildung. 

Apprenticeship or Ausbildung is widely known across Germany. Hundreds of thousands of trainees enroll and graduate every year in terms of professional training. 

The good news is that the average age of the trainee is rising in Germany. Today, starting an apprenticeship after 30 isn’t as unusual as you might think. 

Therefore, you can apply for an apprenticeship in your early 20s and in your late 40s. In fact, more than 1,500 applicants over-40s start training every year in Germany, yet only 1,200 of them complete. Hence, you don’t have to be young to get an apprenticeship.

There are only a few Ausbildung programs with an age limit in Germany: policemen and civil servants. It’s explained due to the physical training students must go through. 

To work in the police, you need to be younger than 25 years old and up to 37, depending on the federal state. For civil servants, the maximum age is between 35 and 50, depending on the state in Germany.

Finally, the company and vocational school themselves will make a hiring decision about the older applicant. 

According to the officials, job descriptions for Ausbildung in Germany must be age and gender-neutral. No discrimination based on age is allowed. 

Your chances will depend on the profession

As mentioned, the hiring company and vocational school will decide whether an older applicant gets the Ausbildung place. There are some industries and professions where the success rate is higher when applying in your 30s or 40s. 

So what are the chances of getting an apprenticeship in Germany?

That entirely depends on the vocational training program. Generally, the country is experiencing a shortage of trainees. Nowadays, many school graduates prefer to study at university rather than enter professional training.

Consequently, Germany has many open positions in different Ausbildung programs. Furthermore, companies often will be happy to hire older applicants. 

Yet, particularly popular apprenticeships such as salesman receive more applications than needed. Thus, when looking for the Ausbildung in higher age check programs on the labor shortage list. There are many vacancies left open due to the low number of applicants. 

You can see the list of shortage occupations here. 

Here are top industries where you can have a higher success rate in getting an Ausbildung place:

  • Nursing
  • Social work
  • Hospitality – hotels, restaurants, cafes, etc. 
  • Technology
  • Construction
  • Logistics

Especially in nursing, you will have a high chance of getting a training position and job afterward. There is a significant shortage of skilled workers in the traditional nursing professions but also in geriatrics. Furthermore, midwives and physiotherapists are also in short supply in Germany.

In the second place is the technology sector, where many Ausbildung places and jobs remain unfilled. It can also depend on the region. In some parts of Germany, the demand is particularly high. 

Following vocational programs need a lot of applicants: 

  • IT specialists
  • mechatronics engineers
  • mechanics for sanitary, heating, and air-conditioning technology
  • civil engineering technician

Besides, these technical professions are also very well-paid Ausbildung programs. 

Best Ausbildung Programs for Older Applicants

List of top in-demand professions in Germany
Source: Make-it-in-Germany.com

Consequently, to get an Ausbildung place in Germany at an older age, you could check professions with a lack of applicants. These jobs are in high demand, and in a shortage of applicants in Germany: 

  • Mechatronics technician
  • Electronics technician
  • Electronics technician in the trade
  • Civil engineering technician
  • Technicians for train and railways
  • Plumber
  • Plant mechanic for sanitary engineering
  • Nurse
  • Nursing assistant
  • Geriatric nurse
  • Physiotherapist
  • Motor vehicle technician
  • Ship mechanic
  • Professional driver
  • Hospitality staff

Skilled workers are desperately needed, especially in the field of nursing.

What are the best paid Ausbildung programs in Germany? Read here.

Can a Foreigner Do Ausbildung in Germany?

Ausbildung or vocational training is a typical career choice for graduates of German schools. But is it possible to participate in such a program as a foreign national?

The answer is yes! There are no restrictions on the nationality of the applicant for Ausbildung in Germany. People from all countries are welcomed. In fact, Germany is actively trying to find as many foreign trainees as possible, and the shortage of qualified labor is huge. 

Consequently, all nationalities (EU and non-EU) are allowed to apply for and participate in Ausbildung in Germany. After finishing the program, one can get a job within a country and apply for a suitable residence permit

Read more about how to apply for Ausbildung as a non-EU citizen here

Main Requirements for Ausbildung in Germany

As you have learned, it’s not required to be of a particular age when applying for Ausbildung in Germany. Yet, there are other main points you need to keep in mind. 

The main requirements for Ausbildung in Germany in 2021 are:

  • Sufficient knowledge of the German language (at least level B1)
  • A school leaving certificate which is equivalent to the German (at least 9 school years)

There is no age limit. However, the minimum age is 17. There is also no Ausbildung in English; hence learning German is essential.

In Germany, vocational schools where you complete a theoretical part of the training determine which requirements to apply. They can also vary depending on the federal state and occupation. 

Usually, one only needs to complete a junior high school (Realschule) in Germany or have an equivalent foreign certificate. Junior high school lasts for 10 years. Some Ausbildung programs might be available just with a secondary school (Hauptschule) leaving certificate. 

It takes 9 years to complete secondary school (Hauptschule).

For more details, read the in-depth post about the requirements for the Ausbildung in Germany. Want to get an Ausbildung place in Germany? Start learning German today with the biggest online platform for languages – Lingoda.

Best Paid Ausbildung Programs

Doctor injecting an elderly patient

The salary during and after the professional training plays a significant role in the program selection. International applicants coming to Germany for Ausbildung rely on the apprenticeship’s income.

Here are some of the best paid Ausbildung programs you can do in Germany.

JobSalary during trainingSalary after training
Nurse and senior caregiver1,100 EUR – 1,250 EUR2,100 to 2,640 EUR
IT specialist1,050 EUR – 1,200 EUR2,200 to 2,400 EUR
Mechatronics specialist1,050 EUR – 1,260 EUR2,000 to 2,900 EUR
Bank clerk1,020 EUR – 1,115 EURup to 3,450 EUR
Electronics technician1,040 EUR – 1,200 EUR1,600 to 2,700 EUR

To learn more about salaries during and after the Ausbildung in Germany, check all salaries on Gehalt.de – the best resource when it comes to earnings. 

Below you can see the entire list of best-paid Ausbildung professions and average salary:

  • Dental Hygienists – 3,300 EUR
  • Real Estate Agents – 3,000 EUR
  • Nurse – 2,900 EUR
  • Truck Driver – 2,500 EUR
  • Air traffic controller – between 6,000 and 8,000 EUR
  • Aircraft mechanic – 3,100 EUR
  • Bank clerk – between 2,500 and 2,900 EUR
  • Policeman – 3,300 EUR
  • Ship mechanic – 2,700 EUR
  • Biologielaborant – 2,700 EUR
  • Senior caregiver – 2,640 EUR
  • Mason – 2,400 EUR
  • IT specialist – 2,400 EUR
  • Investment fund manager – between 2,300 and 2,500 EUR
  • A merchant insurance and Finance – 2,400 EUR
  • Media technologist – 2,800 EUR
  • Technical system planner and product designer – between 1,600 and 2,900 EUR
  • Social Security Specialist –  2,000 and 2,500 EUR
  • Physics laboratory technician –  2,200 EUR
  • Mechatronic – between 2,000 and 2,900 EUR
  • Administrative specialist – 2,000 EUR
  • Undertaker – between 1,900 and 2,200 EUR
  • Electronics Technician – between 1,600 and 2,000 EUR
  • Civil Servant (Bundesbank) – between 1,800 and 2,200 EUR

Read the full guide about Ausbildung in Germany!

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