In Germany, nursing assistants are known as Gesundheits- und Krankenpflegehelfer/-in. They help nurses or senior caregivers take care of the patients. Nursing assistants attend one to two-year vocational training in the same professional schools as nurses. Let’s find out the salary of nursing assistant in Germany.
In 2023, the average annual salary of a nursing assistant in Germany is 34,200 EUR gross per year. That comes to about 2,850 EUR per month before taxes. The wage ranges from a minimum of 27,800 EUR and a maximum of 40,400 EUR annually. Nurses receive higher salaries, but they also have higher qualifications.
Germany is experiencing a shortage of nurses as well as nursing assistants. Consequently, there are more jobs available than job applicants, so employers and employment agencies are doing everything to attract more workers from abroad. What salary should you expect when coming to Germany as a qualified nursing assistant?
Salary for nursing assistants in Germany
The salary of a health and nursing assistant varies depending on the region and employer. The average pay in 2022 ranges between 2,083 EUR and 2,556 EUR gross per month.
Salary for the nursing assistant depends on some factors, particularly on the organization where they are employed. For example, in public hospitals and clinics, they will earn between 2,250 EUR and 2,800 EUR.
In organizations owned by churches, the salary is between 2,100 EUR and 2,300 EUR gross. Medical workers of public institutions are paid the least, an average of 2,242 EUR gross.
Generally speaking, the salary of a nursing assistant ranges from a minimum of 27,800 EUR to a maximum of 40,400 EUR. The average wage is about 34,200 EUR gross. The same rules apply to regular nurses.
Related: “Salary for Nurses in Germany“
There are also some regional differences in salaries in Germany. The highest-paid region for nursing assistants is Baden Württemberg, with an average salary of 2,498 EUR, and the lowest is Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, where you will get only 2,013 EUR.
In comparison, the qualified nurse nursing assistant earns significantly less. The wage level of the nurse is 2,852 EUR gross per month and of the nursing assistant – 2,134 EUR.
A nursing assistant is a great way to start in the medical industry in Germany. Still, if you want more perspectives and responsibility with a higher paycheck, you must work your way up.
Role of a nursing assistant in a hospital
The typical tasks of the nursing assistant in Germany are participation in therapeutic measures for patients and ensuring cleanliness and hygiene in the department. Nursing assistants support the hospital staff and are the nurses’ right hand.
The profession of a nursing assistant is an assistant profession. Consequently, one works closely with nurses and under the supervision of a more senior nurse. The daily routine is similar to that of the nurse, with tasks including:
- waking up the patients (in early service)
- measuring pulse, blood pressure, and fever
- help with personal hygiene and dressing
- perform simple measures of physical therapy
- ensure order, hygiene, and cleanliness in the hospital room
- assist with the treatment of patients or special care measures
- help with documentation and organization
- keep watch at night (on night duty)
- changing beds for patients
- distributing food and helping with food intake
- accompany or transport patients to examinations and treatments
Places to work as a nursing assistant in Germany
Like nurses, nursing assistants are in demand in Germany and have an extensive choice of places where they can work. The most common place would be for nurses – hospitals, clinics, and others you can see below.
Nursing assistants can find employment in:
- Facilities for the disabled
- Nursing homes
- Rehabilitation clinics
- Outpatient care
- Health centers
- Elderly homes
- Dormitories for people with disabilities
Working as a nursing assistant in Germany
There are several ways to get a job as a nursing assistant in Germany. Most common for locals and foreigners without nursing qualifications is to complete a nursing assistant apprenticeship. Foreign nurses can work as nursing assistants in Germany while their nursing degree goes through recognition.
This way, they can gain experience working in German hospitals, earn some money, and learn German simultaneously. After their degree gets recognized, they will be upgraded to a nursing position.
Apprenticeship for nursing assistant
To become a qualified nursing assistant in Germany, students attend a 1-2 years-long vocational training, which is paid. After completion, they can work full-time as a nursing assistant in Germany and other European countries.
Apprenticeship doesn’t require students to pass a final state exam (Staatliche Prüfung), while nurses are obligated to it. It’s also easier than nursing training.
The vocational training includes at least 700 hours of theory and another 900 hours of practice. The practical part is completed in outpatient and inpatient facilities, such as hospitals, clinics, specialist practices, and elderly homes. There they can apply the learned theory.
During internships, nursing assistants learn how to apply bandages, prevent infections and thrombosis, and much more.
As a nursing assistant, you have to react quickly in emergencies. Therefore, they also learn how to act in life-threatening conditions during training.
Requirements for the apprenticeship
The main entry requirement is the final school diploma (Hauptschulabschluss) of at least ten years of education.
Furthermore, applicants must prove their health suitability for the profession by providing a medical certificate. Some vocational schools also require a certain minimum age and a complete medical, therapeutic, or nursing internship.
In order to be professionally successful in nursing, several personal characteristics play an essential role, including:
- kindness and helpfulness
- good oral and written communication skills
- team skills
- sense of responsibility
- no fear of blood and needles
- physical and psychological resistance
- good physical conditions
Salary during the apprenticeship
The best part about vocational training in Germany is that students also receive funds while receiving theoretical and practical knowledge.
Therefore they don’t need to worry about money; however, 500 EUR might not be enough to cover all living expenses, and additional support might be required.
In the first year, the salary is between 500-600 EUR, and in the second year, the pay is slightly better – 550-650 EUR per month.
At the end of the apprenticeship, you need to pass a final exam to become a certified nursing assistant and be eligible to work in Germany.
Depending on the federal state, the exam consists of an oral, practical, and written component. The examination is more straightforward than for nurses, but you still need to prepare well.
After graduation, nursing assistants can complete further training and, therefore, get a specialization, for example, in child and infant care, elderly care, or some particular field such as dermatology or cardiology.
Being a nursing assistant isn’t the end stop but only the beginning; you can start your nursing training and even apply for a university if the requirements are met.
Related: “How to become a nurse in Germany”
Foreign nurses at the beginning of their career
The second way you can work as a nursing assistant in Germany is by already having a foreign nursing degree. If you are from a non-EU country, your degree needs to be recognized in Germany before you can start working as a nurse.
It can take up to one year; meanwhile, you will be eligible to work as a nursing assistant if your German language skills are above the B1 level. You can find an employer already in Germany or your home country.
Most of the time, foreign nurses apply for a nursing job from their home country, then with the job offer, they can request recognition of the degree and receive a visa at the same time.
This allows them to come to Germany and work. Hospitals and clinics will hire you for the nursing assistant position with fewer responsibilities. You will be eligible for a nurse position after completing the recognition process and successfully passing the final exam.
Consequently, a nursing assistant job will allow you to come to Germany, earn money, and improve your language without a significant loss of time and money.
Related: “Best German Nursing Adaptation Courses“.
General rules and requirements to become a nursing assistant
To work as a nursing assistant in Germany, you need either a foreign nursing degree or a German nursing assistant certificate. Also, your language skills are essential; people who want to work in the health sector need to have at least level B1.
EU citizens have more chances, and their journey will be significantly easier and smoother. By no means non-EU nationals can’t come to work in Germany as nursing assistants.
They are more than welcome too. However, visa requirements must be met. Some hospitals will help you with the visa and residence permit processes; otherwise, you can request help from many recruitment agencies in Germany or accomplish it yourself.
As mentioned above, as a non-EU citizen, you must pay attention to the visa requirements. To take employment in Germany, your qualifications must be recognized in Germany.
Only nationals of Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea, and the United States can apply for the necessary residence permit after arrival in Germany. All other nationalities must apply before they arrive in the country.