Spouses of migrant workers often face the dilemma of choosing between pursuing a career and accompanying their partners. Migrating from a developing country to a developed economy can be a strain of one’s finances. Additional income generated by a spouse can help. Here is a look at some of the employment avenues for the accompanying spouses of migrant workers in the EU’s largest economy.
The German job market
Migrants from all over the world flock to Germany in pursuit of better earning opportunities. In June 2020 German statistics powerhouse Statistisches Bundesamt reported that 327,000 migrants arrived in Germany last year for work. There were 584,000 job vacancies in Germany as of July 2020.
These positions are open to both residents and expats. Germany has a low rate of unemployment at 4.2% as of June 2020. This compares favorably with the average unemployment rate in the EU, which is about 7.1%. German employers don’t hesitate to employ capable and skilled workers, which can include expatriates and their spouses.
This is one of the most common and popular jobs for expat spouses originating from English-speaking countries. To teach English in Germany one must have a university degree and a relevant teaching qualification. This could be a Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) or Certificate in English Language Teaching to Speakers of Other Languages (CELTA) certification, or online tutoring. The average salary for English teaches in Germany is EUR 2,500 a month.
Germany faces a shortage of qualified healthcare professionals. German news portal Local.de reported in 2019 that the country’s healthcare infrastructure will require 150,000 more nurses over the next ten years. Germany’s ageing population is expected to widen the need for healthcare professionals and caregivers. Germany’s federal employment agency Bundesagentur für Arbeit is making efforts to fill this skill gap.
Foreigners can take vocational training courses in Germany to be eligible for jobs in healthcare. Doctors in Germany earn EUR 65,000 a year. Specialists earn about EUR 80,000 annually. Pharmacists typically earn EUR 48,000 while nurses earn close to EUR 36,000 a year. Foreign nurses in Germany frequently come from developing countries. They regularly send remittances to their families via trusted channels such as the Ria Money Transfer App.
One of the barriers to entry for many jobs in Germany is language skills. This also applies to jobs in healthcare. German language skills are important because all communication at work is in German. Expat spouses wishing to improve their employability in Germany should consider a certification course from institutions such as Goethe. Aspirants must ideally develop their German language proficiency before migrating to Germany.
Despite the shift to online retail there are ample job opportunities in related and relevant fields. Giants such as DHL employ thousands at their massive warehousing facilities. There is also perpetual demand for salespersons and various other professionals in the conventional retail industry. Many of these jobs are very accessible because they don’t require specialized qualifications.
German language proficiency is a prerequisite to get any customer-facing job in Germany. New employees usually get a short apprenticeship of 6-12 months, followed by a more permanent work contract. All contracts are solely in German. Employees working in retail can expect to earn EUR 28,000 annually.
Some expat spouses prefer to stay at home. Others have to because of kids or other reasons. Freelance work is often a realistic option in such situations. However, like most things in Germany, there are procedures for getting started as a freelancer. Non-EU nationals must get the right residence permits and they must register themselves as freelancers for taxation purposes.
Popular freelance jobs performed remotely include graphics design, content writing, digital marketing, and many more. Wages depend on the task and employer. The average hourly wage in Germany is EUR 22 and minimum wage is EUR 9.19 per hour.
Laborers, gardeners, security guards, and domestic workers can earn about EUR 12,000 annually. Several of these jobs don’t require German language skills. However speaking German is often an advantage, and a prerequisite to getting more responsibility. Casual, informal, and temp jobs can be found via local job search engines and classifieds like Local.de, Career Jet, Expatica, and Indeed.
This post was written by Hemant G, a contributing writer at Sparkwebs LLC, a Digital and Content Marketing Agency. When he’s not writing, he loves to travel, scuba dive, and watch documentaries.