Duale Ausbildung - Vocational Training in Germany for IT professions

If your school certificate is not sufficient for direct entry to a German university, you will usually have to attend a Studienkolleg in Germany.

This article focused on duale Ausbildung (dual vocational Training), as this is the type that is ideal for those who want to come to Germany from abroad.

To whom is this article for: like most of my articles, this article is primarily aimed at international IT professionals. However, the basic information is valid for all other groups of international study applicants.

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      germany, vocational training in germany, studienkolleg deutschland, bachelor in germany,master in germany Screenshot 1 (Source: Ausbildung.de)


The terminology
What is dual (vocational) training?
Educational requirements
Minimum salary
Recquired language skills
Process of a dual training program
6 Career opportunities after that
How to come to Germany for training

The terminology

Note the 6 basic terms:

Ausbildung (also Bildung) is "education" in the broad meaning of the word.
Ausbildungsbetrieb (also Ausbilder or Arbeitgeber) is an employer who provides vocational training.
Azubi (short for Auszubildende) is a trainee or apprentice.
Berufschule - Vocational school that is attended for 1-1.5 days a week during vocational training.
Berufliche Ausbildung is a vocational training for obtaining of profession.
dual - in this case dual means "dual training: workplace + theoretical training".

For more terms (in italics) s. the GLOSSARY.

What is dual (vocational) training?

Betriebliche (in-company) Ausbildung, also called duale Ausbildung (dual vocational training) is probably the best-known type of training in Germany. During this training, theory and practice combine. This means that you work in a training company about 70% and also attend vocational school about 30% of your time.

Further on in this article and on this website, in-company training instead of "dual vocational training" I will call it short - "training." And for apprentice I will often use the German word Azubi [Jaroslav Plotnikov].

Educational equirements for foreigners

You want to do an apprenticeship in Germany? From a legal point of view, you do not need a specific Schulabschluss (school-leaving qualification) to start an in-company training program. The training companies themselves can determine what school-leaving qualifications they require of their trainees. As a rule, at least a Hauptschulabschluss (secondary school leaving certificate) is expected. However in a praxis you will need to recognize in Germany a school-leaving qualification obtained in your country.


The duration of training is between 2 and 3.5 years. Depending on the school-leaving qualification or if you show particularly good results the duration can also be shortened.

In exceptional cases, the duration of training can be also extended.


In Germany, during dual vocational training, you receive a fixed amount each month from the company where you work. This salary is called Ausbildungsvergütung (training allowance). On average, trainees currently earn €963 gross.

For example, in the case of training as an IT specialist, it is in the first training year almost €1050 gross per month. In the second year - €1100 and in the third year - €1200.

Minimum salary during dual training

After January 1, 2020, apprentices have also been legally entitled to a minimum wage. The minimum wage for apprentices is regulated in the nationwide Berufsbildungsgesetz (Vocational Training Act), which was revised in 2019.

For you, this means in concrete terms: If you started your training in 2021, you will receive at least €550 euros gross per month. However, there are some exceptions.

Recquired language skills

For admission to the dual training for IT-professions, you must already prove your knowledge at minimum CEFR level of Deutsch B1.

However, there are also (small) chances to do your IT training in English.

Process of a dual training program

Dual training usually begins each year on August 1 or September 1. In addition to practical work in the company, you will attend vocational school during your training. There you will not only learn German, English and social studies. Two-thirds of the lessons consist of subjects that are specifically important for your training occupation. During your training, you are entitled to at least 24 working days or four weeks of vacation per year - but only during the time when school is in vacation.

Your teachers, your trainers and your colleagues will support you during your training. After the first half of your training, you will have to pass an intermediate examination in which you will have to show what you have learned at school and how you apply it in the company. The training ends with a final examination. The exams are usually held in German. If you are successful, you have good chances of a career in the German economy.

6 Career opportunities after vocatonal training

1. Employment in your training company

This is the common practise - your company employs you after the training. You already know your employer and colleagues. You will also receive the full salary, which can exceed your training salary in 300-400%.

2. Residence permit for the purpose of job search

You the company cannot hire you? Or you wish to get to know a new company, you will be easily granted a residence permit for the purpose of job search up to 12 months (according to § 20 Abs. 3 Nr. 3 AufenthG).

3. Weiterbildung (further training)

in every profession you also have the possibility of further training for special fields. The possibilities differ depending on the profession. You can find out what is specifically suitable for your profession at BERUFENET.

4. Studium - Academic studies

After completing your training, you can also study at a university. To do so, you usually need a university entrance qualification - Hochschulzugangsberechtigung (a certificate that allows you to study in your country of origin).

5. Fernstudium - Distance academic studies

Would you like to study but pursue your profession at the same time? This is also possible in Germany. You can either study alongside your job in your free time, part-time or at a distance learning university. You can find more information here.

6. Go abroad

Think about the good opportunities your "Made in Germany" training diploma opens up for job searches in other countries, for example in countries of the European Union, but also worldwide.

Process of a dual training program

At a glance: Visa for vocational training

Checklist for people interested in vocational training from non-EU countries

At a glance: Visa for the purpose of applying for training or studies

Language proofs and language certificates


22.07.20 ©️ Jaroslav Plotnikov ( All articles )

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