Student Jobs in Germany

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Student jobs offer students the possibility to work during their semester breaks or in aside job besides their studies, so they can earn some extra money and gain work experience. A student job is an employment relationship between an employer and an employee, who is a student at the moment.

A job is regarded as a student job if:

  • the student studies full-time and works part-time in a side job
  • no obligation to pay social insurance contributions, that is to health-, nursing-care- and unemployment-insurance
  • the working time is limited to
    • a short-term employment not exceeding 2 months in a row, or 50 days within one year or
    • a 400-Euros-Job or
    • working time does not exceed 20 hours per week or
    • a student only works during semester breaks

Job possibilities for students are:

  • as a student assistant (Studentische Hilfskraft, Hiwi), at a chair, in libraries or computer centres of universitiesas student adviser
    • administrative tasks
    • IT tasks
    • research and education
    • assisting professors
    • supervising of laboratories
    • conduct tutorials
    • work in research projects
  • as an employee in an aid organization or company in Germany or abroad, e.g. as a placement student or in a call centre or a job in the gastronomy

Forms of student jobs:

  • Student employment with maximum 20 working hours per week during the lecture period
  • Home work
  • Self-employed, e.g. as a freelancer
  • Mini-job, or Midijob

Student job and tax:

  • A student working in a Minijob receiving a monthly income of 400 Euros or less is exempt from social insurance contributions. The employer pays a lump sum for tax and social insurance
  • Generally, there is an annual tax exemption amount of 7,664 Euros. Any income not exceeding this amount is free of tax
  • You can claim for income-related expenses on your income tax return, this will increase your tax-free income. Income-related expenses include:
    • An employee flat-rate payment for travelling expenses, working clothes etc. of 920 Euros
    • A flat-rate payment for provident expenses of up to 2,140 Euros
    • A flat-rate payment for special expenses of up to 36 Euros without proof, with proof up to 4,000 Euros. This includes semester fees, study fees, costs for literature, study fees, church tax

Social insurance and student job:

  • Students must pay into the statutory pension insurance if their income exceeds the limit of 400 Euros
  • Students who earn more than 400 Euros per month and are health-insured via family members are subject to compulsory insurance
  • The student is always insured in an accident insurance without having to pay any contribution fees

A student jobber is entitled to:

  • Equal treatment, such as becoming the same wages as permanent employees
  • continued payment of wages in the case of illness holiday pay and Christmas-money
  • Public holiday payments
  • dismissal protection
  • Occupational health and safety
  • being handed out an employment certificate or reference



Tips, Checklist


  • When looking for a student job, consider what your priorities are: the highest-possible income or rather a responsible and challenging occupation as e.g. in aninternship
  • Make sure when you start working in a student job that you will have enough time left for your studies
  • Before you sign your employment contract consider the working conditions such as working hours, income, contract duration
  • Especially in universities, employment contracts of student assistants are limited in to a few months
  • If you plan to work as a student assistant, consider where you would like to be working. If your job is at the same place where you will be taking your examination, you may easily grow dependent of certain people
  • File a tax declaration listing your actual income-related expenses. If they are above flat-rate payments and you have proof, your tax will be reduced
  • A Minijob has no tax consequences for the employee
  • Be sure not to risk loosing your child benefits due to too much income. Make sure your income does not exceed 7,680 Euros during one year
  • Insist on having a written employment contract
  • Ask for an employment certificate or reference for each activity or job
  • Use every possibility to apply for jobs, including an unsolicited application. Along with your application, also hand in your university certificate of enrolment, the income tax card and your social insurance number. The popular job portals list student jobs. Universities also usually have placement services for student jobs
  • If you as a freelancer, you must make sure that your employment is not regarded as false self-employment
  • Make sure not to risk your BAFöG benefits. BAFöG allows you to earn a maximum of 4,800 Euros per year or 400 Euros per month, without counting towards your entitlement to BAFöG benefits. These income limits can be higher due to different expenses you have had and flat-rate payments
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