I moved to Berlin in 2018 as a Software Developer, to work in a company where the official language was English. In 2021, I started working in a different company in Berlin where it was English friendly again. So yes, it is definitely possible to find English Speaking Jobs in Germany in 2023.
Where to find English Speaking Jobs in Germany?
I built a category specifically for Jobs for English Speakers. Almost all these jobs require only English and no German. International companies and startups tend to be english friendly.
Other major job boards can be useful as well. A lot of companies post there, which means it can be a bit daunting and difficult to find the right one that doesn't need German.
University websites (If your university has affiliation with companies, they might post jobs there)
When you use Google Search to find jobs, you can use the terms "English Speaking Jobs City name".
Things to consider when applying for a job
Do apply if you see a job description completely in English and has no mention of language requirements
Do not apply if the job description is in German
Even if the job description says that the job & company is english friendly, you should ask them several questions during the interview:
Is English the official language for the company?
Is it team specific? (example: Tech teams usually stick to English)
What language do company wide meetings happen in? It is common to have the meetings in English but they can also happen in German
Are you able to get promotions if you don't speak German? Example: Team leads or department heads might have to speak German
Are these jobs remote friendly?
It depends on what job it is. If you're in tech, or work in a tech company, chances are that the company will let you work remotely. This can be either fully remote or in a hybrid model - like a split of 3 days in office, 2 days at home. This is listed in your contract, whether you have to work from a particular city or if you can work completely remote.
On job descriptions, they usually specify if remote work is possible. Watch out for home office in the job description - this is how most Germans call remote work.
Which cities offer English Speaking Jobs in Germany?
It is easier in major cities, as a lot of foreigners prefer to live in a international friendly place. The following cities in Germany tend to hire a lot of English Speakers
Berlin - probably the most favorable place in German. Has a big startup ecosystem which makes it friendly for foreigners
Frankfurt - from what I have seen, a lot of banks are located in Frankfurt and they require a lot of Software Engineers
How do I identify jobs which do require German?
Make sure to read the job description to avoid German speaking jobs. Most of them are also bilingual, and should specify which level of German (Native, B1 or B2, etc) they expect candidates to have.
A lot of them can include variations of the language requirements in their job description. For example, some of the job descriptions that I have seen are:
German & English fluency required
Native level German and English speaker
German (B1) level required
Is it easy to find English Speaking Jobs for entry level roles?
Unfortunately, the more experience you are, the easier it is to find English Speaking jobs and not be fluent in the local language.
This also depends on what kind of jobs you are looking for; Software Engineers are in high demand and will get along most likely without requiring the local language. Anything that requires interaction with a lot of departments (example: Management, Head of Departments, etc) will most likely require the local language.
Do I need to know German for Jobs in Germany?
Short answer: Not for work, but you might need it when you're interacting with people outside of work. You can read about working without German in Germany.
Is it possible to work in Germany without speaking German?
Yes and no. That depends on your job. Customer Service, for example, will require German.
Should I write my CV or Resume in English or German?
If the job requires only English, then please use only English in your CV or Resume. Even if you translate your documents and mention that you only speak English, the scenario below can happen to you.
You will get rejected if you translate your CV or Resume to German and you do not speak the language. Often, you might be invited to an interview and then the recruiter / interviewer realises that you do not speak German, or that they do not sponsor visa and will reject you. This wastes both your & their time and can be demotivating.
Which professions are English friendly?
From my experience, if you are in tech, it is easier to find english friendly jobs. For example, the following jobs are easier to get:
Data Engineers / Analysts
UI / UX designers
Product Management / Owner (At some companies, you might require German)
I speak a little bit of German, should I apply for all the jobs?
Learning German helps you find jobs easier and makes you attractive as a candidate. However, a little bit of German might not help you out too much. Most jobs that I have seen require either B2 (considered business ready) or C1 (native level).
I used Babbel to learn German, so I would recommend starting with it.
If you have those language certificates, include them in your CV / Resume. You might be qualified for those jobs. Beware that the language used in a work environment might defer from what you learned during your language courses.
Is it easy for foreigners to find jobs?
Yes. Germany has a shortage of skilled workers. In fact, Germany wants to attract 400,000 skilled workers from abroad each year. If you look at jobs for foreigners that sponsor visa, almost all sponsor visa (except a few, which oddly require German).
There are two categories of skilled workers, those with professional training and those with academic training. Degrees earned abroad must be officially recognised in Germany. Skilled workers with professional training must have completed an officially recognised professional training programme, which according to German law must be at least two years in length. Skilled workers with academic training must have earned a degree from an institute of higher education. Skilled workers may take up a position only if it is considered qualified employment.
With skilled workers, the Government wants to make it attractive & easy to hire candidates from abroad. They offer better conditions for immigration through the blue card.
I found a job - what now?
Congratulations! Couple of things you might want to know more about:
Choose a health insurance
In addition, you will now need to choose a health insurance - you can go either public (most common) or private (better services, can be cheap / expensive depending on your condition). Feather provides services in English and can help you explore & choose the right option for health insurance.