Dual vocational training – what is it?

We have often talked about vocational training. What is it? I had no idea when I came to Germany.

You learn a profession. Right from the start it’s a combination of theory and practice and that’s why it‘s called dual vocational training. At the end of the training period you sit a theory and practical exam. If you pass both exams, you’ve been successful and can work as a specialist, which makes it easier to find a well-paid job.


Why is dual vocational training worthwhile?

  • I want to get a good education.
  • I want to earn money during my vocational training and also have a good living once I have successfully completed my vocational training.
  • I want to enter practical work right away. I’d like to work in a company during the vocational training.
  • I would like to put my knowledge and skills straight from the school into practice.
  • I obtain a good qualification in a short period of time, which I can use to further my education. This allows me to advance my career in the company.
  • I can resume my studies at a later date.

Why is dual vocational training in Germany so attractive?

  • Almost 55% of all young people embark on dual vocational training.
  • Dual vocational training is financially advantageous, because you can earn a good salary. People with vocational training earn significantly more than those without vocational training throughout their professional life.
  • You can use it to build a good career: companies need trained specialists, so your job prospects are excellent.
  • You may also become a small business owner.
  • You have many options. There are six major vocational training areas with around 330 dual vocational training opportunities:
    1. Industry
    2. Trade
    3. Craft industries
    4. Office and administration
    5. Health
    6. Agriculture

What is the procedure for dual vocational training?

  • You look for a vocational training place.
  • You sign a vocational training contract and receive a vocational training allowance.
  • You learn in a company (practical training) and at a school (theory).
  • You take an exam at the end of your vocational training, and receive a state-approved certificate which you can use to apply for jobs.

What else should I know about dual vocational training?

  • Most of your vocational training will take place in the company, but you will also attend a vocational school.
  • Dual vocational training takes a minimum of 2 years, and no more than 3½ years.
  • The trainers in the companies and the tutors at the vocational school will help you with your vocational training. Talk to them if you have any questions and ask them about things you don’t understand.
  • Company: You work in a company to gain practical experience.
  • Vocational school: You learn the theory at a vocational school with other trainees from other companies. The vocational school may not be in the same town or city as the company where you are carrying out your vocational training. Attendance at the school is free.

For more information on careers, please visit: