Vocational education is a type of education which prepares people to do work such as a technician or a trade or a craft. A vocational school is the place where training takes place and vocational certificates are awarded. A person who wishes to take part in vocational education can do it at any time in their life but it is typically pursued after completing secondary education.

Types of Vocational Certificates

Sometimes the courses are undertaken at a highly specialized trade technical school while others take place at colleges of further education or community colleges. In earlier days a lot of vocational education used to take place while on the job but more recently there has been a trend for some of the theory at least to be learned through online courses.

In Germany, for example, in 1969 a law the Berufsausbildungsgesetz was passed which both unified and regulated vocational training making it the shared responsibility of the unions, state, associations and Industrie und Handelskammer (chambers of trade and industry). In 2001, 66 percent of those who were under 22 years of age started an apprenticeship, while 78% of this group completed it.

Most people choose dual vocational training because you end up with both theoretical knowledge and practical knowledge which is highly valued by lots of companies. In Germany, there are around 350 officially recognised occupations which require vocational training before a position can be sought.

The positive list called positivliste provides vocational training programmes for occupations recognized as facing a shortage or “Mangelberufe” in Germany. If you are considering taking up a vocational course in Germany you should choose one of these skill areas as you will have a higher chance of gaining full-time permanent employment once you have completed the vocational training and gained your certificate.

Some of the Leading Vocational Courses which offer Certificates are in the Following Career Areas:

Wireless Communications Technician

Welding and Fabrication

Web Developer

Veterinary Technician

Truck driving

Travel Agent

Telecommunications Technician

Tax Preparation

Surgical Technologist

Small Engine Repair

Small Business Management

Sheet Metal Worker Foundation

Security Systems Technician

Security Systems Technician

Roadworks Maintenance

Refrigeration Systems

Refrigeration Mechanic Foundation

Real Estate Appraisal

Radiation Therapist

Pump Maintenance

Psychology and Counselling

Property Management

Private investigator

Precision Manufacturing and Machining

Practical Nursing

Power and Process Engineering

Police Officer


Piping foundation


Pharmacy Technician

Personal Trainer


Paralegal Studies

Organizational/Leadership Skills

Nuclear Technician

Nuclear Medicine Technologist


Metal Fabricator

Medical Transcription

Medical Laboratory Technician

Medical Billing

Massage Therapy


Locomotive Engineer

Ironworker – Reinforcing

Interior Design

Industrial Maintenance

Industrial Electrician

Hydronic Technician

HVAC Technician

Home inspector

Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Technician

Heat and Frost Insulator

Health care and social assistant

Hairstyling, Cosmetics and Beautification


Food and Beverage Management


Fire Protection Inspection and Testing

Fashion Designer

Executive Housekeeper

Engineering-Mechanical, Civil, Electric and Electronic, Chemical among others.


Electrical and Electronics Repairman

Early Child Care Education

Diesel Mechanics


Dental Hygienist

Daycare management

Culling arts

Construction Supervision

Construction Operations

Construction Management

Construction Estimating

Computer Specialist

Computer networking management

Commercial Pilot

Collision Repair

CNC Machinist Technician

Chemical Plant Operator

Catering and hotel management


Cardiovascular Technologist

Business and Office management

Business and marketing management


Bookkeeping, Accounting and Auditing




Automation control


Auto Repair Training


Architectural and Structural CADD and Graphics Technician

Airport Operations

Airline and Flight Operations – Commercial Pilot

Aircraft Gas Turbine Technician

If you want to complete vocational training in Germany and get a certificate you must know what qualifications you must have to qualify for this type of training. If you wish to engage in a vocational training program at a vocational college you must have a qualification from what is called an academic secondary school, e.g. a Realschule or Gymnasium.

Sometimes, an internship or a minimum age, are also additional requirements. A dual study programme includes attendance at a university along with a practical traineeship with a company. You will need a training contract with a company as well as a university entrance qualification.

Generally, firms in Germany require a written application which includes a CV, cover letter and certificates. If you are lucky to be shortlisted, you should be invited to attend an interview, which may begin with telephone contact. The company could ask you to take on some work for a trial period or undertake an internship.