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JOBS

Working in Austria: Ten German words you need to know when looking for a job

German is not always the most intuitive language in the world, and looking for a job can leave you lost in a sea of unfamiliar vocabulary. So here’s a chance to brush up on some of the words you’ll need most when you go job-hunting in Austria.

Working in Austria: Ten German words you need to know when looking for a job
Photo by Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash

Stellenbörse

This is where your job hunt may begin, a space – usually online – where companies and employers can advertise their current openings.

READ MORE: Everything you need to know about finding a job in Austria

Stellenbörse translates as “job exchange”, and is also known as a Jobbörse  or a Stellenmarkt.

From independent websites to exchanges attached to the major newspapers, there are dozens of Stellenbörsen out there. The best one, of course, is The Local’s very own, which gives you a brilliant overview of all the best English language jobs going in Austria.

Vollzeit/Teilzeit

One of these two words is likely to be on most of the job postings you look at. Teilzeit means part-time, while Vollzeit…well, you can probably work it out.

Fachkräfte

Fachkräfte are always in demand, and many companies will post opportunities for Facharbeiter. This means that they are after a specialist.

A Fachkraft is somebody who is highly qualified in a specific field, so if you are looking to learn on the job, these positions are probably not for you.

Azubi (Auszubildende/r)

One of our favourite German words, an Azubi is a trainee or an apprentice, and an Ausbildung, in job market terms, is a traineeship.

Unlike an intern or Praktikant, an Azubi is usually somebody who is doing a formal education with a view to entering a specific occupation.

Working in Vienna: How to find a job in the Austrian capital

Fest Angestellte and freie Mitarbeiter

A Stelle is a position or job, and someone who is angestellt is employed. A common turn of phrase is to differentiate between a fest angestellte Person, who is a salaried employer, and a freier Mitarbeiter, who is someone doing freelance work.

Lebenslauf

Once you’ve trawled through the Stellenbörse and picked out a job which suits you, there are certain things that you will need for any application. One of them is your Lebenslauf.

Your Lebenslauf is your CV – in fact, it’s an almost direct translation of the Latin phrase curriculum vitae. Your qualifications, language and IT skills, experience and references should all be in there. CVs are also often dated and signed in Austria.

READ MORE: Six things you should know about creating a cover letter and résumé

Bewerbungsbrief

Another key thing to include in any application is your Bewerbungsbrief, or cover letter.

As in the English speaking world, this should be no more than a page of writing, describing your motivation and suitability for the job.

Striking the balance between formality and flair can be difficult in German. If in doubt, the tried and tested “Sehr geehrte Damen und Herren” and “Mit freundlichen Grüßen” are always safe bets, but depending on the job you are applying for, you might want to spice it up a bit by sending your Grüße either “nach Hamburg” or “aus Berlin”.

Arbeitszeugnis

Along with your Lebenslauf and Bewerbungsbrief, most employers will want a reference or two, so make sure you include an Arbeitszeugnis.

Just as they are elsewhere in the world, these should be written by a former employer or someone similar. You would normally attach them to your CV.

Vorstellungsgespräch

If your written application is enough to impress your potential employer, you will be invited to a Vorstellungsgespräch.

Though it sounds nicer in German (the literal translation is “introductory conversation”), this is a job interview, plain and simple.

READ MORE: These eight words show just how different German and Austrian Deutsch can be

As with the CV, the law forbids interviewers from asking you questions about your private life, sexual orientation, marital status and religion. There should also be at least two people interviewing you.

Probezeit

Congratulations! You’ve impressed with your Lebenslauf and Bewerbungsgespräch, got through the Vorstellungsgespräch, and now you have been offered an Anstellung!

In most employment contracts, you will at first be put on a probation period or Probezeit. During this time, your employer is technically allowed to dismiss you with just two weeks notice. Under German employment law, the period should last no longer than six months.

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WORKING IN AUSTRIA

Six official websites to know if you’re planning to work in Austria

If you are moving to Austria and planning to work once you're here, there are a few websites that you need to know.

Six official websites to know if you’re planning to work in Austria

Austria is certainly one of the best countries to work in, with strong labour laws that give employees access to public health insurance through their employers, a minimum five weeks of paid vacation and many rights for families.

The alpine country is also known for its high quality of living. Residents can enjoy cheap public transport, public schools and plenty of free or cheap cultural, sports and leisure options.

There are also many vacant jobs, and the country is aiming to make it easier for foreigners who have qualifications to come fill in those jobs – many in nursing and healthcare professions, but a lot in several other so-called “shortage occupations”.

READ ALSO: How Austria is making it easier for non-EU workers to get residence permits

If you are planning to work in Austria, here are a few government or government-linked websites to know.

Migration.gv.at

It may not look very modern, but this website will have most of the things you’ll need if you want to move to Austria – especially coming from countries outside of the European Union.

This is where you will find the infamous “point calculator” to see if you get the minimum amount of points based on specific criteria (such as age, education, and language knowledge) to be able to apply for certain work-based residence permits.

There are also many pages explaining the different visas, permits, and many other issues with migration to Austria. The website has a very extensive and complete English version.

READ ALSO: EXPLAINED: The 2022 salary requirements for Austria’s EU Blue Card

ABA – Work in Austria

ABA – Work in Austria is a department of the Austrian Business Agency, which operates under the Federal Ministry for Digital and Economic Affairs in Austria.

The website has plenty of information – in English – about Austria, living and working in the country, and its job market. ABA – Work in Austria also offers services, including relocation and recognition of qualifications.

Vienna Business Agency

Another site aimed at expats and immigrants but connected to the City of Vienna. The website is entirely in English (there is a German version, too), and most of it will have tips and services for businesses and startups settling in the Austrian capital.

However, there is also an extensive advice area for foreigners. 

People moving to Vienna can also schedule in-person and free appointments to receive advice on anything from setting up a company to paying taxes.

READ ALSO: The downsides of Vienna you should be aware of before moving there

Portal der Arbeiterkammern

This is the Chamber of Labour website, which is an organisation that represents the interests of 3 million Austrian employees and consumers.

Even if you are not a member, it still has plenty of valuable information on Austria’s working and labour market. The website, however, is only in German.

Der Wirtschaftskammer

Also, a local website, WKO is the Austrian Chamber of Commerce, and even though it is only in German, it holds a lot of information, especially on labour laws in the country.

Furthermore, it is possible to schedule a free appointment with an English-speaking representative to answer questions on employment, self-employment, and more.

READ ALSO: Which are the best companies to work for in Austria?

Public Employment Service Austria (AMS)

This is Austria’s official provider of labour-market related services. The government agency offers placement assistance and vocational counselling.

It is also the point of contact for those looking to register as employees, hire people or seek many of the benefits (including unemployment payments) that they are entitled to. It also has a job-looking platform.

Even though a part of the website is in English, most of the pages are in German only. It is also challenging to find people willing to speak English at the AMS offices.

Bonus website: The Local

Besides our news website, with pieces that will help you learn more about life in Austria and be up to date on the latest and most important information, The Local also has a job search platform where you can look for open positions which require only the English language.

Check out our jobs platform here. 

Do you know any other government or government-linked websites that might be useful for people working in Austria? Let us know: [email protected]

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