Jobbing during studies
If you want to or have to work part-time during your studies - like two thirds of all students - in order to finance rent, food, study costs and leisure activities, you should inform yourself well so that your studies and job fit together and you have enough time for studying and recreation.
As a student, there are various types of employment open to you. You can find out which type of employment suits your situation and what you should consider in terms of insurance, taxes and BAföG here in our overview.
Types of employment
You can work as a student trainee if you are a "regular student". First of all, this has nothing to do with the condition of your desk, but means that you are enrolled at a state or state-recognized university or university of applied sciences. Working as a student is possible from the beginning of your studies until you leave the university.
Regular students do not include
- guest students
- Students in a semester of leave
- Participants in preparatory courses
- Continuing education students
- Doctoral students
- Part-time students
The decisive factor for classification as a working student is that your studies and not your gainful employment are in the foreground. This is the case if you do not regularly work more than 20 hours per week. You can exceed this limit if you work during semester breaks, in the evenings or on weekends. This means outside the time you spend on your studies.
Your weekly working hours and your earnings can have an impact in different areas:
- The following applies to student health insurance: If you exceed the 20-hour limit, it is essential to discuss this with your health insurance provider in advance, otherwise you may be subject to higher contributions.
- If you earn more than 520 euros per month as a working student, you will have to pay pension insurance contributions and can no longer take advantage of the free family health insurance.
- Working students are exempt from unemployment insurance.
- Income below € 520 per month
- Health, nursing care and unemployment insurance are not compulsory in the case of marginal employment.
- since 2013, however, compulsory pension insurance (mini-jobber then pays a share of 3.6%) - exemption from this is possible. We would be happy to advise you on this.
- As a rule, no duties for employees
- Attention! One-time payments in the case of marginal employment (vacation and/or Christmas bonuses) are added to the annual income and may lead to the loss of marginal employment.
- Several marginal jobs are possible as long as the total earnings remain below € 520 per month. Otherwise, there is a risk of losing the low-income status.
- For temporary jobs of a maximum of three months or 70 working days in a calendar year, you usually do not have to pay any taxes - but you may have to pay wage tax if your income is high.
- For this period, higher income than € 520 per month is also possible in the family insurance.
- Several short-term employments in one calendar year are added together.
- In parallel to a marginal employment, a short-term employment can be exercised. Here, too, the income limits must be observed.
In the so-called "sliding zone" (income between €520.01 and €1300), employees are to be relieved of the burden of paying social security contributions. For this reason, the calculation of contributions is not based on actual pay, but on a lower "assessment pay". The assessment pay to be taken as a basis is calculated using a complicated formula. You can find various sliding zone calculators on the Internet.
- Part-time employment as an employee is also possible during studies
- Proportionate contribution to health, nursing care, pension and unemployment insurance
- You are also subject to compulsory insurance if you exceed the time limit of the working student regulation
- or if you work more than 26 weeks and more than 20 hours per week in a calendar year.
- In the case of self-employed activities, you must not be integrated into the "operational organism" of the client, e.g. no fixed workplace, no fixed working hours, no right to issue instructions from the client (examination and delimitation by health insurance companies or the tax office - danger of bogus self-employment).
- In the case of self-employed and commercial activities, you must take care of the taxation yourself.
- The self-employed or commercial activity must not be considered "professional" by the health insurance company, otherwise you must switch to voluntary health insurance for self-employed persons.
- Obligation to file an income tax return
- Collect receipts! In principle, all costs related to the generation of income are deductible.
If you want to or have to work as a job, you should in any case observe the income limits so that other benefits are not reduced or cancelled.
Income imputation for BAföG:
We answer your questions about BAföG in our BAföG FAQ.
If you have family insurance, the following applies:
- monthly income is limited to 520 €
- short-term employment with higher income than 520 € per month is possible (always in consultation with your health insurance)
- if the income limit is exceeded: change to compulsory student insurance (or to insurance as an employee)
- compulsory student insurance can be cancelled if the requirements are no longer met - return to family insurance (if the requirements are met) is possible.
- in the case of first education/studies, no examination of the children's income is carried out
- In the case of a second education, child benefits or child allowances only cease to apply if the child is still gainfully employed for more than 20 hours per week in addition to the education.
You can find more information on our page about child benefits.
When taking a job, pension insurance is now always compulsory (the only exception is short-term employment).
In marginal employment, the pension contribution amounts to 3.6 percent of the gross wage; in the sliding zone, the contributions for employees gradually rise to 9.35 percent and are then as high as the contributions of employers with more than 1300 monthly earnings.
As a marginally employed person, however, you can be exempted from compulsory pension insurance and thus have your wages paid out in full. You can find the application online at Minijob-Zentrale.
Employee rights also apply to part-time employment (which includes marginal employment).
- Employer must set down the essential contractual conditions in writing no later than one month after the agreed start of work
- even if there is no written employment contract, statutory minimum labor regulations and protection provisions apply
- even if vacation entitlements or continued payment of wages in the event of illness are excluded in an employment contract, these agreements are invalid because they do not comply with the statutory provisions
- if no collective agreement applies, the Federal Vacation Act applies - annual minimum vacation of 24 working days with a 6-day week (calculated pro rata - with regular two working days per week then entitlement to eight vacation days)
- Vacation entitlement for activities of one month or more
- vacation entitlement usually only after six months
- If the vacation cannot be taken during the period of employment, the employer must pay it out.
Continued payment of wages in the event of illness
- Entitlement only exists if the employment relationship has existed for four weeks without interruption.
- Employer must be informed immediately
- Incapacity for work by medical certificate can be demanded from the 1st day (usually after three days)
- Continued payment of remuneration for six weeks, after which mini-jobbers and persons working as working students cannot receive sick pay, only students insured as employees can receive sick pay
- If full-time employees receive Christmas bonuses, vacation pay, special payments, bonuses or similar, part-time employees are also entitled to these.
Caution: Under certain circumstances, special payments may exceed the marginal earnings limit!
Notice of termination
- All notices of termination must be in writing
- Reasons for termination do not have to be given Collective bargaining agreements regulate notice periods
Statutory accident insurance
- Every employee is insured against accidents on the way to work, from work to home and during work.
- The responsible employers' liability insurance association is the one in the company.
- Contributions to the employers' liability insurance association are paid by the employer.