Freie und Hansestadt Hamburg

Studying & Working Information about the Vocational Education System

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The Dual Apprenticeship in Germany

The dual apprenticeship is one option to learn a profession. It is the most common form of vocational training in Germany. Dual means in this context a combination of practical training in the company and theoretical training at the vocational school. Precisely because of this interlinking of theory and practice, this type of apprenticeship is considered a specific feature of the German education system and finds international recognition.

The dual apprenticeship takes between two and three and a half years and is offered in the following areas:

  • in the crafts sector
  • in industry and the retail sector
  • in the services sector
  • in the maritime sector
  • in the agricultural sector
  • in the public sector


In principle, no specific degree is required for the dual apprenticeship. It may be that in popular professions the employer can opt from a variety of candidates. In this case the type of degree and good grades play an important role.

Course of Dual Apprenticeship

Most apprenticeships begin on 1 August or 1 September of the year. Trainees generally work on three to four days a week in the company, where they learn the practical and technical skills of the profession. In addition, the trainees visit between eight and twelve lessons a week at a vocational school. The lessons are divided into theoretical contents that are important for the specific profession and general contents such as German and mathematics.

Holiday Entitlement

The holiday entitlement depends on the company. Trainees receive a minimum of 24 working days or four weeks of vacation – but only during school holidays.


During the period of training, the trainees receive a kind of salary, called the apprenticeship allowance. The amount of the apprenticeship allowance depends on the company and the apprenticeship. The average apprenticeship allowance is 795 Euros gross.


During the apprenticeship, the trainees have to pass generally two examinations (intermediate and final examination). The intermediate examination takes place after the first half of the apprenticeship period, the final examination at the end of the apprenticeship.

Are you interested in an apprenticeship or have questions about the apprenticeship? Feel free to contact one of the “Jugendberufsagentur” (Youth Employment Advisory Services) in Hamburg.