Work while you study

If you want to earn some extra cash while you study, you can get a student job

Where should I look for job openings?

You can find find a number of job advertisements for work both on and off campus on the university’s notice boards

  • next to the Campus Café
  • in front of the canteen
  • in the main entrance area
  • in the departmental corridors

as well as in various online portals:

What do I need to pay attention to?

Minimum wage

The minimum wage in Germany 12.41€ per hour. Mandatory internships and internships of less than 3 months may be exempt.

Often, required deductions are made directly from your wages. Deductions are made, for example, for income tax, health insurance, pension insurance, nursing care insurance, solidarity tax and, in some cases, church tax (depending on whether you passed details about your religious affiliation on to the Bürgerbüro (citizens services) when you registered).

Students can be exempt from some of these charges. The most common ways of earning money include:

earning up to 538 euros/month: MINIJOB (marginal part-time job)
  • Benefit: No taxes or charges for health/pension insurance
  • Income from several jobs amounting to a maximum of 520 euros /month
  • The mini-job also applies if the employee has worked for less than three months or 70 working days per calendar year, irrespective of income (“kurzfristige Beschäftigung” (short-term employment)
earning more than 538 euros/month) or employment as a “Werkstudent/in” (working student) during the lecture period
  • You can work for a maximum of 20 hours/week (if you are a full-time student at the University of Konstanz)
  • You are required to pay pension insurance
  • Benefit: Reduced pension insurance rates if you earn between 521 and 800 euros / month
earning more than 538 euros/month during the lecture-free period (semester break)
  • Typically you will have to pay taxes which can be refunded in the following year (see “Income tax” below)
earning more than 538 euros/month during and beyond the lecture-free period
  • You will have to pay taxes (which can be refunded in the following year)
  • There may also be charges for health insurance

Our tip:

As a student, you pay the least taxes if you accept a mini-job that earns up to 538 euros/month and/or if you work full-time during the semester break.


Please note that as a full-time student enrolled at the University of Konstanz, your primary occupation is your study programme and you are typically not permitted to work for more than 20 hours per week during the lecture period. Working excess hours will jeopardise your studies and, consequently, your student status. And: It is to your advantage to maintain your work-life balance.

Payroll deductions: Income tax and social security obligation

1. Income tax

  • You must pay income tax if you earn more than 1,000 €/month.
  • You are exempt from paying income tax if you do not earn more than 11.604 € (2024) per calendar year.
  • In case you already paid income tax for the year, you can request a tax refund in the following year. To get your refund, please submit your tax return to your local tax authority.

2. Health insurance

  • You can keep your student health insurance if you work during the lecture-free period, on a short-term basis or on weekends only.
  • You can also keep your student health insurance if you are self-employed and work no more than 20 hours/week.
  • If you earn more than 538 euros/month on a regular basis you are required to obtain statutory German health insurance. In this case, 15 % of your monthly income before taxes will be taken to pay for your health insurance.

3. Pension insurance

  • If you have a mini-job, you can request an exemption from the general pension insurance obligation. We recommend that international students request this exemption, since you may not know yet whether you are going to work in Germany for a longer period of time and whether you will ever draw a pension in Germany.
  • If you earn more than 538 €/month for a longer period of time, you will be required to pay a certain percentage of your wages into the pension insurance fund. You cannot request an exemption or refund.


If you start a new job, you must first decide whether you want to be self-employed or work for an employer. If you accept a position as an employee, you will need the following documents:

1. Tax ID

You will automatically receive your tax ID by regular mail after you register with the Bürgerbüro (citizens services). You can also ask the Bürgerbüro Konstanz to provide you with a tax ID (if you reside in Konstanz) or request one online (this will take at least four weeks).

2. Social security number

You will receive your social security number for your pension insurance from your statutory German health insurance provider. Alternatively, your employer can ask on your behalf or you can request a social security number from the AOK (one of Germany’s statutory health insurance providers).

3. Certificate of enrolment (via print-out from ZEUS)

4. Proof of health insurance (from your German health insurance provider) 

All students up to the age of 30 must have a German statutory health insurance (also citizens of the EU) as soon as they take up paid employment in Germany. The EHIC (European Health Insurance Card) is therefore not sufficient. Please contact your local statutory health insurance company.

5. Students from non-EU countries: Work permit

Information about whether or not you are allowed to work in Germany is included in your visa or residence permit. The work permit consists of your visa and/or the “Aufenthaltskarte” (residence card) including the “Beiblatt” (supplementary sheet).

Work permit

EU nationals as well as citizens from Malta, Cyprus, Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein and Switzerland may work throughout the year. All other international students (including Croatian students) with a residence permit may work for a total of 140 days or 280 half-days (4 hours/day) per year, provided that the visa or residence permit do not explicitly prohibit this.

There is no limit on how much you can work as an undergraduate student assistant employed by the university and Seezeit student services on top of the 140 days or 280 half-days. This also applies to self-employed jobs (without employment) on campus.

As a non-EU student, you can also work on a self-employed basis (without an employment contract) off campus. Please request permission from the immigration office first.

Non-EU students must have a work permit in order to intern at a German company. Voluntary internships count towards the 140-day rule. However: Mandatory interships are part of your study programme and do not count towards the 140 days.

Labour law

1. Holiday entitlement

  • a minimum of 20 days/calendar year (if you work 5 days/week)
  • Mini-jobbers are also entitled to holidays

2. Illness
- Please notify your employer on the first day of your illness (as a rule you will need to submit a medical certificate if you are off work sick for more than three days)
- The employer will continue to pay your wages for a maximum of six weeks while you are off work for medical reasons

3. Contract termination
- Statutory/contractual notice periods apply to both employers and employees
- Shortened notice periods apply to contracts with a probation period

4. Entitlement to a qualified employment reference
A qualified employment reference includes information about the employment period and the tasks that you performed on the one hand, as well as an evaluation of your performance and conduct in the work place on the other (“qualified reference”).