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Recognition of German qualifications and training abroad

Most future emigrants think that if you want to work abroad you have to take care of the organization of the move and that you should start applying as early as possible. Unfortunately, this is not as easy as expected.

Even if you have a college or university degree in Germany and have already been able to gain work experience in your studied occupation for a number of years, this does not automatically mean that your qualification will also be recognized abroad. In particular, the professions that are desperately sought abroad and sponsored there have to go through a sometimes lengthy recognition process before you can even apply.


Professions that usually have to be recognized abroad:

  • architect
  • doctor
  • electrician
  • Craftsman
  • Nursing staff
  • Nurse
  • Teacher
  • mechanic

What do you need to have a German qualification recognized abroad?

Every organization or authority has different regulations and anyone who intends to practice their profession in a certain country should find out in advance whether their qualifications and professional experience also correspond to the respective country. Proof of professional qualifications or proof of studies is the least that is requested. Furthermore, you need proof from your former employer that you have the necessary work experience, which can be in the form of a training or job reference or by filling out and signing certain forms.

In some cases, the school or high school diploma is also requested. You have to make a certified translation of all documents, but you should clarify beforehand whether you can have the translation made in Germany or whether the translation has to be done in the country yourself. You also have to prove your language skills to ensure that you can communicate adequately. In Australia and New Zealand, general practitioners and specialists also have to take an additional medical exam, which is quite tough.

Have certificates of degrees translated

Before training courses and other German qualifications can be recognized abroad, they must first be translated into English or the national language and certified by a sworn translator. It is also important that a grading scale can be seen on the certificate if the training or further education was graded, as grades are not translated by translators. You can find more information on certificate translations here. [display]

To the estimate

1🇪🇺 Europe

If you want to work within Europe, it is easiest. The EU has created a system that enables the recognition of degrees and professional qualifications. The only exception are regulated professions, which must be recognized in the respective country. If you want to know whether your profession is regulated in another EU country, you can do so using the official EU database.

Regulated Professions Database: Review of regulated professions in EU countries

EURES: The European Job Mobility Portal

2🇬🇧 Great Britain

UK NARIC: National Recognition Information Center

4🇳🇿 New Zealand

NZQA: New Zealand Qualifications Authority

5🇨🇦 Canada

CICIC: The Canadian Information Center for International Credentials

Recognition of professional qualifications in the USA is carried out by the following regional authorities:

MSA-CESS: Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools

NEASC: New England Association of Schools and Colleges

NWCCU: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

HLC: Higher Learning Commission

SACS: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools - Commission on Colleges

WASC-ACCJC: Western Association of Schools and Colleges - Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges

Marlene Schimanski is the founder and editor-in-chief of Career abroad. She has already lived in five different countries (Portugal, Iceland, Austria, Ireland and Australia) and emigrated to Australia in 2013. She worked for PwC and KPMG in Global Mobility before she went freelance as an English translator and career coach. She has a Masters degree in International Business Administration.