Vocational School (Germany)

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The vocational schools are institutions for vocational training. No professional training or occupation is required for their visit. In the 2009/10 school year there were 2,523 vocational schools in Germany with a total of 23,559 classes; in the 2018/2019 school year there were 8,662 schools with 117,141 classes.

Vocational school courses

The courses last one to three years in full-time form (standard form), and correspondingly longer in part-time form. Partly qualifying courses that convey part of the vocational training ( e.g. basic vocational training) as well as fully qualifying courses with a vocational qualification are offered at vocational schools. The training courses at the vocational school are regulated in a framework agreement on the vocational schools of the Conference of Ministers of Education .

With professional qualification

According to federal law

School-based training occupations

The training in these courses provides the necessary qualifications to exercise a recognized training occupation according to the Vocational Training Act or Crafts Code . The duration of these courses is between two and three years full-time and is based on the period for comparable training in the dual system (in-company training). However, the status of the trainee remains student .

Some federal states pay the students an expense allowance for the duration of their training (mobility grant). However, this compensation is usually linked to certain conditions such as attendance.

Health care professions

All non-medical training in the professions of the German health system , the so-called health professions , are regulated according to the relevant federal regulations.


According to state law


The course lasts two to three years; the prerequisite is an intermediate level qualification or a qualification recognized as equivalent. As a rule, the following distinctions are made in terms of duration:

  • two years for training that is not combined with a technical college entrance qualification (here the technical college entrance qualification can then be achieved (one year) ("additive model"))
  • three years when combining the technical college entrance qualification with vocational training ("integrative model")

Separate framework agreements of the KMK apply to assistants ( framework agreement on the training and testing of technical assistants at vocational schools , framework agreement on training and testing for commercial assistants at vocational schools ). As a rule, assistant training, for example as a state-certified commercial assistant for business administration with a focus on industry at a higher vocational school, takes two years full-time. In addition, the school-based part of the technical college entrance qualification can be obtained. The following reasons speak in favor of school-based vocational training:

Alternative to training in the company
If the desired apprenticeship position was not found in the dual system, then the vocational school is one way of obtaining a professional qualification.
Preparing for high school graduation
The path to high school through vocational education is the more attractive path for many graduates with an intermediate degree.
Orientation phase
After completing the intermediate degree, many students lack orientation as to which professional path they should take. After training at the vocational school, they often do a second training in the company. The chances of getting an apprenticeship place increase because the graduates of the vocational school can come up with relevant prior knowledge.
Technical Jobs
Commercial Jobs
Artistic professions

Training at a vocational school for music is only possible in Bavaria, and training as an actor at a drama school . The Hamburg Ballet School, the Berlin State Ballet School and the Stuttgart Ballet School are vocational schools. In Munich, Cologne, Stuttgart, Hamburg and Osnabrück there are several vocational schools for media designers in the fields of image and sound or print and digital (for example, the Macromedia University for Media and Communication , Academy U5 or Mediadesign University offer these courses as part of the affiliated vocational schools ). A school education in painting and illustration can be completed at the school for fine arts and design in Berlin. In Hesse there is the State Drawing Academy in Hanau, a vocational school that awards goldsmith, metalworker, silversmith and gemstone setters degrees.

Social jobs

School-based training in social affairs is also regulated by state law in Germany.


Without a professional qualification

One-year professional orientation (without secondary school leaving certificate)

In federal states with compulsory vocational training, vocational orientation is offered within a year of training.

Vocational schools: basic vocational training and technical college entrance qualification (FOR, intermediate school leaving certificate)

The courses at the vocational school last two years, building on the secondary school leaving certificate , and lead to a secondary school leaving certificate . There are various disciplines, such as schools in the commercial sector (often also called business schools ) or in the field of nutrition and health or schools with a commercial-technical profile. If necessary, the basic training can be fully or partially credited to subsequent vocational training in the dual system (according to a basic vocational training credit ordinance or a vocational college crediting ordinance), i.e. the subsequent vocational training is shortened accordingly. However, due to the very demanding subject matter, this regulation is not often applied in vocational schools.

Higher vocational schools: With advanced professional knowledge and advanced technical college entrance qualification

In some courses of education of the higher vocational school type, in addition to the acquisition of the technical college entrance qualification, a deeper insight into a professional field is in the foreground. After graduation, this “extended professional knowledge” either offers a more qualified entry into a corresponding, possibly shortened professional training course or is the basis for admission to a course at a technical college or, in exceptional cases, at a university. As a rule, the prerequisite for admission is an intermediate level qualification.



After graduation, the “extended professional knowledge” offers a more qualified entry into a course of study, for example the acquisition of the foreign language skills required for a degree. This type of vocational school is also known as a “ pre-seminar ”.

See also


  • Jörg-Peter Pahl: Vocational school - forms and development opportunities. W. Bertelsmann Verlag, Bielefeld 2010, ISBN 978-3-7639-4201-5

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Vocational school. Standing Conference of the Education Ministers of the Federal States in the Federal Republic of Germany (KMK), accessed on October 18, 2011 .
  2. Vocational schools. Schools and classes by type of school. Federal Statistical Office, archived from the original on December 31, 2011 ; Retrieved October 18, 2011 .
  3. General education and vocational schools - Federal Statistical Office. In: www.destatis.de. Archived from the original on December 8, 2019 ; accessed on December 8, 2019 .
  4. georg-sonnin-schule.de ( Memento from August 27, 2011 in the Internet Archive ), BFS: Technical Assistant for Computer Science
  5. ↑ Job description of skilled worker - care assistant ( Federal Employment Agency )
  6. ↑ Job description of social pedagogical assistant / nanny
  7. ↑ Job description of housekeeping assistants
  8. Vocational schools using the example of Baden-Württemberg
  9. Educational courses of the higher vocational school using the example of Rhineland-Palatinate  ( page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.@1@ 2Template: Dead Link / berufsbildendeschule.bildung-rp.de