Career (service law)

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In service law in Germany, a career is a set of career paths for civil servants and soldiers in a public service relationship . Judges and employees in the public service (public employees) have no career .


The career principle is one of the traditional principles of the civil service anchored in the constitution , taking into account the law of the public service to be regulated and further developed ( Article 33 (5 ) of the Basic Law ).

For related and equivalent training and education, there are career paths with standardized access requirements with regard to recruitment and professional advancement. According to the career group principle, the careers are divided into up to four career groups. Promotions are an essential part of the career principle and an important incentive for personnel development. The transport is the grant of a different office with a higher final basic salary. It takes place in the cases in which the official title changes, by appointment ( § 2 para. 8 BLV ) The highest grade post within one category is the end office.

Federal officials

The career paths for federal civil servants are regulated in Section 3 of the Federal Civil Servants Act (BBG). The Federal Government has exercised its right to regulate general provisions on civil servants' careers and preparatory services ( Section 26 (1) No. 1 BBG ) by means of a statutory ordinance and has issued the Federal Careers Ordinance (FSVO). In addition, there are numerous ordinances on special provisions for individual careers and preparatory services.

Career groups and types

A career includes all offices that require related and equivalent qualifications and training ( Section 16 (1) BBG ). The careers are assigned to four groups ( Section 6 (1) sentence 1 FSVO ):

This corresponds to the criterion of equivalence of the previous and training courses. The following career paths can be set up in the career groups ( Section 6 (2 ) FSVO ):

This corresponds to the criterion of comparability of previous and training courses. This classification is based on the official university and professional statistics of the Federal Statistical Office . Changes to the statistics were reflected by adjustments to the career paths. The current career system since the revision of the Federal Career Ordinance in 2009. Before that, there were around 125 career paths at federal level. They were divided into regular careers, for which a preparatory service was set up in principle , and careers in a special field , for which this did not apply. This distinction no longer applies at the federal level in 2009. The old careers were transferred to the new careers ( Annex 4 FSVO ). Today there are a maximum of eight career paths per career group, so a maximum of 32 careers in total. But not every career group is established in every career group. Thus, in the simple service category, there is only the simple non-technical administrative service and the simple technical administrative service.

The designation of a career always consists of the specification of the career group and the type of career, e.g. B. "Advanced Non-Technical Administrative Service". The affiliation of a career to a career group is based on the entry office specified in the Federal Salary Act ( Section 6 (1) sentence 2 FSVO in conjunction with Section 23  f. BBesG ).

The offices belonging to the career paths as well as the associated official titles are given in Annex 1 of the FSVO . They are usually supplemented with an addition. Some basic office designations require an addition, e.g. B. "Council". In accordance with Section 3 of the FSVO, decisions relating to career law are to be made based on suitability , qualifications and professional performance , as is Article 33 (2) of the Basic Law for access to public office.

Admission and career qualification

In the employment of an official may only be called, who owns the prescribed for the corresponding track education ( § 7 para. 1, no. 3 lit. a BBG ). The qualification for the career ( career qualification ) to which the employer is to be hired , changed or transferred by another employer must be determined and communicated to the civil servant in writing ( Section 16 (2) sentence 1 BBG ).

For admission to the careers, the courses of study and their qualifications are assigned to the careers taking into account the requirements associated with the careers ( Section 17 (1) BBG ). An educational requirement and another requirement are required for each career group.

Education requirements are the successful completion of a secondary school (basic service), the completion of a secondary school or the successful completion of a secondary school and a completed vocational training (Medium Grade), one at a qualifying university degree education (higher service) or a Master completed university studies (higher Service) or educational levels or qualifications recognized as equivalent.

Other requirements are a preparatory service completed with a career test (all career groups; in simple service without career test) or completed vocational training (simple service), completed vocational training and full-time occupation of at least one year and six months (middle service), a a Bachelor’s degree and a full-time job of at least one year and six months (senior service) or full-time job of at least two years and six months (senior service). The vocational training must be suitable to convey the qualification for a career. The main occupation must correspond to the activity of an official of the same career in terms of specialization (type of career) and difficulty (category). A full-time job is not required for a completed vocational training that corresponds to the requirements of a preparatory service of the respective career, a university degree with a bachelor's degree or for an apprenticeship and an examination corresponding to the content of the career examination ( Section 17 (2) BBG in conjunction with. §§ 18–21 BLV ).

A career qualification for the higher non-technical administrative service is also granted to those who have the qualification to hold the office of judge ( Section 21 (2 ) FSVO ). Recognition of the career qualification can also take place if the qualification was acquired through life and work experience. This is a rare exception and can only be recognized by the Federal Personnel Committee . The qualification for the next higher career can also be obtained through an advancement procedure ( § 35  ff. FSVO ).


The selection for promotions is based on suitability , qualifications and professional performance regardless of gender, origin, race or ethnic origin, disability, religion or belief, political views, origin, relationships or sexual identity ( Section 22 (1) sentence 1 in conjunction with . V. m. § 9 sentence 1 BBG ). The selection decision can be made on the basis of professional assessments ( Section 22 Paragraph 1 Sentence 2 BBG ). Transport agencies are generally to be advertised ( Section 8 (1) sentence 1 BBG in conjunction with Section 4 BLV ). Promotions associated with a higher-level function require a trial period of at least six months ( Section 22 (2 ) BBG ). Offices that have to be held regularly after the career path has been designed may not be skipped ( Section 22 (3 ) BBG ). Promotion is generally not permitted before one year has elapsed since the appointment as a civil servant on probation , for life or the last promotion ( Section 22 (4 ) BBG ). Promotion within the - in principle three-year - civil service trial period ( Section 11 (1) BBG ) is possible.

Officials of the countries

For civil servants in the federal states, there are similar, but sometimes very different, regulations compared to the federal government.

The legislative competence for career law (with the exception of federal civil servants) has been with the federal states since the federalism reform in 2006 , and before that with the federal government. In the Civil Service Law Framework Act (BRRG), binding guidelines for the structuring of career law were given for the federal and state governments, such as the division into four career groups . These guidelines were to be implemented by the respective state legislature. As part of the competing legislation , the federal government had comprehensively regulated the salary and pension law for all civil servants of the federal government, the federal states and the municipalities. Since 2006, the federal government can only regulate the rights of its own civil servants and basic status issues. To this end, the Bundestag has passed the Civil Service Status Act .

There are one to four career groups in the Länder. A four-tier career system as in the federal government only exists in Saarland . In Baden-Württemberg , Brandenburg , Hesse and Thuringia, there is a three-tier career system. The simple service category was abolished. In Berlin , Bremen , Hamburg , Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania , North Rhine-Westphalia , Lower Saxony , Saxony , Saxony-Anhalt and Schleswig-Holstein there are two career groups, but each with two entry levels. The career groups of the simple and middle, which do not require a university degree, as well as the upper and higher service, which requires a degree, have been combined. Bavaria and Rhineland-Palatinate no longer differentiate between career groups; however, there are four qualification levels or entry-level positions.


In the state of Saxony-Anhalt , careers are regulated in the ordinance on the career paths of civil servants in the state of Saxony-Anhalt of January 27, 2010. The established current and closed careers with and without preparatory service and career examination can be found in Annexes 1 and 2 to the regulation.


The Soldiers ' Career Ordinance (SLV) applies to soldiers in the Bundeswehr . There are 32 careers, 16 of which are reserve careers. The careers are assigned to the careers groups of the teams (6 careers), the NCOs (6 careers of the specialist NCOs and 10 of the sergeants) and the officers (10 careers). The careers of the career group of the teams correspond to those of the simple service, the non-commissioned officers of the middle service and the officers of the higher ( rank group of lieutenants and captains ) and higher service (rank group of staff officers and generals ) - measured by the classifications in the federal salary regulations  A and B.

Public service workers

German employees in the public service (collective bargaining employees ) have no career. They are not in a public service relationship , but are due to a labor contract deals. There is no career system comparable to civil service law for employees in the public sector. You will not be hired for a specific career, but (e.g. according to §§ 12 ff. TVöD) for a specific activity, which is assessed according to collective agreement criteria and forms the basis for classification in a certain pay group . A prerequisite for advancement to a higher pay group is that a higher-rated job is transferred.

Colloquially, including in job advertisements, employees in the public service are spoken of as members of a career. Technically correct would be z. B. the designation that an employee in the public service would be in the "comparable higher service". The grouping in pay groups z. B. according to the collective agreement for the public service follows a different system than the allocation of salary groups to the status offices for civil servants. As a rough guide, however, it can be said that the pay grades of the federal pay regulations correspond to the pay grades of employees in the public service. Civil servants in salary group A 10, for example, have about the same activities as employees in salary group E 10. B. can be placed in an employment relationship with remuneration according to salary group E 10, does not need to be qualified for a career that is assigned to an office in salary group A 10.


  • Bernt Lemhöfer, Sabine Leppek: The career right of federal civil servants - commentary on the federal career regulation . 43rd edition. CH Beck, Munich 2018, ISBN 978-3-8073-0291-1 .
  • Ulrich Battis : Federal Civil Service Act. Comment . 5th edition. CH Beck, Munich 2017, ISBN 978-3-406-69364-9 .
  • Kurt Guth, Marcus Mery, Andreas Mohr: The application for training in the public service . Bildungspark Verlag, Offenbach 2010, ISBN 978-3-941356-11-5 .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. a b c Overview of career law in the public service (Az WD 6 - 3000 - 104/18). (PDF) In: . German Bundestag - Scientific Services, October 24, 2018, accessed on September 28, 2019 .
  2. the individual ordinances are linked to preparatory services # Established subject-specific preparatory services .
  3. Anja Holland-Letz, Mark Koehler: advancement and growth opportunities in the federal and state after Federalism Reform . In: Journal for Civil Service Law . No. 7–8 , 2012, pp. 217 ( online [PDF]).
  4. Determination of additions to the basic office titles, compilation of the official titles and ranks applicable in the federal area. December 5, 2012, accessed on September 30, 2019 (I. 2.).
  5. a b Federalism reform. In: . DBB, accessed January 9, 2019 .
  6. Overview 1: Current status, career systems and standard age limits in the federal and state levels. In: . DBB Beamtenbund und Tarifunion , May 2018, accessed on September 28, 2019 .
  7. ^ Ordinance on the career paths of civil servants in the state of Saxony-Anhalt (career ordinance - LVO LSA). In: State Law Saxony-Anhalt. January 27, 2010, accessed April 10, 2020 .