Mini-job or Part-time Job: These Are the Ways You Can Earn Money While Studying
There are a variety of options for earning money while studying or earning your doctorate. At the same time, there are also rules that you must observe in your new job. We have summarized the most important ones for you here.
Working at UTN
One way to combine what you have learned in your courses with your work is to take a position as a student or research assistant at the university. In this case, you work directly at a department or chair and support scientists in research and teaching. You can also work in the administration of a university as a student assistant. In this case, you are employed by the administration and, thus, in the science-supporting area.
You can find advertised positions directly at your university. UTN also publishes vacancies on its website.
Working for a company
As a student employee you can work for a company, and often, there is a professional connection to your current studies. The weekly working time during the lecture period is limited to 20 hours, as your studies should always be in the priority.
Mini-jobs and part-time jobs
A mini-job is generally considered to be a type of employment, where the monthly pay may not exceed 520 EUR. Your monthly working hours are, therefore, based on your hourly wage. As a mini-jobber you do not pay any contributions to social security (i.e. unemployment, health, nursing care insurance).
A part-time job is also carried out alongside your studies. In contrast to a mini-job, your earnings may exceed 520 EUR per month. Please note that you are then subject to social security contributions and must pay taxes. It is best to inform yourself in advance about the advantages and disadvantages. You can find more information about part-time jobs for international students and scientists at the DAAD. The Federal Employment Agency offers a good first point of contact for mini- and part-time jobs with its overview of job offers.
Tips for Your Income Tax Return
If you are liable to pay taxes due to your employment, at the end of the calendar year, you can check your tax return to see if you have paid too much income tax. As a rule, filing a tax return is voluntary in most cases, but it is worthwhile and also recommended for students who are employed.
Because both the tax return and the tax system in Germany are quite complex, you should inform yourself comprehensively and, in case of doubt, seek advice from the tax office, a tax consultant, or an income tax help association. You can also get an initial overview and information about important tips on the Simple Germany website.
Before you deal with the topic of income tax and tax returns, it also makes sense to learn difference between gross and net salary. The information and examples on the Make it in Germany website can help you with this. There, you will also find all the information on social security contributions.
The tax identification number (Steuer-ID) is assigned by letter to every person who registers his or her residence in Germany or is liable to pay taxes in Germany and does not change thereafter. Anyone who has already received their tax identification number but can no longer find it can apply for it again directly electronically.
As soon as you earn more than 520 euros a month, your employer automatically pays income tax, often called wage tax, to the tax office. The amount of this tax depends on your income and your tax bracket. A good overview of the income tax system can be found on the website of Vereinigte Lohnsteuerhilfe e.V.. If you are a member of a church, church tax is automatically deducted from your salary.