Your rights as a working student

60% of students depend on pursuing employment alongside their studies – either as a mini-jobber or as a working student. What is special about a working student position? You are doing an activity that relates to your studies. You can find out what you have to look out for in a student trainee position and how much you can earn here.

20-hour rule.

You are a working student if you are matriculated full-time and have a temporary job that is directly related to your studies. Limited time refers to the 20-hour rule. This means that you can work a maximum of 20 hours a week during the lecture period. This is to ensure that you have enough time to study despite your job.

If you exceed the 20 hours a week and more than 26 weeks a year, you lose your student status and have to pay all contributions to health, nursing and unemployment insurance like normal employees. In addition, you cannot be a working student if you are completing a vacation semester, part-time study, doctoral study or a dual study program.


  • During the lecture-free period, you can also work full-time as a student student, but must not exceed 26 weeks a year.
  • If you work predominantly in the evening, at night or at the weekend, you can exceed the 20-hour rule as long as your studies remain in the foreground.

It’s best to ask your health insurance provider. Ultimately, it decides on the exceptions to the rule.

Insurance as a working student.

Statutory health insurance.

If you are under 25 and a student, you can remain family insured through your parents’ statutory health insurance. If you do not earn more than 450 euros a month, you are in the Geringfügigkeitsgrenze and you don’t have to worry about family insurance.

However, if you kick a so-called Midi job to earn between 450.01 and 850 euros, you have to take out student health insurance. The contributions for students are the same for all health insurance companies, only the benefits differ.

The following contributions apply from April 1, 2017:

With children Without children
Health insurance 76.07 euros / month 76.07 euros / month
care insurance 16.55 euros / month 18.17 euros / month
total 92.62 euros / month 94.24 euros / month

social insurance.

Working students are not obliged to deduct contributions to health, nursing and unemployment insurance, neither in marginal employment nor in the sliding zone. Only the employer has to pay flat-rate social security contributions. While you can apply for exemption from statutory pension insurance for a salary below 450 euros, you are in any case obliged to take out pension insurance if your salary is above 450 euros. The contribution is then based on your salary.

The best thing to do is contact the pension Insurance about the amount of the contribution.

Further regulations for working students.

hourly wage.

The applies to working students minimum wage of 8.84 euros per hour.

BAföG as a working student.

As a working student, you are also entitled to BAföG. How high that is depends on your income – because the BAföG has an annual one allowance of 5,400 euros gross or just under 450 euros / month. Anything you earn above this limit will be deducted from the BAföG. If you earn more than 850 euros a month, your BAföG will be completely canceled.

Child benefit as a working student.

Child benefit is also available for working students. But only if you are younger than 25 and work less than 20 hours a week. The amount of your salary doesn’t matter here.

Vacation as a working student.

You have a right to work while you are a working student paid vacation. Since you only work 20 hours a week, your vacation entitlement is 12 days a year. But it can be, that your Employers agreed more vacation days with you.


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Christina Cherry
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