Officialization 9: Getting a HiWi Job

Officialization TOC

A HiWi Job

IMG_20161217_013302A HiWi (hilfswissenschaftler) job is a research assistant internship that you can do through the university. It is classified as a mini-job, and as long as you work 9 hours a week or less, you have no extra tax burden. The pay scale is set for these jobs. With a bachelor’s degree, 9 hours a week gets you 450 euro/ month.

I found mine through one of my professors. One of them mentioned that they were looking for a HiWi, and I emailed them that very night. I got accepted right away.

In terms of bureaucracy, you really just have to go to the secretary on campus that deals with HiWis (your employer should be able to tell you their office), and provide them with all the required documents. One important thing to note here, is that you need a Rentenversicherungsnummer (pension insurance number). Your health insurance should be able to give you this number, but you have to specifically ask for it, so give them a call/visit before you go to the HiWi secretary.

Once you give them the documents, you have to sign a bunch of paperwork, and it is in German only, but it’s all fairly standard stuff. When I went, there was one lady that could translate some of it in English, but some of it, I just had to puzzle through. I guess it’s possible I signed away my soul, but unlikely, since like I said, this is all fairly standard documentation.

US Citizens should also be aware that you need to inform the US government that you are making this income as well. The HiWi job sends you a W-2 at the end of the fiscal year, so you can just include that when you do your US taxes. You shouldn’t have to pay any US taxes, because the amount you make in total will fall under the minimum for when you have to pay.

Make sure to bring these documents with you to the HiWi secretary:

  • Address (you should have a place to live by now I hope!)
  • Identifikationsnummer (tax identification number)
  • Rentenversicherungsnummer (pension insurance number)
  • Name of health insurance company
  • Copies of high school certificate and university degrees
  • CV (They accepted my normal resume)
  • Matrikelnummer (immatriculation number from the university)


Note: This post was backdated, since I failed to get it up back when I was doing all of this.


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