Working in Dresden

Updated 2022-11-14 05:28

Dresden, also known as the Florence of Germany due to its location along the banks of river Elbe, is the capital city of the Free State of Saxony (Freistaat Sachsen) in eastern Germany. Widely known for its historical importance as a major transport hub for Nazi Germany, and the destruction it suffered after the bombings of World War II by the US and Britain, modern Dresden is Germany's scientific center. Hence, scientists, researchers, and scholars stand great chances of being absorbed by the city's large job market in the sectors of science, engineering, and medicine.

Dresden's economy

Dresden's economy is based on three main pillars, which are the semiconductor industry, the pharmaceutical industry, and electrical and mechanical engineering. However, many other sectors, such as automotive manufacturing, high technology, biotechnology, nanotechnology, and microelectronic technology, also contribute to Dresden's economic development and growth. The city is home to 11 higher education institutions (e.g., the University of Applied Sciences Dresden, the International University of Dresden, and Technische Universität Dresden), hosting about 45,000 students, 68% of which study in Technische Universität Dresden (TUD). Dresden is a cultural center as well, attracting millions of visitors every year from Germany and abroad. This kind of movement contributes to the city's economy and allows it to offer employability in the hospitality sector (there are over 100 hotels, guest houses, and hostels in Dresden). Last,  given that it is the capital of Saxony, most of the region's government and healthcare institutions are in Dresden. 

Good to know: 

Among the major companies operating in Dresden are Volkswagen Sachsen, Globalfoundries Dresden Module, Infineon Technologies, Saxon Serumwerk Dresden, Noweda Pharma-Handels, Dresden Arzneimittelwerke, Siemens, and Linde-KCA-Dresden.

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Advice for start-up businesses

The labor market in Saxony

The unemployment rate of Dresden stood at 2.40 in July 2022, while the unemployment rate of Germany was at 3.0%. The purchasing power of the people of the Free State of Saxony is 28,600 euros per inhabitant, which is 92% of the EU average, thus ranking ahead of all Central and Eastern European countries. There are about 56,650 companies in Saxony in different sectors, such as manufacturing, building, trade, and services. In 2019, the exports came up to 40.3 billion euros. China is the bigger buyer with exports of more than seven billion euros, just before the USA with three billion euros. The excellent transport infrastructure benefits the efficient mobility of people and goods. If you are planning to move to Dresden for work, it's good to know that Dresden offers relatively easy opportunities to find nice and inexpensive apartments. However, most of the apartments in Dresden are not furnished, and it is up to the new tenants to get house appliances. The cost of living in Dresden is lower than in other larger German cities, such as Munich, Frankfurt, Berlin, and Hamburg.

Scientific research in Dresden 

Dresden is where Europe's heart of the microelectronics industry (where digital convergence originates from) beats, including the sectors of nanotechnology, life sciences, development and safety of new-generation materials, and energy. In no other German city of Dresden's size, there are so many scientists and research institutions (46 in total). In Dresden, you will find companies with years of experience and expertise in mechanical engineering, aircraft construction, and food production.   

The title of University of Excellence is given to selected universities in Germany as part of the Federal Government's and German states' Excellence Strategy, aiming to promote cutting-edge research through millions of euros in additional funding and knowledge sharing among first-class higher education institutions worldwide. Technische Universität Dresden (TUD) earned the title the University of Excellence in 2012 for groundbreaking research in cell and development biology (i.e., molecular bioengineering, regenerative medicine, tissue engineering), quantum mechanics at the atomic level, and AI for machine-human collaboration. 

The University Hospital Carl Gustav Carus was founded as a surgical medical academy in 1815 by Friedrich August I., King of Saxony. Today, it is part of the Technische Universität Dresden (TUD), and besides having 3500 experts in all specialties, it is an excellent teaching hospital with facilities for interdisciplinary medical research. Another life sciences research institution is the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics.

Ten out of the 75 research institutions of Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft are based in Dresden. Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft is the world's leading applied research organization, focusing on developing key technologies that shape the world's future. This makes Dresden the Fraunhofer capital and the number one city in Germany regarding employment in sciences. Other research centers, such as the BioInnovationsZentrum (Biological Innovation Center) and NanoCenter, help scientists, researchers, and small or young companies connect with established businesses and gain access to modern technologies and state-of-the-art equipment through shared facilities.

Good to know: 

If you are the author of a scientific thesis and have graduated from one of Dresden's universities or the State Study Academy (Staatliche Studienakademie) run by the Saxon Vocational Academy (Berufsakademie Sachsen), you can apply for the Dresden Excellence Award

Useful links: 

Research institutions in Dresden

Technische Universität Dresden (TUD)


BioInnovationsZentrum (Biological Innovation Center)


University Hospital Carl Gustav Carus

Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics

Finding a job in Dresden

Before starting your job search in Dresden and sending your applications, we highly recommend you read our article about finding work in Germany. There, you will find helpful advice regarding preparing your resume, international qualifications, and communication with local employment agencies, which are excellent sources of information for jobseekers. Now, if you are ready to browse the jobs' listings, you can start from's jobs in Dresden classifieds or our active Dresden forum, where you can post your concerns about employment in the city and start new conversations with seasoned expats or expats-to-be. As in the whole of Germany, speaking and understanding German are almost mandatory for finding a job in Dresden. Hence, to maximize your chances of being invited to an interview, it is important to translate your CV and cover letter into German and attach a professional photo. 

Useful links: 

Dresdner Jobanzeiger

Student jobs

Amazon Jobs

Academics - Working in Dresden




Giga Job

Volunteer in Dresden

Giving back to society and contributing to other people's well-being by making your interpersonal and professional skills available is a meaningful way to spend your time, learn new things, and boost your network. Whether you are at the age of retirement, a student, or a full-time professional who is always keen on exploring new things, Dresden offers many volunteering opportunities in an effort to make every resident feel useful and needed. 

In view of solidarity, Genial Sozial is an annual event in Saxony, which brings young people together for a good cause — to support their poorer peers in Germany and the world by increasing their opportunities for education and better life. So, every year, on the last Tuesday of the school year, students leave their desks to spend the day working. At the end of the day, they donate their earned wages towards social projects in Saxony and beyond the borders of Germany. This is an excellent opportunity to help someone else and gain insight into the professional field of your interest.  

Useful links: 

IT Jobs and Internships in Saxony

Get involved in the federal volunteer service

Genial Sozial

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