Germany: Employees are urgently needed in these industries!

As millions of people will retire in the next ten years, workers in Germany need not worry about a lack of offers. Currently, almost every fourth employee in Germany is over 55 years old, according to a new study by the research institute IW. This means that these individuals will soon be retiring.

More than 2 million of them will leave occupations where there is already a shortage of skilled workers. In these sectors, the demand for workers in Germany will be particularly high:

Germany has a shortage of truck drivers

There is currently a shortage of about 80,000 truck drivers in Germany, and there will be a shortage of another 180,000 over the next 10 years as many truck drivers retire (see table below).

Demand for construction workers

Excavator drivers are also in great need! By 2030, about 18,000 people who have been in this occupation so far will retire. Additionally, there is a shortage of more than 6,000 crane operators in Germany!

Health and Welfare Services

Around 13,000 specialists in nursing, geriatric care and education professions will soon retire in Germany. This means even more demand for nursing staff!


Approximately 80,000 additional jobs will be created for primary, secondary and vocational school teachers over the next few years!

Good news for workers in Germany

This is good news for workers in Germany: well-educated people can choose from many offers when it comes to jobs. For example, it now takes an average of 223 days to fill a position in geriatric care, according to employment agencies. For a plumber position, bosses are waiting an average of 207 days, and for a painter position 171 days! So experts are sure that there will be a significant increase in workers’ wages in the future!

However, for the economy and the people affected (e.g. pensioners, students), the lack of skilled workers has disastrous consequences: there is a shortage of nurses, teachers, etc. According to the German Chamber of Industry and Commerce (DIHK), the shortage costs companies around 90 billion euros.

IW experts advise companies to keep older workers in their jobs after retirement age by offering them, for example, flexible working hours, more part-time work, more vacations and the possibility to work from home.

For their part, politicians are trying to encourage early retirees to return to work: seniors who have not yet reached the legal retirement age can additionally earn up to €46,060 per year.

OccupationNumber of retirees by 2032
Truck driver180000
Teacher (secondary school)52542
Technical production management23069
Teacher (vocational school)18495
Excavator driver17732
Teacher (elementary school)8916
Special education/social work8074
Crane operator6442
Mail delivery (managerial)6255
IT network technology5539
Nursing/care for the elderly5348
Home economics (Hauswirtschaft)4824
Chemical and pharmaceutical technology4535
Store clerks4313
Railroad specialists3538
Textiles manufacturing3391
Civil engineering professionals3353
Structural metalworkers3117
Cleaning (managerial)3032
Waste disposal2492
Care managers for the elderly2269
Asset protection and fire-fighting1432

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