Work placements after higher education

General information

Persons who have already completed a course of (vocational) higher education study often enter the professional world in the form of work placements. Examples include work placements for trainee lawyers and teachers.


These rules apply to all EU citizens in Austria.

These work placements may often be traineeships that are not subject to the provisions of labour law, or agreements which, while described as 'unpaid traineeship' or 'work placement' must in actuality be qualified as employment relationships as there are no learning and training goals. Employment relationships are subject to labour law requirements governing legal contracts and collective bargaining agreements.


Work placement trainees with a (vocational) higher education must in any case be registered for social insurance with the responsible health insurance carrier.

If the relationship is an employment relationship, registration for social insurance as an employee is required. If earnings are over the marginal employment threshold, the employee must have full insurance; if the earnings are below the marginal employment threshold, they must have accident insurance only.

Work placement trainees with a higher education who are completing legally required work placements for future professional practice (such as trainee lawyers or trainee teachers) must always have full insurance in accordance with the Allgemeines Sozialversicherungsgesetz, even if their earnings are below the marginal employment threshold.

Further Links

Practice guidelines for work placement trainees ( ÖGK)German text

Translated by the European Commission
Last update: 24 February 2023

Responsible for the content: Federal Ministry of Labour and Economy

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