Overview of the Austrian Education System

Overview of the Austrian Education System

The Austrian education system offers a wide range of possibilities to lay the foundation for a successful career in Tourismus. If you are interested in working in tourism you can either choose an apprenticeship in tourism or attend a school with a focus on tourism.

The graphic shows the different opportunities people have to start or restart their carrier in tourism - reaching from a very practice-oriented education to scientific and research oriented studies at university level.

Cook serving dishes
Photo: BMLRT / Alexander Haiden

Apprenticeship (after the 9th school year; duration of 2-4 years)

In Austria apprenticeship training is organised as dual education: company-based training (80 %) and compulsory attendance of a part-time vocational school, the so-called “Berufsschule” (20 %).

Apprentices may only be trained in the legally recognized apprenticeship professions (currently 12 apprenticeships are directly linked to the tourism sector). The most popular professions are chef, restaurant and gastronomy specialist as well as hotel and hospitality assistant.

Rezeption eines Hotels
Photo: BMLRT / Paul Gruber

The Austrian VET system

Vocational education and training (VET) schools and colleges balance the provision of broad general education, occupation-related theory and practice (work-placements, internships). They provide special tourism and hospitality programs of various durations and levels from the ninth school year:

  • VET school (3 years): vocational training basis
  • VET college (5 years): A-Level certificate/Matura (=Austrian national school-leaving examination entitling to university studies) and VET Diploma, permission to access universities
  • Supplementary course for tourism - upgrade of Apprenticeship or VET school (3 years): A-Level/Matura
  • Post-secondary VET course (2 years): full-time school following completion of A-Level/Matura in order to receive a VET Diploma

Academic Studies (after A-Level certificate/Matura or vocational diploma)

A number of Austrian universities and Universities of Applied Sciences offer academic education in the field of tourism and hospitality management. They provide practice-oriented, science-based occupational training and in-depth theoretical and research skills. The Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Regions and Tourism aims at making professions in the tourism sector more attractive by means of image campaigns, support of industry events, workshops and information material.