Austria vocational education

European portal for youngsters in vocational education

Salzburg (photo Wikimedia)Partager la publication “Austria”

“No educational path in Austria ends in a blind alley, ” summarises the Federal Minister for Education.

Vocational education and training (VET) is very popular among young people with nearly 80% of pupils going into this field when they leave compulsory schooling. Its particularity is to combine mainstream education, vocational training and practical training for 14 to 19 year-olds.

The educational pathways are varied and flexible, with horizontal mobility always an option towards tertiary education and even universities.

The Austrian education system – 2013



  • Kindergarten: infant school
  • Volksschule/ Grundschule: primary school
  • Hauptschule: secondary school /1st cycle, preparation for working life
  • Allgemein bildende höhere Schule / Unterstufe: mainstream secondary school education/1st cycle
  • Neue Mittelschule: new middle school (recently created)
  • Polytechnische Schule: preparatory classes (1 year) for vocational training/through apprenticeships
  • Berufsschule : vocational teaching establishment, training through apprenticeships
  • Allgemein bildende höhere Schule/ Oberstufe: mainstream secondary school education /2nd cycle
  • Berufsbildende höhere Schule: long-course vocational education school (5 years), leading to university
  • Berufsbildende mittlere Schule: vocational middle school training pupils in the fields of business, industry, trades, tourism, agriculture and forestry
  • Fachhochschule: university of applied sciences
  • Kolleg: higher vocational college training students in construction, catering, urban restoration, infant school education, tourism and the leisure industry etc.
  • Akademie: further education college offering technical medical training in physiotherapy, ergotherapy, orthoptics and medical analyses etc.
  • Pädagogische Hochschule teacher training college


  • Abschlussprüfung: final examination obtained at the end of a Berufsbildende Mittlere Schule
  • Berufsreifeprüfung : examination obtained at the end of the secondary technical and vocational training for a minimum period of 3 years in a Berufsbildende Mittlere Schule or a Berufsschule. It does not qualify for a profession, but allows access to higher education.
  • Lehrabschlussprüfung: examination organised by apprenticeship centres on completing vocational training
  • Reifeprüfung: final examination on completing mainstream secondary education
  • Diplomprüfung: examinations on completing post-secondary and higher education
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