Trainee Program at ZFYour Career Opportunity

In our 15-month International Postgraduate Trainee Program, you will become acquainted with work at ZF, rise to the challenges of a daily work routine, and apply the knowledge gained during your studies to successfully realize international projects.

Ready to take on at ZF

With our Trainee Program, we prepare you for your job at ZF. You will become acquainted with our company at various domestic and international locations, independently process projects, and assume responsibility in your team. Your colleagues will always be available to support and advise you. As a result of your involvement in different departments, you will obtain cross-sectoral knowledge, which will enable you to establish a contact network throughout the entire ZF Group. We will provide you with important first-hand knowledge and skills for your job in our workshops and seminars on presentation techniques, project management, and intercultural communication. ZF offers permanent employment to all trainees who successfully complete the trainee program.
By the way: In addition to the generally structured Trainee Program, we also offer a sector-specific program in the fields of Materials Management, Information Technology, Finance / Controlling, and Human Resources.

The International Postgraduate Trainee Program

Duration and start

The 15-month ZF Trainee Program begins each year in July and October.

Structure of the program

You can apply for either thegenerally structured stream (PDF, 357.1 KB)or sector-specific stream of the Trainee Program. The following sector-specific streams are offered:

The generally structured trainee completes his projects in various departments and chooses the respective acceptance area that will offer him the best career opportunities. The sector-specific trainee rotates through various departments in his technical area, thus preparing specifically for the later acceptance area defined during hiring.

Download the trainee brochure (PDF, 226.6 KB)

Trainee projects

During your assignment as a trainee, you will participate in four projects, each carried out at a different location - including one international location. The projects will run for three to four months each; the first project will be specified by ZF, based on your studies. After that, you take over responsibility: You establish contact with the other departments, whose work you are interested in, and independently organize your schedule at the various locations. You will also be involved in a joint project with the other trainees of your group, which will run for the duration of the program, and which may be subsequently presented to the Board of Management, ZF Group.


Trainee Program requirements

The objective of the International Postgraduate Trainee Program is for participants to learn to work independently and to creatively and efficiently master the challenges of the daily work routine. You should therefore be able to work flexibly and independently. You should also fulfill the following requirements:

Course of studies

The program is primarily directed toward graduates of universities. Participants should have a good to very good Diploma or Master's degree or a specially qualified Bachelor degree in a technical or commercial study course at a college or university and be able to present documentation of relevant internships or research papers for the work at ZF. The ZF Group is a company with a focus on technology and technical issues and looks forward to welcoming applicants interested in these areas.


Our Trainee Program has an international focus and accepts only those applicants who have gathered international experience in the form of an internship, semester abroad, or similar, within the scope of their studies or post-graduate activities. In addition, our group is composed of international trainees. We recruit trainees from various ZF locations/regions worldwide. They will receive the opportunity to cooperate on different projects and create networks across locations.

Language skills

Very good English language skills are a basic requirement for acceptance to our program, good German language skills are an asset. The knowledge of additional foreign languages is an advantage.


Trainees are considered potential future managers by the ZF Group. Management positions require strong personalities.


Application period

For our International Postgraduate Trainee Program, we recruit trainees from different countries. Please refer to the list below for more information on the application period in the respective regions.

Region Application period Application process
North America January - February Online application for applicants from the Region of North America (currently inactive)
Asia/Pacific January - February Online application for applicants from the Region of Asia/Pacific
Europe February - April Online application for applicants from the Region of Europe (currently inactive)
South America March Online application for applicants from the Region of South America (currently inactive)

Application process

We will conduct telephone interviews after a preliminary selection. Applicants who are on the shortlist will then be invited to an
Assessment Center, which will take place in the respective region.

Information on the Trainee Program, person to contact, and contact details