34a-Preparation: Which form of teaching is best for you?

34a-Pre­pa­ra­ti­on: Which form of tea­ching is best for you?

Vou­ch­er code: 10% Dis­count on Sach­kun­de pre­pa­ra­ti­on with Sachkun.de

Voucher code: 10% Discount on Sachkunde preparation with Sachkun.de

The lear­ning plat­form Sachkun.de is one of the best-known online offers for 34a pre­pa­ra­ti­on. The plat­form with e‑learning, test ques­ti­ons, mock exams and online help has been around sin­ce 2005, and more than 10,000 peo­p­le have used it to prepa­re online for the 34a examination.

New: Sachkun.de 2.0

Recent­ly, eLear­ning at www.sachkun.de was com­ple­te­ly rede­si­gned. More than 1,000 exam-rela­ted test ques­ti­ons, goal-ori­en­ted lear­ning texts, ins­truc­tion­al vide­os and even weekly live online semi­nars now await lear­ners. The 34a pre­pa­ra­ti­on is available in three dif­fe­rent ver­si­ons: Clas­sic, Pro and VIP. Tho­se who book VIP also have access to a Whats­App group in which they can ask ques­ti­ons and exch­an­ge infor­ma­ti­on with other Sach­kun­de lear­ners. What is new is that the pre­pa­ra­ti­on now runs com­ple­te­ly via a con­ve­ni­ent mobi­le pho­ne app in which you can learn with 34a ques­ti­ons around the clock, i.e. 24/7 — depen­ding on the tariff for 30, 60 or even 100 days. 

Cou­pon code for www.sachkun.de

With the vou­ch­er code SK10YT you curr­ent­ly get 10% Dis­count on all tariffs.
Click here to go direct­ly to the Offer on www.sachkun.de.

About Sachkun.de exper­ti­se preparation

Sachkun.de is cer­tain­ly not the che­a­pest pro­vi­der on the mar­ket, but it has pro­ven its­elf for years. The posi­ti­ve reviews on the net speak for the qua­li­ty of the plat­form. This is also ensu­red by the qua­li­fi­ca­ti­ons of the ope­ra­tors of the 34a lear­ning plat­form around Jörg Zitz­mann. It should also be noted that the exam-rela­ted ques­ti­ons and con­den­sed lear­ning texts make it pos­si­ble to prepa­re for the IHK exam very effi­ci­ent­ly, i.e. in a par­ti­cu­lar­ly time-saving man­ner. If ques­ti­ons of under­stan­ding remain unans­we­red, a lec­tu­rer is available — depen­ding on the tariff — in the weekly video ses­si­on or addi­tio­nal­ly also in the Whats­App 34a lear­ning group. This ensu­res that par­ti­ci­pan­ts’ ques­ti­ons are always ans­we­red — as in a face-to-face cour­se — and that all con­tent is unders­tood. With pri­ces rough­ly bet­ween 1.80 and 3.00 euros per day (as of 5 March 2023), the pri­ce-per­for­mance ratio is very reasonable. The money-back gua­ran­tee, which takes effect if you fail the 34a exam seve­ral times despi­te pre­pa­ra­ti­on, also con­tri­bu­tes to security.

We will gra­du­al­ly intro­du­ce more pro­vi­ders here on the blog. We look for­ward to hea­ring your opi­ni­ons and expe­ri­en­ces on 34a exam pre­pa­ra­ti­on! Feel free to lea­ve a comment 🙂

Exami­na­ti­on of exper­ti­se — why? Just buy the 34a licence…

Examination of expertise - why? Just buy the 34a licence...

You don’t feel like taking the exam and pre­pa­ring for it, you’­ve alre­a­dy fai­led the Cham­ber of Indus­try and Commerce’s expert know­ledge exam seve­ral times or you just want to save time and money — all of the­se can be reasons why peo­p­le keep loo­king for “buy a 34a licence”. This artic­le explains why this is not a par­ti­cu­lar­ly good idea.

Can you actual­ly buy the “34a note”?

A short Goog­le search it shows: Yes, you can buy a pie­ce of paper that looks like it is an offi­ci­al docu­ment of a cham­ber of com­mer­ce and indus­try. But be careful! If you use such fake exami­na­ti­on cer­ti­fi­ca­tes, you are lia­ble to pro­se­cu­ti­on.
What you are allo­wed to do is hang such a pie­ce of fan­ta­sy paper in your own hall­way for amu­se­ment or use it as a ligh­ter for the next bar­be­cue par­ty. Howe­ver, if you use such a pie­ce of paper in legal tran­sac­tions, i.e. in the con­text of a job appli­ca­ti­on or to regis­ter your secu­ri­ty com­pa­ny, you com­mit for­gery accor­ding to Sec­tion 267 of the Cri­mi­nal Code:

(1) Any per­son who, for the pur­po­se of decei­ving in legal tran­sac­tions, pro­du­ces a fal­se docu­ment, fal­si­fies a genui­ne docu­ment or uses a fal­se or fal­si­fied docu­ment shall be lia­ble to a cus­to­di­al sen­tence not excee­ding five years or to a mone­ta­ry penal­ty.
(2) The attempt is punis­ha­ble.
(3) In par­ti­cu­lar­ly serious cases, the penal­ty shall be impri­son­ment for a term of six months to ten years. […]

The pro­vi­ders of such dubio­us ser­vices also know that offe­ring IHK exami­na­ti­on cer­ti­fi­ca­tes, school-lea­ving cer­ti­fi­ca­tes and other cer­ti­fi­ca­tes, inclu­ding doc­to­ra­tes, is legal­ly ques­tionable. They are main­ly inte­res­ted in making money quick­ly. The pro­vi­ders are usual­ly based abroad or are not available and thus avo­id legal dis­pu­tes. This is becau­se sel­lers may also be lia­ble to pro­se­cu­ti­on becau­se they use trade­marks and thus legal­ly pro­tec­ted iden­ti­fy­ing fea­tures (e.g. the logo) of the issuing orga­ni­sa­ti­ons. In addi­ti­on, some sel­lers even deli­bera­te­ly crea­te the impres­si­on that it is a legal­ly issued docu­ment and at the same time adver­ti­se that one may use the­se fake docu­ments in legal tran­sac­tions. Thus, the sel­lers often also pre­tend fal­se facts and thus part­ly also call, at least indi­rect­ly, to use the sold fake like a real docu­ment. As a buy­er, you can always be pro­se­cu­ted and make yours­elf lia­ble to pro­se­cu­ti­on if you actual­ly use such a fan­ta­sy docu­ment professionally.

Whe­re can I buy the cer­ti­fi­ca­te of competence?

The only legal way to obtain the “cer­ti­fi­ca­te of suc­cessful com­ple­ti­on of a spe­cia­list know­ledge exami­na­ti­on” (this is the cor­rect term) is to suc­cessful­ly com­ple­te the IHK spe­cia­list know­ledge exami­na­ti­on. You can find many free Tips for exam pre­pa­ra­ti­on, Test ques­ti­ons and a Help forum on this web­site. By the way, taking the real exam can even be che­a­per than some of the ille­gal fake cer­ti­fi­ca­te offers.
Hones­ty is the best poli­cy! Don’t get invol­ved in fake offers with fake pro­ofs! It’s not worth it, becau­se you will be expo­sed. And for the pri­ce you then pay, you could have pre­pared pro­per­ly for the exam and pas­sed it quite regularly.

What does a for­ged cer­ti­fi­ca­te of com­pe­tence cost?

Pri­ces start at just under 10 euros for a per­so­na­li­sed fake cer­ti­fi­ca­te for direct PDF download.

Fake certificate of competence for the 34a licence
Fake 34a cer­ti­fi­ca­te as PDF download
This “low-cost pro­vi­der” of fake pro­ofs empha­si­s­es that you are not allo­wed to use the purcha­sed docu­ments, but for his own secu­ri­ty he has nevert­hel­ess indi­ca­ted a com­pa­ny head­quar­ters in the USA. He knows why.

Pos­si­bly the tip of the ice­berg is a pro­vi­der offe­ring all kinds of exami­na­ti­on cer­ti­fi­ca­tes and degrees — inclu­ding various pro­fes­sio­nal qua­li­fi­ca­ti­ons, school-lea­ving cer­ti­fi­ca­tes, bachelor’s and master’s degrees from col­leges, uni­ver­si­ty diplo­mas and even doc­to­ra­tes. Such prin­ted papers are available for a “ridi­cu­lous pri­ce” of seve­ral hundred euros — appar­ent­ly a wort­hwhile busi­ness. He also pro­mo­tes the offer com­mer­ci­al­ly through an adver­ti­se­ment on Goog­le, which appears at the top of the results page for the rele­vant search terms — see illus­tra­ti­on below. This frau­du­lent trader even adver­ti­ses that it is a legal offer and “100% genui­ne and regis­tered docu­ments, which can be che­cked by the university/training com­pa­ny, or even by your employ­er”. com­ple­te bullshit!

34a note advertising on Google (fake proof)
Goog­le adver­ti­sing for an “ori­gi­nal proof
Let’s talk tur­key: If you buy a fake or make one yours­elf and print it out, you’ll be caught any­way — and then it will be real­ly unp­lea­sant and real­ly expen­si­ve. You will learn why this is ine­vi­ta­ble in the next sec­tion.

Why it’s real­ly stu­pid to pre­sent a for­ged 34a certificate.…

Just a few years ago, one would have con­side­red a fac­tu­alunThe only way that a know­led­geable secu­ri­ty employee could have been lucky is if the for­ged cer­ti­fi­ca­te had not been noti­ced during the appli­ca­ti­on pro­cess, during a cus­toms or poli­ce check or in the cour­se of an enquiry with the exami­ning Cham­ber of Indus­try and Com­mer­ce (IHK). But sin­ce 1 June 2019, the­re is the cen­tral guard regis­ter, whe­re all data con­ver­ge. Your employ­er must report you the­re befo­re you start employ­ment and wait for cle­arance. Only then will you recei­ve a guard ID as a secu­ri­ty guard and be allo­wed to start. In the cour­se of this check and data com­pa­ri­son, it quick­ly beco­mes appa­rent if you have sub­mit­ted a fal­se docu­ment. You bear the full con­se­quen­ces under cri­mi­nal and civil law!

Rather invest in the real thing Exami­na­ti­on of expert know­ledge at the IHK. Inform yours­elf free of char­ge here in the Infoportal. 

The infor­ma­ti­on por­tal on the 34a exami­na­ti­on is now multilingual!

The information portal on the 34a examination is now multilingual!

You don’t speak Ger­man, but ano­ther language?
Qua­li­fied workers are curr­ent­ly urgen­tly nee­ded in many are­as in Ger­ma­ny. One of the­se are­as is the pri­va­te secu­ri­ty indus­try. To be allo­wed to work for a secu­ri­ty ser­vice in Ger­ma­ny, you need the fol­lo­wing for many guar­ding acti­vi­ties Exami­na­ti­on of expert know­ledge accor­ding to § 34a of the Trade Regu­la­ti­on Act. You are then a qua­li­fied appli­cant with a 34a cer­ti­fi­ca­te of com­pe­tence and have excel­lent Job pro­s­pects with cor­re­spon­ding pay!

Infor­ma­ti­on on the Ger­man 34a-Sach­kunde­prüf­ung (Secu­ri­ty) in your language

You will find a lot of free infor­ma­ti­on on the Ger­man qua­li­fi­ca­ti­on exami­na­ti­on for secu­ri­ty staff here in the qua­li­fi­ca­ti­on info por­tal. Navi­ga­te via the main menu at the very top through our Infor­ma­ti­on pages, brow­se the cur­rent blog posts or make tar­ge­ted use of the Search. If you have an indi­vi­du­al request, you can also cont­act us at any time. Post your ques­ti­on in the help forum.

Available lan­guages in the Sub­ject Gui­de Infoportal

Nor­mal­ly, the sys­tem auto­ma­ti­cal­ly detects which lan­guage you are using and sets the 34a por­tal to this lan­guage. The fol­lo­wing lan­guages are curr­ent­ly supported:

You can always adjust the web­site lan­guage via the sel­ec­tion menu at the top left (flag and lan­guage code). Or sim­ply via the but­ton below:

Pre­pa­ra­ti­on and exami­na­ti­on in ano­ther language?

The expert know­ledge exami­na­ti­on can only be taken in Ger­man. Howe­ver, the­re are cer­tain­ly some offers that sup­port for­eign lan­guage lear­ners in their pre­pa­ra­ti­on — e.g. lite­ra­tu­re, among others Lexi­cons with 34a tech­ni­cal terms and their trans­la­ti­on.

Your lan­guage is not available?
Feel free to wri­te a com­ment on this page below this blog post. Tell us the lan­guage into which you would like our 34a infor­ma­ti­on trans­la­ted. We will glad­ly take up any sug­ges­ti­ons for impro­ve­ment and imple­ment them if possible.

Under­stan­ding exam ques­ti­ons and ans­we­ring them cor­rect­ly: 10 simp­le tac­ti­cal tips for pas­sing the writ­ten IHK exami­na­ti­on (34a certificate)

Understanding exam questions and answering them correctly: 10 simple tactical tips for passing the written IHK examination (34a certificate)

Free tests and exam ques­ti­ons to prepa­re for the expert know­ledge exami­na­ti­on (§ 34a GewO) are very useful for prac­ti­sing. Howe­ver, tac­ti­cal tips are almost as important. Becau­se even if you don’t imme­dia­te­ly know the ans­wer to an exam ques­ti­on in the 34a test, you can pass the 34a exam with the help of a few tips & tricks.

No idea, no ans­wer? Plea­se don’t!

You can’t know ever­y­thing. Even if you have pre­pared well for the 34a test with test ques­ti­ons, mock exams and other stu­dy mate­ri­al, you may sim­ply not know what to do with some ques­ti­ons. Yes, you do: Even if you don’t know the ans­wer to an exam ques­ti­on, you can still clear the hurd­le of the expert know­ledge exam!

10 simp­le tips on how to pass the exami­na­ti­on of pro­fes­sio­nal competence

If you take the fol­lo­wing tips for the writ­ten IHK exami­na­ti­on for exper­ti­se § 34a GewO into account, you can also score points for gaps in your knowledge:

  1. It can a solu­ti­on be cor­rect, or it can two solu­ti­ons be cor­rect. The­r­e­fo­re, never give three or more solu­ti­ons as correct!
  2. Sin­gu­lar or plu­ral? Pay atten­ti­on to whe­ther in the Ques­tio­ning after one or more cor­rect ans­wers is asked! Exam­p­le: In the case of a ques­ti­on that beg­ins with “What pre­re­qui­si­teen, a secu­ri­ty guard must ful­fil,…” beg­ins, the­re is more than one cor­rect solution.
  3. Note the Con­text of the ques­ti­on (sub­ject area)! If, for exam­p­le, a ques­ti­on is asked about a fact in cri­mi­nal law (StGB), an ans­wer refer­ring to civil law (BGB) can­not be correct. 
  4. Pay atten­ti­on to Nega­ti­ve for­mu­la­ti­onsIf the­re is a nega­ti­ve in the ques­ti­on, so may­be the ques­ti­on is asking you to tick what exact­ly you want to tick. not appli­es? Then you need to rethink and choo­se exact­ly the oppo­si­te ans­wer options!
  5. Key terms like “never” or “never or “always” or “always should be war­ning signs! It is rather rare that e.g. pro­hi­bi­ti­ons or per­mis­si­ons always or never app­ly, i.e. are abso­lu­te. For many things the­re are excep­ti­ons or cer­tain frame­work con­di­ti­ons and no strict black and white. Such key terms in an ans­wer indi­ca­te that it is rather wrong. 
  6. Other terms that should set alarm bells rin­ging are tho­se such as “exclu­si­ve­ly” or “wit­hout excep­ti­on”. The same appli­es here as in the pre­vious tip. It is not often that some­thing appli­es wit­hout any exception.
  7. In the writ­ten exami­na­ti­on you have enough time. Take your time and read the ques­ti­ons in detail and, if neces­sa­ry, seve­ral times. If you can­not think of the ans­wer, put the ques­ti­on back. Mark the ques­ti­on so that you do not for­get to look at it again later.
  8. You are unsu­re of the cor­rect ans­wer to a ques­ti­on. Work accor­ding to the Exclu­si­on prin­ci­ple and sort out the pos­si­bi­li­ties that defi­ni­te­ly can­not be true. This often helps.
  9. If you don’t have a clue about a ques­ti­on, don’t lea­ve it unans­we­red. Guess if you have to! Not ans­we­ring a ques­ti­on defi­ni­te­ly gets you 0 points. Even if your gut tells you one or two solu­ti­ons, luck may be on your side.
  10. Final­ly, the most important thing: Even if this artic­le is about “tac­tics tips” in the nar­rower sen­se — it’s not about tac­tics. prepa­re yours­elf! Time­ly and pur­po­seful lear­ning is the essen­ti­al fac­tor for pas­sing the examination.

Insi­der tips

You can get many more tips on how to suc­cessful­ly mas­ter the 34a pro­fes­sio­nal qua­li­fi­ca­ti­on exami­na­ti­on if you read our free news­let­ter sub­scri­be. Direct­ly after­wards we will send you our 34a PDF with a total of 25 tips for the expert exami­na­ti­on to.

Exper­ti­se tips and exam ques­ti­ons on YouTube

I would like to recom­mend two hel­pful vide­os for the pre­pa­ra­ti­on for the 34a licence, which you can find in the You­Tube chan­nel of the Aca­de­my for Secu­ri­ty find:

How much money does one earn as an employee in the secu­ri­ty ser­vice with a cer­ti­fi­ca­te of competence?

How much money does one earn as an employee in the security service with a certificate of competence?

Tal­king around it is use­l­ess. One thing is clear: The tra­di­tio­nal secu­ri­ty indus­try is a low-wage sec­tor!
Nevert­hel­ess: the secu­ri­ty indus­try offers varie­ty, respon­si­ble, exci­ting and also quiet jobs. And if you’­re smart, you can make ends meet. But — what do you earn as a secu­ri­ty guard with a cer­ti­fi­ca­te of competence?

What mat­ters when it comes to ear­nings in the secu­ri­ty industry…

If you deci­de to work in the pri­va­te secu­ri­ty sec­tor or are loo­king for a new employ­er, the finan­cial aspects cer­tain­ly play a major role. The­re are seve­ral fac­tors that con­tri­bu­te to a good hour­ly wage. The most important aspects for a more attrac­ti­ve sala­ry are lis­ted below.

Level of edu­ca­ti­on and training

Obvious­ly, the bet­ter trai­ned you are, the hig­her your ear­ning poten­ti­al. As an unskil­led secu­ri­ty guard only with trai­ning accor­ding to § 34a GewO, you will very often not be paid much more than the mini­mum wage. With the expert know­ledge exami­na­ti­on, you can achie­ve a good bit more basic hour­ly wage with mana­geable effort.. You can go even fur­ther with fur­ther trai­ning to beco­me a cer­ti­fied pro­tec­tion and secu­ri­ty worker or with trai­ning to beco­me a spe­cia­list for pro­tec­tion and secu­ri­ty. Inci­den­tal­ly, the mini­mum wage nati­on­wi­de has been 12.43 euros per hour sin­ce 1 Janu­ary 2023. The increase to 13 euros per hour from 1 April 2023 has alre­a­dy been decided.

Addi­tio­nal qualifications

Addi­tio­nal qua­li­fi­ca­ti­ons, for exam­p­le in first aid or fire pro­tec­tion (e.g. as a fire pro­tec­tion assistant), are very hel­pful and increase the mar­ket value of secu­ri­ty staff. The­se do not always have a direct effect on the hour­ly wage, but they are always a plus point in job appli­ca­ti­ons. Addi­tio­nal qua­li­fi­ca­ti­ons include the following:

Inter­cul­tu­ral skills and know­ledge of for­eign lan­guages, espe­ci­al­ly at least basic Eng­lish, should also not be underestimated.


The secu­ri­ty indus­try has many facets and the­r­e­fo­re the acti­vi­ties that secu­ri­ty workers per­form are also very diver­se. Accor­din­gly, the­re are some­ti­mes serious wage dif­fe­ren­ces. Secu­ri­ty acti­vi­ties such as sepa­ra­te guards and simp­le guar­ding acti­vi­ties are often rather poor­ly paid. Jobs that requi­re spe­cial skills often pay well. For exam­p­le in the Avia­ti­on secu­ri­ty, in the ran­ge Cash and valu­ables trans­port, during the acti­vi­ty in nuclear faci­li­ties, in which Under­ground and sub­ur­ban rail­way guar­ding or as an NSL spe­cia­list in Emer­gen­cy call and ser­vice con­trol cen­tres the ear­nings are often signi­fi­cant­ly hig­her than the indus­try avera­ge. The exact amount of the wage for the job can be found in the Coll­ec­ti­ve agree­ments take from them. If they have been declared gene­ral­ly bin­ding, which is usual­ly the case, they app­ly to all employees. (It is best to add the fede­ral sta­te to the Goog­le search to nar­row down the results).

Working hours

Anyo­ne who is alre­a­dy acti­ve in the indus­try and works in shifts knows it: Often, bio­rhyth­ms and pri­va­te life suf­fer from the chan­ging working hours. Howe­ver, working night shifts, Sun­days and public holi­days often offers decisi­ve finan­cial advan­ta­ges. Depen­ding on the fede­ral state/collective agree­ment, the fol­lo­wing bene­fits can be ear­ned Night, Sun­day and public holi­day surchar­ges that are well worth see­ing. What’s more, the­se tax-free! On public holi­days in many places 100% Surchar­ge pos­si­blei.e. in addi­ti­on to the actu­al dai­ly wage, you recei­ve the same amount again — but tax-free! View­ed over the month, depen­ding of cour­se on the amount of night, Sun­day and public holi­day hours, the fol­lo­wing can be achie­ved Seve­ral hundred euros on top earn. Espe­ci­al­ly around the turn of the year or at Eas­ter, this can be a lucra­ti­ve affair.


Over­ti­me is, of cour­se, a par­ti­al aspect of working hours. Nevert­hel­ess, I would like to devo­te a sepa­ra­te point to this aspect here. Why? Becau­se expe­ri­ence shows that a lot of over­ti­me is work­ed in the secu­ri­ty sec­tor, often much more than is legal­ly per­mis­si­ble and with too few breaks bet­ween assign­ments. Think careful­ly about whe­ther you want to go along with this and should actual­ly work 200, 220, 240 or even more hours per month. My tip at this point would be to invest in fur­ther edu­ca­ti­on and not to trade so much time for money: Memen­to Mori — your life­time is also limi­t­ed. Set prio­ri­ties and make a good decis­i­on for you, also for your future.


As in other indus­tries, the­re is a West-East divi­de in the pri­va­te secu­ri­ty sec­tor. In the past, the­se wage dif­fe­ren­ces were real­ly gla­ring. Secu­ri­ty workers in Ber­lin ear­ned in some are­as not even half of tho­se who work­ed in Bava­ria.  As a rule, the best-paid fede­ral sta­tes include Bava­ria, Baden-Würt­tem­berg and North Rhi­ne-West­pha­lia. Among the lowest paid are still the new fede­ral sta­tes, for exam­p­le Bran­den­burg or Meck­len­burg-Wes­tern Pome­ra­nia. Just a few years ago, one could bare­ly keep one’s head abo­ve water with a job as a secu­ri­ty guard in the East Ger­man sta­tes. Howe­ver, the mini­mum wage and the gra­du­al con­ver­gence of coll­ec­ti­ve agree­ments are incre­asing­ly put­ting the dif­fe­ren­ces into per­spec­ti­ve. In addi­ti­on, one should not for­get that whe­re peo­p­le earn more, they usual­ly earn less. Cost of living (espe­ci­al­ly rents) are hig­her. So think careful­ly — if you are toy­ing with the idea — whe­ther a move is real­ly worth it for you.


Many peo­p­le think of secu­ri­ty ser­vice jobs in the clas­sic way, as the secu­ri­ty com­pa­ny that as a ser­vice pro­vi­der exter­nal cus­to­mers. Whe­re­as in the past, vete­ran employees in fac­to­ries came to the plant secu­ri­ty ser­vice towards the end of their working lives to spend the last years of their care­ers doing less stre­nuous work, the situa­ti­on has chan­ged con­sider­a­b­ly nowa­days. Pro­fes­sio­nal, exter­nal secu­ri­ty ser­vice pro­vi­ders look after a lar­ge num­ber of com­pa­nies from busi­ness and indus­try or the public sec­tor as cli­ents. But they still exist, despi­te the deca­des-long trend towards out­sour­cing. The Inter­nal plant secu­ri­ty. Espe­ci­al­ly in indus­try, pro­per­ty and plant pro­tec­tion acti­vi­ties are when you are direct­ly employ­ed by the manu­fac­tu­ring com­pa­ny, very well paid. The reason for this is that you are paid accor­ding to the indus­try pay sca­le to which the bulk of the work­force belongs. Take a look at the Rate tables for the metal and elec­tri­cal indus­try! The­se month­ly sala­ries are in a dif­fe­rent league.


Allo­wan­ces regu­la­ted by coll­ec­ti­ve agree­ment are usual­ly paid for guard/shift lea­ders, for dog hand­lers or in cer­tain faci­li­ties such as mili­ta­ry pro­per­ties. Like­wi­se, the­re are often allo­wan­ces for on-call duties, e.g. for (addi­tio­nal) work in the plant fire bri­ga­de. The­se ran­ge from a few cents per hour up to over 10% more pay. In Bava­ria, the­re is also slight­ly more money if you work in the grea­ter Munich area.
Secu­ri­ty com­pa­nies or their cli­ents also some­ti­mes pay Vol­un­t­a­ry (revo­ca­ble) allo­wan­ces. Some­ti­mes the­re are also one-off bonu­ses for par­ti­cu­lar­ly suc­cessful assign­ments or for out­stan­ding work per­for­mance. Unfort­u­na­te­ly, the­se kinds of bonu­ses tend to be the excep­ti­on. Incre­asing­ly com­mon, howe­ver, is a Switch pre­mi­um or, if you like, a kind of “wel­co­me money”. Howe­ver, this alo­ne should not neces­s­a­ri­ly be the sole reason for chan­ging employers.

Con­cre­te numbers

You would like to know con­cre­te figures?
If you have read the artic­le up to this point, you will rea­li­se that this is dif­fi­cult, as it can depend on a num­ber of fac­tors such as the fede­ral sta­te, the job, the working hours and their (addi­tio­nal) qua­li­fi­ca­ti­ons. Nevert­hel­ess, a con­cre­te example:

This results in approx. 2520 euros of taxa­ble inco­me (gross) and just under 420 euros of tax-free supplements.With inco­me tax class 1 and no child­ren, a sin­gle per­son thus recei­ves approx. 2170 Euro net trans­fer­red. Howe­ver, this cal­cu­la­ti­on is for illus­tra­ti­ve pur­po­ses only. Your actu­al sala­ry paid out may depend on num­e­rous factors!

Hint: This artic­le was last updated in Febru­ary 2023. As the­re are regu­lar adjus­t­ments to both the mini­mum wage and coll­ec­ti­ve agree­ment regu­la­ti­ons, the frame­work con­di­ti­ons may have chan­ged in the mean­ti­me! (All infor­ma­ti­on wit­hout guarantee.)

Who does not need to pass an examination?

Who does not need to pass an examination?

Only secu­ri­ty staff requi­re a com­pe­tence exami­na­ti­on, which is spe­cial guar­ding acti­vi­ties accor­ding to § 34a GewO or wish to set up their own secu­ri­ty com­pa­ny. The acti­vi­ties that may only be car­ri­ed out with the 34a licence include, in par­ti­cu­lar, guar­ding in public are­as, at admis­si­on are­as or in various secu­ri­ty acti­vi­ties in a mana­ge­ri­al posi­ti­on: More here.
Howe­ver, even if you want to car­ry out an acti­vi­ty for which the suc­cessful pas­sing of a cer­ti­fi­ca­te of com­pe­tence exami­na­ti­on is actual­ly man­da­to­ry, the­re are cer­tain excep­ti­ons. Not all per­sons need the cer­ti­fi­ca­te of com­pe­tence, even if they car­ry out regu­la­ted guar­ding acti­vi­ties or are self-employ­ed as a secu­ri­ty con­trac­tor with their own secu­ri­ty company.

Who is exempt from the 34a examination…

Basi­cal­ly appli­es: Anyo­ne who has com­ple­ted a hig­her-level trai­ning or fur­ther trai­ning with a reco­g­nis­ed (IHK) qua­li­fi­ca­ti­on in the secu­ri­ty indus­try does not need an addi­tio­nal cer­ti­fi­ca­te of competence!

But be careful! The­re are a few more pit­falls. Here are the details on the exemp­ti­on from the expert know­ledge examination:

A per­son is exempt from the expert know­ledge exami­na­ti­on if he…

…has suc­cessful­ly pas­sed the cor­re­spon­ding final exami­na­ti­on. Pro­of of this can be pro­vi­ded by pre­sen­ting the respec­ti­ve exami­na­ti­on certificate.

I have suc­cessful­ly com­ple­ted the so-cal­led “plant secu­ri­ty cour­ses”. Is this the same as the exami­na­ti­on for expert knowledge?

No! The fac­to­ry secu­ri­ty cour­ses (fac­to­ry secu­ri­ty cour­se 1–2 or 1–4) are — wit­hout suc­cessful­ly pas­sing the exami­na­ti­on to beco­me a fac­to­ry secu­ri­ty spe­cia­list — not equi­va­lent! You need the expert exami­na­ti­on. In addi­ti­on, the IHK works pro­tec­tion spe­cia­list exami­na­ti­on is no lon­ger offered. 

I was in the armed forces. Do I still have to take the examination?

Basi­cal­ly alre­a­dy. Cau­ti­on is advi­sed here: As a per­son doing basic mili­ta­ry ser­vice, a tem­po­ra­ry sol­dier or a pro­fes­sio­nal sol­dier, you have to take the expert know­ledge exami­na­ti­on — regard­less of whe­ther you are curr­ent­ly obli­ged to be a sol­dier or not — if you (addi­tio­nal­ly) want to work in the pri­va­te secu­ri­ty sec­tor and per­form the cor­re­spon­ding guar­ding tasks. The only excep­ti­on is for mili­ta­ry poli­ce, i.e. the mili­ta­ry poli­ce of the Ger­man Armed Forces. Mili­ta­ry poli­ce offi­cers are exempt from the expert know­ledge exami­na­ti­on, as mili­ta­ry poli­ce offi­cers have acqui­red a lar­ge part of the know­ledge requi­red in the expert know­ledge exami­na­ti­on during their trai­ning cour­ses. Mili­ta­ry poli­ce offi­cers or ser­geants, for exam­p­le, do not need to take a Cham­ber of Indus­try and Com­mer­ce (IHK) exami­na­ti­on; the pro­of is pro­vi­ded by the Bundeswehr’s trai­ning or ser­vice record. All other sol­diers must acqui­re the 34a certificate.

Do I need a cer­ti­fi­ca­te of com­pe­tence as a poli­ce officer?

The­re are excep­ti­ons both for poli­ce offi­cers at sta­te level (Land poli­ce) and at fede­ral level (Bun­des­po­li­zei). By the way, the same appli­es to employees in the cor­rec­tion­al ser­vice and to the wea­pons-car­ry­ing area of the cus­toms ser­vice. It is important to note that the obli­ga­ti­on to take the exami­na­ti­on is only wai­ved if you work in law enforce­ment and have suc­cessful­ly com­ple­ted the cor­re­spon­ding care­er exami­na­ti­on — at least for the inter­me­dia­te ser­vice. Poli­ce offi­cers who work as civil ser­vants in the poli­ce enforce­ment ser­vice the­r­e­fo­re do not need a cer­ti­fi­ca­te of com­pe­tence. Many poli­ce offi­cers earn extra money pri­va­te­ly, e.g. as door­men. Espe­ci­al­ly in conur­ba­ti­ons whe­re life is expen­si­ve, such as Munich, Stutt­gart, Frank­furt, Ham­burg, Ber­lin or Düs­sel­dorf, a part-time job in a secu­ri­ty com­pa­ny is a good way to earn extra money. Tip on the side: Make sure that you inform your (main) employ­er about your side job and ide­al­ly have it appro­ved in writing.

I stu­di­ed law, have an LL.B. or a sta­te law degree. Do I real­ly still need to take the expert know­ledge examination?

It’s hard to belie­ve: but of cour­se, a (part-time) job in the secu­ri­ty indus­try can also be inte­res­t­ing for pro­s­pec­ti­ve lawy­ers, be it to finan­ce their stu­dies or to gain impres­si­ons of the indus­try. Of cour­se: In the field of law (public safe­ty and order, trade law, data pro­tec­tion law, cri­mi­nal law and cri­mi­nal pro­ce­du­re law, civil code, code of cri­mi­nal pro­ce­du­re, etc.) law gra­dua­tes are alre­a­dy fit. That’s why you only need to catch up on the topics of acci­dent pre­ven­ti­on in the secu­ri­ty indus­try (UVV, DGUV regu­la­ti­on 23), deal­ing with peo­p­le and the basics of secu­ri­ty tech­no­lo­gy. A cer­ti­fi­ca­te of par­ti­ci­pa­ti­on in the IHK ins­truc­tion pro­ce­du­re ser­ves as pro­of of this. Tog­e­ther with a cer­ti­fi­ca­te of suc­cessful com­ple­ti­on of a law degree at a uni­ver­si­ty or aca­de­my that awards a degree equi­va­lent to a uni­ver­si­ty degree, no addi­tio­nal com­ple­ti­on of the expert know­ledge exami­na­ti­on pur­su­ant to §34a GewO is required.

I have been working as a secu­ri­ty guard for many years. Is work expe­ri­ence not enough recognition?

No, not nor­mal­ly! Howe­ver, the­re are cer­tain tran­si­tio­nal arran­ge­ments for “vete­ran” secu­ri­ty workers. Employees in the pri­va­te secu­ri­ty sec­tor who have par­ti­ci­pa­ted in the requi­red trai­ning sin­ce 1 April 1996 or who were alre­a­dy working in the secu­ri­ty sec­tor befo­re 31 March 1996 and were pre­vious­ly exempt from trai­ning due to this cut-off date regu­la­ti­on are, so to speak, “grand­fa­the­red”. Atten­ti­on: This exemp­ti­on may only be invo­ked if it can be shown that the guar­ding acti­vi­ty was unin­ter­rupt­ed for at least three years befo­re the cut-off date of 1 Janu­ary 2003. For all others who have only been acti­ve in the secu­ri­ty indus­try sin­ce 2003, such exemp­ti­ons do not app­ly.
So it is com­pli­ca­ted! My tip: It is bet­ter to invest in taking the qua­li­fi­ca­ti­on exami­na­ti­on and bene­fit from a “know­ledge update” even as an expe­ri­en­ced secu­ri­ty employee!

Atten­ti­on: Spe­cial cases!

The­re are some other spe­cial cases, such as the pos­si­ble reco­gni­ti­on of for­eign cer­ti­fi­ca­tes of com­pe­tence. It is also not always clear whe­ther the type of acti­vi­ty to be per­for­med requi­res a qua­li­fi­ca­ti­on exami­na­ti­on at all. If it is a mat­ter of simp­le ste­war­ding acti­vi­ties (e.g. car park ushers) or sim­ply che­cking and tearing off admis­si­on tickets, the­re is usual­ly no need for an expert know­ledge exami­na­ti­on, and in some cases not even the ins­truc­tion accor­ding to § 34a GewO. Howe­ver, bor­der­line cases such as super­vi­si­on or secu­ri­ty ser­vices in muse­ums or cer­tain con­stel­la­ti­ons of acti­vi­ties in event pro­tec­tion are some­ti­mes con­tro­ver­si­al. (Such bor­der­line cases are dis­cus­sed again in sepa­ra­te artic­les here on the Info­por­tal).
An important note: To be on the safe side, ask the Cham­ber of Indus­try and Com­mer­ce (IHK) and the com­pe­tent aut­ho­ri­ty whe­ther your qua­li­fi­ca­ti­on is suf­fi­ci­ent or whe­ther you also have to take the IHK exami­na­ti­on accor­ding to § 34a GewO. You will then recei­ve legal­ly secu­re, per­so­nal infor­ma­ti­on. If you are new to pri­va­te secu­ri­ty, you are then allo­wed to car­ry out the cor­re­spon­ding acti­vi­ties after your relia­bi­li­ty has been che­cked and you have been assi­gned the guard ID!

What is asked in the examination?

What is asked in the examination?

Exami­na­ti­on topics/contents

The topics of the expert know­ledge exami­na­ti­on in the guar­ding trade (§ 34a GewO) are

  1. Law of public safe­ty and order inclu­ding trade law,
  2. Data pro­tec­tion law,
  3. Civil Code,
  4. Cri­mi­nal law and cri­mi­nal pro­ce­du­re, hand­ling weapons,
  5. Acci­dent pre­ven­ti­on regu­la­ti­on for guard and secu­ri­ty services,
  6. Deal­ing with peo­p­le, espe­ci­al­ly beha­viour in dan­ge­rous situa­tions, de-escala­ti­on tech­ni­ques in con­flict situa­tions as well as inter­cul­tu­ral com­pe­tence with spe­cial atten­ti­on to diver­si­ty and social diver­si­ty and
  7. Basic prin­ci­ples of safe­ty engineering.


It is par­ti­cu­lar­ly important for pre­pa­ra­ti­on that some sub­ject are­as count twice. In par­ti­cu­lar the legal con­tents are with regard to the scoring stron­ger weigh­tedname­ly con­cre­te­ly Law of public safe­ty and order, Civil Code and Cri­mi­nal law and cri­mi­nal pro­ce­du­re.

The num­ber of ques­ti­ons and the maxi­mum points to be achie­ved in the overview:

  • Public secu­ri­ty law: 4 ques­ti­ons / 8 points
  • Gewer­be­recht (GewO / BewachV): 4 ques­ti­ons / 4 points
  • Data pro­tec­tion law (BDSG/DSGVO): 4 ques­ti­ons / 4 points
  • Civil Law (BGB): 12 ques­ti­ons / 24 points
  • Cri­mi­nal law / cri­mi­nal pro­ce­du­re law: 12 ques­ti­ons / 24 points
  • Wea­pons Act (WaffG): 4 ques­ti­ons / 4 points
  • Acci­dent pre­ven­ti­on regu­la­ti­ons: 8 ques­ti­ons / 8 points
  • Deal­ing with peo­p­le: 16 ques­ti­ons / 16 points
  • Safe­ty engi­nee­ring: 8 ques­ti­ons / 8 points

Exam ques­ti­ons

When stu­dy­ing, it is best to con­cen­tra­te on exam ques­ti­ons on legal topics. Basic know­ledge is rele­vant here (Basic Law, e.g. sta­te structure/principles) as well as the rele­vant para­graphs from the Cri­mi­nal Code (StGB) and the Civil Code (BGB). Clas­sics are ques­ti­ons on the basic struc­tu­re, legal defi­ni­ti­ons, offen­ces with their cha­rac­te­ristics and offen­ces. You should also place a strong focus on the so-cal­led everyman’s rights (grounds for jus­ti­fi­ca­ti­on and excu­se). In the area of the Code of Cri­mi­nal Pro­ce­du­re (StPO), the pro­vi­sio­nal arrest found in sec­tion 127 is relevant.

Both the writ­ten and oral exami­na­ti­ons cover the topics lis­ted above.
The legal basis is the Sur­veil­lan­ce Ordi­nan­cename­ly § 9 in con­junc­tion with § 7 BewachV. The list of exami­na­ti­on topics or con­tents can be found in Annex 2 of the BewachV.


In this blog of the Sach­kun­de-Info­por­tal, ques­ti­ons are pre­sen­ted again and again that can occur in the exam in this or a simi­lar way.
For more insi­der tips and to stay up to date, you can sub­scri­be to the news­let­ter for free: https://www.sachkunde-34a.de/insider-tipps-lernunterlagen-34a/

What is a 34a examination?

What is a 34a examination?

The expert know­ledge exami­na­ti­on accor­ding to § 34a of the Trade, Com­mer­ce and Indus­try Regu­la­ti­on Act is an ent­ry-level qua­li­fi­ca­ti­on for employees in the pri­va­te secu­ri­ty indus­try. It ser­ves as pro­of of basic know­ledge, espe­ci­al­ly with regard to fun­da­men­tal legal aspects rele­vant to working in the guard and secu­ri­ty ser­vice. In addi­ti­on, the suc­cessful­ly pas­sed expert know­ledge exami­na­ti­on with pro­of from the Cham­ber of Indus­try and Com­mer­ce is a pre­re­qui­si­te for car­ry­ing out spe­cial guar­ding tasks and being allo­wed to beco­me self-employ­ed as a secu­ri­ty contractor.

A cer­ti­fi­ca­te of com­pe­tence is requi­red for the fol­lo­wing activities

As a secu­ri­ty guard (employee), you need pro­of that you have suc­cessful­ly pas­sed an exami­na­ti­on of com­pe­tence at the Cham­ber of Indus­try and Com­mer­ce (IHK) (accor­ding to § 34a GewO) if you pro­vi­de secu­ri­ty in the ent­rance area of dis­co­the­ques in the hos­pi­ta­li­ty indus­try (boun­cers), pat­rols in public traf­fic are­as (e.g. city pat­rols), pat­rols in are­as with actu­al public traf­fic, acti­vi­ties to pro­tect against shop­lif­ters (depart­ment store or store detec­ti­ves). (e.g. city pat­rols), pat­rols in are­as of the pre­mi­ses with actu­al public traf­fic, acti­vi­ties to pro­tect against shop­lif­ters (shop detec­ti­ves), guar­ding of asyl­um and refu­gee accom­mo­da­ti­on (only in a mana­ge­ri­al capa­ci­ty) as well as guar­ding of lar­ge events with pro­tec­ted access (only in a mana­ge­ri­al capacity).

The pur­po­se of the expert know­ledge examination

Why the­re is the expert know­ledge exami­na­ti­on has seve­ral reasons. When pri­va­te indi­vi­du­als — inclu­ding employees of secu­ri­ty com­pa­nies — guard other people’s lives or pro­per­ty, this ent­ails spe­cial duties and a gre­at respon­si­bi­li­ty. As a secu­ri­ty guard, you have to know your rights and the legal limits, i.e. what is allo­wed and what is for­bidden. On the other hand, due to their posi­ti­on as gua­ran­tor, they are obli­ged to pre­vent dama­ge to the cli­ent. In con­trast to the poli­ce, you do not have any spe­cial powers and must the­r­e­fo­re be able to weigh up exact­ly to what ext­ent you are allo­wed to inter­fe­re with the rights of third par­ties in a par­ti­cu­lar situa­ti­on. If you go too far, you run the risk of being char­ged with offen­ces such as depri­va­ti­on of liber­ty or bodi­ly harm. If you sleep on duty and do not com­ply with your duty to pro­tect, you can also end up in court for com­mit­ting an offence by omis­si­on if you cau­se harm. For the­se reasons, among others — lis­ted here as examp­les — it is important to acqui­re the spe­cia­li­sed know­ledge in order to later have the neces­sa­ry con­fi­dence to act in the guar­ding business.

COVID-19 update — IHK spe­cia­list know­ledge examination

COVID-19 update - IHK specialist knowledge examination

In April 2021, in the blog post “Are the­re curr­ent­ly any exami­na­ti­ons at the Cham­ber of Indus­try and Com­mer­ce becau­se of Coro­na?” about the cur­rent sta­te of affairs at that time regar­ding the imple­men­ta­ti­on of IHK pro­fes­sio­nal exami­na­ti­ons. For a while, exams were can­cel­led or post­po­ned. A strict hygie­ne regime applied.
After the back and forth of poli­tics regar­ding covid pro­tec­tion mea­su­res and dif­fe­rent rules, some of which were dif­fi­cult to com­pre­hend fac­tual­ly, a lar­ge part of the pre­vious requi­re­ments have now been repea­led in most fede­ral states.

If you have tes­ted posi­ti­ve for SARS-CoV‑2 and your exami­na­ti­on date is coming up, it is best to enqui­re at the respon­si­ble IHK about the curr­ent­ly pos­si­ble cour­se of action. It is con­ceiva­ble to with­draw from the exam and take it again at a later date or — depen­ding on the fede­ral sta­te — to take it under cer­tain pro­tec­ti­ve measures.

Note: All infor­ma­ti­on is wit­hout gua­ran­tee (as of 20.11.2022). Plea­se note the cur­rent requi­re­ments of the exami­ning IHK or the fede­ral state!

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