Specialist for media and information services

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Specialist for media and information services[edit]

The “Fachangestellter für Medien- und Informationsdienste", (German for "specialist in media and information Services (FaMI)) has been a state-recognized training occupation in Germany since June 3, 1998.


There are five specialisms:

  • Archiving
  • Librarianship
  • Information and documentation
  • Visual resources and
  • Medical documentation

One of the characteristics of the profession of "specialist in media and information services" lies in its intermediary role in the "information society", which requires careful and responsible use of media and information. Fundamental to this is the safe handling and use of technological and organisational tools.

They are capable of analysing tasks on the basis of expertise, identifying solutions and presenting the results. The emergence of a citizen/customer-oriented ability to communicate is to be given particular weight here.

Work locations and areas of application[edit]

Possible places of work include media- and press archives, radio and television, city- and state archives, public- and academic libraries, corporate libraries, information brokers, information- and documentation centers, database providers, visual resource companies, media-centers, museums, hospitals and others health care institutions, pharmaceutical companies, universities and research institutions.

Vocational-education and Training[1][edit]

The training is structured according to the german dual System[2] and takes three years. Under certain conditions, there are opportunities to reduce the duration of training to two and a half or two years. Depending on the training company (public service or private sector), federal- or state-institutions (e.g. the district government of Cologne in North Rhine-Westphalia) or the chambers of industry and commerce[3] form the responsible authority under the BBiG[4]. Due to the overall low number of apprentices, vocational education and training takes place at few central locations, which are distributed among the federal states. In Bavaria for example at the municipal vocational school for media-professions in Munich, in Baden-Wuerttemberg at the Hermann-Gundert-School[5] in Calw, in North-Rhine-Westphalia at four different locations, i. a. at the Joseph-DuMont vocational college[6] in Cologne or at the Karl Schiller vocational college[7] in Dortmund.

Composition according to disciplines[edit]

The five disciplines have different degrees of participation in the total number of apprentices. Due to the fact that about 75% of the trainees come from the libraries, there is still a certain "library burden" of training at the vocational schools. In second place, about 10% is followed by the specialization archive, about 8% is the field of information and documentation, only about 5% comes from the field of medical documentation and only a negligible number of apprentices originates from the visual-resources-agency sector.

Continuing vocational training[edit]

For persons who have already completed another training, there is the possibility of a company intern or company extern retraining, which usually takes two years. In addition, institutions such as the Hessische Verwaltungsschulverband[8] carry out preparatory courses for exam admission as external applicants, especially for lateral entrants with several years of relevant professional practice in libraries, to the final exam in the training occupation "specialist for media and information services".

Educational emphasis[edit]

General training content Specialization-specific content
  • training company
  • Position, legal form, organization and tasks
  • Vocational training, labor- and social law basics
  • Safety and health at work
  • environmental Protection
  • Procurement, development and provision
  • Communication and cooperation
  • Work organization and office economy
  • Information- and communication systems
  • Public relations and advertising
  • Acquisition of documents and other information carriers
  • Development and "utilization" of information carriers
  • Creating finding aids
  • Documentation
  • Technical processing and storage
  • Acquisition
  • Processing of media, stock-maintenance respectively –conservation
  • Usage service and information brokerage
  • Administration and maintenance of data storages
  • Information brokerage and information services
  • Picture broker
  • Marketing
  • Structuring medical information
  • Statistics and information services

Further education opportunities[edit]

Since 2012, the possibility of advancement in training as a specialist for information services exists after completed training. In North Rhine-Westphalia, this extra-occupational advanced training as a certified specialist is organized and carried out by the ZBIW - Center for further education in Library and information-sciences - of the Cologne University of Applied Sciences. The advanced training examinations are taken nationwide by a board of examiners of the district government of Cologne[9]. In Hessen, the Hessischer Verwaltungsschulverband carries out preparatory courses for the information management specialist training course.

Also possible are technical college courses, even part-time, in librarianship or information science for further professional development. In Bavaria, with a high school diploma and successful passing of the exam by the LPA (Landespersonalausschuss)[10], training as a librarian B.A. is possible.

Labour market[edit]

Contrary to the (widespread) fear that there are hardly any jobs for the graduates, the chances of getting a stable job after the vocational training are good to very good. Although there are actually few vacancies in absolute terms, the number of annual training qualifications nationwide is with about 500 also low, so that creates a relatively good relationship. About half of the graduates are taken on by the training institution (some temporary), about one third moves to another employer in the same industry, the remaining fifth is looking for a non-specialist job, further vocational training or studies.

Positive effects on the labor market have, from the viewpoint of job starters or job changers, e.g. following factors:

  • The age structure in libraries and archives after the professionalization wave of the 1960s/1970s is structured in such a way that a relatively large number of skilled workers retire from work for reasons of age and accordingly make jobs available.
  • FaMIs cause significantly less personnel expenses for the employer than e.g. archivists or librarians. In times of tight public funds, despite the lower professional qualifications, FaMIs are preferred for financial reasons against academically trained specialists.
  • Particularly in the library sector, the proportion of female employees is very high at around 80%. This means that the proportion of employees who drop out of work temporarily or permanently before reaching retirement age (e.g. in connection with parenting) is also higher than in occupations with predominantly male employees.


  • Bundesinstitut für Berufsbildung, ed. (2001), Erläuterungen zur Verordnung über die Berufsausbildung zum Fachangestellten für Medien- und Informationsdienste / zur Fachangestellten für Medien- und Informationsdienste in der Fachrichtung Archiv, in der Fachrichtung Bibliothek, in der Fachrichtung Information und Dokumentation, in der Fachrichtung Bildagentur, in der Fachrichtung Medizinische Dokumentation (in German) (2., erw. ed.), Nürnberg: Bildung und Wissen, ISBN 3-8214-7123-9, Erl. und Red.: Sabine Kahn u. a.; BerufsbildungsserieCS1 maint: Unrecognized language (link)



  1. "Jobstarter - KAUSA Glossary - Vocational-education and training". www.jobstarter.de (in Deutsch). Retrieved 2018-11-19.
  2. "BIBB GOVET / Dual VET in Germany". www.bibb.de. Retrieved 2018-11-19.
  3. "Jobstarter - KAUSA Glossary - Chambers of industry and commerce". www.jobstarter.de (in Deutsch). Retrieved 2018-11-19.
  4. "Jobstarter - KAUSA Glossary BBiG". www.jobstarter.de (in Deutsch). Retrieved 2018-11-19.
  5. "Hermann Gundert Schule in Calw Bildungszentrum Biotechnologie Wirtschaft Sozialwissenschaft Berufsschule Berufskolleg Berufsfachschule - HGS CALW". hgs-calw.de (in Deutsch). Retrieved 2018-11-19.
  6. "Joseph-DuMont-Berufskolleg - selbstorganisiert und mediengestützt lernen an einer guten, gesunden Schule". www.jdbk.de (in Deutsch). Retrieved 2018-11-19.
  7. "Home". www.ksbk-do.de (in Deutsch). Retrieved 2018-11-19.
  8. Verwaltungsschulverband, Hessischer. "Seminare in der Ausbildung und Fortbildung - Hessischer Verwaltungsschulverband - HVSV". www.hvsv.de (in Deutsch). Retrieved 2018-11-19.
  9. Wruck, Martin Mirgel, Oliver. "Bezirksregierung Köln | Ihr Verwaltungsdienstleister in der Region". bezreg-koeln.nrw.de (in Deutsch). Retrieved 2018-11-19.
  10. "LPA-Startseite". www.lpa.bayern.de. Retrieved 2018-11-19.


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