Wednesday, January 11, 2017


Lobby at Leica Camera AG

The Wetzlar daily [m]ittelhessen offered a rare look at what criteria Leica uses to hire people to work at their facility in Wetzlar.  They conducted an interview with Leica personnel officer Alexandra Takak.

Unlike most companies in the US, Leica trains many of their employees in house, including opticians, mechanics, electronics specialists and specialist in metal technology.  But what does it actually take to be hired by Leica as an apprentice?

Fabrication of Optics - Aspheric Production - Grinding

Grinding machines for individual lens elements

Not unimportant are the grades achieved in prior education.  The commercial and technical fields include grades in the natural sciences math and physics, while for merchants great emphasis is put on language skills.  Another criterion is the hobbies of the candidates.  Someone who in his spare time likes to take photographs, for instance, has already a closer connection to the company.  Additional importance is put on social skills.  An apprentice must be polite, punctual and reliable.

The new Leica headquarters at Leitz Park in Wetzlar
The bare area at the left is where the upcoming Leitz Park III will be
Photo: Marlies Amling

More specifically, initially Leica teaches their apprentices basic skills.  Later on they will work in areas pertaining to the particular jobs they are seeking. This has led to Leica being able to employ virtually one hundred percent of their trainees.  In addition, the young people can continue their education with additional training and university studies.  Of course top scientific positions, as in lens design, for instance, require university degrees before any individual can seek a position at Leica.

All lens elements are individually tested

Leica also considers it important for the trainees to go beyond the specific requirements of their future position in the company and to have a say in their education.

It should also be mentioned that this approach is free of charge.  Not only are apprentices and trainees able to get an education in specific fields, they will earn an income during this time as well.  In addition, these individuals have the assurance of a job once they have completed their education.


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  1. Seems to me that getting an education at Leica and getting paid makes more sense than going to college and paying for it. The US could learn a lot from that approach.

    1. It is similar with the jobs that require a college education. That is free in Germany (and many other European countries) as well.