German Civil Service

The German word Beamter means civil servant; yet this English translation may be ambiguous, as German law puts public employees into two classes, namely ordinary employees (Angestellte) and Beamte, making a distinction that does not exist in most other national bodies of law. The original idea was that whoever represents the state by doing official duties (hoheitliche Aufgaben), such as issuing official documents or making official decisions, should have a special kind of employment with the state.
Today, such functions are often executed by non-Beamte, which means that the position of Beamte is distinguished by the supposed advantages that it confers, such as a special health plan, an index-linked pension of (at most) 71.5% of the last salary, paid directly by the state instead of the usual public (also state-run) pension insurance, and most importantly, the virtual impossibility of losing one's job (basically, the state may only terminate employment in cases of serious felonies).
There are 4 professional tracks for Beamte, depending on their education, namely, Einfacher Dienst / Simple or lower service ; Mittlerer Dienst / Middle service; Gehobener Dienst / Upper service  and Höherer Dienst / Senior service.
One does not become a Beamter by signing a contract, but rather by receiving a diploma of appointment ("Ernennungsurkunde"); the new Beamter's first task is to swear an oath to uphold the federal constitution (Grundgesetz) and that of the federal state in case he or she is employed by it and not by federal agencies. The three steps in becoming a German Beamter: For each applicant, regardless of which career they choose, there is a rule that they cannot officially be instated or installed Beamter unless they have completed their preparing time/"Vorbereitungsdienst" lasting 1-3 years and which is completed by several oral and written exams and a written work. There are exceptions for highly technical tasks, where this preparatory service is not economical. Two, the preparation or training time is followed by a probation phase during which the newly installed government official is on probation for 3-5 years. And finally, the official becomes a Beamter auf Lebenszeit and thus has the status of an official civil servant of the respective employer/Dienstherr.
The status of Beamter is enjoyed by the staff of public authorities and civil services, but also by policemen, soldiers and officers, most teachers and other professionals, and by holders of political offices such as mayors, ministers, etc. However, for holders of political offices the status of Beamter is not permanent and is only applicable for their period in office.
In Germany, state employees have permanent tenure, i.e. they cannot normally be dismissed, receive some so-called social security privileges and usually get more money than others - besides, they are exempt from all other expenses such as pensionary insurances or unemployment insurance schemes.