Average salaries in Germany – by profession, area, group and region

Average level of salaries in Germany for 2020. How much do representatives of different professions in Germany earn on average.

Wages in Germany

The average monthly salary of a full-time German worker in 2020 is € 3810 gross, excluding bonuses and overtime surcharges.

Let’s define that for comparison of income, the basis is taken as a monthly or annual payment for a job. Hourly wages or profits of legal entities are not included in the statistics.

In German, salary – Gehalt – remuneration received by employees on a monthly basis.

The main problem with finding out the level of wages in Germany is that the Germans are extremely reluctant to share this information . In private conversations, asking colleagues about income is expressly prohibited by contracts in many firms. It will hardly be possible for acquaintances to talk about this topic. Even when vacancies are published, the salary is usually not indicated, but is negotiated separately at the interview. As a result, those sitting at neighboring tables in the office, with practically the same indicators, can earn in different ways, and, moreover, significantly.

It is good that there are data from the labor exchange, which are regularly published on the official website .

These are average values. In each case, the salary differs in one direction or another.

The next source is sites that collect information about income anonymously. People share information on condition of anonymity, everything is entered into a common database, which makes it possible to calculate certain averaged values ​​for various parameters. You shouldn’t rely on such data. Nobody checks the accuracy of the information entered.

Separately, for migrants, I will note: often the earnings of foreigners are lower than those of their German colleagues , simply because otherwise why would they hire a foreigner? This is not only due to differences in qualifications or more hours worked per week. Large differences in wages are noticeable even among professionals who are at the same level in experience and education.

When comparing German salaries, for example, with Russian ones, keep in mind that in Germany the contract specifies the amount before taxes . First of all, I wonder how many people get their hands on. For a complete understanding of wages in Germany, you need to understand how the net is calculated from the German gross wages , as well as get more statistics.

In the countries of the former USSR, as a rule, the employer names the amount that the employee receives in his hands, and pays additional taxes and social contributions. If we mentally add the costs incurred by the employer to Russian earnings, the contrast with German incomes is not so striking.

In Germany, a person is considered to be below the poverty line if income is 60% of the national average monthly income.

Dependence of income on specialty

Profession is the main criterion for the level of remuneration.

Higher education in Germany does not guarantee high wages. But in general, in comparison with other groups of workers, on average, university graduates earn more.

If German students chose their future profession solely based on income, the choice would be obvious – engineer, doctor or lawyer.

Specialty Average gross annual income
The medicine 79538 €
Jurisprudence 74,013 €
Engineer 70 288 €
Programming 68133 €
Natural Sciences 66 954 €
Economy 65404 €
Architecture 55 822 €
Psychology 55204 €
Geology and other earth sciences 53,713 €
Politics and society 52 974 €
Pedagogy 50,000 €
Philosophy 47022 €
History and culture 46 836 €
Design 46,075 €
Parenting, social pedagogy 45 116 €

Statistics do not allow you to get an accurate idea of ​​income above 5700 €, as it is collected by the size of pension contributions, which grow only up to a certain limit, and then remain fixed.

In addition to the above professions, company managers and other managers could get to the first lines, but there the connection with the specialty in the diploma is not so obvious.

Linguists and sociologists earn the worst in Germany among those with higher education. For linguists, the problem is a large number of job seekers: there are 25 unemployed per open position.

Not always the size of wages determines supply and demand. Yes, in the industrial sector the lack of specialists has a positive effect on the income of workers, but in the civil service the situation is different.

For example, the situation with social workers. They can often find a place only in the civil service, relying on an average of 3750 € gross. At the same time, due to the influx of refugees in Germany, there are 92 vacancies per 100 unemployed with a degree in social sciences.

Professions that do not require higher education

To receive a decent salary in Germany, it is not at all necessary to have a university degree. Statistics show that among the professions requiring secondary education there are enough of those that allow you to earn at the level of owners of higher education.

And here there are clear leaders – this applies primarily to aviation.

A bank clerk or an important account manager in a German trading company earns on average at the bachelor’s level in the first 3 years after graduation.

Profession Gross salary per year
Air traffic controller 67,558 €
Pilot 62,986 €
Principal Account Manager 39540
Logist 39175 €
Clerk in a financial institution 38084
IT consultant 37 083 €
Programmer after Ausbildung 35006
Insurance agent 34 436 €
Insurance company employee 33 905 €
Machine seller 33 693 €
Manufacturing designer € 33682
Builder 33 152 €
Draftsman 31 894 €
Locksmith € 31405

The lowest salaries in Germany are for beauticians, hairdressers, waiters.

Profession Annual income in €
Cosmetologist 21820
The hairdresser 21832
Waiter 22628
Baker 23649
Dental Technician 23682
Dentist assistant 23763
Call center employee 24200
Receptionist 24216
Cook 24540
Shop assistant 24999
Optician 25313
Physician assistant 25393
Auto Mechanic 25795
Legal assistant 26000
Physiotherapist 26165
Travel agency employee 26268

Dependence of payment on activities

The salary in Germany is highly dependent on the branch of the German industry in which the firm does business. There are traditionally more money-saturated areas, where the very belonging to the labor market forces you to pay more, since otherwise good specialists will be taken away by competitors.

Monthly pay Field of activity
5338 € Finance and insurance
5126 € Information Technology
5041 € Energy
4900 € Freelancers
4367 € Education and teaching
4128 € The property
4092 € Extraction of minerals
4024 € Arts, entertainment, recreation
4012 € Industry
3893 € The medicine
3636 € Trade
3444 € Water supply
3219 € Building
3055 € Transport, logistics
2425 € Hotel business

The size of the firm has a significant impact on the average income of workers in Germany.

  • 1-20 people – 36165 €
  • 21-50 – 40867 €
  • 51-100 – 43204 €
  • 101-1000 – 49451 €
  • > 1000 – 61108 €

Comparison of wages of men and women

Anyone who is even slightly interested in Germany knows for sure that feminism is firmly on its feet here and politicians are fighting for gender equality as if the coming of a bright future depends on it. However, the fact remains that women earn on average 21% less per hour than men. The pay gap between German men and women is one of the largest in the European Union.

Over the years, this difference gradually decreases, but the pace is extremely low. The problem here is not so much inequality as it is that women tend to work part-time . Without attending 40 hours a week at work, talking about a promotion with your boss will be extremely difficult. In addition, the accumulation of experience is slower. Well, women themselves are often more interested in the availability of a job than in an increase in their wages, therefore they do not particularly claim to be raised. There are also enough careerists among German women, but the overall picture is the following.

In 2017, Germany passed a law allowing employees of enterprises with 200 or more employees to request information on the salaries of colleagues in comparable positions. And firms with more than 500 workers are required to regularly publish data on average wages for all positions themselves. According to the government, these measures will allow women to gain more arguments in a conversation with the boss about increasing wages. In turn, the bosses, publishing such data, can slow down the growth of income for men.

Dependence of salaries on age

Intuitively, the older a person gets, the more experience he accumulates and the higher the income. It makes no sense to draw a direct relationship between wages and age in Germany – no one pays workers more, just because they have become older. But an indirect link between experience and income can be traced.

Age In the age group
20 € 30,025
25 € 36956
thirty 42 170 €
35 46542 €
40 48424 €
45 € 48 958
50 49660 €
55 49 823 €
60 50,064 €

Dependence of German salaries on the region

If you look at the place of residence, the highest salaries in Germany are paid in Hessen, which is not surprising. There is Frankfurt am Main – the European financial center. Earning a little less on average in Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria and Hamburg. The lowest level of earnings in the states of eastern Germany. Capital Berlin is roughly in the middle in this regard.

Earth Percentage of average German
Hesse 114.1%
Baden-Württemberg 108.6%
Hamburg 105.9%
Bavaria 105.1%
North Rhine-Westphalia 100.8%
Rhineland-Palatinate 98.3%
Bremen 95.8%
Saar 95%
Berlin 94.5%
Lower saxony 91.8%
Schleswig-Holstein 88.3%
Thuringia 81%
Saxony 79.9%
Brandenburg 78.9%
Saxony-Anhalt 78.9%
Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania 75.9%

Dynamics of salary growth in Germany

On average, the income of Germans grows by 2-3% annually. Such growth covers inflation, because prices also rise by about this amount, which is completely normal for the capitalist model of the world.

Year Gross
2018 35 380 €
2017 34306 €
2016 33 396 €
2015 32486 €
2014 31,600 €
2013 31 089 €
2012 30,432 €
2011 28 333 €
2010 27997 €
2009 27 728 €
2008 27 827 €
2007 27196 €
2006 26 765 €

It is even more interesting to look at the dynamics of net income of burghers.

Year Net
2018 23 345 €
2017 22 652 €
2016 22162 €
2015 € 21607
2014 € 21134
2013 20 594 €
2012 20 212 €
2011 19 729 €
2010 19240 €
2009 € 18498
2008 € 18479
2007 18161 €
2006 € 17981

Examples of German salaries for specific professions

Civil servants

Policeman – 2800-4059 €

The service of a police officer (Polizist) in Germany takes place in various types of police, from service at the city station to the criminal department. The salary of a German police officer is highly dependent on the specific position and class.

Depending on the direction of service (Laufbahn), the requirements for those wishing to become police officers are different, but in general, an absence of offenses, an impeccable reputation, good physical shape and psychological stability are required. School grades play a big role in the desire to become an investigator or forensic scientist.

Soldier – 2210-3486 €

In Germany, a professional army, therefore, any soldier (Soldat) has a salary, like other professionals.

Physically healthy, psychologically stable young people are chosen to join the ranks of the Bundeswehr. However, the army also requires other specialists, ranging from plumbers to programmers, so in principle anyone can become a soldier in Germany if they can fulfill the admission standards.

The salary of the military depends on the length of service, position, rank and availability of military specialties.

White collar workers – office workers

Judge – 4187-6449 €

In order to work as a judge in Germany (Richter), you need to graduate from a university, pass a state exam, then go through two or three years of preparation, pass two more exams, and then you can start working with a probationary period of two years, during which you constantly face expulsion from positions at any time and without explanation.

It goes without saying that judges must be independent, including financially, therefore the salary of the arbiter of destinies in Germany is much higher than the average.

Lawyer – 2248-4444 €

To work as a lawyer in Germany (Anwalt), you will have to get a higher education in law and pass a state exam. Then you need to undergo practice (Referendar), which ends with the second state exam.

A lawyer most often works for hire in a lawyer’s office until he starts his own business as a private entrepreneur. It is also possible to get a job in various companies that are engaged in legal services, verification of contracts and other documents. It will not be superfluous to be a lawyer in a company that makes money in the field of production or trade.

The work of a lawyer is consultations in the field of legislation, preparation of legal claims, protection of the client’s interests in court.

Tax consultant – 4552-7206 €

Tax consultants (Steuerberater) in Germany are one of the most prestigious professions. The learning process in the field of taxes is complex – endless study of laws, rules, filling out forms will require attentiveness, concentration and perseverance.

Tax consultants work as private entrepreneurs, in tax consultations, or as employees in large companies.

The main activity of tax consultants in Germany is assistance in filling out tax returns for individuals and maintaining financial statements for companies.

Accountant – 2977-4064 €

In Germany, accountant (Buchhalter) is not a separate profession. The specialty is obtained on courses or as part of another educational process, for example, in the course of training for a tax consultant.

In German companies, accounting is rarely done by a single employee. There are many other responsibilities for those who manage financial reporting.

Small firms do not have an accountant, but use external consultants, hiring them on an hourly basis when necessary. In Germany, accountants are often entrepreneurs serving several firms at once.

Interior designer – 2350-3419 €

Interior designers (Innenarchitekt) are a profession at the intersection of architecture, materials science and art. The challenge is to design the premises so that it is practical, safe and beautiful.

Very often it is the latter that influences the salaries of interior designers the most. The ability to create beauty without forgetting about reliability and practicality will allow you to accumulate an impressive portfolio.

There are two ways to obtain the title of Innenarchitekt – through direct training at the university, or as an additional title for sculptors or artists, acquired through practice and theoretical studies.

Musician – 2479-5017 €

A musician in Germany (Musiker) often works as a private entrepreneur. The main source of income is teaching children to play musical instruments, performing in orchestras or groups.

For thousands of hours of study at a music school or university, a professional gets the opportunity to work under the special Freiberufler status – as a free worker , which leads to significant tax benefits.

It is clear that the amount of a musician’s earnings depends on personal professional qualities and the ability to devote themselves to their work.

Notary – 1919-3035 €

A notary (Notar) acts as an intermediary in the conclusion of serious transactions, certifies copies and translations of documents.

In Germany, this work is combined with other legal activities. Of the 6,000 notaries in Germany, 75% concurrently practice law.

Training for the profession of a notary lasts 3 years and allows you to work only in this specialty. But you can get permission to conduct notarial activities to any lawyer who fulfills the required conditions: legal education, 5 years of work experience, exam.

Secretary – 2003 – 3071 €

The secretary (Sekretär), more often the secretary (Sekretärin), is responsible for supporting the boss in organizing work activities. Papers, scheduling meetings and business trips, and other “routine” – this is the area of ​​responsibility of secretaries.

There is no separate education for the profession, usually there are specialists in the organization of office work – Bürokaufmann / -frau.

Excellent knowledge of the language, and not only German, is practically necessary.

Social worker – 2490-3300 €

Social workers (Sozialarbeiter) work in Germany in orphanages and nursing homes, care centers for the helpless and shelters for the homeless, support the disabled and the elderly.

Social workers can find jobs in government agencies, healthcare facilities, legal advice centers, and emergency services.

Vocational training in a specialty takes 3 years, after which it is necessary to pass a state exam. Candidates will be required to have excellent knowledge of German, resistance to stressful situations, and the ability and desire to communicate with people.

Medical professions

Nurse – 2309-3146 €

There are several names for the nursing profession in Germany – Krankenpflegerin, Krankenschwester or Pflegefachkraft.

The bottom line is the same – after three years of training in basic medical skills and patient care, you can go to look for work in a hospital, clinic, nursing home and other places where hard work is required for those in need.

Although the profession is responsible and very difficult, nurses and brothers do not earn much. There are not enough people willing to earn a living in this specialty in Germany, therefore there is an acute shortage of workers in the field of patient care.

Head of Nursing Service – 3072-4204 €

Germany has a widespread network of special services that support people in difficult times of life, when they become helpless due to illness or accidents (Pflegedienst). Nurses work in this service, and managers – Pflegedienstleitung manage.

The task of the head of the service is to organize the work of subordinates.

Due to a shortage of workers, managers often have to act as orderlies themselves and look after the charges. This position is mainly held by experienced workers who have spent thousands of hours in the role of a nurse or assistant.

Nurse – 2380-3688 €

The orderly (Pfleger) is one of the most demanded professions in Germany. Caring for the helpless sick, disabled and elderly requires special qualities that not everyone possesses.

You need to be physically strong and healthy, since you will have to lift and carry a lot of those who are not able to walk themselves. Possess a mass of medical and household knowledge so as not to harm the wards. We must not forget about human qualities in order to take care of people in the most difficult periods of life. Moral stability is a must!

To work as an orderly in Germany, you need to get a vocational education and pass the state exam. This is one of the few professions that a migrant without higher education can take, but with a medical secondary, although this will require at least a year of work as an intern.

Physiotherapist – 1907-2507 €

Physiotherapeutist in Germany receives education in 3 years. Its task is to help people recover from injuries or develop the physical abilities of disabled people through exercise, gymnastics and massage.

This specialty allows you to work in clinics and rehabilitation centers. Also, the services of a physiotherapist may be needed in a hotel with a SPA service, in a sports club or fitness center.

Good physiotherapists have the highest income, who open their own private offices, where they receive patients on prescription and carry out prescribed procedures.

Ergotherapist – 1979-2706 €

Ergotherapeut is a specialist in the rehabilitation of sensory motility, reaction, sense of touch. His job is to help recover from severe injuries associated with partial or complete loss of coordination. Erotherapists also work with people with disabilities, trying to develop their weaknesses through games and exercises.

Usually a profession is obtained through a three-year training process in vocational schools. There is also an opportunity to get higher education in this specialty.

Erotherapists usually work in their clinics, as private entrepreneurs or assistants, as well as in large rehabilitation centers, as hired workers.

Pharmacist – 2520-2998 €

A pharmacist (Pharmazeut) in Germany works in the development, research and production of medicines. It is also not uncommon for pharmacists to occupy a place at the counters of pharmacies, like workers well versed in medicines.

You can also find a place in government agencies dealing with the admission of drugs to the market and conducting testing.

In terms of training, this is usually a secondary vocational education for 3 years, but there is also a higher education that allows you to work in research areas.

Pharmacist – 2518-2984 €

A pharmacist (Apotheker) in Germany is not the one who sells medicines in a pharmacy, but the owner of the pharmacy itself. Although also nothing prevents pharmacists from working in other areas of pharmaceuticals, from drug production to marketing.

After completing training as a pharmacist, you need to go through another year of practice – Approbation – in order to obtain the status of a pharmacist. Then you can choose to open your own company or join an existing one.

Blue collars – working specialties

Confectioner – 1510-2264 €

The confectioner (Konditor) is engaged in baking various sweets. To work, you will have to undergo serious professional training for three years and pass the state exam.

Pastry chefs work in bakeries, cafes and restaurants, sometimes in hotels with a large number of guests, as well as in sweet pastry factories.

It’s a pretty hard job with the need for night shifts, but the salaries of pastry chefs in Germany are not the highest.

Painter – 2044-2694 €

The painter (Maler) is engaged in exterior and interior painting of buildings. It sounds very simple, but in fact, the correct high-quality interior decoration is a whole science!

Painter training lasts three years, most of the time is spent on practical activities. You will have to master the painting and varnishing of various materials, study the impact of the external environment and many other aspects of the work.

We must not forget about the creative component of the profession, because in the end the goal of the painter is to make it beautiful!

Carpenter – 1929 – 2615 €

Carpenter (Zimmerer or Zimmermann) is a profession so ancient that now it even seems outdated. But if you think about it, woodworking is still relevant!

Roof frames, doors, wooden furniture, fences, interior decoration and many other things require processing of wooden materials, which means that the hands of a carpenter are still valuable.

Profession training lasts 3 years. A funny detail – they prefer to take physically strong guys with strong backs as students, since in work they often have to lift and carry weights.

Plumber – 2130-3330 €

Plumber (Installateur) in Germany is engaged in the installation and maintenance of various sanitary equipment: water supply, sewerage, gas supply and the like.

The training lasts 3 years and includes a large number of practical lessons.

Electrician – 2354-3356 €

Electricians (Elektriker) are responsible for the assembly, repair and maintenance of electrical networks.

Studying in Germany lasts three and a half years, usually theory is combined with active practice.

Recently, the profession was renamed Elektroniker, expanding the range of work towards the infrastructure of information systems, telephone networks and other methods of data transfer.

Electrical engineer – 2336-3352 €

Electrical technicians (Elektroniker) work in Germany in a wide variety of branches. Energy, construction, industrial automation, and other industries that require care of electronic mechanisms.

The process of studying electrical engineering in Germany is usually limited to three to three and a half years.

Mechanical engineer – 3280-4859 €

A mechanic in mechanical engineering (Maschinenbauer) can work in Germany in the production, adjustment and repair of machine tools, robots and other industrial machines. There are many specializations for the profession.

Often, in addition to theoretical knowledge of mechanical engineering, mechanics also have quite practical skills, for example, locksmith or welding.

A specific profession as a mechanic in Germany can be achieved in three years through professional education.

Car seller – 2394-3934 €

Car dealers in Germany (Automobilverkäufer) help customers choose the make and model of a car, advise on various operating issues, and place an order.

To become a car dealer at a German auto show, a secondary education in trade is required. Also, other technical automotive specialists can retrain in the field of sales of vehicles. Autohouses first train sellers for six months, of which at least 3 weeks are devoted to theory. To obtain specialization in certain types of models or in various brands, employees attend seminars.

The most important component of a car salesman’s work is the ability to communicate with customers, inspire confidence and positive emotions.

Bus driver – 1901-2549 €

In addition to having the relevant German license categories , a bus driver (Busfahrer) in Germany must complete vocational training, which lasts 3 years.

Just being able to turn the steering wheel is not enough! The driver must provide service to passengers, sell tickets, monitor the condition of the bus.

The place of work of the bus driver is urban transport, intercity flights or school routes.

Subway driver – 1978 – 2719 €

The subway train driver (U-Bahn-Fahrer) is a special case of the locomotive driver who is focused on working in the subway.

The task of the metro driver is to drive the train according to the schedule, control the disembarkation and embarkation of passengers, monitor the state of the train.

Working in the German metro is a prestigious, high-paying occupation that does not require a long education process.

Pilot – 4386-11139 €

The pilot profession in Germany is in demand on passenger airlines, in the military and transport sectors.

Pilot training takes place in connection with a specific company or organization in professional schools. Tuition is paid. To obtain a flight license, you must listen to theory, practice and pass exams. It will take two to three years. A pilot license for a small motor aircraft will cost about € 20,000.

Then you need to look for a job and not lose skills – a simple pilot leads to the loss of a license. Those who are lucky will be able to get a job in a large company, where they will pay for retraining. However, there is no shortage of pilots in Germany; many licensed ones do not advance further than amateur flights at air clubs.

Work that does not require qualifications

Maid – 1461-1699 €

Hotel cleaning (Zimmermädchen) in Germany is one of the lowest paid professions that does not require high qualifications. Anyone can work as a maid.

However, hotel directors and hiring managers started out as Roomboy. Having gained experience in the hotel business, seeing everything from the very bottom of the career ladder, it is easier to comprehend many details of the organization of hotels.

Hotel administrator – 1748-2409 €

The visiting card of the hotel is the person at the reception (Rezeptionist). In Russian, the name of the profession can be most adequately translated as “hotel administrator”.

This is the person who meets, registers and accommodates guests, and also answers all possible questions related to the stay at the hotel.

There is no training in colleges for this profession in Germany. The reception desk willingly accepts people who know how to do work in offices or hotels, who know foreign languages, who can communicate and not forget important things.

Waiter – 1515-2051 €

To become a waiter (Kellner) in Germany does not require education, but only skill and quickness.

Often, part-time students work as waiters. In the statistics, salaries are listed as if they were working 8 hours a day and 40 hours a week. In fact, many do not work every day, so the real wages are even lower.

And of course, tips don’t count towards earnings!

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