As an overseas education aspirant, you need to consider various factors before choosing an international destination for your higher studies. Quality of education, cost of living, the scope of the degree program, job opportunities, payscale, ROI (Return on Investment), etc., are some of the aspects you need to research before you arrive at a decision. In this article, we will talk about the payscale in Germany according to different professions and regions.
The economy of Germany is the fourth largest in the world by nominal GDP and personal income. Germany provides thriving career opportunities, a safe work environment, free healthcare and generous remuneration, supporting the growth and prosperity of its lower and middle-class population. There is no dearth of job opportunities for international students who graduate from German universities. However, you may need clarity about the salary structure and ensure that you can recover your ROI (cost incurred for your studies) after you graduate and find a job. We will answer the below questions to help you understand how much one can earn as a student and a professional in Germany.
Table of contents
This article answers all the above questions. The data in this article are collected from the Federal Employment Agency website.
1. Do you know about the recent minimum wage law in Germany?
As per the German Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs directive, the minimum hourly wage was increased to 9.60 euros with effect from July 1, 2021. The national minimum wage will eventually be hiked to 10.45 euros per hour by the mid of 2022. This directive was aimed to benefit the vast 2 million low-wage population working in odd jobs, international students who take up part-time jobs to support their studies and other expatriates. The standard minimum wage rule protects employees from being paid an unjust salary and helps people maintain a basic standard of living. If you take up any job in Germany and put in 40 hours a week, you can take home a decent pay of 1600 to 1700 euros per month (with the minimum hourly wage of 9.60 euros).
However, there is a significant disparity in the average income based on regions and professions. The old federal states have a higher average salary than the new federal states by 20-30%. In the following sections, we will talk about region-wise and profession-wise average gross salary in Germany.
2. What is the average gross remuneration according to different regions in Germany?
The average salary in Germany is considerably higher compared to other European countries. As of 2019, Germany’s average gross monthly remuneration was 3994 euros, which amounts to 47,928 euros per year (Source: Federal Statistical Office of Germany). Personal income largely depends on the industry one belongs to and varies based on factors like experience level, job position, geographical location, working hours, etc.
Are you aware that there is a vast disparity in earnings based on geographical location in Germany? Germany has 16 federal states, and the gross average salary differs from one state to another. The average salary is considerably higher in southern federal states like Hessen, Baden-Württemberg and Bavaria, whereas the average pay is lowest in the states like Brandenburg, Saxony-Anhalt, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, and Sachsen-Anhalt.
Average gross Remuneration according to the regions in Germany
Average Gross Remuneration of Different Federal States of Germany
(Entry-Level Positions for Vocational and Academic Qualifications)
The payscale in Germany is higher in popular cities as the cost of living is also proportionally higher. Employers in Munich shell out hefty pay packages as the city is expensive to live in – right from rent, groceries, restaurants to consumer prices, everything is highly-priced in Munich. However, the cost of living is quite affordable in a place like Saxony Anhalt, where companies pay the lowest remuneration. Hence, there is a rational disparity of salary structure in different regions of Germany.
3. What is the average gross salary for different professions in Germany?
Like any country, there is a substantial difference in the payscale for different professions in Germany. The average salary is highest for healthcare professionals, industrialists and engineers, while the law and banking industry draws the second-highest pay. Remuneration also depends on your experience level, job position and other factors.
Doctors, lawyers, financial professionals, engineers are highly paid in Germany, as they are academically and technically more qualified. Hence, your academic (and career) choice is a determining factor for your gross average income.
4. How much do engineers earn on average in Germany?
Germany offers excellent job opportunities for all engineering graduates. However, the demand for engineers is high in specific fields, especially automotive, mechanical and electrical. An engineer’s salary has considerable variations based on the industry, province, experience level and organisation. Engineers from the following branches are the most sought-after by German employers.
- Automotive engineering
- Mechanical engineering
- Electrical engineering
- Structural engineering
- Computer science engineering
- Telecommunications engineering
We must also consider that the engineers’ payscale is also influenced by the industry they are associated with and not entirely on their specialization. A computer science engineer can be employed in the automotive industry as a program engineer, whereas a telecommunications engineer can work not only in an IT company but also in the electronics sector. Let us take a look at the average earnings of engineers in various sectors.
Annual Salary of Engineers in Different Industries
There is also a considerable gap in the salary structure of engineers working in Germany from one federal state to another. As explained earlier, this is due to the high or low cost of living in different provinces, and the compensation will be proportional to the living cost. The southern states pay the highest remuneration in comparison to the new states. The below table illustrates the average earnings of engineers in different regions of Germany.
Average Salary of Engineers by Federal State
Gross remuneration is also influenced by other factors, which we will discuss in the next section.
5. What factors influence your payscale in Germany?
All in all, six main factors influence your payscale in Germany: Academic qualification, the industry you are associated with, work experience, organisation, gender, and the state where you live. Let us review them in detail.
Your academic and vocational qualification determines your payscale in Germany. Professionals like doctors, engineers, bankers and lawyers will earn more than others, which we have explained earlier.
Your field of occupation is another determining factor for your gross annual income. Healthcare and financial sectors, engineering industries like mechanical, automotive, chemical and pharmaceutical industry pay higher than other sectors in Germany.
The years of professional experience you gain impact your salary structure to a great deal. Remuneration disparity will be significant between entry-level, mid-experience level and highly-experienced professionals.
Established multinationals and large organisations in Germany pay higher pay packages than small setups that are still emerging. According to the Business Insider Reports, American technology company Intel pays the highest gross average of 77,500 euros per year, followed by the European aerospace company, the Airbus Group, which pays an average yearly pay of 76,500 euros. German banks Commerzbank and Deutsche Bank come in the top 10 high-paying employers, followed by automotive giants like Volkswagen, Daimler and Audi, who pay an average of 60,000 euros annually.
Unjustly so, gender pay disparity still exists in Germany. A survey done by the Federal Statistical Office of Germany stated that men in Germany earn 3,964 euros per month; however, women take home an average of 3,300 euros every month, which is considerably less. As of 2021, studies confirm that women earn 25% less than men in all fields of occupations in Germany.
The geographical location where you work in Germany is an influencing factor for your gross income. Average gross remuneration varies from one federal state to another, with southern states paying more than the new states due to living costs. (Refer to the above section: Average Gross Remuneration in Various Federal States of Germany.)
6. How much can a student earn from part-time jobs in Germany?
International students studying in Germany can do part-time jobs on a German student visa. Students are entitled to earn the minimum hourly wage of 9.60 euros an hour, irrespective of the job type, with employers paying 9 to 15 euros per hour on average. There is no limit for the number of hours; you can work 8 hours or 4 hours a day whilst prioritising your studies. On student jobs, you can take home a decent pay of 450 euros every month without paying any tax. However, if you surpass 450 euros a month consistently, you will be required to pay taxes which are relatively high in Germany. Students can also earn through internships that last more than three months in duration.
To learn more about part-time jobs in Germany, do read the below article:
The payscale in Germany is 10% higher than in other European countries, especially if you are an English speaking expatriate. This country provides ample job opportunities as it is home to top multinationals like BMW, BOSCH, Siemens, Intel, IBM, Audi and many other reputed business establishments. This article covers all the factors that influence your payscale in Germany, i.e., qualification, experience, region, industry, gender, the company you work for, etc. We have corroborated the facts from each section with statistical data derived from legitimate sources. We hope this article helps you understand how much you can earn as a student and a professional and work out your ROI.
At MS in Germany, we aim to redefine overseas education by making global education accessible to one and all. Our platform enables aspiring students like you to pursue your studies seamlessly in Germany. We are constantly striving to provide free and fair information on topics like the above to help you make an informed decision. We hope you found this article helpful!