Average salary in Germany: salary and income in Germany

Geld doesn’t make you happy, but it calms you. The expected salary remains an important decision criterion for or against training for young people. But what is an above-average salary, what do managers actually earn, and do you always have to study to be carefree financially? WELT summarizes important points.

1. Average salary in Germany

A full-time employee in Germany earned an average of 3994 euros gross per month last year, according to figures from the Federal Statistical Office. In 2018 the value was 3880 euros, in 2008 it was 3103 euros. The statisticians do not include special payments such as vacation or Christmas bonuses.

However, around two thirds of Germans receive monthly salaries that are below the gross average of 3994 euros. Only about a third receives more than this value. This is because this group has such high earnings that it pulls the average value for all employees “up”.

Source: WORLD infographic

The Stepstone job portal, which, like WELT, belongs to Axel Springer, specifically analyzes the salaries of specialists and managers. According to this, a skilled worker in Germany earns an average of 58,800 euros gross per year. The basis is 128,000 salaries collected from October 2018 to October 2019. Payments like bonuses and commissions are included here.

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Personal paycheck

2. Salary comparison: These professions earn the best

According to the Stepstone analysis, doctors are the highest paid academics. On average, they receive a gross salary of 92,300 euros per year. Even if there are considerable differences between the individual medical professions, the following applies: no other group of graduates can achieve a comparably high income.

Asset advisors, controllers and other financial experts come to 76,400 euros a year. They represent the second best paid group of academics in the republic. In third place are lawyers. The completion of a law degree helps them to an average salary of 70,000 euros.

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3. Training occupations: low but also high income

Find the right job? This is often anything but easy for young people. It’s about exploring preferences and inclinations. But earnings also play a major role. Many believe that they can only earn a good to very good income by studying.

In comparison, studying is definitely lucrative: According to the Federal Statistical Office, academics earned an average gross hourly salary of over 27 euros in 2014, while employees with completed vocational training only got around 16 euros. But top salaries are also included in apprenticeships.

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Air traffic controllers, for example, are among the top earners among non-academics: the job is complex. Applicants for an apprenticeship position must have a high school diploma, speak fluent English and pass a difficult selection test. According to the Federal Employment Agency (BA), air traffic controllers can earn between around 6400 and 8900 euros gross per month.

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Air traffic controllers can earn up to 8900 euros

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Apprenticeships are subject to rapid change

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If the first own salary is not enough to live on, trainees are partially entitled to allowance

4. Salaries in different industries

The industry also has an influence on the level of the salary. According to the Federal Statistical Office, full-time employees in the energy supply sector earned the best with gross monthly earnings of EUR 5137 without special payments. The lowest was in the hospitality industry with 2,451 euros.

Source: WORLD infographic

The Stepstone subsidiary Compensation Partner used 132,218 salary data to compare occupational groups that occur across industries, such as HR or network administrators.

The result: In biotechnology, employers in these professions pay wages up to 39 percent higher than the average for companies in all branches of industry. Employees in the semiconductor industry also earn well (30 percent above average).

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The call center area did the worst. Here employers pay up to 31 percent lower wages than the average for companies in all branches of the economy. In comparison, employees in temporary employment agencies also receive little (20 percent below the average).

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The industry has a say in how much is on the pay slip

5. Average executive salaries

Being a manager doesn’t mean earning a lot. Because if you work in the hotel or catering industry, for example, you shouldn’t expect too much from a career leap. On average, executives in this industry earn € 56,600 gross, as Stepstone figures show.

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According to the Federal Statistical Office, you only belong to the top ten percent of gross salary from around 66,000 euros per year. Managers from the classic German medium-sized sectors such as mechanical and plant engineering, the metal industry or electrical engineering already earn well over 90,000 euros per year. And in the areas of medical technology, pharmaceuticals, management consulting, auditing and law, it is even over 100,000 euros.

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6. Gender Pay Gap

The differences in earnings between men and women in Germany are only gradually decreasing. Last year, the average gross hourly wage for women was 17.72 euros, 20 percent lower than that of men at 22.61 euros. This is shown by figures from the Federal Statistical Office. A year ago the difference was 21 percent, and in 2014 it was 22 percent. In Europe, Germany ranks next to last, ahead of Estonia.

Source: WORLD infographic

At seven percent, the wage gap in the east was again significantly smaller than in the west at 21 percent. The fact that women in the former GDR had better access to better-paid technical professions and were more likely to work full-time jobs still has an effect here.

According to the Federal Statistical Office, three quarters of the pay gap – also known as the gender pay gap – can be traced back to structural reasons. For example, in typical female occupations, lower salaries have historically been paid, women work more often part-time and less often in qualified management positions.

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This article was first published on May 1st, 2020.

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