Across the Rhine, compensation varies according to sector, gender and geographic location.
To earn as much money as possible, it is better to be a man, live in the west of the country and work in a high-level profession in the medical sector or work in finance. This is what the Salary Atlas Germany 2019 study reveals, conducted by the recruitment platform Gehalt.de and relayed by the specialized site IamExpat.
Of the ten highest paid professions in Germany, two belong to the medical sector (chief physician, 115,317 euros per year on average; specialist physician, 80,722 euros). The other eight are in the finance or business sector (mergers and acquisitions, € 99,635; fund manager, € 83,641; key account manager, € 75,671…). The lowest paid occupations are cook (21,907 euros), hairdresser and waiter.
Besides the very nature of the work, geographic location can be decisive. The records are held by the Land of Hesse, in the west of the country (14% above the national average), and by the city of Stuttgart, in the Land of Baden-Württemberg, in the south-west of the country. (24% above average).
The East-West divide is slowly fading
“Employees in the south of the country generally have higher incomes than those in the North or East.” After Stuttgart, Munich, Düsseldorf and Wiesbaden are doing well, while eastern cities like Schwerin, Potsdam and Erfurt are struggling, with wages on average 20% below the national average. A legacy from the history of the Cold War that divided the country in half until 1991, the East-West wage gap is gradually narrowing, standing at 24% today.
Finally, women are less affected by wage inequality in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania – in the north-east of the country, 16% difference – than in Baden-Württemberg, where the difference exceeds 26%. Between geographic inequality, the cost of living and gender wage inequality, you will have to choose!