June 12, 2023
min read

Average Salary in Germany

Luis Minvielle

Are you a developer thinking about moving to Germany? Or are you a German developer curious about how your salary compares to others in your profession? Well, the good news is that we’ve done the research for you. After perusing through multiple sources, including Glassdoor, StepStone, and the Federal Statistical Office of Germany, we’ve compiled a comprehensive breakdown of the average salary in Germany.

Germany is renowned for its thriving tech industry and attracts professionals from all over the world. Understanding the average salary landscape can help you gauge your earning potential and make informed decisions about your career path. We have delved into multiple data points to present you with a comprehensive breakdown of salary trends, allowing you to confidently navigate the German job market.

Please keep in mind that what we explore are just averages and salaries and expenses may vary. The figures we bring up might not represent the story of a programmer friend who strolls to the office in Kreuzberg, but it’s a very good reference to how most people make a living and what it takes to live in Germany.

Overall average salary in Germany in 2023

First things first, let’s take a look at the overall average salary in Germany. According to data from the Federal Statistical Office of Germany, the average annual gross salary in 2020 stood at €47,700, equivalent to a monthly income of €3,975, before taxes. By 2022, the average gross monthly income (that must be a long compound word in German) had climbed to €4,105, meaning that, last year, the annual average salary in Germany was roughly €49,260, before taxes. After taxes (42%), the average salary in Germany in 2022 stood at around €28,570 per annum and €2,380 per month. These estimates stand for 2023, although the same federal office estimates that, mainly due to inflation, real earnings fell 3.1% between 2022 and 2023.

While this may not seem like a massive amount, it’s essential to keep in mind that this is just an average. Salaries can vary significantly depending on your profession, experience level, and the industry in which you work.

As a developer, for example, you can expect to earn around €62,000 per year (before taxes), which is a bit higher than the overall average. That equates to approximately €5,200 per month before tax or €3,200 monthly after deductions. However, your salary may be lower if you’re working in a different field or just starting out in your career.

It’s also important to note that the cost of living in Germany can be pretty steep, particularly in cities like Berlin. While salaries are generally higher to compensate for this, it’s still important to budget carefully and make sure that you can afford the lifestyle you want.

Overall, while the average salary in Germany may not be the highest in the world, it’s still a solid starting point for most people. With hard work, dedication, and a bit of luck, there are plenty of opportunities to grow and succeed in your career in Germany and beyond.

Breakdown by Profession

Now, let’s dig a little deeper. As a developer, you’re probably wondering how your salary compares to others in your field. Based on Glassdoor data, the average salary for software developers in Germany is around €67,550 per year. That’s approximately €4,583 a month, before taxes. This value significantly rises as you gain experience: the average salary for a Senior Software Engineer climbs to around €87,620 per year, before taxes. However, it should be noted that developers have the potential to significantly surpass this salary range based on factors such as the company they work for, their skill set, and their level of experience. Some of the highest reported salaries for software developers in Germany come from tech companies based in the United States, where senior developers have been known to receive a base salary of €180,000 along with bonuses and equity, resulting in a total compensation of €480,000.

As anticipated, software developer positions are among the most highly compensated. Conversely, other professions have average salaries that can be as low as €29,000 per year (according to data from 2022) before taxes, while the minimum wage is set at €25,000 per year before deductions.

Minimum wage

In Germany, implementing a minimum wage law ensures that workers receive a baseline level of financial security. This legislation holds significant importance in promoting a fair and just work environment.

It’s worth highlighting that many individuals in Germany can lead comfortable lives while earning the minimum wage, particularly if they do not have substantial savings or investment goals. This rings particularly true in smaller towns, where the cost of living is comparatively lower. Remarkably, a single person working full-time at minimum wage can earn around €1,500 per month, which surpasses the average monthly cost of living, estimated at €1,050.

As of October 1st, 2022, the minimum wage in Germany stands at €2,080 per month, based on a 40-hour workweek (equivalent to €12 per hour). This amounts to approximately €24,960 per year. While this minimum wage provides a solid foundation, it’s important to remember that the opportunities for growth and increased earning potential are vast, especially within the dynamic field of software development.

What’s a good salary in Germany in 2023?

Now on to the most crucial question: What’s a good salary in Germany? This can vary depending on your lifestyle and location, but generally speaking, it’s safe to say that a salary of €70,000 to €80,000 per year is considered more than comfortable in Germany.

A 2021 German salary study (based on a dataset of 250,000 salary data points) revealed that 43% of the respondents were satisfied with their yearly earnings, which averaged an impressive €64,253. On the other hand, 41% of the participants conveyed dissatisfaction with their annual salary of €49,630. 

Considering the salary increase from 2021 to 2022 (from €47,700 to €53,000; approximately 11.11%), it would be safe to say that a “good” salary in Germany in 2022 stands at around €71,000.

German taxes

Unfortunately, taxes can claim a substantial portion of your hard-earned money. Understanding the tax landscape is essential for financial planning and ensuring you make the most of your earnings. Let’s take a closer look at an illustrative example: Imagine you earn €55,000 per year as a skilled software developer. You can expect to be taxed approximately 42% of your income based on the prevailing tax rates. This means that a significant portion, roughly €23,100, will be allocated to taxes each year.

As a result, your take-home pay, the amount you receive after taxes, will amount to approximately €3,166 per month. While this figure represents a decrease in your gross salary, it is crucial to consider that it still provides a solid foundation for your financial well-being.

By understanding the tax implications of your salary, you can proactively plan your budget, make informed financial decisions, and explore various strategies to optimise your earnings. Engaging with tax professionals or utilising reliable tax calculators can assist you in comprehending the nuances of the German tax system and identifying potential deductions or allowances that may apply to your specific circumstances.

Keep in mind that tax rates and regulations are subject to change, so staying updated with the latest information from reputable sources is essential for accurate financial planning. Despite the impact of taxes, Germany continues to offer an attractive environment for software developers, providing numerous opportunities for professional growth and personal success. An online calculator is available to assist you in approximating your net income, which refers to the amount you receive after deducting taxes and social contributions.

Living expenses: Navigating the cost of living in Germany

Now, let’s delve into the realm of living expenses in Germany, which significantly shapes your financial landscape. As you may be aware, Germany boasts a reputation for its high living standards, but it’s important to note that these come hand in hand with a higher cost of living.

Regarding housing, the rental landscape can vary greatly depending on your location. For instance, in Berlin, studio apartment rents generally range from €750 to €1,000 per month. However, it’s worth mentioning that these figures are approximate, and actual prices may differ. Other expenses such as food, transportation, and utilities tend to be on the higher end of the spectrum.

Naturally, the cost of living in Germany varies significantly from one region to another and is influenced by factors such as household size and lifestyle choices. We will focus on the standard basic costs individuals can anticipate to provide a general overview. Remember that families and larger households may face higher expenses, as certain costs are multiplied accordingly.

As an individual residing in Germany, it’s reasonable to expect total monthly expenses ranging from €1,200 to €3,000. On the lower end of this range, you may consider opting for a shared apartment located outside the city centre. In comparison, on the higher end, you could afford a private apartment in the city's bustling heart — or geschäftiges Herz for Duolingo fanatics.

Apart from accommodation, another significant expenditure in Germany revolves around health insurance and social security contributions. These are mandatory for regular employees and are automatically deducted from your paycheck to ensure comprehensive coverage.

Apartment Type Location Price (€)
Apartment (1 bedroom) City Centre 836.72
Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Centre 624.16
Apartment (3 bedrooms) City Centre 1,530.85
Apartment (3 bedrooms) Outside of Centre 1,165.00

Source: Numbeo

Average salary of other European countries

Country Average Annual Salary (Euros)
Austria €31,407
United Kingdom €30,031
Switzerland €84,159
Germany €49,260
Poland €20,390
France €39,800
The Netherlands €34,260
Portugal €22,000
Italy €35,561
Spain €29,113
Norway €56,810
Sweden €43,690
Russia €12,208
Greece €15,335
Finland €47,688

Summary, or P&L

Understanding the average salary landscape in Germany is crucial for developers looking to make informed decisions about their careers and financial goals. Throughout this article, we explored various aspects of salaries in Germany, including the average salary, breakdowns by profession and experience level, the minimum wage, taxes, and living expenses.

Germany offers a competitive salary range for developers, with professionals in this field earning well above the national average. While the average salary for software developers in Germany is promising, it’s important to note that factors such as experience, industry, and location can significantly impact earning potential.

By leveraging this knowledge and actively pursuing opportunities, you can position yourself for professional growth and personal success in Germany’s dynamic developer industry. Keep working hard, stay passionate about your craft, and embrace the exciting possibilities that await you in your developer journey in Germany.

Average Salary in Germany

June 12, 2023
min read

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