Not all jobs have an equal salary in Germany, well in the entire world, some of them are well paid some aren’t. Usually, people are interested only in the highest paying jobs, while they skip the lowest ones.
Nevertheless, you should be aware of professions with low-income scale in Germany, so you don’t choose one of them by mistake.
Lowest Paying Jobs with High Degree
There are two destinations between the lowest paying jobs in Germany, some will require you to have a high degree and other – vocational training (Ausbildung).
To undertake almost all jobs in Germany one will need to have some kind of qualifications. Although, there are exceptions for this rule, some of them are listed under the lowest paying jobs without a degree.
Regarding jobs with a high degree, Germany isn’t the best place for most of the humanities professions. The studies can be very interesting, and no very demanding in comparison with medicine, for example, but you get what you studied for – low income and high competition when looking for a placement.
The unemployment rate is high among graduates from humanities majors and they often end up working for a lower salary or in the wrong position due to the limited job availability.
Many people with interest to history studies decite to study this major, salary is less important in their case. Studying history include a lot of reading itself, but a degree is relatively easy to complete.
Historians usually work in museums, in places with historical significance, universities, journalists, authors, and others. With a couple of years of experience, they earn 38,400 EUR annually in Germany.
Theology is the study of religion and Got. Starting salary is quite low in Germany, but with the time, you can work your way to the pastor in the church who is usually better paid.
Besides the church, theologians can work in different areas such as health, media, education, and others. Starting salary is just 26,200 EUR (2016), the average annual pay is 60,996 EUR if working as a pastor.
Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental questions about existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language, which also include a lot of reading. The problem is that a study of philosophy conveys less specific content knowledge but the ability to deal argumentatively with fundamental questions.
Consequently, it’s hard to find a field where such knowledge can be applied. In Germany, philosophy graduates work in research, teaching, adult education, politics, human resources, media, etc. As you can see, the labor market almost doesn’t offer the concrete position for philosophers.
The average salary is 33,261EUR.
Social workers study social work or sociology at university. They, particularly, learn how to work with people, especially with youth and teenagers.
Social workers are employed primarily in social services, children’s and youth homes, kindergartens and nurseries, retirement homes, nursing homes for people with disabilities, homeless facilities, family and addiction counseling centers, outpatient social services, social, health, or youth services, prisons.
The average salary for social workers is 36,387 EUR annually.
Linguists study a particular language, among them, Germanistik and Anglistik are two most popular in Germany.
Especially many foreign students choose to study Germanistik because they can improve their German language skills and receive a University degree at the same time.
However, the German language it’s not something you should learn in Germany if you want to be a successful high paid specialists: everyone already speaks this language.
However, after completion, many face difficulties in finding a job. The available jobs aren’t paid well enough if linguists are lucky they can work as an interpreter for big companies or organizations, but often they open their own translator office or work as teachers at language schools.
Overall, linguists have a wide choice of possible career directions that they can follow.
Starting salary for linguists is 30,000 EUR, the average annual pay is 35,500 EUR.
Literature studies include modern and historical documents, books, and texts. A career in this field can be comparable to the linguistics and studies of language.
Students don’t receive a concrete knowledge or skillset for real professional life, except for knowledge of the literature and language. Same as with the case of Germanistiks, they don’t learn something new and relevant for the German economy.
Literature graduates usually work in educational and research fields, public relations, media, publicity, in historical and cultural organizations.
The average annual pay for specialists in literature is 35,500 EUR, after 5 years of experience, it can grow to 40,000 EUR.
Unfortunately, such as the demanded profession as a graphic designer are also one of the lowest-paid jobs in Germany. They are usually employed in the media, publicity, graphic design companies, publishing houses, and in PR departments of big companies.
Graphic designers only earn 35,300 EUR in Germany. However, if they have less than 3 years of experience, the average salary is only 29,000 EUR.
Web designers are underpaid in Germany as well. These professionals have a great combination of valuable creative and technical skills such as mastering coding and photoshop. While web designers usually don’t struggle to find a job, they aren’t receiving enough for the work they do.
The working fields of web designers are similar to graphic designers and so the salary – 36,885 EUR annually.
Culture managers working in entertainment, most professions in this area don’t earn much in Germany. As a culture manager, you organize events and diverse culture projects.
The typical places to work are museums, theatres, and all possible cultural organizations. Cultural managers are the lowest-paid managers in Germany if you want to have an administrative role, you should choose another field.
With under 3 years of experience, one can expect 34,800 EUR annually in Germany, with over 9 years of experience salary can increase to 43,450 EUR per year.
Architects are an important part of our professional society with responsible tasks, hard and long studies behind, but unfortunately, they don’t receive the money they deserve in Germany.
The average salary of an architect with under 3 years of experience is 38,000 EUR. You can earn more if working as a self-employed architect.
Editors plan, review, and revise content for publication. They mostly work in publishing houses, or as self-employed. One can work as an editor with the degree in linguistics, communications, or journalism.
An editor has the role of a journalist who either writes articles himself or just edits texts.
The average salary of an editor in Germany is 43,054 EUR per year.
Environmental engineers are people who are fighting for our future, but unfortunately, they are among the lowest-paid engineers in Germany. Their job is to use the principles of engineering, soil science, biology, and chemistry to develop solutions to environmental problems.
Germany is a very environmentally conscious country, therefore, the ecological professionals have good chances to find a job. However, the average salary isn’t the best.
With under 3 years of experience, one will receive around 48,000 EUR annually as an environmental engineer.
Teachers in Private Schools
The teacher is a well-paid profession in Germany and takes students the entire 6 years to become a one. However, if they choose a private school to work, their salary will be drastically lower than in public schools.
In fact, they receive 37% less money than their colleagues.
The average salary for teachers in private schools in Germany is around 36,000 EUR.
PR and Communication
Public relations isn’t a place where most money of the company invested in. PR together with marketing belongs to the communication department, the first one doesn’t possess high paying jobs, even if the business itself deals with this industry.
Therefore, most workers in PR and communications aren’t paid well, with exceptions for high positioned managers, self-employed, and business owners.
They start with a humble salary of 27,200 EUR and can work their way up to 57,000 EUR in 9 years.
Other low paid jobs can be found in such fields as politics, sociology, communication science, educational science, archaeology, art, and other humanities.
Lowest Paying Jobs Without a Degree
These occupation doesn’t require one to have a high degree but vocational qualification instead. I know in many countries you can work as a backer without a certificate, but not in Germany. Although, an unqualified person still can get a position as a waitress.
For all other jobs, school diploma won’t be enough. Vocational training or Ausbildung in Germany lasts from 1 to 3 years for the following professions and students will get paid, also during the training.
The jobs with the lowest salary in Germany which doest require one to have a degree include mainly activities in the catering, hospitality and other services.
Most of the professions in the beauty industry aren’t compensated well in Germany, maybe because such services aren’t popular among German people. A cosmetologist is one of them, therefore they earn only 1,818 EUR or 21,820 EUR annually.
Same as in the case with cosmetologists, hairdressers don’t receive a deserved amount of money. They work hard, long hours and in the end, only 21,832 EUR annually lands on their banking account.
Waitresses are one of the lowest-paid jobs in the world, and moreover, you don’t need to go through special training even in Germany. No surprise that waitress in Germany earns on average 22,628 EUR per year plus tipping of course.
Backers are hard-working people in Germany, raising before the sunrise to bake a flesh loaf of bread for you, so you can pick it on a way to work. Sadly, despite all the work and effort, they get 23,649 EUR per year.
Dental assistants work hand in hand with dentists. They also do a big part of the dentist’s work but get paid only 23,763 EUR annually, not comparable with how much dentists earn.
Call Center Agent
Call center agent in a typical job for someone without qualifications and hard skills, who just willing to earn some money. Since almost everyone can do it, the job is also paid bad – 24,200 EUR per year for a fulltime position.
In Germany, receptionists go under special training for several years and are required to speak different languages. Although they can work worldwide, in Germany the average pay for this position is only 24,216 EUR.
Chef or cook can be a support staff or the main player in a kitchen, therefore, the salary for this position varies drastically. The average salary of an average chef in a normal restaurant or cafe is 24,540 EUR.
Salesperson/Customer advisor in Retail
A salesperson is a very common job, every retail needs them. In Germany this job isn’t only for students, salespersons undergo special training and can work on this position their entire life.
The average annual salary in retail is 25,000 EUR.
Same as salesperson cashier is a very common profession, which again includes special training. German cashiers earn 28,363 EUR per year on average.
All information related to the salaries was collected from the tool Gehalt.de, where you can see earning for particular professions and apply various filters to get accurate numbers.
Recommended products and services in Germany:
- Health insurance for students
- Health insurance for expats, employees, self-employed and freelancers
- Best international health insurance
- Liability insurance
- Car insurance or find one here
- Best free credit card
- Best free bank account
- Compare providers and rates for various insurances, sim cards, internet, electricity, banking accounts, credits & loans, and more.
- Loan with minimal requirements
- Compare loans
- Best price & value sim card and best deal overall including high-speed internet
- Learn German on the best online platform
This post contains affiliate links. The affiliate link means we may earn an advertising/referral fee if you make a purchase through our link, without extra cost to you. It helps to keep this blog afloat. Thanks for your support.
Vienna is the largest city in Austria, the 7th-largest city by population in the EU, and is ranked as the city with the best quality of life in the world. However, when it comes to getting a job,...
In Germany, you often will come across the Gebührenfrei Mastercard credit card, also known as Advanzia Mastercard Gold. This credit card is a perfect solution for most people in Germany, and it's...