Lowest Paying Jobs in Germany in 2023

Not all jobs offer a high salary in Germany. As with anywhere else, some jobs are well paid some aren’t. Usually, people who come to work in Germany are interested in earning money, so they try to get a high-paying position.

The lowest-paying jobs in Germany include:

  • Historian
  • Theologian, Pastor
  • Philosopher
  • Social worker
  • Linguist
  • Literature specialist
  • Graphic Designer
  • Web Designer
  • Event Manager
  • Architect
  • Editor
  • Environmental Engineer
  • Private School Teacher
  • PR and Communication
  • Cosmetologist
  • Hairdresser
  • Waitress
  • Backer
  • Dental Assistant
  • Call Center Agent
  • Receptionist
  • Chef/Cook
  • Salesperson/Customer Advisor in Retail
  • Cashier

That said, you should be aware of professions that pay significantly less than the average, so you don’t choose one of them by mistake. In this article, we have collected all the low-paying jobs in Germany and examples of the salary you can expect.

Check out: Highest paying jobs in Germany with no degree.

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 others require vocational training (Ausbildung).

To undertake almost all jobs in Germany, one must have some qualifications. Although there are exceptions to 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 humanities professions. The studies can be very interesting and not very demanding compared to medicine, for example. Still, 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 limited job availability.

Historian

Many people interested in history studies decide to study this major, as salary is less critical in their case. Studying history involves much reading, but a degree is relatively easy to complete.

Historians usually work in museums, places with historical significance, universities, journalists, authors, and others. With a couple of years of experience, they earn 38,400 EUR annually in Germany. 

Theologian, Pastor

Theology is the study of religion and God. Starting salary is relatively low in Germany, but with 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, and the average annual pay is 60,996 EUR if working as a pastor.

Philosopher

Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental questions about existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language, including 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, finding a field where such knowledge can be applied is hard. 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 a concrete position for philosophers.

The average salary is 33,261 EUR.

Social Worker

Social workers study social work or sociology at university. They, particularly, learn how to work with people, especially with youngsters 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, and prisons.

The average salary for social workers is 36,387 EUR annually.

Linguist

Linguists study a particular language; among them, Germanistik and Anglistik are the two most popular in Germany.

Especially many international students choose to study Germanistik because they can improve their German language skills and receive a university degree simultaneously. 

However, the German language it’s not something you should learn in Germany if you want to be a successful high-paid specialist: everyone already speaks this language.

However, after completion, many face difficulties in finding a job. The available positions aren’t paid well enough; if linguists are lucky, they can work as interpreters for large companies or organizations, but often they open their own translator offices 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, and the average annual pay is 35,500 EUR.

Literature Specialist

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 particular knowledge or skillset for real professional life, except for knowledge of literature and language. Same as with the case of Germanistiks, they don’t learn something new and relevant to the German economy.

Literature graduates usually work in historical and cultural organizations in educational and research fields, public relations, media, and publicity.

The average annual pay for specialists in literature is 35,500 EUR; after five years of experience, it can grow to 40,000 EUR.

Graphic Designer

Unfortunately, this high-demand profession is also one of the lowest-paid jobs in Germany. Graphic designers 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 Designer

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, so the annual salary is 36,885 EUR.

Event Manager

Event managers working in entertainment, most professions in this sector in Germany, don’t earn much. As an event manager, you organize events and diverse cultural projects.

The typical workplaces are museums, theatres, and all possible cultural & entertainment organizations. Event 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, the salary can increase to 43,450 EUR per year.

Architect

Architects are an essential part of our professional society with responsible tasks and hard & long studies behind them, 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.

Editor

Editors plan, review, and revise content for publication. They primarily work in publishing houses or as self-employed. One can work as an editor with a degree in linguistics, communications, or journalism.

An editor is 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 Engineer

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, ecological professionals have good chances of finding 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.

Private School Teacher

Teaching is a well-paid profession in Germany, and it takes students entire 6 years to become one. However, if they choose a private school to work in, 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 is invested in. PR, together with marketing, belongs to the communication department. The first one doesn’t include any 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 modest 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. You can work as a backer in many countries without a certificate, but not in Germany. Although, an unqualified person can still get a position as a waitress.

For all other jobs, a school diploma won’t be enough. Vocational training or Ausbildung in Germany lasts 1 to 3 years for the following professions, and students will get paid during the training.

The jobs with the lowest salary in Germany, which don’t require you to have a degree, include mainly activities in catering, hospitality, and other services.

Cosmetologist

Most of the professions in the beauty industry aren’t compensated well in Germany, maybe because such services aren’t popular among Germans. A cosmetologist is one of them. Therefore, they earn only 1,818 EUR or 21,820 EUR annually.

Hairdresser

Same as in the case of cosmetologists, hairdressers don’t receive a deserved amount of money. They work long hours, and in the end, only 21,832 EUR annually lands in their banking account.

Waitress

Servers are one of the world’s lowest-paid jobs; moreover, you don’t need to undergo special training, even in Germany. No surprise that a waitress in Germany earns, on average, 22,628 EUR per year plus tipping, of course.

Backer

Backers are hard-working people in Germany, raising before sunrise to bake a flesh loaf of bread for you, so you can pick it up on the way to work. Sadly, despite all the work and effort, they get 23,649 EUR per year.

Dental Assistant

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, which is not comparable with how much dentists earn.

Call Center Agent

A call center agent is a typical job for someone without qualifications and hard skills who wants to earn some money. Since almost everyone can do it, the job is also paid poorly – 24,200 EUR per year for a full-time position.

Receptionist

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/Cook

A 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 regular restaurant or cafe is 24,540 EUR.

Salesperson/Customer Advisor in Retail

A salesperson is a widespread job; every retail needs them. In Germany, this job isn’t only for students; salespersons undergo special training and can work in this position their entire life.

The average annual salary in retail is 25,000 EUR.

Cashier

Like a salesperson, a cashier is a very common profession, which includes special training. German cashiers earn 28,363 EUR per year on average.

Nicholas

Anna is an enthusiastic expatriate with experience of living in Germany, Austria and Greece. She shares her passion for living abroad on this website.

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