What Is A Good Salary in Germany?

How much will you earn in Germany? This is one of the most common questions people consider when moving to Germany for work. The German economy is thriving. Hence, it needs many foreign workers, and it’s ready to pay them well. After all, German salaries are among the highest in the EU.

In Germany, the net monthly salary between 2,500 EUR and 3,000 EUR is good, and over 3,500 EUR is very good. The average gross wage in Germany in 2022 is 51,010 EUR or 31,386 EUR after-tax for a single person. This translates to a 2,615 EUR net monthly salary.

Since Germany is Europe’s biggest economy and one of the wealthiest countries in Europe, it can provide a good level of income for its residents. If you wonder whether your future salary in Germany is good enough, this article will clarify your doubts.

Check out: Highest-paying jobs in Germany in 2022 (no degree).

What Is a Good Salary in Germany in 2022-2023?

In Germany, a monthly net income between 2,500 EUR and 3,500 EUR is considered to be a good salary. You can afford a decent life in a large German city with that income, including renting a 2 bedroom apartment, regularly eating out, and weekends away.

Furthermore, an annual gross salary above 50,000 EUR is considered to be good in Germany.

The 2022 Salary Report has shown that the gross average salary in Germany across all jobs is around 51,010 EUR, while the median is 44,074 EUR.

Since Germans don’t discuss money and income openly, it can be hard to find out how much they make. Moreover, gross salary is far away from net income. This can make an impression that you will earn a lot of money, but the amount will be much less after taxes.

Most of the German population belongs to the stable middle class, with a small percentage of people earning above and belong the average. This way, the country maintains equality in society.

Furthermore, the German welfare system won’t leave anyone in the street and will make sure one has everything for their livelihood. Additionally, citizens benefit from free healthcare and education.

Overall, a very good annual average salary in Germany is between 64,000 EUR and 81,000 EUR.

The highest income in Germany has been seen among couples without children and couples with grown-up kids, who already left the house to live independently.

In such cases, a net household income of 5,160 EUR is widespread and considered more on the upper side.

People with an annual income of over 80,000 EUR or 6,600 EUR monthly belong to the minority.

What will influence your salary level in Germany?

1. Educational background

Education counts the most in Germany, where academics have a particularly high chance of getting a decent salary in Germany.

The average income of employees with a university degree is 59,670 EUR, while fresh graduates receive 2,541 EUR per month. Non-academics receive an average of 40,560 EUR, which is around 48% less.

People with no educational background, meaning with zero qualifications, live just above the poverty level.

2. Experience

Similar to education, your past experience matter. Candidates with rich experience but without sufficient academic credits can compete with university graduates for higher wages.

In fact, those with less than one year of professional experience earn 33,800 EUR but already after 3-5 years, they can expect a salary of 42,950 EUR. After working for 11-25 years, the median salary rises to 52,000 EUR.

3. Gender

Furthermore, men in Germany can earn, on average, nearly 21% more than women, yet in most cases, the difference is less significant. On average, men earned 47,320 EUR, and women about 40,500 EUR in 2022.

4. Location

In Germany, your salary will also depend on which city and region you are in. Significant differences in income levels have been seen between East and West Germany.

The average gross monthly income of the household is 5,086 EUR in West Germany and 3,927 EUR in East Germany.

According to statistics, you will earn the highest salary when working and living in the Baden-Württemberg region. Local companies offer about 8% more than the national average. At the same time, executive professionals make the most in Frankfurt.

Moreover, employees in the western state of Hessen earn, on average, 55% more than their counterparts in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.

5. Size of the company

The annual Salary Report 2022 has shown shows that larger German companies pay significantly higher salaries than smaller businesses. For instance, companies with 5,000+ employees compensate workers with a median salary of 59,280 EUR.

Small and medium-sized businesses (50 to 500 employees) pay 44,163 EUR on average. You can expect the lowest salary at companies with less than 50 people – about 37,440 EUR.

What your life will look like with a good level of monthly income (3,000 EUR net) in Berlin, Germany. 3,000 EUR net per month averages in an annual gross salary of about 60,000 EUR. It’s a realistic salary for most academics with a few years of experience.

  1. Housing: You can rent a 2 bedroom apartment in the city center (1,500 EUR), utilities will cost you another 150 EUR and 35 EUR for the internet.
  2. Groceries and food: 500 – 600 EUR – you can afford more expensive organic food.
  3. Disposal income per month: 715 EUR for closing and shoes, personal items, eating out, entertainment, weekend trips, yearly holidays, etc.
  4. You can afford a more expensive hobby.
  5. You can go on holidays more often – 2 or 3 holidays a year, including a more long-haul destination or a week-long winter sport vacation.
  6. You also can spend many weekends away.
  7. Saving: you will be able to put away at least a few hundred EUR.

Learn more about the cost of living in Germany in this article.

Furthermore, salaries for part-time jobs differ significantly from full-time ones. Read this article to learn more.

How much taxes will you pay in Germany?

Gross salary differs from net income. Overall, taxes and social security contributions are around 35% – 50% of the employee’s salary in Germany.

Hence, the annual salary of 50,000 EUR will leave you around 30,800 EUR per year or 2,560 EUR per month, where about 38,4% of the income goes to taxes. This tax rate applies to singles.

Nonetheless, with that salary, you can live a good middle-income life enjoying your weekends and traveling short distances for getaways.

To learn how much taxes you will pay in Germany, read this comparison between taxes in the US and Germany.

Also read: What is a good salary in Austria?

Salaries in Germany

In Germany, an average employee earns around 57,000 EUR per year.

Salaries range by up to 19,000 EUR depending on location. It also makes a big difference if you work in a small company or a large corporation.

Minimum wage in Germany

In 2022, the minimum wage in Germany is 12 EUR per hour, while the median annual income is 43,200 EUR.

Wages in Germany, of course, depend on the job. Here are some examples of how much someone makes in different positions and industries in Germany.

Starting from the bottom – a cleaner, waiter, or cashier at a supermarket makes around 28,700 EUR annually on average or 2,300 EUR per month. Most casual, low-skilled jobs are low-paid.

A secretary makes around 34,700 EUR per year or 2,900 EUR per month. A kindergarten teacher earns 3,320 EUR gross per month, and a high school teacher gets 3,900 EUR gross on average.

A project manager in a middle-sized company earns around 56,600 EUR annually or 4,700 EUR per month. An accountant makes, on average, around 41,000 EUR annually or 3,400 EUR gross monthly.

Doctors are among the highest-paying jobs in Germany. For example, a radiologist earns 84,000 EUR per year on average, which comes to 7,000 EUR per month.

Furthermore, managing directors can enjoy the highest salary across the country – 174,600 EUR annually on average or 14,550 EUR monthly.

Below you can see the income distribution of German residents. Only 1,56% of the population makes over 125k per year. Consequently, Germany has much fewer high earners than some other developed countries.

Gross annual incomeAmount of taxpayers%
Income above 1.000.000 €15.5670.04 %
500.000 € – 1.000.000 €34.9290.10%
250.000 € – 500.000 €139.7850.38 %
125.000 € – 250.000 €568.9901.56 %
100.000 € – 125.000 €451.7151.24 %
90.000 € – 100.000 €316.2070.87 %
80.000 € – 90.000 €461.9931.27 %
70.000 € – 80.000 €692.2561.90 %
60.000 € – 70.000 €1.097.3323.01 %
50.000 € – 60.000 €1.883.4985.17 %
45.000 € – 50.000 €1.422.6013.90 %
40.000 € – 45.000 €1.845.9225.07 %
35.000 € – 40.000 €2.412.6346.62 %
30.000 € – 35.000 €2.975.4418.17 %
25.000 € – 30.000 €3.273.9648.98 %
20.000 € – 25.000 €3.484.6639.56 %
15.000 € – 20.000 €3.749.55910.29 %
10.000 € – 15.000 €4.071.97411.17 %
5.000 € – 10.000 €3.624.2449.95 %
1 € – 5.000 €3.195.7978.77 %
Negative income719.9091.98 %

Average salary in Germany

StepStone Salary Report 2022 (Stepstone Gehaltsreport 2022) has indicated the average gross salary in Germany as 51,009 EUR annually or 4,250 EUR monthly. 

Whereas the average gross household income in Germany is 4,846 EUR per month, the income of single people households is 2,812 EUR. 

The average gross monthly income of the household is 5,086 EUR in West Germany and 3,927 EUR in East Germany.

Report Salary Atlas 2022, released by salary comparison website Gehalt.de, has listed the average salaries among the largest job sectors in Germany:

  1. Doctors: 92,600 EUR
  2. Engineering: 64,330 EUR
  3. IT: 61,670 EUR
  4. Corporate consulting: 60,670 EUR
  5. Human resources: 54,420 EUR
  6. Marketing & PR: 52,560 EUR
  7. Finance: 52,010 EUR
  8. Crafts and technical jobs: 49,790 EUR
  9. Sales: 50,520 EUR
  10. Health and social services: 43,520 EUR
  11. Purchasing, materials management, logistics: 43,570 EUR

Source: iamexpat.de

More numbers from statistics

Figures from the Federal Statistical Office show that a full-time employee in Germany earned an average of 3,975 EUR gross per month in 2020.

At the same time, in 2019, this number was 3,994 EUR, and in 2009 – only 3,141 EUR.

It doesn’t include possible additional payments such as Christmas or vacation bonuses. On average, employees receive one monthly income as a Christmas bonus.

The average salary of all employees in Germany – including marginal employment and part-time work – was 3,099 EUR in 2021 (source: Statista).

However, around two-thirds (or 66%) of Germans receive lower than the national average of 3,975 EUR gross monthly salaries.

And only about one-third (34%) receive a salary above the average. Therefore, this group of people naturally increases the calculation of the national average wage. Hence, you should be careful when looking at those numbers. Don’t get fooled.

Average salary for specialists in Germany

The online job portal Stepstone analyzed the salaries of specialists and managers in Germany. According to this, a specialist earns an average of 57,000 EUR gross annually.

Read about the average salary for software engineers in Germany.

Average salary for managers

Responsibility will give your pay a boost. German managers earn an average of 86,350 EUR, whereas employees without personnel responsibility receive around 43,630 EUR.

Yet, the average salary of the typical manager is 4,898 EUR gross per month or 58,785 EUR per year.

Average salary for graduates

The average salary for graduates is also a reasonable level. Here you can see that university degrees pay off in Germany.

The average salary for a university graduate is 3,736 EUR monthly or 44,836 EUR annually.

Only one-third of the population earns above the average salary

The Federal Statistical Office also confirms that only 30% of all employees make more than average. The majority earn less.

Hence, if you earn over 55,000 EUR in Germany, you shouldn’t feel underpaid.

The average salary in Germany in 2022 in different professions:

ProfessionAvg. Gross salary (2022)
Medicine (doctors)€89,000
Finance€73,000
Lawyer€68,000
Business Advice€64,000
Banking€62,000
Engineer€62,000
IT€60,000
Marketing, PR€60,000
Production€60,000
Distribution and Sales€59,000
HR€58,000
Construction€57,000
Research€56,000
Logistics€50,000
Design€48,000
Architect€45,000
Nurse€35,000
Physiotherapist€28,000
Cook€25,000
Waiter€21,000
Minimum wage€18,000

Also read: Average salary of the mechanical engineer in Germany.

In the table below, you can see the average salary depending on the years of experience. 

Years of experienceAvg. gross salary (2022)
Less than 1 year€38.932
1-2 years€41.518
3-5 years€48.058
6-10 years€56.229
11-25 years€66.686
25+ years€67.480

Furthermore, education is very valuable for your career in Germany. So academics receive an average salary of 58,058 EUR, whereas non-academics enjoy 49,346 EUR. 

Master’s degree holders can expect to make 61,906 EUR, compared to those with a bachelor’s degree who earn 54,210 EUR on average. 

Average salary in Germany vs other countries

Germany is far away from being a leader for average salaries in Europe in general, but it holds high rankings among EU states.

RankingCountryAverage disposable income after taxes in 2020
1.Liechtenstein64.240 Euro
2.Switzerland41.998 Euro
3.Luxemburg34.119 Euro
4.Island28.155 Euro
5.Norway25.699 Euro
6.Danemark 25.176 Euro
7.Austria23.585 Euro
8.Germany22.388 Euro
9.Irland21.030 Euro
10.Schweden20.882 Euro
16.Italy16.439 Euro
 Europa general13.894 Euro
17.Spain13.613 Euro
28.Poland7.143 Euro
42.Ukraine1.703 Euro

Use this free tool to check average salaries in Germany. You can add filters like location, experience, skills, size of the company, and others to see the most accurate numbers!

Is 60,000 EUR a good salary in Germany?

In Germany, the salary of 60,000 EUR is slightly higher than the national average, and about 18% of the population has this or a higher income.

With a gross annual salary of 60,000 EUR, as a single, you will get about 5,000 EUR monthly or 2,969 EUR after tax. It’s a good income for a single person.

60,000 EUR is the wage of skilled and qualified professionals and someone with several years of experience.

How much should you earn in order to apply for a German resident permit?

Is 80,000 EUR a good salary in Germany?

In Germany, a salary of 80,000 EUR is far above the average, and only a minority of people have an income of that level.

With a gross annual salary of 80,000 EUR, as a single, you will get about 6,600 EUR monthly or 3,729 EUR after tax. It’s a high income for a single person.

80,000 EUR is the wage of top high-qualified personnel or someone with years of experience, and approximately only 3% of people have this salary.

Highest paying jobs in Germany

According to the Stepstone analysis, doctors earn the highest salaries in Germany – on average, 89,500 EUR gross per year.

The second place belongs to investment consultants, controllers, and other financial experts, with annual salaries of 73,800 EUR a year.

The third professional group earning far above average is lawyers. A law degree in Germany will give you an average income of 68,600 EUR.

Below you can see a report made by Salary Atlas in 2021. The highest-paying jobs have been ranked by median income and the average salary for each job that you can see in brackets.

  1. Head of physicians – €196,251 (€212,808)
  2. Senior physician – €121,748 (€129,697)
  3. Sales control / Sales management – €94,796 (€103,836)
  4. Regional sales manager – €90,812 (€96,868)
  5. Commercial manager – €90,661 (€101,900)
  6. IT manager – €88,610 (€96,076)
  7. Fund manager – €83,641
  8. (Key) account manager – €75,671
  9. Regional sales manager – €74,528

Source: iamexpat.de

What are the highest-paying vocational professions in Germany?

Top paying industries

The industry has a significant influence on your salary level in Germany. According to the Federal statistics, employees in the financial and insurance sector had the highest income in 2020 of 80,030 EUR excluding special payments.

That was followed by the energy supply industry with 71,738 EUR on average. The lowest salary receive workers in hospitality – is only about 25,705 EUR.

Due to the pandemic and other factors, some of the well-paid sectors in Germany include (average salary):

  1. Semiconductor – 76,320 EUR
  2. Biotechnology – 74,340 EUR
  3. Banks – 63,790 EUR
  4. Aviation – 64,260 EUR
  5. Pharmaceutical industry – 63,430 EUR
  6. Automobile industry – 62,120 EUR
  7. Wholesale – 65,890 EUR

In the table below, you can detailed overview of salaries in different German industries:

SectorAverage monthly salary, EUR
Financial and insurance services5,602
Information and communication5,248
Energy supply5,218
Professional, scientific and technical services4,933
Education4,650
Real estate4,271
Manufacturing4,271
Public administration, defense and social security4,091
Mining and quarrying4,083
Manufacturing industry 4,062
Arts and recreation3,871
Retail3,735
Water supply3,617
Construction3,540
Transport3,164

Lowest-paying German industries

SectorAverage annual salary, EUR
Retail – technical35,310
Retail – construction and furnishing34,110
Retail – food32,440 
Hotels and restaurants31,200
Call centers28,920

Top paying regions

Here are the top-paying German regions in 2022:

  1. Baden-Württemberg – 47,810 EUR
  2. Hesse – 47,840 EUR
  3. Hamburg – 46,800 EUR
  4. Bavaria – 46,800 EUR
  5. North Rhine-Westphalia – 43,940 EUR
  6. Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania – 34,320 EUR – the lowest

Furthermore, these German cities pay the most to the skilled workers and executives:

  1. Stuttgart – 53,590 EUR
  2. Munich – 53,662 EUR
  3. Düsseldorf – 48,880 EUR
  4. Wiesbaden – 48,670 EUR
  5. Hamburg – 46,800 EUR
  6. Frankfurt for financial professionals

Read about how much you will earn in Munich.

Highest-paying jobs aren’t the easiest to get. Jobs in high demand are more suitable for foreigners. Check out the most demanded jobs in Germany in 2022.

Another article you might like: salaries in Germany vs US.

Average expenses with the average salary

Now you know how much approximately you will make, but what about living expenses? According to the Federal Statistics Office, German households spend an average of €2,704 per month, where €908 goes to housing, energy, and maintenance.

Most Germans spend around €356 on groceries, €351 on transport, and €284 on leisure per month.

There is a significant difference between German regions and cities regarding the cost of living, where the South is always more expensive, whereas the East is cheaper. 

Thus, you can expect to pay around €400-€500 for a room in central Berlin and about €600-€700 for a room in central Munich

Learn more about cost of living in Germany in this article.

Housing

The average rental price for a one-bedroom apartment is €700.

One-bedroom apartment rent in the largest German cities:

  •  Leipzig €512
  •  Cologne €730
  •  Stuttgart €857
  •  Berlin €879
  •  Frankfurt €901
  •  Hamburg €911
  •  Munich €1,125

Utilities

Utility prices can be high in Germany, especially in the winter months, when you use heating. Furthermore, Germany is the 10th most expensive in the world when it comes to utilities.

Your monthly bills include: 

  • electricity
  • water
  • heating 
  • garbage

On average, the total utilities can be about €210 per month.

Groceries

In Germany average household spends 414 EUR on shopping for food and drinks. 

Eating out

The average German eats out in a restaurant 136 times a year. The average spending for eating out for one person rages between 147 EUR and 226 EUR per month. 

When taking the average cost of the meal and one drink – 10-15 EUR (food) + 3-5 EUR (drink), it will come to around 13*136=1,768 EUR yearly on a low end or 20*136= 2,720 EUR yearly on a high end. 

Healthcare

In Germany, everyone with public health insurance pays the same amount, which is 14,6% of the gross monthly salary. The employer contributes half of it. Therefore, workers pay only 7,8% of their gross income.

For instance, someone with a gross salary of 50,000 EUR will pay 608 EUR per month for public insurance

Students pay a fixed rate of around 110 EUR. 

However, the private insurance rate isn’t based on income and varies from provider to provider. As a result, you might save a buck by getting private coverage instead of public. 

Furthermore, you almost never have to pay additionally from your budget when using health insurance. It covers your medical bill completely in nearly 100% of the cases.

Read more about health insurance in Germany in this article. You will also find the cheapest options there.

Expenses with an average gross monthly income of 4,748 EUR/2,843 EUR net in 2022:

  • Rent 1,400 EUR
  • Internet + phone 60 EUR
  • Transportation 100 EUR
  • Food 400 EUR
  • Shoes and clothing 130 EUR
  • Household, miscellaneous 100 EUR
  • Entertainment, recreation, culture 300 EUR
  • Total spending: 2,490 EUR
  • Total remains: 353 EUR

In the end, you will also have some money left for savings and leisure. Booking a monthly ticket for transportation will also save you a buck.

Taxes in Germany

Before you make any conclusions about salaries in Germany, you need to understand how much of it goes to taxes and social security funds.

Germany has a progressive personal income tax rate starting from 0% and ending at 45% (see below).

Personal income tax rates in Germany in 2022:

Singles (EUR)Tax Rate
0 – 9,9840%
9,984 – 58,59614% to 42%
58,596 – 277,825 42%
Above 277,825 45%

Total tax and social security contributions deductions for German employees are high. You will pay between 35% and 45% of your monthly income. Where:

  1. Income taxes – between 14% to 45%
  2. Health insurance – 14,6% of your gross salary in total (paid half by you and half by the employer)
  3. Retirement insurance is levied at 19,6% of gross salary, of which half is paid by the employer and half by the employee
  4. Church tax – between 8% and 9%
  5. Solidarity surcharge – 5,5%
  6. Unemployment insurance – 3% (paid half by you and half by the employer)

Read in-depth tax comparison of Germany vs US.

Health insurance for expats in Germany

If you need more of a global health insurance solution, we recommend Cigna Global. Because Cigna insurance is international you can use your policy not only in Germany but almost anywhere in the world.

With 74,000 employees, 200 years of experience, and more than 100 million customers globally, Cigna is one of the largest international insurance providers out there.

With that insurance, you can enjoy instant and easy access to healthcare facilities and professionals around the globe.

Visit their website to learn more and choose the optimal coverage for your situation. Find here the sign-in form in German for German speakers.

How much money do you need to live comfortably in Germany?

How much money you need to live comfortably comes to the cost of living. Generally, you can live comfortably earning between 1,500 EUR – 2,000 EUR, depending on the location and your personal situation.

As practice shows, students need much less than working individuals. A 1,000 EUR – 1,500 EUR budget is comfortable enough for a college student, whereas workers want to have between 2,000 EUR – 3,000 EUR in disposable income:

  1. Living: a room 250 EUR – 500 EUR, an apartment 600 EUR-1,500 EUR
  2. Health insurance: 100 EUR for students and 14,6% of the gross salary for workers
  3. Phone/Internet/TV: 60 EUR
  4. Food: 400 EUR
  5. Clothes, shoes, hairdresser, free time: 300 EUR
  6. Miscellaneous: 100 EUR
  7. Total: Depending on the rent, your monthly living expenses can be as low as 1,200 EUR and as high as 2,460 EUR.

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Anna

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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