Are you planning to move to Berlin, Germany, and wondering how much will you make? The income in Berlin isn’t the highest in Germany but so and the cost of living. Also, Berlin offers so much to its residents, including culture, history, nightlife, and going out scene, so you will find where to spend your money for sure.
The majority of people earn around 50,000 EUR gross in Berlin per year, which comes to approximately 30,000 EUR after taxes. Overall, income in Berlin depends on many factors such as profession, experience, education, industry, size, type of company, etc.
Salaries in Germany aren’t publicly open and people also don’t talk about it, so you might experience some difficulties figuring what employees are making in Berlin. In this article, we explain how much people earn in the German capital and which factors influence the income of Berliners.
Which Salary Can You Expect as an Employee in Berlin?
It’s important to set the right expectations when starting a new job and especially when moving to the new country/city. Berlin is a special place, attracting many foreigners every year. There are many reasons why people move here. One of them is the opportunity to work in the international firm or startup.
Berlin is particularly popular for its startup scene, but unfortunately, people often get underpaid when working in such organizations. In Germany, and so in the capital, salary ranges aren’t advertised alongside job descriptions like in Austria, for example. This makes it thought for job seekers to estimate how much money should they expect.
This lack of basic transparency in Germany makes it hard for job candidates to set priorities when applying for jobs and to know how much bargaining power they have during salary negotiations.
Berlin is the center of Europe’s tech scene and offers the most amount of jobs for expats in the country. That’s why it’s critical to understand what foreign candidates can expect financially in order to make the best decisions for their careers.
In addition to this, word of mouth wouldn’t help you either. If in some countries talking about money and salaries is normal, in Germany it looks differently.
The topic of money and salaries isn’t something that people discuss openly. In Germany, money is considered to be an intimate matter, which is discussed among the family, when at all. That’s why you might find it difficult to figure out how much money people around you are making and if your income is fair for Berlin.
Overall, income in Berlin but also in Germany depends on many factors such as profession, experience, education, industry, size, and type of the company, etc.
How Much Money People Make in Berlin?
In the table, you can see the percentage of people in Berlin who earn this annual salary or more. In Germany, high earners aren’t that common, so only 6% of people make 6 figures.
|% of Employees||Income in Berlin|
|6 %||EUR 111,500|
|11 %||EUR 93,045|
|23 %||EUR 72,905|
|53 %||EUR 53,260|
The majority of people makes around 50k EUR gross in Berlin, which comes to approximately 30k EUR after taxes.
On average, employees earn less in Berlin than the average across Germany. This can be a result of lower cost of living and influence of particular lower-paid industries.
Also, the city’s economy is more driven by start-ups that tend to pay employees less, with that reducing the average wage, especially for Sales, Marketing & HR. Moreover, a big pool of highly qualified applicants from Germany and other countries keep salaries low as well.
Sure enough, many people want to live in Berlin rather than in some less known towns. Therefore, they come to the German capital and seek a job with thousands of other candidates.
Berlin’s labor market is especially focused on tech professionals but not only they can get well-paid jobs there. Accordingly to the statistics, Software Developers and Managers earn the highest salaries in the German capital. Whereas, roles in Sales and Marketing pay the least.
A developer is a very popular profession in Berlin especially for applicants from abroad. They earn on average 43,300 EUR with 0 to 2 years of experience.
|Job Title||Avg. gross salary Berlin|
|Software Developer||EUR 60,000|
|Human Resources Manager||EUR 59,522|
|IT Project Manager||EUR 59,300|
|IT Manager||EUR 95,734|
|Marketing Manager||EUR 54,446|
|Project Manager||EUR 51,253|
|Software Engineer||EUR 67,108|
Salaries listed in the table above represent mostly managerial positions, thus, numbers are higher than for example, for someone with a regular job. However, the amount is fair for architects and engineers, they usually can work pretty much independently.
If you are only starting with your career and don’t have much experience but at least a bachelor degree, then expect the following pay:
|Industry||Avg. gross salary Berlin|
|Engineers & Technical jobs||EUR 41,933|
|Finance & Controlling||EUR 37,323|
|Purchasing & Logistics||EUR 43,413|
|Average (All)||EUR 37.760|
Yes, you guess, speaking German isn’t necessary to get a job in Berlin especially if you are tech, but it still influences your salary.
In fact, there are more people in Berlin that don’t speak German than expats who can communicate in that language. Therefore, you will be competing with more candidates and this again will indirectly make your salary lower.
If you really don’t want to learn German try out other cities, there you surely will find fewer people from abroad who don’t speak the language.
Although, I highly recommend learning the language if you plan to stay in Germany long term and intergrade yourself in society. Speaking German will surely give you a kick in the career.
In Germany, education plays a significant role on the income of the employee.
What is Your Degree: Bachelor, Master, PHD?
Not only your degree is important for determining a salary in Berlin, but also hard skills and certificates. Especially for IT specialists, it’s important to educate and progress all the time, technology and trends are changing all the time.
A bachelor’s degree usually is the bare minimum employer wants to see in the applicant, some lucky techs might get a job without university, but it’s more an exception. Master, of course, will increase your salary and responsibilities in the firm.
Applicants with master degree earn on average 5,000 EUR annually more that one with a bachelor.
In the table below you can see average salaries in Berlin with diverse educational backgrounds. I doubt about income with just high school and bellow high school, these people probably did some vocational training and have years of experience.
|Education||Avg. gross salary Berlin|
|Doctorate Degree||EUR 78,714|
|Masters Degree||EUR 57,934|
|Bachelors Degree||EUR 53,466|
|Some College||EUR 51,355|
|High School||EUR 46,307|
|Bellow H. School||EUR 41,000|
Industry in Germany can significantly influence your salary expectations. Berlin isn’t an engineering hotspot with big production centers like Munich or Stuttgart, for example. In Germany, the best sectors to work in include automotive, vehicles: aerospace, trains, and industrial engineering.
In Berlin, your top employers will be industrial companies, startups, and research institutions. By far the best paid is the automotive industry, with a salary up to 80k.
Also, employees in banking earn 19% above the average salary, next to the pharmaceutical industry (+18%) and automotive (+17%).
Most of Berlin’s economy is focused on services, with around 84% of all companies doing that. The most important sectors are life sciences, transportation, information and communication technologies, media and music, advertising and design, biotechnology, environmental services, construction, e-commerce, retail, hotel business, and medical engineering.
Some well known companies with branches in Berlin are German Telekom, Siemens, Deutsche Bahn, Daimler, BMW.
According to the statistics, the biggest employers in Berlin fall into these industries: Traffic/Logistics, Health, Technology, Automobile, Telecommunications, Online commerce.
Of course, Berlin is famous for its art scene, this industry is also big in the German capital, as well as media and tourism. However, employees in such sectors tend to have lower salaries.
As you might guess, many startups are in the industry of information, communication, and technology with some diversifications.
Another factor that plays an important role in your income in Berlin is professional experience. Depending on the company’s field, employers sometimes require some years of experience from foreign applicants.
The more experience you have the more you will get paid, the top earners usually people who have been in the industry for 10+ years. The average starting salary for the professional right after college in Berlin is 37,760 EUR.
If we look at the software engineer with up to 2 years of experience, he/she can expect around 49,605 EUR annually,
with 3-5 years – 51,600 EUR, 6-10 years 54,209 EUR, and with more than 10 years in a job they can get 64,543 EUR.
You can check exact salaries in Berlin for each profession by using the free tool Gehalt.de.
Company Type and Size
A Company size always sets some expectations on the future salary of the employee across all country. Bigger companies pay more and have better benefits, but also type of the firm influences your paycheck.
The truth is that start-ups in Berlin tend to pay lower salaries than regular companies. Statistics show clear numbers: people who work for normal businesses earn significantly higher salaries than those who employed in startups.
For instance, software engineers who work in companies with up to 500 employees earn 44,028 EUR; between 501 and 1,000 employees – 49,740 EUR; from 1k employees – 58,080 EUR.
Stepstone points out, large companies (+10,000 employees) in Germany pay the highest salaries in the country – a 27% above average. Medium- to large-sized companies (5,001 – 10,000 employees) overpay the average gross salary by 17% and medium-sized companies (1,000 – 5,000 employees) exceed the average by 12%.
Luckily for foreign applicants, Berlin has branches of many big corporations which will offer you the best salary and benefits, including:
- German Telekom with 6,833 employees in Berlin
- Siemens with 11,818 employees in Berlin
- Deutsche Bahn with 19, 466 employees in Berlin
- Daimler with 6,203 employees in Berlin
- BMW Werk Berlin / BMW Group 2,294 employees in Berlin
Popular Professions in Berlin
So which professions are actually needed in Berlin, so you can have the highest hiring chances together with better income? Keep in mind that, most of the jobs for foreigners in Berlin are offered in IT and telecommunications.
Accordingly to the statistics, software developers and managers earn the highest salaries.
Software Engineer & IT & Developer
Jobs in software development of any kind are plentiful in Berlin and regardless of the language you code in, or whether you’re in the frontend, backend, or mobile app development, talented engineers are being recruited all the time.
If you’re in IT right now, you shouldn’t have any problem finding available jobs in Berlin.
In fact, a software engineer is by far the most favorable occupation chosen by expats in Berlin. The income ranges between 42,996 EUR and 72,118 EUR at 40 hours work week.
The salary difference is related to the professional experience, the industry in which one works, and the level of responsibility in the company.
- the starting salary of a software engineer is 32,000 EUR to 46,500 EUR
- with professional experience is between 47,000 EUR and 65,000 EUR
- a senior software engineer can expect between 65,000 EUR and 100,000 EUR
Also product manager is a common job title in Berlin. Indeed, almost all companies need at least one employee in this role. Usually people with master or engineering degree can apply for this position.
In Berlin they can expect around 54,000 EUR on average.
Marketing / Communications
Savvy marketers are always needed by tech and non-tech companies. Berlin has an abundant number of job positions in these areas. Whether it’s copywriting, content marketing, performance marketing, PR, or email marketing and customer relationship management, there’s a lot of marketing jobs on offer in the German capital.
However, you won’t earn a great income with marketing, it considered being one of the lowest-paying industries.
For instance, a marketing manager in Berlin earn 45.400 EUR on average.
Design / UX / UI
To make software looking great all tech companies need these professionals. That’s why jobs in product design, UX/UI design, and graphic design are on the rise.
You can expect income of around 43,200 EUR in these occupations in Berlin.
Sure enough, someone needs to bring in the customers. Also because of the international nature of the city, there are lots of jobs in sales in Berlin.
Be aware, that sales salaries are usually lower than other positions in the company, they often tend to work on the commission, but it can be a good kick-off for multilingual applicants.
Salary in sales varies greatly, depending on what are you doing and position it can be between 36,300 EUR and 61,200 EUR.
And who’s looking after the books? As startups grow, CEOs can no longer handle all of the bookkeeping within their companies. That’s where you come in, and all of the many great finance jobs in Berlin.
Customer support is needed everywhere. In Berlin, many startups employ multilingual customer support agents.
Salaries in customer support vary between 35,087 EUR and 41,707 EUR.
Most Engineering professions
Engineers are needed and well paid across Germany, including Berlin. Especially popular specialist fields like mechanical and automotive engineering, electrical engineering, computer science, and telecommunications.
Nurses and Doctors
Health professionals will never struggle to find a job in Germany. With one of the biggest employers in Berlin clinic Charité you are on the safe side.
In Berlin, nurses can expect around 38,500 EUR on average and doctors at least 60,000 EUR depending on the experience and specialisation.
Waiters & Hospitality
Indeed, hospitality is a huge employer in Berlin, with a host of great cafés, bars, and restaurants always looking for people who know how to provide great service.
Even without speaking German, you shouldn’t have any problems getting a job in this area. Waiters in Berlin earn around 30,000 EUR on the average plus tip.
The Top 10 Employers in Berlin with Jobs in English
There is a high chance that your employer in Berlin will be one of the thousands startups. Currently, startups offer most English speaking jobs for foreigners in Berlin.
In fact, 49% of startup employees aren’t German citizens. Funny enough that Berlin’s startup workforce is more diverse than Silicon Valley’s with 45% of foreign workers.
Top international employers in Berlin include:
- Delivery Hero
- Project A Ventures GmbH
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