What is the Monthly Salary of Nurses in Germany?

Mar 2, 2020Become a Nurse, Work in Germany

Are you wondering how much nurses in Germany make? Maybe you are considering working there as well or compare your current salary? Hard nursing work pays off in Germany, however not that well as in the USA or Canada.

On average nurses in Germany earn 33,000 annually and between 2,800 EUR and 2,900 EUR gross monthly. The salary also depends on the region, experience, qualifications, working time (night shifts are paid better).

There are very many factors that can influence the nursing salary. But overall the job paid well and it grows with years of experience and expertise.

Related: “How to work as a nurse in Germany

How Much Do Nurses in Germany Really Get Paid

Same as the variety and diversity of the nursing job – salary ranges and depends on many things.

1. Region

Not surprisingly nurses in Bavaria earn more than colleagues in other parts of Germany – 2,970 EUR on average, followed by Hessen and 2,930 EUR and Baden-Württemberg.

2. Brutto-Netto ratio

Remember that in Germany you will always see your brutto (gross) salary first and after all taxes and social contribution – sad number (netto) shows up. Therefore, salary highly depends on how much taxes a nurse has to pay.

3. TVöD – Collective agreement for the public service

If a nurse works in public organization (what most of the time the case) her/his salary depends on the collective agreement of the company. Numbers are strictly regulated and aren’t negotiable. However, the nurse’s TVöD level can be upgraded with the work experience.

With one year of work experience rise to level 2 is possible, after 3 years to level 3 and a monthly salary of 3,000 EUR. Although the limit is 3,500 EUR, to receive a higher salary nurse will need a bachelor’s or master’s degree.

4. Working time/days

A nurse’s salary also depends on the time and day she/he works. The German government wants to protect and secure employees as much as it can and since working at night isn’t good for your health – employer has to pay extra for this.

Nights surcharge is between 25% – 30% of the regular hour fare, 25% is tax-free. As you can see nurses who prefer to work at night earn on average much more than someone working regular hours.

In fact, Sundays are paid 50% (tax-free) more than normal fare and working on holidays will bring you 150% more than on an average day, plus 40% (tax-free) night fare applicable if working at night hours.

In total: nurses in Germany can earn up to 190% more working in unusual hours/days.

Generally speaking, the salary primarily depends on the company where the nurse is working. If the employment relationship is based on the collective agreement in the public service, the starting salary is on average about 33,000 EUR per year.

Overall, depending on the area of responsibility, nurses can expect a salary of 2,800 EUR to 2,900 EUR gross per month at the beginning of the career. Increases in salary arise with the experience and also further training. The rule is the longer nurse works in one hospital and one department the higher salary she has.

A monthly salary of approximately 3,400 EUR can be achieved through further training (usually a degree) and several years of professional experience in the same department. Nurses who qualify for a leadership position can even expect up to 3,800 EUR per month.

If you want to know how much you will earn in Germany as a nurse, visit this platform, it will provide exact numbers!

When looking for a job as a nurse in Germany it’s always recommended to opt for public employers with the collective agreement, they offer comparatively attractive nurse salary. In the private sector, nurses can expect a salary of 1,800 EUR to 2,200 EUR gross.

You can check the salary on this platform which allows you to set a location, experience, and many other factors, which influence the wage.

Tax for Nurses in Germany

In the picture above you can see more less understandable presentation of the German tax categories. Read below for an explanation.

Tax rates for nurses strongly depend on their tax class (Lohnsteuerklass). For this reason its difficult to say in general, since each person has its own rate.

This system isn’t easy to understand, but the german logic is working single individuals without kids will pay the highest taxes. Below you can see 6 tax categories (klasses) in Germany:

1. Single, married with limited tax liability, divorced and permanently separated from the partner (ex-partner) – 32 – 42%
2. Single parent – 30% – 35%
3. Registered civil partners or married persons who live together and receive very different salaries (the partner who earns more receives tax Class 3) – 31%
4. Registered civil partners or married persons who live together and receive a similar salary – 40%
5. Registered civil partners as well as married persons who do not live permanently apart from each other and receive very different salaries (the partner who earns less receives tax Class 5) – 50%
6. For people with multiple jobs – 44% – 49%

It’s not possible to say the exact tax rate for nurses in Germany, only one is for sure – they pay between 30% and 42% of their gross monthly salary.

Additionally, all employees in Germany have to pay solidarity surcharge, which is 5,5% of the gross salary.

Before you apply for a nursing job in Germany you need to translate all your documents and qualifications if they aren’t on German originally. Lingoking is a German translation company which will help you to prepare all the necessary documents in the right way! Moreover, they also offer very affordable prices and super easy online platform where you can order your translation inclusive notarization! without any hustle and time-wasting.

How to Increase the Salary while Working as a Nurse in Germany

Certified nurses can increase their salary my upgrading their knowledge in the industry or by completing additional courses/degree. There are many directions to choose from when it comes to specializations for health workers in Germany, some of them better paid than others.

Overall, completing any specialization will bring more money by the end of the month compared to general nurse education/training.

Nurses can choose between a wide range of further training in the following fields for which no high degree is required:

  • Anesthesia and intensive care
  • Operations and endoscopy service
  • Oncology
  • Clinical geriatrics
  • Rehabilitation and long-term care
  • Palliative and hospice care
  • Hygiene
  • Nephrology
  • Psychiatric care

However, for these qualifications at least bachelor degree is a must:

  • Head of the department
  • Care expert
  • Care consultant
  • Palliative Care
  • Specialist in culture-sensitive care
  • Specialist in-home care
  • Specialist for health and social services
  • Assistance, support, and helpers in the care

Consequently, the biggest salary receive nurses with Bachelor’s and Master’s degree with&without further qualifications. In Germany, you will always get what you worked for. If someone pursued education for 10 years, he/she will get payback 100% and more, same as a qualified nurse without a degree but with years of high-quality service behind.

Another factor for the size of your salary is your employer. Nurses who work in private clinics/practices/companies earn on average less than nurses in public or church organizations with regulated collective contracts.

How Many Hours Do Nurses Work in Germany?

Overall nurses in Germany work roundly 8-hour shifts excluding half an hour break for food and including some small breaks in between.

Nurses have very flexible working hours compared to other professions, but even they have regulated working hours, which often ranges from employer to employer. Usually, nurses work between 38 and 40 hours per week, if they work on the weekend they will get a free day under the week.

In most cases, they work in the same 3 shifts: early, late and night. Although some might prefer to work only at night or 12 hours shifts, even 24 hours long working day can be possible.

Nurses can also tell their preferences if they like to work more in the morning or at night their schedule can be optimized accordingly.

Typical shift schedule for health professions and especially for nurses:

  1. Morning shift: 6 am to 2:30 pm
  2. Evening/late shift: 1:30 pm to 10:00 pm
  3. Night shift: 8:30 pm to 6:00 am

How Many Days of Vacation Do Nurses Get in Germany?

The minimum holiday length in Germany is 20 working days per year for all professions. By the end of the year, the employee must spend all free days or receive an allowance in the form of money instead.

Each organization regulates its own vacation length for employees, you will find the exact number of days in your working contract. Nurses often receive 27 working days of vacation, which means more than 5 weeks.

What is the Cost of Living in Germany?

The cost of living in Germany also varies from region to region the same as salaries. The most expensive regions to live are Bavaria and Baden Württemberg, the cheapest are Saxony-Anhalt, Saxony, Lower Saxony.

Let’s take average prices in some south German city:

  • Room in the shared apartment: 350 – 500 EUR
  • Small apartment with one bedroom: 550 EUR – 700 EUR
  • Dinner/Lunch and drink in the normal restaurant: 15 – 20 EUR
  • Gym membership: 30 EUR

Groceries: Staple foods are not too expensive in Germany compare to European standards, although upmarket supermarkets such as Rewe and Tegut are more expensive. If you shop at Lidl and Aldi, you save between 10 and 15%. You should count on at least 200 EUR per month for groceries.

Conclusion: you will need at least 1,100 EUR per month to live a simple life in Germany in the shared apartments.

Check out my favorite resource for the cost of living which has actual information about all corners of the world.

Recommended products and services in Germany:

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