Are you wondering how much nurses in Germany make? Maybe you are considering working there as well or comparing your current salary? A hard nursing job pays off in Germany, however, not as well as in the USA or Canada.
On average, nurses in Germany earn an annual gross salary of 33,000 EUR, which is between 2,800 EUR and 2,900 EUR monthly. The salary depends on the region, experience, qualifications, and 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 grows with years of experience and expertise. Find out how much exactly you will earn as a nurse in Germany by using this tool.
Related: “How to work as a nurse in Germany “
How much do nurses in Germany get paid?
Same as the variety and diversity of the nursing job – salary ranges and depends on many things.
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 – a 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 a public organization (what most of the time the case), their salary depends on the company’s collective agreement. Numbers are strictly regulated and aren’t negotiable. However, the nurse’s TVöD level can be upgraded with work experience.
With one year of work experience, a 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, nurses will need a bachelor’s or master’s degree to receive a higher compensation.
4. Working time/days
A nurse’s salary also depends on the time and day they work. The German government wants to protect and secure employees as much as possible, and since working at night isn’t good for your health – the employer has to pay extra for this.
Nights surcharge is 25% – 30% of the regular hour fare, and 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 standard 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 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 leadership positions can 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 a collective agreement; they offer comparatively attractive nurse salaries. In the private sector, nurses can expect a salary of 1,800 EUR to 2,200 EUR gross.
Taxes for nurses in Germany
In the picture above, you can see the presentation of the German tax categories. Read below for an explanation.
Tax rates for nurses strongly depend on their tax class (Lohnsteuerklass). In general, each person has their own rate. For this reason, it’s difficult to say how much you will pay in taxes in Germany.
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 (classes) 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 impossible to say the exact tax rate for nurses in Germany; only one is sure – they pay between 30% and 42% of their gross monthly salary. Additionally, all employees in Germany have to pay a solidarity surcharge, which is 5,5% of the gross salary.
How to increase the salary while working as a nurse in Germany?
Certified nurses can increase their salary by upgrading their knowledge in the industry or by completing additional courses/degrees. There are many directions to choose from when it comes to specializations for health workers in Germany, some 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
- Clinical geriatrics
- Rehabilitation and long-term care
- Palliative and hospice care
- Psychiatric care
However, for these qualifications, at least a bachelor’s 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, nurses with Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees with & without further qualifications receive the highest salary. In Germany, you will always get what you worked for.
If someone pursued education for 10 years, they would get payback 100% and more, the same as a qualified nurse without a degree but with years of high-quality service.
Another factor playing a role in 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.
Looking for a job as a nurse in Germany? Check out this post about nursing jobs.
How many hours do nurses work in Germany?
Overall, nurses in Germany work 8-hour shifts, excluding half an hour break for food and some small breaks in between.
Nurses have very flexible working hours compared to other professions, but they have regulated working hours, often ranging 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 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 schedules can be optimized accordingly.
Typical shift schedule for health professions and especially for nurses:
- Morning shift: 6 am to 2:30 pm
- Evening/late shift: 1:30 pm to 10:00 pm
- 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 occupations. 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 vacation length for employees, and you will find the exact number of days in your working contract. Nurses often receive 27 working days of vacation, which means more than five 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 in are Bavaria and Baden Württemberg; the cheapest are Saxony-Anhalt, Saxony, and Lower Saxony.
Let’s take the average prices in one of the southern German cities:
- Room in the shared apartment: 350 – 500 EUR
- Small apartment with one bedroom: 550 EUR – 700 EUR
- Dinner/Lunch and drink in the average restaurant: 15 – 20 EUR
- Gym membership: 30 EUR
Groceries: Staple foods aren’t too expensive in Germany compared 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.
What is a good salary for Germany? Read in this article.
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