What's the best job in Germany

Salary Atlas 2021: The highest paid jobs in Germany

The Salary.de portal publishes the salary atlas once a year. To do this, the portal evaluates a total of 220,500 data sets from working people in Germany. In order to show a more precise picture of salaries in Germany, the so-called median is determined and used. Compared to the mean, the median is more meaningful because it is insensitive to extreme values.

In essence, this means: The median is in the middle - 50 percent of people earn less than the median and 50 percent earn more. The information on the median salaries is gross salaries for a 40-hour work week.

An academic title is worthwhile in Germany

According to the salary atlas in 2021, people with a university degree earn an average of around 57,000 euros gross per year. In comparison, employees without a degree have a gross annual income of 37,800 euros. In the ranking, skilled workers are ahead of non-academics with an annual salary of 41,514 euros. Nationwide, executives earn the most - around 95,097 euros on average.

MedianAverage
All employees43.189 €50.943 €
Executives95.097 €109.562 €
Academics57.040 €66.926 €
Skilled workers41.514 €46.173 €
Not academics37.800 €41.789 €
Young professionals30.347 €37.334 €

Top earners - these professions earn the most money in Germany

In Germany, doctors are traditionally among the top earners. Head physicians and resident physicians continue to earn the most on a nationwide average - around 196,251 euros gross annually. Senior physicians are in second place with a gross income of 121,748 euros. But managers are also among the top earners in Germany. Sales managers receive around 94,796 euros a year, while regional sales managers for capital goods earn 90,812 euros a year. Close behind are commercial managers with a median salary of 90,661 euros and IT managers with 88,610 euros.

jobMedianAverage
Head physicians, resident physicians196.251 €212.808 €
Senior physicians121.748 €129.697 €
Sales control / sales management94.796 €103.836 €
Regional sales manager for capital goods90.812 €96.868 €
Commercial Management90.661 €101.900 €
IT management88.610 €96.076 €

The industry decides - the biotech industry pays the most, retail, call centers and the hotel industry the least

Every year "Forbes" magazine selects the richest people in the world. The corona crisis has changed some placements in the ranking. Who made it back into the top ten and who occupied the top positions.

The biotech industry is the best-paid industry in Germany. Full-time employees in biotechnology earn around 67,524 euros gross per year. In view of the current corona crisis, the industry is particularly in focus. Because research and development in the biotech industry has resulted in several vaccines against the coronavirus being available within a year, including the corona vaccine from the Mainz-based biotechnology company Biontech.

The food industry has also made a significant contribution to the corona crisis, but the salary prospects are relatively low. Employees in food retailing earn around 31,212 euros gross annually. Only employees in call centers (EUR 29,391 gross annual salary) and in hotels and restaurants (EUR 28,963 gross annual salary) earn less.

Top 5 industries with the highest salaries nationwide:

BranchMedianAverage
biotechnology67.524 €81.309 €
Other capital goods66.594 €78.270 €
semiconductor65.586 €75.091 €
Banking61.651 €68.295 €
pharmacy60.536 €72.625 €

Sectors that pay the least nationwide:

BranchMedianAverage
Social facilities34.979.€37.759 €
Tourism, leisure34.621 €40.037 €
Retail, groceries31.212 €36.034 €
Call center29.391 €33.855 €
Hotel and restaurants28.963 €32.879 €

Country ranking - the median salaries in the 16 federal states

In a country comparison, there is a clear difference in the salary prospects. Even more than 30 years after German reunification, the pay gap between West and East Germany is still large. The people in the old federal states earn significantly more than those who work in the new federal states.

For comparison: Schleswig-Holstein only ranks 11th in the nationwide ranking, but full-time workers there earn an average of 3,142 euros more than in Thuringia (12th) and even 5,304 euros more than in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania (16th).

The regional factor indicates the extent to which the median salary in the respective federal state deviates from the national median salary. The median salary of full-time employees in Germany is 43,200 euros. Full-time employees in federal states with a regional factor of over 100 percent earn more than the national average. This is the case in only five of the sixteen federal states. In the eleven remaining federal states, the regional factor is sometimes well below 100 percent.

That means the employees in these federal states earn less than the national average. The regional factor also clearly reflects the east-west divide. In Baden-Württemberg the regional factor is 107.9 percent, in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, on the other hand, only 78 percent.

rankfederal stateAll employeesRegional factor in%
1Baden-Wuerttemberg46.620 €107,9
2Hesse46.329 €107,2
3Hamburg45.571 €105,5
4Bavaria45.124 €104,4
5North Rhine-Westphalia43.829 €101,1
6Rhineland-Palatinate42.596 €98,6
7Bremen41.966 €97,1
8Saarland41.313 €95,6
9Berlin40.729 €94,3
10Lower Saxony40.292 €93,2
11Schleswig-Holstein38.994 €90,2
12Thuringia35.852 €83
13Saxony35.228 €81,5
14Brandenburg35.077 €81,2
15Saxony-Anhalt34.784 €80,5
16Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania33.690 €78

State capitals - the median salaries in the 16 state capitals

Pay slips are incomprehensible to many. Employees should still concern themselves with their payroll. Here you can find out the difference between gross and net and what exactly wage taxes are.
by Selin Bogazliyan, Ben Mendelson

Even if you compare the state capitals with each other, the pay gap between East and West is large. Often people in big cities generally earn more money. This is particularly due to the fact that the cost of living in large cities is significantly higher than elsewhere in Germany.

While the regional factor was only above the national median salary in five out of sixteen federal states in a state comparison, people in seven of sixteen state capitals earn more than the national average.

People in Stuttgart earn the most on average, around 54,012 euros gross per year. That is 25 percent more than the nationwide median salary of 43,200 euros. In Schwerin, however, the median salary is 34,500 euros and thus well below the nationwide median salary. Nevertheless: full-time employees in the state capital Schwerin earn an average of two percent more than in the rest of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania.

rankState capitalAll employeesRegional factor in%
1Stuttgart54.012 €125
2Munich53.662 €124
3Dusseldorf50.626 €117,2
4Wiesbaden49.611 €114,8
5Hamburg45.780 €106,9
6Mainz45.219 €104,7
7Hanover44.744 €103,6
8Bremen42.412 €98,2
9Saarbrücken41.245 €95,5
10Berlin40.662 €94,1
11Kiel40.295 €93,3
12Dresden36.806 €85,2
13Erfurt37.199 €86,1
14Potsdam36.616 €84,7
15Magdeburg36.089 €83,5
16Schwerin34.500 €80

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