How much do self-employed carpenters earn

Setting up a business in the craft sector - is it worthwhile to work independently as a craftsman?

As is so often the case in life, you will perceive many warning voices from your environment as soon as you express the desire to become self-employed as a craftsman. It is in the nature of humans to opt for security and to hold on to the familiar, even if this means a dreary existence on the hamster wheel. Courage to change only very few have. And the leap into self-employment requires a lot of courage, because the changes and adjustments can be serious.

But above all, you need to self-employed entrepreneurswhether in the handicrafts or another area of ​​the economy, self-feeding, always on growth Be out of the way and work in a disciplined and structured manner despite all the challenges of everyday life. That means right from the start: Always be focused and work on your own company.

There is no time for private problems and distractions. Vacation and free time are often neglected in economically difficult years and especially at the start of business start-ups. And yet the self-employed craftsman must always be healthy and fit as possible. In the event of longer absences due to illness or even incapacity for work, the saved emergency reserves are used.

The right motivation and requirements

Why would you want to take these risks to yourself? Because these problems are only one side of self-employment. There are also the nice sides. Many even!

The almost limitless freedom to implement your own ideas, to work with power and zeal in and on a company with which you absolutely identify. To develop your own work philosophy and to incorporate your personal preferences for details into the work in such a way that you are proud of the final result.

Yes, to be your own boss. That is the motivation for many start-ups and young entrepreneurs. Theoretically, there is also the fact that a self-employed person has no upper income limit as long as he is really good in his field and has mastered the business. We will go into the income again below. But before that, the prerequisites have to be right.

In purely economic terms, there are currently optimal conditions for setting up a business in the construction industry. Because the shortage of skilled workers in the trade is a serious problem in Germany, as the following video illustrates:

In Germany, a distinction is made in handicrafts between handicrafts requiring authorization and handicrafts that are not subject to authorization or trades similar to handicrafts.

The trades that require authorization must be entered in the trade register. These include B. Craft professions such as baker, hairdresser, painter or carpenter. Other craftsmen such as tilers, carpet cleaners, watchmakers and some freelance professions such as photographers, textile designers and beauticians do not require a license or are similar to crafts. You can find a detailed list and subdivision according to the craft regulations here.

Entering self-employment is relatively easy in certain occupational fields. A business registration is often sufficient. For certain industries, however, there are higher hurdles, for example in the construction industry. If you want to start a construction company, you often need a master craftsman's certificate. However, there are also areas in which it is possible to set up a building contractor without a master craftsman's certificate. The experts at OPTA have put together a good summary of the technical requirements for start-ups with or without a master, as well as tips for a suitable business plan.

Self-employment in the trade is not always worthwhile. So calculate exactly before you start your own business as a craftsman.

What do you earn as a self-employed person in the trade?

First of all: Income should never be the motivation for starting a business. Money will only make you happy for a short time. And sometimes it will be more and sometimes too little money. Rather, it must Enjoyment of the jobthat you exercise every day will be so high that you are willing to live happily with a modest income for several years, but to pursue your passion in return.

On average, there are high-earning craftsmen among employees as well as among the self-employed. But that also applies to the low-wage earners far below. The difference in income between employees and self-employed is on average a small percentage. However, there is a clear trend: Those who employ their own employees generally earn more than salaried employees and solo workers. You can find more precise figures and a good overview of the income differences at

The income opportunities depend on several factors: Depending on the federal state, competence and craft sector, the average income is around 2,000 to 2,700 euros per month. In Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg, a craftsman earns around 2,700 to 2,800 euros, significantly more than a colleague in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania (only around 1,900 euros).

There are also master craftsmen and building contractors who earn significantly more than a doctor. But there are also many sole traders who live on the subsistence level and cannot do without help. If you are really good and competent, you will win your customers more easily and more likely to earn more. However, if your skills are not convincing, customers will of course stay away.

Pay attention to important duties, taxes and obligations

When calculating your income, you should not just multiply an hourly wage by the possible working hours. Rather, you must also consider the following factors and assess them as realistically as possible. Only then can you calculate how much you really have left at the end of the month:

  • Idle and free capacity: At the beginning you will rarely be fully utilized
  • Mobility: costs for company vehicle, fuel and maintenance
  • Taxes and fees (e.g. IHK and broadcasting fee)
  • Health insurance: minimum contribution with statutory health insurance, advantages and disadvantages with private health insurance
  • Pension insurance: compulsory for trades requiring a license
  • Accident insurance or professional association
  • Disability insurance
  • Taxes (sales tax, trade tax, income tax ...)
  • and many other costs (e.g. tax consultant, lawyer, notary, tools, possibly credit and financing costs, room costs, telephone, internet, marketing)

As you can see, there are tons of factors that you need to consider carefully and with the utmost foresight, even though you may be entering entirely new territory. Yes, self-employment is also a leap into the deep end. Only after a few years of experience and many beginners' mistakes will you be able to really solidly plan your company's development and fully enjoy your independence.

But in order to avoid common beginner mistakes, we have a good tip at the end: Meet with experienced, self-employed in the trade and exchange ideas. Ask people who have already taken this step and can say from their own experience what really matters. This will save you a lot of trouble even before you set up a business.

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Setting up a business in the craft sector - is it worthwhile to work independently as a craftsperson?
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