This is how much employees earn in Germany

Ever wondered what employees working in Germany take home every month? These figures shed some light on average incomes.

This is how much employees earn in Germany
How much cash do employees in Germany pocket?

Perhaps you're thinking of getting a job in Germany and wondering what the average wages are. Or maybe you're already based in the country and you're curious to see how your salary measures up to others.

Whatever the case, look no further – here's a rundown of some interesting stats that give a flavour of what employees pocket every month.

Average income in Germany: how much do workers earn?

If you take all employees in Germany – that’s both full-time and part-time workers – the average salary according to Statista, the German online portal for statistics, is around €2,860 (as of 2017).

After all deductions, the average net salary is around €1,890 per month, said Bavarian news site in a recent report.

People who work full-time in the Bundesrepublik (35 to 40 hours a week is common in many companies), receive an average of €3,770 gross per month.

A Statista graph, based on data from 2016, breaks down how much people in each of Germany's 16 states pocket every year. 

READ ALSO: The Local Jobs – English-language jobs in Germany

But women and men still earn different amounts. The gender pay gap in Germany, i.e. the wage gap between men and women, is around 22 percent in favour of men. Men who work full-time earn earn about an average of €3,960 per month (gross), while women working full-time have to make do with just €3,330.

This is the unadjusted pay gap (this means that variables were not taken into account). According to the Federal Statistical Office, a large chunk of the gender pay gap can be explained by the different occupational and sector choices of men and women.

Women also often work less than men, for example in part-time or mini-jobs.

READ ALSO: In eastern Germany, the gender pay gap favours women

Here's an overview of the figures:

Average gross salary of all employees in Germany: €2,860 (per month) 

Average net salary of all employees (after tax): €1,890 (per month)

Average full-time gross salary of employees: €3,770 (per month)

Average gross full-time salary of men: €3,960 (per month)

Average gross full-time salary of women: €3,330 (per month)

Source: Statista (as of 2017)

For a more in-depth break down of salaries read our article: The best and worst paid jobs in Germany

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How easy is it to get an English-speaking job in Germany?

Lots of foreigners in Germany hope to get a job or climb the career ladder. But are there still opportunities for English speakers who don't have fluent German? We spoke to a careers expert to find out.

How easy is it to get an English-speaking job in Germany?

The pandemic turned our lives upside down. As well as having to isolate and be apart from family members, many people found themselves in need of a new job or decided they want a change in career. 

If you’re in Germany or thinking of moving here, job searching is of course easier with German language skills. But many people haven’t had the chance to learn German – or their German isn’t fluent enough to work in a German-only environment.

So how easy is it to find a job in Germany as an English speaker?

We asked Düsseldorf-based career coach Chris Pyak, managing director of Immigrant Spirit GmbH, who said he’s seen an increase in job offers. 

“The surprising thing about this pandemic is that demand for skilled labour actually got even stronger,” Pyak told The Local.

“Instead of companies being careful, they’ve hired even more than they did before. And the one thing that happened during the pandemic that didn’t happen in the last 10 years I’ve observed the job market was that the number of English offers quadrupled.”

READ ALSO: How to boost your career chances in Germany

Pyak said usually about one percent of German companies hire new starts in English. “Now it’s about four percent,” said Pyak. 

“This happened in the second half of 2021. This is a really positive development that companies are more willing than they used to be. That said it’s still only four percent.”

Pyak said he’s seen a spike in demand for data scientists and analysts as well as project managers. 

So there are some jobs available, but can foreigners do anything else?

Pyak advises non-Germans to sell themselves in a different way than they may be used to. 

A woman works on her CV in Germany.

A woman works on her CV in Germany. Photo: picture alliance/dpa/dpa-tmn | Christin Klose

“In your home country you have a network, you have a company you used to work for that people know,” said Pyak. “This might be partly the case in Germany if you worked for an international company. But for most employers you are a blank sheet of paper, they know nothing about you. So unfortunately if they don’t know you or your country, they will assume you are worse (at the job) than Germans. It’s completely unjustified but it’s just how people are. 

“Get the employer to see you as the individual person you are, the professional you are. This requires that you have a conversation with somebody inside the company, ideally the decision maker, meaning the hiring manager or someone in this team.”

Pyak said it’s important to go into details. 

“Don’t think of me as a foreigner, think of me as ‘Mark who has been working in IT for 15 years’,” said Pyak. “Don’t read the job advert (to the manager), ask them what his or her biggest worry is and why is that important? And then dig deeper and offer solutions based on your work experience. Share actual examples where you proved that you can solve this problem.”

READ ALSO: 7 factors that can affect how much you’re getting paid

Pyak says foreigners in Germany can convince managers that they are right for the job – even if their German isn’t great. 

“What I advise clients at the beginning of the interview is to ask very politely if you can ask them (managers) a question. And this question should be: how will you know that I’m successful in this job, what is the most important problem I need to solve for you in order to make myself valuable? And then ask why this problem is so important. And the answer to that achieves a million things for you – first of all you’ve established a measurement by which you should be measured. 

“Then when you get into detailed discussion you can always tie your answer back to the question you can solve, which usually makes up 70 or 80 percent of the job. If you can solve this problem then what does it matter if you do the job in German or English?”

So in answer to our original question – it seems that getting an English-speaking job in Germany can’t be described as easy but it is very possible especially if you have the skills in your chosen field. Plus there are ways to increase your chances. Good luck!