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REVEALED: Germany’s top-paying jobs and highest-earning states

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REVEALED: Germany’s top-paying jobs and highest-earning states
The skyline of Frankfurt am Main - featuring many international banks. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Boris Roessler

A new study has shown that doctors earn the most in Germany, while workers in the hotel and restaurant industry earn the least. These are the other jobs which fall in between.


Last week, recruiting platform Stepstone published its latest annual Salary Report. The study revealed that, in 2022, the gross median salary in Germany was €43,800 a year. This means that there is exactly the same number of salaries that are lower and higher than this annual wage.

Analysing the figures from its own database, the report looked at wage data from 561,761 jobs from January 2021 to November 2022 - "one of the largest salary databases in Germany" according to the site.


The earnings data is broken down by location and region, occupational group, industry and professional experience, among other factors.

The report showed that, for men, the median salary is €46,008 and €40,000 for women - a gap of around 13 percent. It also showed that salaries for university graduates (€58,602) are significantly higher than for those without a university or college degree (€41,509) and employees with personnel responsibility (€50,118) earned more than those without (€41,143).

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Wages also increased along with years of work experience: from €36,166 for one to two years to €49,969 for over 25 years. The size of the company also has an influence on how much employees earn: in companies with one to 50 staff, employees are paid €38,180, while those with more than 5,000 staff are paid €53,666.

Which jobs pay the most?

In Stepstone's salary report, salaries are sorted both into sectors and occupational groups. The sectors, therefore, include both well-paid and lower-paid jobs. According to Stepstone, the following occupational groups are the best-paid in Germany, based on the annual median figures:

  1. Doctors: €93,800/year 
  2. Management consultants: €54,000
  3. Engineers: €52,600
  4. IT professions: €52,000 

Topping the earnings table were doctors, earning more than twice as much as the average.


The top-earning industry was the banking sector, where employees take home a median salary of €57,600. The aerospace industry came in second place, with a median wage of €56,200 and the pharmaceutical industry came in third place, with a gross median salary of €54,800.

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At the lower-end of the earnings picture, workers in the crafts sector earned a median annual salary of €37,500, €36,100 in agriculture, forestry, fishing and horticulture and finally €34,200 in the hospitality industry.

Where do Germans earn the most?

The Stepstone report also highlighted the regional differences in earnings in Germany, revealing a stark west-east divide. According to the study, employees in eastern Germany still earn an average of 15 percent less than those in western Germany. The median salary in eastern Germany - excluding Berlin - is €38,700, while in western Germany it is €45,500.

Here's how the median annual salaries break down for the each German state:

  1. Hamburg - €48,100
  2. Baden-Wuerttemberg - €48,000
  3. Hesse - €47,800
  4. Bavaria - €46,700
  5. North Rhine-Westphalia - €44,200
  6. Bremen - €43,400
  7. Berlin - €43,100
  8. Rhineland-Palatinate - €42,000
  9. Lower Saxony - €41,900
  10. Saarland - €41,500
  11. Schleswig-Holstein - €40,800
  12. Saxony - €37,000
  13. Brandenburg - €36,600
  14. Thuringia - €36,600
  15. Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania - €36,200
  16. Saxony-Anhalt - €36,100

According to Stepstone, the city you can earn the most in Germany is Stuttgart, where the average annual gross salary is €54,008. Stuttgart is followed by Frankfurt, Munich, Wiesbaden and Düsseldorf.


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