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REVEALED: What are Germany's top-paying jobs?

Sarah Magill
Sarah Magill - [email protected]
REVEALED: What are Germany's top-paying jobs?
Germany's top paying jobs and sectors have been revealed by online portals Stepstone and kununu. Photo: Pexels/Ketut Subiyanto

Germany's most lucrative professions and sectors have come to light in recent data released by several digital career and recruitment platforms.

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When it comes to choosing a career, there are many factors to take into consideration, but one aspect that often looms largest is potential income.

Though openly talking about what you earn is still something of a taboo in Germany, you now don't have to ask around to find out different professions earn, thanks to recent research by online job portals, . 

READ ALSO: 7 ways to talk about money like a German

Career website kununu, jobs portal Stepstone and recruitment agency Robert Half have recently released their findings on the top-earning jobs in the country. This is how they break down. 

Germany's top-paying professions

Career website kununu regularly collects salary data on various professions in Germany, giving them a current database containing over two million salary reports covering 900 different job roles.

Their most recent report has revealed that, on average, Medical advisors are Germany's highest earners - receiving an average salary of €85,800 per year. Medical advisors are medical-scientific experts who bridge the gap between medical practice and scientific research.

These professionals are closely followed by pilots, who earn an annual average of €85,700, and doctors, with a yearly pay packet of €84,300 on average.

According to the kununu study, these are the top 10 highest-paying jobs in Germany with the average annual salaries: 

  1. Medical advisor - €85,800
  2. Pilot - €85,700
  3. Doctor - €84,300 
  4. Management consultant - €82,500
  5. Program manager - €82,400
  6. Lawyer - €82,400
  7. Software architect - €82,300
  8. Portfolio manager - €80,600 
  9. Legal counsel - €79,700
  10. New channel manager - €78,700

While average earnings are an important factor for job seekers to consider, the potential for salary growth is also an aspect worth thinking about. Potential for salary growth is not only industry-dependent but also relies on an employee's personal performance and negotiation skills when dealing with employers.

While comprehensive data on salary growth may be limited, the recruitment agency Robert Half has gathered data on more than a thousand salaries, producing insights into 16 professions with the most significant salary growth.

Medical professionals are amongst the highest earners in Germany. Photo: Pexels/Karolina Grabowska

Top of the list are IT Consultants, whose salaries increase by an average of 83 percent from entry-level to top professionals. Tax assistant salaries rise by an average 79 percent throughout their careers, while Scrum master (agile project managers most often working in the IT sector) salaries rise by an average 76 percent. 

Legal counsel positions seem to be an attractive career choice, as they appear in both lists, and offer both high initial salaries and substantial salary growth (72 percent).

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The median salaries

Beyond the average salary, which is calculated by adding all salaries and dividing by the number of data records, another vital metric for salary comparison is the median. This is because the average salary can be heavily influenced by extremely high or low earners.

The median, on the other hand, represents the middle value in a dataset. In simpler terms, it's the point at which half the salaries are lower, and half are higher.

READ ALSO: The words and phrases you need to navigate the German job market

The job portal Stepstone conducted an analysis of over 560,000 salary data sets, revealing an average gross salary of €53,118 and a median of €43,842 for the whole of Germany.

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According to Stepstone's study, doctors continue to rank among the highest earners, with a gross median salary of €93,800 -  more than double the national average. Other well-paid professions include employees in the field of consulting (€54,000 annually), engineering (€52,600), and IT occupations (€52,000).

READ ALSO: Which regions in Germany need foreign engineers?

According to Stepstone, these are the top 10 highest-paying jobs and professional groups in Germany with the average and median annual salaries: 

Profession and professional groups

  1. Doctors: €93,793 (median) €97,983 (average)
  2. Consulting: €53,956 (median) €60,398 (average)
  3. Engineering: €52,577 (median) €58,309 (average)
  4. IT: €52,045 (median)  €58,851 (average)
  5. Marketing & PR: €49,249 (median) €57,400 (average)
  6. Banking, Finance & Insurance: €48,415 (median) €59,997 (average)
  7. Human Resources: €46,738 (median) €56,130 (average)
  8. Sales: €43,605 (median)  €53,419 (average)
  9. Trades: €39,956 (median) €42,578 (average)
  10. Health & Social Services: €38,139 (median) €42,435 (average)

Experience correlates with salary

It's no secret that beginners in a profession earn less than seasoned veterans. According to the Stepstone figures, on average, there is nearly a €15,000 difference between entry-level employees and experienced workers.

An employee with less than a year of professional experience earns an average of €35,003. In contrast, an employee with 11 to 25 years of experience earns an average annual salary of €49,969. Here's how the figures for the median salaries break down:

  • Less than one year: €35,003
  • 1–2 years: €36,166
  • 3–5 years: €40,043
  • 6–10 years: €44,374
  • 11–25 years: €49,328

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Salary Comparison – Top industries 2023

The Stepstone study also revealed that the best-paid industry in Germany is the banking sector, with an annual gross salary of about €57,631. The aerospace industry takes second place with a median salary of €56,153 per year. These are the top 5 sectors with median and average salaries:

  • Banking: €57,631 (median) €65,950 (average)
  • Aerospace: €56,153 (median) €64,209 (average)
  • Pharma: €54,822 (median) €65,043 (average)
  • Insurance: €53,852 (median) €62,202 (average)
  • Automotive: €52,284 (median) €63,101 (average)

On the flip side, industries like hospitality (€34,195), agriculture and forestry, fishing, and horticulture (€36,141) pay the least annually.

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