Salary Report 2019: who earns most where?

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In Germany, specialists and managers earn on average €58,100. IT specialists and engineers earn slightly more. But not everywhere. A comparison of the German federal states reveals extreme differences in certain cases.

Anyone who wants to earn more should inform their boss. This too was revealed by the latest Salary Report by the job platform StepStone. Forty percent of those surveyed had actively requested a pay rise. How much money people ultimately earn depends not only on their individual qualifications and their level of responsibility but also on the sector, the location and the size of the company. Even if the survey on the StepStone platform, which asked 85,000 people about their salary, is not representative, it is very good as a way of assessing the current market value.

Study paves the way

Not surprisingly, a person’s choice of study course has a huge impact on their potential earnings. With earnings of €81,600, medicine and dentistry are particularly well paid. They are followed by industrial engineering (€74,300) and business IT (€73,600). Engineering sciences (€72,100) as well as mathematics and IT (€70,800) are not far behind.

In most cases, obtaining a degree is well worth the effort. On average, academics receive €11,600 more than non-academics when they start their career. As they gain professional experience, the difference increases to around €28,600.

Responsibility is worthwhile

Salary Report 2019
Salary Report 2019 : Top sectors for engineers. (Image: pixabay/Gerd Altmann).

Anyone with responsibility can expect to earn more money. Specialists and managers without responsibility for staff earn on average €51,176 per year. Being responsible for one to four employees brings an extra €6,000, and being in charge of five to 14 employees means almost €17,000 more salary. Anyone who is responsible for 100 or more employees can expect to receive a six-figure salary (€102,530).

It therefore makes sense for specialists and managers who are responsible for staff to work for large companies (more than 1,000 employees). But specialists and managers are not alone here. The average salary in large companies (€66,800) is fifteen percent higher than the overall average, while staff at smaller companies with no more than 500 employees earn ten percent below average (€52,200).

“Lucrative” locations

Working at the right location usually means more money too. In a comparison of cities, the banking city of Frankfurt is ahead of the car manufacturing cities of Munich and Stuttgart. There are huge differences between the federal states too. On average, earnings are highest in the southern states. Hesse (€65,300) remains in first place (as in previous years), followed by Baden-Württemberg (€62,400) and Bavaria (€62,200). The lowest average salaries are found in Saxony (€43,100), Saxony-Anhalt (€42,300) and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (€42,100).

Picking the right sector

Anyone who has qualifications in demand in a number of sectors has a clear advantage because they can pick out the most lucrative. Employees in the banking sector are best paid, followed by those in pharmaceuticals, car manufacturing and its supply industry.

Read the Salary Report 2019

The Salary Report 2019 is based on the salaries of around 85,000 full-time specialists and managers. The survey was carried out from October 2017 until October 2018. All salaries are given in euros and are average gross annual salaries including bonuses, commission etc.

More information and the complete StepStone Salary Report 2019 are available for downloading at



Salary Report 2019 (Image: pixabay/Gerd Altmann).

Numerous factors influence an employee’s expected salary. (Image: pixabay/Gerd Altmann).