Which jobs pay the most in Germany?

Which jobs pay the most in Germany?

From doctors to hospitality workers and everyone sandwiched in between, the German recruitment platform Stepstone has released its annual salary report, detailing which jobs in Germany will earn you the most and where in the country workers can expect to take home the largest and smallest salaries.

Doctors are the highest-paid group in Germany

In Germany, doctors were the highest-paid profession in 2022. That is according to the annual salary report conducted by the recruitment platform Stepstone, which considered wage data from 561.761 jobs from January 2021 to November 2022. With an annual median salary of 93.800 euros per year, doctors topped the recent ranking.

With a significantly lower median salary, management consultants were the next in line, earning 54.000 euros per year. Engineers and IT professionals followed shortly after with respective median annual salaries of 52.600 and 52.000 euros.

Though being a doctor is the job that will earn you the most in Germany, the industry sector squirrelling away the highest median salary is banking, where employees take home a median 57.600 euros per year.

Hospitality workers, on the other hand, earn the least in Germany, with an average median salary of 34.200 euros per year. Wait staff, chefs, bartenders and catering staff are joined by those employed in the craft trade, which includes everybody from gallery to textile workers. Craft trade employees in Germany earn a median salary of 37.500 euros per year, slightly more than agriculture, forestry, fishing and horticulture employees, who earn 36.100 euros per year.

Men and university graduates earn more in Germany

Stepstone’s annual report doesn’t just access median salaries in specific jobs and sectors but also the gender and educational background of workers in Germany. And according to the report, the gender pay gap is alive and well in the federal republic.

According to the platform, men in Germany earn a median salary of 46.008 euros per year, compared to women’s 40.000 euro income, equating to a pay gap of around 13 percent. In some sectors, however, such as art and culture, Destatis has revealed the gender pay gap in Germany to be as large as 30 percent. 

Whether or not workers had completed higher education also led to income disparities in their careers, with university graduates earning a median salary of 58.602 euros compared to non-graduates earning 41.509 euros per year.

East-West divide still strong when it comes to wage disparity

According to the Stepstone report, wage inequality in Germany touches not just occupation and educational background but is geographically omnipresent. Since German reunification in 1989, there has been persistent wage inequality between former East and West federal states in Germany

This sustained regional difference makes itself known in the Stepstone report, with workers in the former East earning a median of 15 percent less than their counterparts in the former West. Hamburg and Baden-Württemberg topped the chart for the states where employees earned the most, with respective median wages of 48.100 and 48.000 euros per year.

At the bottom of the list were Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and Saxony-Anhalt, where employees take home a respective median of 36.200 and 36.100 euros per year. When it came to German cities where workers earned the most, all five of the top spots, Hamburg, Frankfurt, Munich, Wiesbaden and Düsseldorf are in former West Germany.

If you would like to read the complete Stepstone Salary Report 2023 you can find it here.

Thumb image credit: Rock and Wasp /

Olivia Logan


Olivia Logan

Editor for Germany at IamExpat Media. Olivia first came to Germany in 2013 to work as an Au Pair. Since studying English Literature and German in Scotland, Freiburg and Berlin...

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