Graduates in Germany earn an average starting salary of 45.000 euros

Graduates in Germany earn an average starting salary of 45.000 euros

The average starting salary of university graduates in Germany is almost 45.000 euros, according to a new report by online recruiter Stepstone. This is mainly due to the growing demand for highly skilled workers in specialist occupations. But which industries and cities command the highest starting salaries of all? 

High demand for qualified professionals in Germany

The demand for qualified, highly skilled workers has been increasing worldwide for years. In Germany particularly, the ongoing digitisation and automation of services has created and will continue to create a high demand for specialist personnel with specific skill sets.

As the demand for highly skilled workforces grows, the salaries they command also increase. The average salary for a young professional with an academic degree in Germany is 44.840 euros before tax, according to a recent Stepstone evaluation of 11.000 graduate workers.

The report shows that graduates with a higher level of qualification, perhaps unsurprisingly, earn a lot more than their less qualified counterparts. On average, Master’s graduates earn 13 percent more than graduates with bachelor’s degrees. In turn, doctoral graduates earn almost 40 percent more.

Medicine and STEM subjects earn more than creative subjects

While the overall average salary is just under 45.000 euros, graduates with a degree in medicine take home an average gross annual salary of 51.700 euros. Those with a degree in a STEM subject (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) also earn a lot more than average. The second highest earning degree is industrial engineering, with an average starting salary of 49.800 euros.

On the other hand, students who graduate from more creative subjects earn a lot less than the average wage. Design students bag around 35.900 euros a year, while humanities graduates earn 35.500 euros. History graduates and cultural scientists take home the least, just 35.200 euros gross. Maybe something to think about when you're deciding what to study at university?

Top industries and cities in Germany

Of course, starting salaries also vary enormously depending on industry and location. Graduates looking for a job within the automotive, chemical and pharmaceutical industries can command a starting salary of over 50.000 euros. However, occupations in the fields of leisure, tourism, advertising, PR and education all start on less than 40.000 euros, on average.

To put into perspective how the salary rates differ from industry to industry, a recent graduate in the automotive industry may hope to earn 51.400 euros on average. Those who have gone into education earn around 38.700 euros on average - that’s a 12.700 euro difference!

Where you work can also affect your salary. Graduates can earn around 47.000 euros in the states of Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg, whereas in Saxony, Brandenburg and Thuringia, starting salaries are way below average, somewhere around the 39.000-euro mark.

This trend continues with cities in Germany, with those in the state of Bavaria offering above average salaries - particularly in Munich (48.500 euros) and Nuremburg (46.400 euros). In Baden-Württemberg, too, graduates can expect above-average starting salaries, with Stuttgart offering the same average salary as Munich, and Mannheim an above-average 46.200 euros. However, those looking for the highest entry salary of all should head to Frankfurt, where the average graduate starts on 48.800 euros.

William Nehra


William Nehra

William studied a masters in Classics at the University of Amsterdam. He is a big fan of Ancient History and football, particularly his beloved Watford FC.

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