Highest Paying Jobs in Germany Without a Degree

A man working on his laptop while leaning back

It’s not surprising that the higher your qualifications, the more you get paid. However, some professionals can earn very well in Germany even without attending university. The majority of these jobs require a vocational degree. Hence, you must finish at least a vocational school/apprenticeship in Germany or another country.

The highest-paying jobs without a university degree in Germany are:

  • IT specialist
  • Mechanic
  • Technician
  • Bank clerk
  • Administrative assistant
  • Specialist in insurance and finance
  • Aircraft mechanic
  • Air traffic controller
  • Policeman
  • Chemical lab technician
  • Pilot

In this article, we shortly describe the most popular non-degree jobs with the highest pay in Germany. If you don’t have any qualifications, you can complete vocational training for all these jobs in Germany.

Also read our article on the best-paid vocational programs/apprenticeships in Germany.

1. IT specialist (Fachinformatiker)

  • Average salary: 36,900 EUR
  • Education needed: Vocational degree

IT specialist is not a software developer; therefore, you don’t need a degree. Yet, your pay will be on a higher than average level.

All IT professionals are in a high-demand in Germany, even those without a university degree. Yet, you will need to complete at least vocational training in Germany or elsewhere. Otherwise, your experience might be enough to get a job in Germany.

IT specialists can work in different areas, including application development, system integration, digital networking, as well as data and process analysis.

The entry-level salary for IT specialists is around 2,500 EUR per month. They can earn an average of 3,000 EUR to 3,500 EUR per month. With professional experience, you can reach an average salary of about 3,700 EUR per month or 44,400 EUR annually before taxes.

No matter which specialization you choose, your income will be on a reasonable level.

The main areas of focus are, for example, the administration of systems as well as software or database development.

The salary of an IT specialist also depends on the company’s size and industry. The larger the company, the higher the salary. Besides, the pay is better in the financial sector, systems integrators, or application development.

2. Mechanic (Mechatroniker)

a mechanic fixing a tire
  • Average salary: 40,000 EUR
  • Education needed: Vocational degree

Mechanics are needed in many industries and businesses in Germany. The more the demanded profession is, the better the pay.

Mechanics are trade and handy people, and they don’t need a degree to get a job. The advantage of being a mechanic in Germany is that you can choose across a wide range of industries to work in, from regular car servicing to the construction of complex machines.

In most industries, there is hardly a company that can function without mechanics. They are also called mechatronic technicians.

The job of a mechatronics technician is to monitor machines and processes. They ensure that the process runs without disruptions or errors.

Depending on the size of the company and industry, salaries start at around 2,500 EUR per month. With time and further training, they might earn up to 4,000 EUR per month.

3. Technician (Techniker)

  • Average salary: 44,400 EUR
  • Education needed: Vocational degree

Technicians (also known as electronics technicians in Germany) have similar tasks to mechanics but require different vocational qualifications, yet no degree is needed.

The job includes mainly controlling, installing, monitoring, and maintaining the devices and systems or other technology. Moreover, you will work in the production and testing of machines, do quality assurance, install and configure programs or operating systems, and replace defective parts. 

The entry-level salary of a technician varies between 1,600 EUR and 2,000 EUR. With more professional experience, electronics technicians can earn around 2,700 EUR per month.

To increase earnings, technicians can complete a mechanical or electrical engineering university degree and so expect a gross monthly salary of up to 3,800 EUR.

4. Bank clerk (Bankkaufmann)

  • Average salary: 43,500 EUR
  • Education needed: Vocational degree

A bank clerk is a very common non-degree job in Germany. Every bank has a dozen of bank clerks working there.

Moreover, apprenticeship to become a banker is one of the most popular in Germany. It’s a relatively simple and less stressful desk job with good pay and career opportunities.

In fact, the starting salary can be as high as 3,450 EUR gross per month.

So what are the typical tasks of a bank clerk? In their day-to-day work, they advise customers on bank products like bank accounts, investments, and mortgages. A bank clerk is a customer-facing job, meaning you must be on top of customer service.

Communicational skills, language, empathy, and problem-solving skills are all crucial elements you must bring with you.

With a job as a bank clerk, you can also choose a specialization like mortgages, life insurance, or investments.

The starting salary for this job is between 2,000 EUR to 2,700 EUR per month, generally ranging from around 29,000 to 30,000 EUR annually. With experience, salary quickly rises from 3,000 EUR to 3,500 EUR per month.

5. Specialist in insurance and finance (Kaufmann für Versicherungen)

  • Average salary: 37,900 EUR
  • Education needed: Vocational degree

Specialists in insurance and finance have similar to bank clerks tasks, which mainly relate to the consultancy of customers on various insurance products and services.

It’s another office job that doesn’t require a university degree. Yet, it’s orientated on customer service.

Besides, specialists in insurance and finance are active as insurance brokers and find the best options for customers. The main tasks also include handling insurance claims and concluding contracts with new customers.

Starting salary for this job in insurance and finance is between 2,200 EUR and 2,700 EUR per month, or around 29,000 EUR annually.

A good salary ranges between 3,500 and 5,000 EUR. The upper limit for specialists in insurance and finance is 100,000 EUR. Yet, to get there, you will need to complete further training.

6. Administrative assistant (Verwaltungsfachangestellter)

  • Average salary: 36,700 EUR
  • Education needed: Vocational degree

Administrative assistant, as the name says, manages various administrative tasks. They often work in public organizations or governments where a large amount of paperwork has to be managed.

The starting salary depends on the place of work; for example, it’s 2,249 EUR/month for the civil service and 2,482 EUR/month for companies with collective bargaining agreements.

A very good salary for an administrative assistant is around 3,500 EUR monthly. With further training, they can become administrative specialists, and so up-level their responsibilities and pay.

7. Aircraft mechanic (Flugzeugmechaniker)

an aircraft mechanic checking the airplane's condition.
  • Average salary: 54,300 EUR
  • Education needed: Vocational degree

An aircraft mechanic is a very responsible job mainly related to servicing or producing airplanes and other aircraft types like helicopters.

They work in production or maintenance, depending on the specialization. To work as an aircraft mechanic, you don’t need a degree, but you must complete a 4 year-long vocational training.

Aircraft mechanics are in-demand professionals that are hard to find; hence, employers are ready to pay a starting salary of 3,100 EUR and more.

8. Air traffic controller (Fluglotse)

  • Average salary: 94,100 EUR
  • Education needed: Vocational degree

The air traffic controller is one of the most responsible jobs in the world. These people control dozens of aircraft in the sky and thousands of lives every day.

As a result, air traffic controllers have some of the highest salaries in Germany. In fact, their entry salary ranges between 6,000 EUR and 8,000 EUR gross per month. Their high responsibility and stress are reimbursed well.

During the typical work day, air traffic controllers guide the take-off and landing of aircraft or guide aircraft safely through the air traffic.

However, air traffic controller is a pretty rate job. There are only about 2,000 air traffic controllers in Germany.

With experience, air traffic controllers can expect a salary of about 100,000 EUR annually. In fact, this profession is one of the best-paid jobs in Germany overall. And yes, you don’t need a degree for it; vocational training is enough.

9. Policeman (Polizist)

  • Average salary: 44,500 EUR
  • Education needed: Vocational degree

The duties and responsibilities of the police officers probably don’t need an explanation. Generally, their main goal is to protect society.

You don’t need to go to university to work in the police in Germany, but you must complete comprehensive training. It’s not easy to become a policeman, but your efforts will be reimbursed well. The starting salary of German police officers is between 26,000 EUR and 31,000 EUR annually.

10. Chemical lab technician (Chemielaborant)

two chemist working on a new project
  • Average salary: 39,600 EUR
  • Education needed: Vocational degree

For someone interested in chemistry and lab work but not willing to study at university, a job as a chemical laboratory technician is an optimal choice.

A chemical laboratory technician works in the research, development, or control laboratories of large companies or corporations. The starting salary for this job is between 1,730 EUR to 2,700 EUR monthly.

There are also opportunities to increase qualifications and income by completing further training and becoming a laboratory manager. This will guarantee a salary of around 4,000 EUR gross per month.

11. Pilot

  • Average salary: 125,600 EUR
  • Education needed: Vocational degree

Last on this list, and the highest job without a university degree, is, you guessed – pilot. To become a pilot, one needs to complete an apprenticeship which requires at least a high school diploma, but no university is necessary.

The training to become a pilot is very extensive and expensive. Many students take loans to cover the costs.

In contrast to other apprenticeship programs in Germany, future pilots don’t get paid while studying. However, their future income is very promising, allowing them to recoup all expenses in a short period of time.

With experience, they can expect an average salary of 10,000 EUR per month. Moreover, entry-level salary starts at 6,000 EUR monthly. The upper limit pay is set at around 198,720 EUR gross.

Full list of best-paid non-degree jobs in Germany

Here are all jobs where you don’t need a university degree in Germany but which still provide a decent income:

  • Air traffic controller: 4,652 EUR to 6,450 EUR; Median: 6,450 EUR
  • Aircraft mechanic, aircraft builder: 3,877 EUR to 5,458 EUR; Median: 5,458 EUR
  • Programmer: 4,168 EUR to 6,376 EUR; Median: 5,195 EUR
  • Bank clerk: 3,955 EUR to 6,216 EUR, Median: 4,990 EUR
  • Insurance and finance clerk (insurance): 3,663 EUR to 5,674 EUR, Median: 4,695 EUR
  • Investment fund clerk: 3,466 EUR to 5,936 EUR, Median: 4,523 EUR
  • Insurance and finance clerk (finance): 3,466 EUR to 5,936.00 EUR, Median: 4,523.00 EUR
  • Chemical technician: 3,559 EUR to 5,270 EUR, Median: 4,397 EUR
  • IT specialist (e.g., data and process analysis): 3,138 EUR to 5,951 EUR, Median: 4,210 EUR
  • Physics laboratory assistant: 3,408 EUR to 5,112 EUR, Median: 4,184 EUR
  • Social insurance clerk (general health insurance): 3,537 EUR to 4,813 EUR, Median: 4,160 EUR
  • Electronics technician (automation and systems technology): 3,089 EUR to 4,655 EUR; Median: 3,818 EUR
  • Ship mechanic: 3,069 EUR to 4,528 EUR, Median: 3,798 EUR
  • Administrative assistant: 3,259 EUR to 4,559 EUR, Median: 3,716 EUR
  • Biology laboratory assistant: 2,947 EUR to 4,341 EUR, Median: 3,594 EUR
  • Police officer: 3,288 EUR to 3,804 EUR, Median: 3,505 EUR
  • Aircraft electronics technician: 2,900 EUR to 4,372 EUR, Median: 3,496 EUR
  • Technical system planner and product designer (electrical systems): 2,697 EUR to 4,180 EUR, Median: 3,368 EUR
  • Architectural draftsman/draftswoman: 2,697 EUR to 4,180 EUR, Median: 3,368 EUR
  • Mechatronics technician: 2,682 EUR to 4,023 EUR, Median: 3,304 EUR
  • Media technologist (printing): 2,592 EUR to 3,811 EUR, Median: 3,188 EUR
  • Geriatric nurse: 2,760 EUR to 3,639 EUR, Median: 3,174.00 EUR
  • Undertaker (funeral specialist): 2,233 EUR to 3,375 EUR, Median: 2,760 EUR
  • Bricklayer: 2,728 EUR to 3,650 EUR, Median: 2,728 EUR

The salary mentioned is before taxes.

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