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What Expats Need To Know About Average Gross Salary – Germany Before Moving 

What Expats need to know about average gross salary in germany titlecard

Are you planning to move to Germany for work? If so, you might wonder how much you can earn in this country. 

According to the Federal Statistical Office of Germany, the average annual gross salary in 2022 was  €49,260, equivalent to a monthly income of €4,105, before taxes.

Understanding the gross annual salary, average salary, and the difference between gross and net salary is pivotal. Knowing Germany’s minimum wage and calculating the average gross monthly salary can greatly impact your financial planning as an expat. 


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In this blog post, we’ll discuss the essential insights to equip you with a comprehensive understanding of the salary dynamics in Germany, ensuring you make informed decisions. 

Let’s show what expats need to know about Salary – Germany.

Check out: Highest-paying jobs in Germany in 2022 (no degree).

The Average Gross Annual Salary in Germany

The average gross yearly salary in Germany, as reported by the Federal Statistical Office of Germany, stood at €49,260 in the year 2022. This figure represents the average across different industries and provides a benchmark for understanding compensation levels in the country.

A gross salary refers to the total earnings an employee receives from their employer before any deductions or withholdings, including income tax, social security contributions, or other deductions. It encompasses the total compensation package, including base salary, bonuses, and any other benefits or allowances provided by the employer.

To further break it down, the average gross yearly salary of €47,700 is equivalent to a monthly income of €4,105 before taxes. The monthly salary is a crucial metric for understanding cash flow and budgeting.

It’s important to differentiate this from the net salary, which is the amount an employee receives after deductions such as income tax and social security contributions are taken out.

Why It’s Necessary To Know The Average Yearly Salary?

Knowing the concept of gross salary is essential for individuals to manage their finances effectively and plan for future expenses. 

Moreover, it serves as a basis for determining various financial aspects, including the minimum gross salary required to maintain a certain standard of living and comply with legal obligations such as minimum wage laws. 

Accurate knowledge of average salaries and yearly gross salary statistics aids both employees and employers in making informed decisions related to compensation and financial planning. 

What is Net Salary?

Person peeking at envelope filled with 50 and 200 euro cash

Net salary, often referred to as net income, is the amount an individual receives after deductions such as income tax and other mandatory contributions are subtracted from their gross salary. In the context of salary in Germany, understanding net income is vital as it reflects the actual earnings an employee takes home. 

It’s the same salary after considering all applicable deductions, providing a clear picture of what one can realistically use for living expenses, savings, and investments. This concept is essential in comprehending average salaries and evaluating financial well-being relative to gross minimum wage and average income levels. 

Net Salary in Germany

Net salary in Germany refers to the income an individual receives after deductions, including tax deductions like the church tax (if applicable). In 2022, the average gross salary was approximately €28,570 per year, or €2,380 per month, according to wearedevelopers.com

However, after tax deductions (around 42%), the net income or average salary is reduced to this amount. 

Knowing the net salary is necessary as it represents the disposable income available for an individual’s use, indicating the actual earnings in the context of salary in Germany. This figure is significant for assessing financial stability and comparing it against the minimum wage in Germany. 

The Minimum Wage You Can Expect In Germany

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The minimum wage in Germany stands at €12 per hour before tax implications, based on a report by Destatis.de. A full-time employee working 40 hours per week translates to a monthly salary of €2,160.

Understanding the minimum wage in Germany is crucial, as it sets the baseline for minimum salary expectations, particularly for full-time employees. This figure also provides a reference point when considering average salaries and gross salary levels in the country.

Moreover, comprehending the minimum wage in Germany is vital for individuals relocating to potentially expensive cities or those comparing salaries in Germany to those in their home country. It helps in assessing the cost of living and evaluating the solidarity surcharge and other deductions that impact the net income. 

Furthermore, salaries for part-time jobs differ significantly from full-time ones. Read this article to learn more.

Is 60,000 Eur A Good Average Gross Annual Salary In Germany?

If you earn 60,000 euros per year as your gross salary in Germany, you are above the average salary of most workers in the country. However, your net salary will depend on several factors, such as your tax bracket, your social security contributions, and your health insurance plan.

Your salary in Germany may also vary depending on your gender, your occupation, your employer, and your city. For example, men earn more than women on average, and some professions are more paid than others. 

The living costs also differ across regions, so you may have more or less purchasing power depending on where you live.

Hence, to answer whether 60,000 euros is a good average gross annual salary in Germany, you must consider all these aspects and compare them with your personal and professional goals.

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Jobs With The Highest Salaries in Germany

Doctor looking at nurse while she explains the patient's chart to the patient

Some of the highest paying jobs in Germany, according to Erudera.com:


Some of the highest paying jobs in Germany, particularly attractive for highly qualified workers, include being a doctor, where individuals can earn a higher salary, typically ranging from €71,600 to €101,696 annually. 

For international students aspiring to settle and work in Germany, pursuing a career as a doctor can be financially rewarding. It’s important to note that the average annual salary for a doctor in Germany is between €71,600 and €101,696, making it an appealing choice for those seeking higher pay.


Pilots, an occupation appealing to highly qualified workers, especially those searching for higher salaries, are responsible for flying aircraft for various purposes, such as transporting passengers or cargo, conducting military operations, or performing aerial surveys.

For international students aiming to establish a career in Germany, becoming a pilot can offer a good salary, with the average annual earnings amounting to €93,499.

Sales Manager

Sales managers, a role highly sought after by individuals aiming for higher pay, lead and manage a team of sales professionals. They are responsible for developing and implementing effective sales strategies, setting and monitoring sales targets, and providing coaching and feedback to their team members. 

Sales managers liaise with customers and other stakeholders to ensure customer satisfaction and loyalty, making it an attractive position for those seeking a good salary. The average annual salary for a sales manager in Germany is €82,392.


Lawyers, an occupation with the potential for a higher salary, provide legal advice and representation to clients on various matters, such as contracts, disputes, transactions, or litigation. They also research and analyze legal issues, draft and review documents, and negotiate settlements or agreements. 

For highly qualified workers, particularly international students, pursuing a career as a lawyer in Germany can be financially rewarding. It’s important to note that lawyers must have a law degree and pass the bar exam to practice law in Germany. The average annual salary for a lawyer in Germany is €74,013.

Portfolio Managers

Portfolio managers, a role highly sought after by individuals seeking a higher salary, advise on and carry out investment interventions for clients or organizations. They are responsible for managing the assets and liabilities of a portfolio, selecting and allocating funds, monitoring performance and risks, and making adjustments as needed. 

For those with a background in finance, economics, or related fields, becoming a portfolio manager can offer a good salary in Germany. The average annual salary for a portfolio manager is €101,800.

How Does The Average Salary In Germany Compare To Other European Countries

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When comparing the average salary in Germany to other European countries, it’s evident that there are significant differences. Here is the average yearly income in some notable European countries: 

  • Switzerland stands out with the highest average annual salary at €90,600 per year ($106,000), Norway at €39,768 per year ($46,500)
  • Netherlands at €29,976 per year ($35,000)
  • Belgium at €28,000 per year ($32,700).

It’s important to note that various factors influence these variations, including the cost of living, taxation systems, and large companies in each country. 

Furthermore, social contributions and the structure of vocational training play roles in determining salaries. A country’s federal state or region can also affect earnings, highlighting major differences within nations.

Understanding the average salary in Germany and gaining detailed information about salaries in different countries is crucial for a single person or an international student considering opportunities abroad. 

What Is a Good Salary in Hamburg, Germany? [2023]

Making informed decisions about bank account management and financial planning is essential in navigating the varying economic landscapes across European nations.

It’s important to note that the cost of living can vary greatly between countries, so a higher salary in one country may not necessarily mean a higher standard of living. 

Learn more about the cost of living in Germany in this article.

How Much Do You Need To Live In Germany? 

Aerial shot of houses of a village in Germany

The cost of living in Germany can vary depending on factors such as location, lifestyle, and household size. However, here is a breakdown of the average monthly expenses for a single person in Germany, according to various sources:

  • Accommodation (rent for a 1-bedroom apartment): The cost of accommodation, particularly rent for a 1-bedroom apartment, varies across different federal states in Germany, with an average of around €900 per month.
  • Utilities: Utilities, including electricity, water, and heating, typically amount to about €255 per month.
  • Monthly public transport pass: A monthly public transport pass, essential for many residents, averages around €70.
  • Food and drink: The cost of food and drink can range between €200-€300 per month based on individual preferences and spending habits.
  • Health insurance: Health insurance is mandatory in Germany, and the monthly premium can range from €80-€200 depending on the coverage and the insurance provider.
  • Internet and phone: Expenses for internet and phone services typically amount to €30-€50 per month.
  • Miscellaneous expenses (clothing, entertainment, etc.): Miscellaneous expenses, covering items such as church tax, clothing, and entertainment, can range from €200-€300 per month.

The Importance of Knowing The Cost of Living in Germany

A bridge illuminated at night leading to a city in Germany

Understanding the cost of living in Germany is crucial for various reasons. Firstly, it provides valuable insight into the costs associated with daily expenses, including housing, food, transportation, and other necessities. Knowing these costs allows individuals to plan and budget their pay accordingly, ensuring financial stability and a reasonable standard of living.

Also read: Cost of Living in Germany for a Single Person: [2023 Guide]

Not All Companies Give The Same Amount of Salary

Moreover, considering the federal structure of Germany, where different federal states may have varying costs of living, understanding these differences is essential. This knowledge helps individuals decide where to reside or work based on their financial situation and preferences.

Large companies often have employees distributed across different federal states in Germany. Awareness of the cost of living in various areas helps these companies determine appropriate salaries in Germany for their employees, factoring in the differences in living expenses.

Related article: Can A Foreigner Get A Credit Card in Germany?

It Helps In Knowing The Impact of Taxes

Furthermore, understanding the cost of living is essential for comprehending the impact of taxes on one’s pay. For example, Germany has a solidarity surcharge, which is a form of additional tax.

Knowing the cost of living and the associated tax implications enables individuals to perform simple maths to calculate how much of their pay is actually available for personal expenses after taxes and deductions.

Which Country Is Better To Live In: Germany or Australia? 

Knowing Where To Stay

In one of the most expensive cities in Germany, the costs associated with housing and lifestyle might be significantly higher. Individuals looking for a job in such a city need to be aware of the expenses they would incur and how much money they would need to cover these costs.

Also read: Buying an Apartment in Munich, Germany: Guide

Additionally, for most people in Germany, a significant portion of their pay is deducted for various taxes and contributions.

Understanding the cost of living allows individuals to assess how much of their pay will be available after all necessary deductions to cover their living expenses effectively. This knowledge is fundamental for financial planning and achieving a desirable quality of life in Germany.

Final Thoughts About The Average Gross Salary – Germany

In this blog post, we have discussed the essential insights about the average gross salary in Germany for expats planning to move or work there. We have explained the concepts of gross and net salary, the minimum wage, the highest-paying jobs, and the cost of living in Germany.

We have also compared the average salary in Germany to other European countries and answered some common questions about salary in Germany.

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