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

view of water castle in old Speicherstadt or Warehouse district in Hamburg, Germany.

Hamburg is the second biggest city in Germany and offers some of the best job opportunities in the country. How much can you earn in Hamburg? It will certainly be enough to cover your living expenses in Germany’s second most expensive city.

In Hamburg, the gross monthly salary between 5,000 EUR and 6,000 EUR is considered good. It translates to a net income of about 3,000 EUR and 3,500 EUR per month. The average gross wage in Hamburg in 2020 was 4,966 EUR which is the highest in the country. This number was 3,975 EUR or 2,526 EUR net across Germany.

Yes, Hamburg is the highest-paying city in Germany this year, so your salary expectations should be high as well. Make sure you negotiate your salary well with your future employer. Read this article to learn about the salary range in Hamburg and what wage is enough to have a comfortable life whether you are single or married with kids. Read more about salaries in Germany here.

What is a good salary in Hamburg in 2023?

In Hamburg, a monthly net income between 3,000 EUR and 3,500 EUR is considered to be a good salary. With that income, you can afford a decent two-three bedroom apartment, eat out, and spend weekends away.

With 3,100 EUR in net salary, one can spend around 1,550 EUR per month on housing and have the rest 1,550 EUR as disposable income. For this, you need a roughly gross wage of 5,400 EUR per month or 65,000 EUR per year.

Therefore, a gross salary of around 60,000 EUR a year is needed to live a comfortable yet not extravagant lifestyle in Hamburg. A couple with children earning 40,000 EUR will have a very good life.

Who gets this salary? For example, engineers and many professionals with bachelor’s or master’s degrees in leading German industries can count on an annual wage of at least 60,000 EUR.

What is a good starting salary in Hamburg? If you are just starting your career after finishing university, look for at least 45,000 EUR gross wage.

Due to the amount of local and international companies, Hamburg has many jobs available for expats and locals alike.

It’s the second-largest city in Germany and the largest port city. The city symbolizes cosmopolitanism and trade. Hamburg is modern and innovative. Its economic position is one of the leading in Germany.

Hamburg isn’t only a great place to work, but also to visit and to live in. It has got several renowned sightseeings and is considered a very liable city.

Average expenses in Hamburg

When talking about basic expenses: two people living in Hamburg will need at least 2,500 EUR in disposable income to pay the bills.

Cost of living in Hamburg as of January 2023:

  • Family of four estimated monthly costs: 4,455 EUR
  • Single person estimated monthly costs: 2,480 EUR
  • Currently, Hamburg is the most expensive city in Germany (according to Expatrian)
  • Cost of living in Hamburg is more expensive than in 70% of cities in Western Europe
  • Cost of living in Hamburg is more expensive than in 77% of cities in the world

Source: Expatrian.com

In Germany, you want to follow the 50/30/20 budgeting rule. Meaning you shouldn’t spend more than 50% of the income on essential living costs, leaving you 30% for disposable income and 20% for savings and payments of loans.

Living costs include:

  • rent
  • groceries
  • utilities
  • internet and mobile phone
  • transportation
  • other (clothing, necessities)

However, it might not be easy to pack all expenses under 50%. So if an employee earns 3,000 EUR net per month, they can only spend 1,500 EUR on these items.

Hamburg’s rent prices

Hamburg is quite expensive to rent an apartment, especially if you want a decent place in the central area. Expect to pay at least 800 EUR for a one-bedroom apartment and at least 1,500 EUR for two rooms.

Suburbs or flat-sharing will definitely be cheaper. Utilities are around 100-130 EUR for a small apartment and up to 200 EUR for a larger one.

Don’t forget to budget for communication, including home internet and mobile plan. That comes to around 60 EUR.

Food and groceries

Groceries prices vary in Germany but can be very affordable at discounts like Penny, Lidl, or Aldi. Rewe and EDEKA are more on the expensive side, and places like Galeria Kaufhof, Frische Paradies, or Delta will cost you much more. Generally, one should budget around 500 EUR for food, including some meals out.

Public transportation is quite expensive but costs you less than owning a car – between 60–100 EUR per month.

Overall, Hamburg isn’t a costly place to live. For example, compared to Munich, Vienna, or Zürich, Hamburg is less expensive. Yet, compared to Berlin – more expensive.

Salaries in Hamburg

port area of Hamburg, Germany.

Hamburg has some of the highest salaries in Germany. In fact, on average, wages in Hamburg are 419 EUR higher than Germany’s average.

It can be due to the developed economic situation the city currently has and the number of large high-tier companies. For example, Hamburg is home to aviation giant Airbus.

There is a significant difference between salaries for women and men, which is around 600 EUR per month at the moment.

Moreover, foreign workers receive lower wages than Germans in Hamburg. Nationals of other countries get about 2,672 EUR gross, while Germans enjoy 3,956 EUR. As in other German cities, academics have a higher income (5,204 EUR) than workers with no university degree (2,523 EUR).

Facts about jobs and salaries in Hamburg:

  1. Hamburg’s port is by far the biggest employer in the city; logistics provide the highest number of well-paid jobs.
  2. International companies such as Hapag Lloyd, Airbus, and Olympus are among the best-paying and prestigious employers.
  3. The highest average salaries are in the IT, media industry and aviation industries, while the lowest is in hospitality.
  4. Aviation, IT, and renewable energy are becoming more significant industries with the time.

Average salary in Hamburg

In 2020, the average salary in Hamburg was 4,966 EUR monthly gross, or 59,592 EUR. According to PayScale, the current average wage is around 51,000 EUR annually. The most typical salary in Hamburg is 50,869 EUR before taxes.

The majority of employees earn between 49,100 EUR – 53,499 EUR and 58,000 EUR – 62,499 EUR. However, many professionals make between 62,500 EUR – 66,899 EUR and more.

However, a high percentage of workers also have an income of 35,000 EUR – 40,000 EUR or less. Wages of that amount are typical among people with no high degree or in low-earning industries such as gastronomy and hospitality.

Minimum wage

The minimum wage in Hamburg is the same as anywhere in Germany – 9,82 EUR per hour, but the government has increased it to 12 EUR in October of 2022.

Average salary among various jobs and industries

The average salary in Hamburg among various jobs. This data shows the minimum wage you can expect when taking a job.

IT manager€51,570
Financer manager €50,104
Software engineer€52,778
Business development €43,158
Project manager€58,018
Data scientist €41,317
Front end developer€47,425

Furthermore, you can see the average salary for diverse professions across Germany:

ProfessionAvg. Gross salary (2021)
Medicine (doctors)€89,000
Business Advice€64,000
Marketing, PR€60,000
Distribution and Sales€59,000
Minimum wage€18,000

And among various industries:

SectorAverage monthly salary, EUR
Financial and insurance services5,602
Information and communication5,248
Energy supply5,218
Professional, scientific and technical services4,933
Real estate4,271
Public administration, defense, and social security4,091
Mining and quarrying4,083
Manufacturing industry 4,062
Arts and recreation3,871
Water supply3,617

Average expenses with an average salary

What would be your monthly expenses while living and working in Hamburg?

Expenses for a single with an average gross monthly income of 4,966 EUR/2,963 EUR net:

  • Rent 1,200 EUR
  • Internet + phone 60 EUR
  • Transportation 100 EUR
  • Food 400 EUR
  • Shoes and clothing 130 EUR
  • Household, miscellaneous 100 EUR
  • Entertainment, recreation, culture 300 EUR
  • Total spending: 2,290 EUR
  • Total remains: 673 EUR

A great way to save money is to choose to live outside of a metropolitan area. If you have a car, you can afford a large apartment or even a house in a rural area but still close to the city. With German no speed limits roads, getting to work can be done in under one hour.

Besides that, booking a monthly ticket for transportation will also save you a buck.

Read more about cost of living in Germany (for a family).

Highest paying jobs in Hamburg

Some of the high-paying jobs in Hamburg and gross monthly salary:

  • Air traffic controller: 6,000 – 8,000 EUR
  • Marketing Manager or Chief Marketing Officer (CMO): 4,109 – 7,532 EUR
  • IT project manager: 3,931 – 6,053 EUR
  • Tax consultant: 4,381 – 6,505 EUR
  • Business Development Manager: 3,629 € – 6,197 EUR
  • IT Consultant: 3,878 – 5,696 EUR
  • Art Director: 2,859 € – 4,772 EUR
  • Shipping worker: 2,586 € – 3,975 EUR
  • Wholesale and international trade salesman: 2,415 – 3,574 EUR

Is 60,000 EUR a good salary in Hamburg?

In Hamburg, the salary of 60,000 is slightly above the average. It’s a decent wage for Hamburg. 

If you have a wife or/and kids to support, this salary would still be enough, but not optimal; you won’t be able to afford many things.

About 40% of it will go to taxes if you have a spouse or kids. That will leave you about 3,300 to 3,400 EUR a month. With that, you can rent a two-bedroom apartment outside of the city center.

Additionally, parents get child benefits of 192 EUR per month.

Childcare such as Kindergarten is luckily free in Germany but up to 5 hours a day; for everything above that, you need to pay.

Overall, your total costs in Hamburg will range between 2,000 EUR and 3,000 EUR, depending on your choices. Hence, employees getting 60,000 EUR in salary can also save some money every month.


As an expat, you can expect to spend at least 30% of your salary each month on rent in Hamburg, sometimes more. Apartments range from 800 EUR to 2,000 EUR, and utilities up to 250 EUR.

Telephone and internet are added for about 50 EUR.


Generally, food can be pretty affordable if you shop at discounters, as we mentioned above. That way, you can save a significant amount of cash and still enjoy high-quality produce. Some of the cheapest options include Aldi and Lidl.

Eating out

Eating in a restaurant in Hamburg costs pretty much the same as in the rest of Germany. A meal will be maybe a couple of euros more expensive than in the cheapest cities, such as Dresden or Leipzig.

A pizza in a restaurant starts at 8 EUR, a nice meal with a drink costs 20-30 EUR. Fast food is affordable and can be found at as low as 3 EUR.


Monthly public transport ticket also varies in price from 50 EUR to 200 EUR and come to about 80 EUR on average. If you own a car, you are going to spend more than that amount. Read more about the cost of having a car in Germany in this article.

Is 70,000 EUR a good salary in Hamburg?

70,000 EUR salary in Hamburg is significantly higher than the average income. As a single with no kids, it will leave you around 5,800 EUR gross per month or 3,300 EUR after taxes. Married employees or parents will enjoy 3,900 EUR in net monthly income.

Depending on the area, you can rent a decent apartment in Hamburg for 1,400 EUR to 1,800 EUR per month.

Someone willing to commute and rent a larger place can purchase a car. It can be cheap as 10,000 EUR for a new vehicle and 3,500 EUR for a used one.

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