Are you planning to move to Berlin, Germany, and wondering how much you will make? The income in Berlin isn’t the highest in Germany, but so and the cost of living. Also, Berlin offers so much to its residents, including culture, history, nightlife, and going out scenes, so you will indeed find where to spend your money.
Salary starting from around 50,000 EUR gross in Berlin per year, which comes to approximately 30,000 EUR after taxes, is considered decent for a single. Berlin isn’t the highest-paying city in Germany; therefore, wages tend to be slightly lower than average.
Salaries in Germany aren’t publicly open, and people also don’t talk about it, so you might experience some difficulties figuring out what employees are making in Berlin. In this article, we explain how much people earn in the German capital and which factors influence the income of Berliners.
Also read the guide on why you should not move to Berlin, never, ever.
Which salary can you expect as an employee in Berlin?
It’s essential to set the right expectations when starting a new job and especially when moving to a new country/city. Berlin is a special place, attracting many foreigners every year.
There are many reasons why people move here. One of them is the opportunity to work in an international firm or start-up.
Berlin is particularly popular for its start-up scene, but unfortunately, people often get underpaid when working in such organizations.
In Germany, and so in the capital, salary ranges aren’t advertised alongside job descriptions like in Austria, for example. This makes it thought for job seekers to estimate how much money they should expect.
This lack of fundamental transparency in Germany makes it hard for job candidates to set priorities when applying for jobs and to know how much bargaining power they have during salary negotiations.
Berlin is the center of Europe’s tech scene and offers the most jobs for expats in the country. That’s why it’s critical to understand what foreign candidates can expect financially to make the best career decisions.
Nonetheless, your income in Berlin depends on many factors such as profession, experience, education, industry, size, type of company, etc.
In addition to this, word of mouth wouldn’t help you either. If talking about money and salaries in some countries is normal, in Germany, it looks different.
The topic of money and salaries isn’t something that people discuss openly. In Germany, money is considered an intimate matter which is discussed among the family when at all.
That’s why you might find it challenging to figure out how much money people around you are making and if your income is fair for Berlin.
Overall, income in Berlin but also in Germany depends on many factors such as profession, experience, education, industry, size, type of company, etc.
How much money do people make in Berlin?
In the table, you can see the percentage of people in Berlin who earn this annual salary or more. In Germany, high earners aren’t that common, so only 6% of people make six figures.
|% of employees||Income in Berlin|
|6 %||EUR 111,500|
|11 %||EUR 93,045|
|23 %||EUR 72,905|
|53 %||EUR 53,260|
Most people make around 50k EUR gross in Berlin, which comes to approximately 30k EUR after taxes.
On average, employees earn less in Berlin than the average across Germany. This can result from a lower cost of living and the influence of particular lower-paid industries.
Also, the city’s economy is predominantly driven by start-ups that tend to pay employees less, with that reducing the average wage, especially for Sales, Marketing & HR. Moreover, a big pool of highly qualified applicants from Germany and other countries also keeps salaries low.
Sure enough, many people want to live in Berlin rather than in some less-known towns because they might want to stay in Berlin for vacation or work. Therefore, they come to the German capital and seek jobs with thousands of other candidates.
Read an in-depth article about how much people earn in Germany overall.
Average salary in Berlin in 2022
In 2022, the average salary in Berlin is 45,858 EUR. Berlin falls on the spot 22 regarding average salary across German cities. The highest average salaries receive the following professionals:
- Chief physician: 129,714 EUR
- Senior engineer: 101,586 EUR
- Financial planner: 91,200 EUR
- Pilot: 88,296 EUR
- Lawyer: 81,887 EUR
- Investment consultant: 73,209 EUR
- Tax consultant: 66,884 EUR
- Management consultant: 64,790 EUR
- Industrial engineer: 62,529 EUR
- Software developer: 57,163 EUR
Berlin’s labor market is primarily focused on tech professionals, but not only can they get well-paid jobs there.
According to the statistics, Software Developers and Managers earn the highest salaries in the German capital. At the same time, roles in Sales and Marketing pay the least.
A developer is a trendy profession in Berlin, especially for applicants from abroad. They earn, on average, 43,300 EUR with 0 to 2 years of experience.
|Job title||Avg. gross salary Berlin|
|Software Developer||EUR 60,000|
|Human Resources Manager||EUR 59,522|
|IT Project Manager||EUR 59,300|
|IT Manager||EUR 95,734|
|Marketing Manager||EUR 54,446|
|Project Manager||EUR 51,253|
|Software Engineer||EUR 67,108|
Salaries listed in the table above represent mostly managerial positions; thus, numbers are higher than, for example, for someone with a regular job. However, the amount is fair for architects and engineers; they usually can work pretty much independently.
If you are only starting with your career and don’t have much experience but at least a bachelor’s degree, then expect the following pay:
|Industry||Avg. gross salary Berlin|
|Engineers & Technical jobs||EUR 41,933|
|Finance & Controlling||EUR 37,323|
|Purchasing & Logistics||EUR 43,413|
|Average (All)||EUR 37.760|
2. Speaking German
Yes, you guess, speaking German isn’t necessary to get a job in Berlin, especially if you are a tech, but it still influences your salary.
In fact, there are more people in Berlin that don’t speak German than expats who can communicate in that language. Therefore, you will be competing with more candidates, and this, again, will indirectly make your salary lower.
If you don’t want to learn German, try out other cities, there you surely will find fewer people from abroad who don’t speak the language.
3. Educational background
In Germany, education plays a significant role in the employee’s income.
What is your degree: bachelor, master, Ph.D.?
Not only is your degree important for determining a salary in Berlin, but also hard skills and certificates. Especially for IT specialists, it’s essential to educate and progress all the time; technology and trends are changing all the time.
A bachelor’s degree usually is the bare minimum employer wants to see in the applicant, some lucky techs might get a job without a university degree, but it’s more of an exception. A master’s will increase your salary and responsibilities in the firm.
Applicants with a master’s degree earn, on average, 5,000 EUR more per year than one with a bachelor’s.
In the table below, you can see the average salaries in Berlin with diverse educational backgrounds.
|Education||Avg. gross salary Berlin|
|Doctorate Degree||EUR 78,714|
|Masters Degree||EUR 57,934|
|Bachelors Degree||EUR 53,466|
|Some College||EUR 51,355|
|High School||EUR 46,307|
|Bellow H. School||EUR 41,000|
Industry in Germany can significantly influence your salary expectations. Berlin isn’t an engineering hotspot with big production centers like Munich or Stuttgart. In Germany, the best sectors to work in include automotive, aerospace, trains, and industrial engineering.
In Berlin, your top employers will be industrial companies, start-ups, and research institutions. By far, the best paid is in the automotive industry, with a salary of up to 80k.
Also, employees in banking earn 19% above the average salary, next to the pharmaceutical industry (+18%) and automotive (+17%).
Most of Berlin’s economy is focused on services, with around 84% of all companies doing that. The most important sectors are:
- Life science
- Information and communication technologies
- Media and music
- Advertising and design
- Environmental services
- Hotel business
- Medical engineering
Some well-known companies with headquarters in Berlin are German Telekom, Siemens, Deutsche Bahn, Daimler, and BMW.
Most of Berlin’s start-ups are in the information, communication, and technology industries, with some diversifications.
According to the statistics, the largest employers in Berlin fall into the following industries: Traffic/Logistics, Health, Technology, Automobile, Telecommunications, and Online commerce.
Moreover, Berlin is famous for its art scene. This industry has a significant presence in the German capital, as well as in media and tourism. However, employees in these sectors tend to have lower salaries.
5. Professional experience
Another factor that plays a vital role in your income in Berlin is your professional experience. Depending on the company’s field, employers might require years of experience from foreign applicants.
The more experience you have, the more you will get paid. The top earners are usually people who have been in the industry for 10+ years. The average starting salary for a professional right after college in Berlin is 37,760 EUR.
If we look at the software engineer with up to 2 years of experience, they can expect around 49,605 EUR annually, with 3-5 years – 51,600 EUR, 6-10 years 54,209 EUR, and with more than ten years in a job, they can get 64,543 EUR.
6. Company type and size
A company’s size always sets some expectations on the future salary of employees across the country. More prominent companies pay more and offer better benefits, but the type of business also influences your paycheck.
The truth is that start-ups in Berlin tend to pay lower salaries than regular companies. Statistics show clear numbers: people who work for traditional businesses earn significantly higher wages than those who are employed in start-ups.
For instance, software engineers who work in companies with up to 500 employees earn 44,028 EUR; between 501 and 1,000 employees – 49,740 EUR; from 1,000 employees – 58,080 EUR.
Stepstone points out that large companies (+10,000 employees) in Germany pay the highest salaries in the country – 27% above average.
Medium- to large-sized companies (5,001 – 10,000 employees) overpay the average gross salary by 17%, and medium-sized companies (1,000 – 5,000 employees) exceed the average by 12%.
Luckily for foreign applicants, Berlin has branches of many big corporations that will offer you the best salary and benefits, including:
- German Telekom, with 6,833 employees in Berlin
- Siemens, with 11,818 employees in Berlin
- Deutsche Bahn, with 19, 466 employees in Berlin
- Daimler, with 6,203 employees in Berlin
- BMW Werk Berlin / BMW Group 2,294 employees in Berlin
Moreover, here are Berlin employers that pay the most (company plus average salary):
- IBM: 80,795 EUR
- Pfizer: 77,759 EUR
- Boehringer Ingelheim: 76,315 EUR
- SAP: 73,375 EUR
- 50Hertz Transmission: 71,878 EUR
- Berlin-Chemie: 67,261 EUR
- Stromnetz Berlin: 66,517 EUR
- Siemens: 64,662 EUR
- Vattenfall: 63,149 EUR
- Barmer: 61,863 EUR
Popular jobs in Berlin
So which professions are actually needed in Berlin so you can have the highest hiring chances accompanied by better income? Keep in mind that most jobs for foreigners in Berlin are offered in IT and telecommunications.
Accordingly to the statistics, software developers and managers earn the highest salaries.
1. Software engineer & IT & developer
Jobs in software development of any kind are plentiful in Berlin. Regardless of the code language or whether you’re in the frontend, backend, or mobile app development, talented engineers are always recruited.
If you’re in IT right now, you shouldn’t have any problem finding available jobs in Berlin.
In fact, a software engineer is by far the most favorable occupation chosen by expats in Berlin. The income ranges between 42,996 EUR and 72,118 EUR at 40 hours work week.
The salary difference is related to professional experience, the industry in which one works, and the level of responsibility in the company.
- the starting salary of a software engineer is 32,000 EUR to 46,500 EUR
- with professional experience, the salary is between 47,000 EUR and 65,000 EUR
- a senior software engineer can expect between 65,000 EUR and 100,000 EUR
2. Product manager
Also, a product manager is a common job title in Berlin. Indeed, almost all companies need at least one employee in this role. Usually, people with master’s or engineering degrees can apply for this position.
In Berlin, they can expect around 54,000 EUR on average.
3. Marketing and communications
Savvy marketers are always needed by tech and non-tech companies. Berlin has an abundant number of job positions in these areas.
Whether it’s copywriting, content marketing, performance marketing, PR, email marketing, or customer relationship management – there are a lot of marketing jobs on offer in the German capital.
However, you won’t earn a high income with marketing; it’s considered one of the lowest-paying industries.
For instance, a marketing manager in Berlin earns 45,400 EUR on average.
4. Design/UX /UI
To make software look great, all tech companies need specialists in design. That’s why jobs in product design, UX/UI design, and graphic design are rising.
You can expect an income of around 43,200 EUR for these occupations in Berlin.
Sure enough, someone needs to bring in the customers. Also, because of the international nature of the city, there are lots of jobs in sales in Berlin.
Be aware that sales salaries are usually lower than other positions in the company; they often tend to work on commission. Still, it can be a good kick-off for multilingual applicants.
Salary in sales varies greatly; depending on your tasks and your position, it can be between 36,300 EUR and 61,200 EUR.
And who’s looking after the books? As start-ups grow, CEOs can no longer handle all of the bookkeeping within their companies. That’s where you come in and get a great finance job in Berlin.
7. Customer support
Customer support is needed everywhere. In Berlin, many start-ups employ multilingual customer support agents.
Salaries in customer support vary between 35,087 EUR and 41,707 EUR.
8. Most engineering professions
Engineers are needed and well-paid across Germany, including Berlin. Prevalent specialist fields like mechanical and automotive engineering, electrical engineering, computer science, and telecommunications.
9. Nurses and doctors
Health professionals will never struggle to find a job in Germany. With one of the biggest employers in Berlin clinic Charité, you are on the safe side.
In Berlin, nurses can expect around 38,500 EUR on average and doctors at least 60,000 EUR depending on their experience and specialization.
10. Waiters & hospitality
Indeed, hospitality is a huge employer in Berlin, with many excellent cafés, bars, and restaurants always looking for people who know how to provide outstanding service.
Even without speaking German, you shouldn’t have any problems getting a job in this area. Waiters in Berlin earn, on average, around 30,000 EUR, plus tips.
The top 10 employers in Berlin with jobs in English
There is a high chance that your employer in Berlin will be one of thousands of start-ups. Currently, start-ups offer most English-speaking jobs for foreigners in Berlin.
In fact, 49% of start-up employees aren’t German citizens. Funny enough that Berlin’s start-up workforce is more diverse than Silicon Valley’s, with 45% of foreign workers.
Top international employers in Berlin include:
- Delivery Hero
- Project A Ventures GmbH