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Average Graduate Starting Salaries in Germany

Expatrio 2024-02-15
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Germany is a great place to start your career. The job market in Germany is strong, with many opportunities available in various industries. But one thing most people wonder about is what is the average graduate starting salary in Germany?

This article will discuss Germany's average graduate starting salary, the top 10 fields with the highest starting salary, and the best cities in Germany for finding a job.

Why should you work in Germany compared to other European countries?

The cost of living is lower in Germany, with cities like Berlin having a very reasonable living costs index compared to other major European capitals. This aspect makes it an attractive destination for young professionals looking to start their careers.

Germany also has the second-highest employability rate in Europe, with over 90% gaining full-time employment after graduating. The unemployment rate has also dropped to an impressive 2.9%. These numbers demonstrate Germany's resilience to economic downturns, making it a safe bet for young workers starting their careers.

Additionally, Germany has an excellent work-life balance. Germans value their life after work and call it Feierabend, which directly translates to party night. This work-life balance is also reflected in the country's laws and culture. For example, the German government mandates that workers should not have to work more than 48 hours a week, including overtime.


Minimum wage in Germany

Germany has recently increased its minimum wage to €9.82 per hour. This amount corresponds to a minimum wage level of €1,621 per month in a full-time position (40 hours per week).

The average living cost

Next, you might be asking: is it enough to live in Germany with a minimum wage?

The answer is yes, it is, if you are careful with your spending! A single person can live relatively comfortably on a minimum wage salary in Germany. Of course, your lifestyle will be more modest than someone with a higher salary, but it is possible to have a good quality of life on a minimum wage salary in Germany.

Let's take Berlin as an example:

  • A single person in Berlin could easily spend between €800 to €1,100 per month. This cost covers rent in a shared apartment, homecooked meals instead of eating out, discounted transportation card (paid annually), bills, and any other necessary expenses. With a few careful spending habits, you would still have enough to cover a fun night out on the weekend, plus some monthly savings.

What is the average starting salary in Germany?

Germany is a country that values highly-qualified workers. If you have a unique skill set combined with a university degree, your chances of earning a high-paying job are high.

The average graduate starting salary in Germany is €44,000 per year. This wage is significantly higher than the starting salaries in other European countries, such as the UK (€35,000) and France (€40,000).

Average salary prospects by field

If you're unsure about what course you'd like to study in Germany, it might be worth checking the salary prospects for each field. Of course, choosing a university course should also depend on other factors that are important to you.

The following are the top 10 fields in Germany with the highest starting salaries for graduates:

  • Medicine: €56,000
  • Industrial engineering: €54,000
  • Business informatics: €52,000
  • Natural sciences: €52,000
  • Law: €51,000
  • Computer science: €51,000
  • Engineering: €51,000
  • Economics: €51,000
  • Pharmacy: €43,000
  • Environmental science: €41,000

Is there a gender pay gap in Germany?

Unfortunately, yes, there is still a gender pay gap in Germany. According to a survey by StepStone, the average salary for men is €47,000, while the average salary for women is €40,000. In 2020, women earned an average of over 18% less than men per worked hour in the country.


Cities in Germany with the best job prospects

If you're looking for a job in Germany, it's worth considering which city is the best place to find employment. 
The following are the five cities in Germany with the highest employability rates:


Berlin's job prospects are excellent, with the city having a low cost of living and many startups. Additionally, Berlin is appealing to young professionals, with vibrant nightlife and many cultural attractions.


Munich is another great city for finding a job in Germany. It is a popular city among professionals due to its mix of bustling city and nature life. With its strong economy and many opportunities in various industries, no wonder Munich is one of the favorite cities for locals and expats.


The next best city in Germany with one of the best job prospects is Hamburg. This city is home to many large companies because it is a central maritime hub. Next to Berlin, Hamburg is also a popular option for young professionals due to its startup scene.


Cologne is another favorite city in Germany for young people. Its university is one of the oldest and has consistently ranked in the top universities in the world. Cologne is also home to many successful companies like Lufthansa, PwC, and Huawei Technologies.


Last but not least, Stuttgart is a city with a strong economy and many job opportunities. This city is home to many large companies such as Porsche, Daimler, and Bosch. Stuttgart is also known for its high quality of life, making it an attractive option for young professionals.


Is it easy for an international student to find a job in Germany?

Yes, it is relatively easy for an international student to find a job in Germany. Although the competition can be tough, there are many opportunities for those willing to look for them. Additionally, most companies in Germany are open to hiring international students.

The best way to search for jobs in Germany is through online job portals such as StepStone and LinkedIn. You can also search for jobs on the websites of specific companies you're interested in and apply directly.
Another way to find a job in Germany is through an internship. Internships are a great way to gain work experience and improve your chances of finding a full-time job after graduation.

If you have the time, it's also worth checking out job fairs in Germany. Job fairs are a great way to meet employers and learn about different companies in your field.

Finally, networking is also an essential part of finding a job in Germany. Attend events and meetups, and introduce yourself to as many people as possible.


Your chances after graduation in Germany

Overall, your chances of landing a decent salary in Germany are pretty high once you graduate from university. With over 90% finding employment and Germany's positive outlook on the job market, you won't have any problems living a comfortable life here.

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