Written by Thomas Dillmann, Bad Honnef
Published: November 26, 2020
Last updated: November 26, 2020
The average gross salary of career starters with an academic degree in Germany is 45,400 euros. Masters graduates earn an average of twelve percent more than their colleagues with a bachelor’s degree. Those who have a doctorate even get almost 33 percent more. This is shown by the new StepStone salary report for graduates, for which the online job platform has evaluated the salaries of around 13,000 young professionals with academic qualifications. Graduates of a medical degree get the most at the start: With an average of 59,500 euros, they are top of the ranking by degree. The lowest starting salaries are in the hotel and catering industry (34,000 euros), the leisure and tourism industry (36,100 euros) and in the agency, advertising, marketing and PR sector (36,600 euros).
“Despite the corona pandemic, employers are increasingly looking for employees again. Even in a time of crisis, the following applies: The higher my qualifications, the better my chances of getting a high starting salary, ”says André Schaefer, salary expert at StepStone. “Because the demographic challenges will only hit the labor market with full force in the coming years, this will continue to be reflected in salaries.”
Across all professional groups, beginners with an academic degree are much better off at the beginning than those with a completed apprenticeship. Career starters without a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree currently earn around 24 percent less. There are still considerable differences between women and men. Across all professional groups, the gender gap is more than 5,000 euros to the detriment of women. The average starting salary for men is 47,431 euros, but that for women is only 42,278 euros.
The most important results of the StepStone salary report for graduates 2020/2021 at a glance:
The most lucrative courses: medicine, industrial engineering and natural sciences
- Medical graduates get the most at the start: With an average of 59,500 euros, they are top of the ranking by degree.
- In second place are young professionals with a master’s degree in industrial engineering (52,800 euros), closely followed by law graduates (52,300).
- The lowest starting salaries are awarded to graduates of design courses (35,800 euros), humanities scholars (36,500 euros) and historians and cultural scientists (36,400 euros).
The industry decides: difference of more than 17,000 euros
- Germany’s automotive industry has been one of the most popular industries for young professionals for years. This is also due to the high starting salary: Those who have a job in this industry receive an average of 51,700 euros after university.
- The aerospace industry (51,100 euros) and the chemical and oil processing industry (49,900 euros) landed in second and third place in the industry rankings.
- The lowest starting salaries are awarded to graduates in the hotel and catering industry (34,000 euros), the leisure and tourism industry (36,100 euros) and in the areas of agency, advertising, marketing and PR (36,600 euros).
Company size: the more employees there are, the more is paid
- Graduates earn the most when they start their careers in very large companies with more than 10,000 employees. You can look forward to an average annual salary of 50,500 euros. This puts them around 11 percent above the average.
- In medium-sized companies with 501 to 1,000 employees, the starting salary of 46,500 euros is only around 2 percent above the overall average. Smaller employers who employ up to 50 people pay career starters with 42,300 euros, around seven percent below the average.
Location: High salaries in southern German federal states and large cities
- Graduates in Baden-Württemberg (EUR 47,800), Bavaria (EUR 47,400) and Hesse (EUR 46,400) receive a top starting salary.
- At the lower end of the salary range and well below the national average are Saxony (38,400 euros), Saxony-Anhalt (39,400 euros) and Thuringia (40,100 euros)
- At the city level, young professionals in Stuttgart achieve the highest starting salary – 49,400 euros here. This is followed by Munich (48,400 euros) and Frankfurt am Main (47,600 euros).
More information and the full “Salary Report for Graduates 2020/2021” is available here on the StepStone website.
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