What’s a software engineer’s salary in Germany?

What’s a software engineer’s salary in Germany?

by Anne Walther

Updated November 7, 2022

Software development has been and continues to be an interesting and growing field to work in. While there were 13 million developers in 2013, that number has doubled as of 2022 – and predictions are that this trend will continue. Being one of the hot spots of engineering, Germany offers a wide range of job opportunities for software engineers, with a starting salary of around €46.000 and senior or management positions paying twice as much. However, there are a few things to consider when planning your career as a developer. We’ll give you a brief overview of different functions you can fulfill as a software engineer and how to become one in Germany if you so choose.

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Functions and salary

Your salary may vary depending on your work experience, education and skills. If you are fresh out of university, you may be able to get a position as a junior engineer or developer. The company you work for may offer you additional training or courses so you can earn bonuses or raises, and over time you may get a higher salary depending on your performance. 

Working in software development

If you have studied one of the many fields related to software development or engineering, you can apply to a wide range of positions, both in small start-ups and in huge multinational companies. This is of course no surprise – with more than nine billion devices in use across the world, developers are very much needed to keep things running. If you’re looking for an entry-level position, quality assurance, cybersecurity or game development could be good fields to work in. Each function may require additional skills in particular programming languages or soft skills.

Different industries

Just because you’re trained as a developer or engineer doesn’t mean you’re locked into a specific role or career path. For example, you can aim for a career as a manager or business consultant once you have gained some work experience. There are also companies that offer traineeships for people who have a degree but want to change industries. Such people in Germany are called Quereinsteiger. You can look out for offers with this term if you are interested in switching up your career path.

An overview of different salaries

Salaries can vary depending on the function of the role. A salary always includes paid holiday leave of at least 20 days a year.

Job TitleJunior salarySenior salaryAverage salary
Software engineer€46.000€65.000€50.000
Software development manager€59.000€105.000€80.000
Software Consultant€47.000€67.000€56.000
Product Manager€45.000€85.000€58.000

Before applying for a job, you can use websites like Glassdoor or Payscale to compare average salaries.

Keep in mind that you will have to pay taxes on your salary, as well as insurances for medical bills, retirement plans and the like. Living costs like rent, electricity and groceries can vary in the different regions, so a salary should match the average costs you can expect in the place you will live in.

Working in Germany

Once a job in Germany has caught your eye, there are some things to take into consideration when moving countries. If you come from a country outside the European Union, you will, for example, need a work visa. Although your work may not directly require it, it’s always a good idea to learn the German language so that you can get around in your neighborhood – after all, only 56% of Germans speak English.

Becoming a software engineer in Germany

Don’t have a degree yet? Don’t worry – German universities offer a range of specializations that can prepare you for a career in software development. If you consider studying in Germany, keep in mind that while Master’s programs are often taught in English, particularly Bachelor’s programs usually have speaking German as a requirement. 

Ready to get started?

No matter if you already have a degree as a software engineer or not – working in Germany in the industry can be an attractive option, not only because of the competitive salary. If you already have a specific role in mind to apply to, you can head over to online job search engines to check out current opportunities in Germany. If you are still considering whether software engineering is the right choice for you, you can first check out some university degree programs.

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Anne is a German freelance writer and communication consultant. In addition to her job, she is founder and coach of the Dutch non-for-profit organization CLUB Coaching. Due to her work, she resides in both Germany and the Netherlands. Whenever her time is not occupied with communication in all its forms, she spends time with her six pets, gardening or being creative with fashion and design. You can follow her on LinkedIn.

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