If you’ve ever tried applying for an IT job in Germany, you know how hard it could be to know what is a good salary to live a decent life in Germany.
Moving from your home country to Germany for a job can be a big step and knowing what salary is a good salary in Germany can help you to make the right decision. That’s why I have decided to write this blog post by taking my salary as an example while I was working in a tech startup as a Data Analyst.
What is a good salary in Germany?
€50,000 per year is a good salary to lead a decent life. Which is around €4,200 per month. Your net salary after taxes would be €2,584 if you are single and €2,935 if you are married. Although taxes are high in Germany, the majority of it is contributed to social charges which will cover your health, unemployment, pension, and well-being.
In this blog post I will share
- How much I was earning in a tech startup working as a Business Intelligence Manager (Data Analyst) in Berlin, Germany
- How much I used to pay in taxes and what are those taxes for
- How much is my cost of living per month in Berlin, Germany
- How my cost of living can be compared to the cost of living in the most expensive city in Germany
- How much does an experienced IT professional earn in Germany
How much I was earning in a tech startup working as a Business Intelligence Manager (Data Analyst) in Berlin, Germany
From 2017 until 2021 I have been working as a Data Analyst/ Business Intelligence Manager at different technology startups in Berlin, Germany. I used to join very early-stage startups (somewhere between 5-10 employees) and have been closely involved in scaling the startups until 50-100 employees. Normally as the startups grew the number of people from different nationalities also grew and this helped me to gain the knowledge of international recruiting.
In the year 2021, my gross salary was €60,000 per annum which is €5000 per month. Until June 2021 I was registered as single and hence I was in tax class I. Starting July 2021 as I got married my tax class changed to class III. Below you can see the Gross and Net salaries that I was earning from Jan to June 2021 and from July to Dec 2021.
If you are interested in knowing more about different tax classes in Germany, check out this website.
How much I used to pay in taxes and what are those taxes for:
As you can see in the above screenshots the taxes are heavily dependent on marital status. As a rule of thumb, if you are single, you end up paying more taxes and if you are married you pay less tax.
The next biggest chunk of your gross salary will be paid to “Social Charges” as mentioned above. It would be pension insurance, unemployment insurance, health insurance, and care insurance. Although it is a relatively big chunk of money that you pay to get social benefits I think this is what makes living in Germany safe, secure, and stress-free. Especially if are married and have kids, all of your family members are covered with health and care insurance with the same amount of money and there won’t be any extra charges for them.
Children’s allowance on top of paying less tax when you have children:
When you have children and you are a resident of Germany, you are entitled to Kindergeld (Child Benefits). This is a support from the German government to help cover some of the cost of raising children. It can range from €204 to €235 per child per month and the fund transfer will be made into your German bank account. If you are interested in knowing more about Child Allowance here is a great article from howtogermany.
How much is my cost of living per month in Berlin, Germany:
Household and utilities —> €850 (apartment rent, WiFi connection, electricity, and phone bill)
Food and grocery —> €400
Transportation —> €170 (€85 per person for a monthly pass to travel within Berlin)
Miscellaneous —> €400
Total expenses for two people per month —> €1820
Among all the mentioned costs above the biggest variable cost could be household and utilities. I am a person who likes to spend less money on my apartment and hence my trade-off was to live in the outskirts of Berlin. By doing so I could easily save up to 20-30% of my expenses.
How my cost of living can be compared to the cost of living in the most expensive city in Germany
Munich, Germany is considered the most expensive city to live in Germany. When the costs are compared between Berlin and Munich in the website numbeo it can be seen that the cost of living in Munich is around 20-25% higher compared to the cost of living in Berlin, Germany.
How much does an experienced IT professional earn in Germany
Recently one of Germany’s daily newspapers called Handelsblatt has published an article on 25 jobs in Germany with top salaries and little competition. As it can be seen in the below screenshot the median salary for a Senior Java Developer could be €70,000 per year and for a Cloud-Architect could be €72,500 per year.
In summary, if you get a job in the field of IT and software development in Germany you could make a really decent life. Yes, the taxes are quite high compared to other countries but the social benefits that you get from the taxes that you pay can help you lead a stress-free and happy life. Last but not least having the opportunity to work and live in Germany will also allow you to travel visa-free to 26 beautiful Schengen countries in Europe.