This article was originally published on .cult by Mikaella C, Inês Almeida. .cult is a Berlin-based community platform for developers. We write about all things career-related, make original documentaries, and share heaps of other untold developer stories from around the world.
Last year we brought you our first comprehensive breakdown of developer salaries in Germany. We used extensive data gathered over the course of five years, breaking down all the variables that go into making up that magic number: your salary.
In 2021, we found that while COVID-19 impacted developer hirings, it didn’t make a noticeable difference in salary. In this year’s report, we’ve found that hirings have bounced back, with a 54% increase in developer hirings from 2020 to 2021. Developer salaries have continued to rise, with a year-on-year improvement from 2021 to 2022, proving again that Germany is indeed a good place to be a developer.
- We’re seeing a steady increase in salaries, with backend roles especially seeing greater pay rates even at a junior level
- The jump between junior and senior developers’ salary is significant, with as much as a 30% increase in some roles
Breakdown of developer salaries in Germany
Experience, role, tech stack, gender, and even nationality contribute to how much a developer earns. And the city you live in plays a role, too. The highest average salaries are found in Munich, but the best bang for your buck is in Berlin, which offers generous salaries with a lower cost of living.
If you’re not originally from Berlin, you can still set your sights on the city. Our data found that being a local doesn’t necessarily guarantee a higher pay grade. In both 2021 and 2022, salaries rose not just for local native German speakers but also for local, non-native speakers and for those who emigrated to Germany from the EU and the rest of the world.
- Depending upon the role, non-native-speaking locals can earn up to 4% more than their native-speaking counterparts.
- Not from the EU? No worries. Developers who have moved to Germany from the rest of the world have found consistently higher salaries than those who moved from the EU. Just get that visa sorted!
Here’s how that data starts to look when we factor in not just role, but years of experience.
The gender pay gap is still a problem
In both 2021 and 2022, male developers were paid consistently more than female developers, sometimes by as much as 5%. In fact, data shows that the gender pay gap widened in 2022, with women more consistently receiving lower salaries across both junior and senior roles.
Location and nationality don’t affect interview invites and hires
Along with the fairly equitable rates of pay for developers no matter where you’re from, we analysed how likely you are to make it to the job interview based on your location.
Here, locals have the advantage, with the lion’s share of interview invites and hires going to candidates already located in Germany.
However, after a decline in hiring candidates from the rest of the world in 2019 and 2020, rates are rising again for 2021 and 2022, proving that borders aren’t a barrier for the right job.
Expectations are low… too low!
We found one consistent factor across all of our data: developers typically underestimate the salary they deserve. For example, check out the difference between the estimated salary for junior management (€39,200) and the average offered salary for junior management (€67,500): a whopping 41% difference.
Typically, the expected salary and average offered salary tend to align more in senior roles, suggesting that more experienced developers have a more accurate idea of what they’re worth. But even then, they are still consistently underestimated, leading us to the conclusion that many developers don’t have a precise picture of the actual salary landscape out there.
Once again women are expecting less than their male counterparts. They consistently ask for €2,000+ less, while that number grows as the experience grows.
Our key data source is the salaries specified by hiring companies during the interview process on the Honeypot platform. If an interview invite was missing significant information (like position, title, or company location), we removed those from the study to ensure the data can be compared consistently. We also removed unusually low or high salaries to avoid extreme outliers and used an external library to determine gender based on the individual’s first name. All salaries are based on the company’s initial offer, and not a final negotiated and contracted amount.
The best way to make sure you’re getting the best possible salary is to be informed and prepared to talk about it! So share what you’ve learned and sign up for our fabulous newsletter for even more reports, videos, interviews and insights.
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