Salary & Trends

The State of Software Developer Salaries in Germany: What Factors Matter Most?

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How high are software developers' salaries in 2022? On average, you can expect to earn around 62,185 €. In this article, we'll show you which factors are most taken into account, how much room there is for improvement, and what you can get as a junior software developer when you start your career.

Starting Salary

Starting Salary

How much can software developers ask for when starting their careers these days? We have compared current figures and created a detailed overview for you.

  • The German Federal Employment Agency calculates an estimated income of 43,740 € for all software developers under 25.

  • notes that developers with less than three years of professional experience can expect a salary of 54,808 € as a general figure that's given to developers.

  • The 2021 IT Study from Compensation Partner shows 51,505 € for developers with 1-2 years of professional experience.

  • In our comparison, on the other hand, we were able to determine average starting salaries varied from 41,400 € and 49,000 €.

The data for the recommended salary for junior software developers thus varies between 41,400 € and almost 55,000 €.

We recommend that you do not immediately make overarching conclusions from these values. Rather, let's consider some important factors that influence the salary of a software developer. Finally, you can't "lump everyone together".

Factors Influencing Software Developer Salaries

Factors Influencing Software Developer Salaries

Based on our findings, there are a total of seven criteria to be taken into account when calculating value as an entry-level developer.

Salary after graduation

As in just about every other industry, your degree is an influencing factor when it comes to your starting salary as a software developer.

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Type of degree Average starting salary in euros per year Average salary in euros per year
Training/apprenticeship 38,000 51,300
Master craftsman / specialist - 57,900
Bachelors 46,000 54,800
Masters 51,000 69,300
Doctorate - 81,800

# Salary by industry

Next, take the time to consider which industry you want to join, because your salary can vary drastically depending on where you land.

As a general rule, you can expect to earn the most in banking and finance.

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Sector Salary in euros per year
Banking and financial industry 58,600 to 82,600
Insurance 57,600 to 81,200
Medical technology and pharmaceutical industry 54,800 to 77,300
Mechanical engineering 53,600 to 75,600
Wholesale and retail 44,000 to 62,100
Printing and paper industry 42,100 to 59,400
Education 41,900 to 59,100
PR and advertising 40,100 to 56,600

It's worth noting that salaries also tend to be high within the IT industry itself.

Salary according to company size

As with many other professions, the size of a company is also a determining factor that affects the salary of a software developer.

Below is a breakdown of how much you can expect to earn as a specialist or team lead within either a small, mid-sized or large organization:

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Number of employees Skilled worker Manager
Up to 100 55,500 € 103,500 €
101 to 1,000 60,600 € 118,600 €
More than 1,000 75,900 € 142,900 €

Salary by federal state

The Federal Employment Agency compares the salary of software developers by federal state as part of its salary atlas. According to the study, the salary for software engineers is highest in Bavaria. Meanwhile, Saxony-Anhalt is in last place. Overall, the difference in annual earnings is about 21,000 € per year gross.

Salary for software developers in 2022 by federal state:

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State Annual gross earnings in euros
Bavaria 69,624
Baden-Württemberg 69,000
Berlin 67,152
Hesse 66,420
Hamburg 63,912
North Rhine-Westphalia 60,732
Bremen 60,072
Brandenburg 59,486
Schleswig-Holstein 59,100
Lower Saxony 58,908
Rhineland-Palatinate 56,964
Saarland 55,392
Saxony 51,036
Thuringia 50,232
Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania 49,248
Saxony-Anhalt 48,588

Salary by major city

In addition to the states, the city where you work also plays a role in your salary. The most attractive cities are Munich, Nuremberg, Frankfurt am Main, and Stuttgart.

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City in Germany Annual gross earnings in euros
Munich 73,296
Nuremberg 71,592
Frankfurt am Main 69,564
Stuttgart 69,180
Düsseldorf 64,032
Cologne 61,308
Essen 61,284
Hanover 60,012
Dortmund 59,760
Leipzig 52,152
Dresden 51,612

Salary by career level

As would be expected, software developer salaries increase as you gain more experience in the field. The StepStone Salary Report 2021 provides concrete figures:

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Professional experience in years Average annual gross salary in euros
Up to 1 year 41,368
1 to 2 years 44,555
3 to 5 years 51,404
6 to 10 years 60,264
11 to 25 years 71,925
Over 25 years 79,708

Here we have some more tips for your career growth as a software engineer.

Salary by specialization

Software development covers a large spectrum of roles. A rough division can be made into front-end, back-end and mobile development.

  • Mobile developers earn an annual gross salary of 68,500 €.

  • Back-end developers are at an annual gross salary of 66,100 €.

  • Front-end developers receive an annual gross salary of 57,300 €.

At 75,700 €, IT consultants earn the most, according to the IT Study 2021, followed by IT Security Engineers at 69,900 €.

Salary of Software Developers: Germany vs. Switzerland

Salary of Software Developers: Germany vs. Switzerland

If you have very high ambitions and want to earn as much as possible, it's worth taking a look at Switzerland. The country is considered one of the best countries to make it on the salary scale as a software developer.

And it's not just about the sum on the salary slip. The work-life balance and the landscape in Switzerland make the neighboring country of Germany even more attractive!

  • In Germany, the average salary for software developers is 5,382 € per month or 64,584 € per year.
  • In Switzerland, on the other hand, you can expect an average of 7,170 € per month or 86,000 € per year.

The move is also worthwhile if you are just starting out and would like to begin your career in Switzerland as a junior software developer. On average, you could earn around 75,000 € annually including bonus benefits.

Not bad, right? Now you just need to be found by the right companies. We can actually help with that – sign up to TieTalent for free, and we’ll match you with great companies looking for IT professionals throughout Switzerland and Germany!

Job Description of the Software Developer: Training and Tasks

Job Description of the Software Developer: Training and Tasks

Software development is rather lucrative, no question! But your future job should not only guarantee a high income. The role should fit you and, of course, be interesting, fun and allow for growth.

Tasks of a software developer

What does a software developer do all day long?

As a software developer, you develop and implement software solutions. This can be either for the company internally or for customers of the company. In addition to writing, programming code, and ensuring technical functionality, the needs of subsequent users must also be considered.

Common programming languages include Java, PHP, and C++, among many others.

How to become a software developer

Does this profession appeal to you? Then we have good news: There are many ways to become a software developer.

In addition to an apprenticeship or internship as an IT specialist, for example, an engineering degree is also a good prerequisite for your career as a software developer. Further education will also bring you to your goal. It is even possible to transition later on in your career.

Outlook into the Future: Trends in Software Development

Outlook into the Future: Trends in Software Development

As a software developer, you will continue to be in high demand. Therefore, focus on career growth and development.

  • Stay up to date on the latest trends

  • Take supplementary courses

  • Subscribe to tech podcasts or news sources that will keep you informed

Then your salary will most likely climb steadily upwards.

In the future, cloud computing, artificial intelligence, and machine learning–along with data mining and Big Data–will play a big role in global advancement, and software developers will be needed for them.

Think for a moment about industries that are still lagging behind digitization. In healthcare or real estate, for example, the demand for software developers will increase in the coming years.

How to Achieve Your Desired Salary as a Software Developer with TieTalent

How to Achieve Your Desired Salary as a Software Developer with TieTalent

Is your current employer unable to meet your salary requirements? Are you looking for an attractive career start as a junior software developer? Then we can help you find your dream job.

We understand that the job search can be a big hurdle–one that prevents many from taking advantage of new career opportunities.

TieTalent makes the job search easier for IT professionals throughout Germany and Switzerland. Sign up for free and take a few minutes to fill in your job preferences. Then, get matched with innovative companies that offer competitive salaries and are looking for someone with your skills and experience. No cover letters. No strings attached.

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