What is a software engineer?
A software engineer, regardless of their experience level, is someone who builds and creates things in the digital world. They could be brand new to the field or they might have a lot of experience. And don't worry too much about titles like 'junior' or 'senior' - these can mean different things depending on where you work.
Software engineers are skilled in translating user needs into functional digital solutions, using coding languages and technologies. Beyond technical abilities, they also manage their tasks responsibly, communicate complex concepts simply, and are committed to delivering quality work.
The average salary for a software engineer in Germany is €61,500
Software engineers in Germany earn an average salary of €61,500 per year or around €5,120 per month. Salary ranges from €57K on the low end to €80k on the higher end. For the most part, junior to mid-level software engineers don’t receive equity and bonuses in Germany, but seniors can get sizable packages (at the right company).
According to TechPays, senior software engineers are receiving decent benefits. For example, a senior software engineer at Stripe is earning €19K/year bonus and €113K/year in equity, at Shopify €74/year equity.
Salary by experience
In Germany, as software engineers progress in their careers, their salaries increase correspondingly. From an entry-level salary of €53,650, the jump to a junior role sees a moderate raise of about 2.5%, bringing the average salary to €55,000. This likely reflects the continued skills development typical of these early career stages. Junior and entry-level positions have are much the same, therefore we don’t see much difference in the pay.
When a junior moves into a mid-level position, salaries see a more significant increase of roughly 18.2%, raising the average compensation to €65,000. This trend continues with senior roles, where the average salary leaps by around 18.5% to €77,000. These substantial jumps reflect the increased responsibilities, technical expertise, and leadership skills required at these advanced stages. The biggest salary increases will happen to those developers with between 3-5 years experience.
Taxes in Germany
When you're trying to figure out your take-home pay in Germany, keep in mind where you live, your experience, your job title, and your tech skills. Use the German tax brackets (below) or a tax calculator to get a ballpark idea of your monthly take-home after taxes.
Suppose you're living in Germany and you're pulling in a gross annual salary of €53,000, which comes out to about €4,417 per month. You can expect about €19,374 of that to be snatched up by taxes and other contributions. After all is said and done, you'll be taking home €33,626 per year, which averages to around €2,802 per month or €647 per week.
German tax brackets
Average salary by city
When comparing software engineer salaries across different cities in Germany, it's evident that there are variations. Berlin takes the lead with an average salary of €66,000, followed closely by Munich at €68,000. Stuttgart stands at €63,250, while Hamburg, Frankfurt, and Düsseldorf offer relatively lower average salaries ranging from €60,000 to €58,000. These discrepancies may be influenced by factors such as the local demand for software engineers, cost of living, and the presence of tech industries in each city.
Median salary by country
Software engineer salaries vary significantly between countries. Germany offers an average salary of $66,000, while the United Kingdom falls slightly lower at $61,000. In contrast, the United States boasts a higher average salary of $91,000, reflecting its robust tech industry. Canada sits in the middle with an average salary of $67,000. These differences can be attributed to factors such as market demand, cost of living, and economic considerations specific to each country.
Salary by Company
The provided data from TechPays primarily represents salaries for senior software engineers at various companies. Stripe, Salesforce, and Shopify offer a competitive salary of €125,000. Limelight Networks stands out with a higher salary of €180,000. Elastic and HashiCorp provide salaries of €115,000, while Twitter and Workday offer €110,000 and €100,000 respectively. Personio and N26 also provide salaries of €115,000. It's important to note that these figures are specific to senior software engineers and may vary based on factors such as experience, location, and industry demand.
Fair and transparent salaries
Openness about salaries during the job search benefits everyone involved—it provides clarity on expectations, saving time and effort when evaluating job opportunities. Moreover, it facilitates improved salary negotiations. By sharing your own salary review, you contribute to a more transparent and equitable job market. If you're a software engineer earning above or below the average, sharing a company review can provide valuable insights to fellow developers. Your input has the power to positively impact the community. 😊