Study: German Startup Salaries 2016

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After explaining how much it costs to live in Berlin yesterday, we take a deeper look at where that money comes from.

In a cooperation between Berlin-based job recommendation engine Jobspotting, the jobs platform BerlinStartupJobs.com, and Aalen University a study was published today on how much one earns in Berlin’s startups.

The 44 page study can be downloaded here, but we summed up the most interesting facts:

General overview

3,388 people participated in this study. 60% of them reported to live in Berlin, 80% were non-Germans from 65 different nations. Over 40% of the participants were between 26 – 30 years old. 70% of the answers came from male, 30% came from female job seekers. The salaries are shown as brutto, meaning before taxes.
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Looking into the results – surprising and unsurprising facts

The study shows that people working in a startup earn less than in a corporate job. That is neither news, nor surprising. It also makes sense that more established startups pay better than younger ones because often times companies don’t start off with a lot of money to spend. If you’re into software development, you’re the winner, while marketing and sales people earn less.

However, while Berlin has the image of “poor but sexy”, startups in Berlin pay better than elsewhere, the study shows. A reason for that may be the high competition that Berlin-based startups are facing. Another interesting fact is that the experience of an employee is more relevant to the salary than the age of the company.

Should or stay or should I go now? Median salary versus education level

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While on first look this may seem your free pass to leave school right away, it must be said that only 6 % of the 3,388 survey participants were actual drop-outs, while 81.6 % finished some kind of university degree. 5.6 % were still attending school.  

However, looking at these numbers and considering that most of the participants were between 26 – 30, that would mean that those with a degree probably just landed their first or second job, or even internship after graduation. People who dropped out went through that stage earlier. Sometimes, people start as interns and end-up dropping out of school to work full-time. Being with the company longer than a newbie who does not have as much work experience and proven him- or herself to the company, could also explain the difference.

Unfortunately, as in many other cases, women earn about 25 % less than men.

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As a full-time employee in Berlin, the median salary for females is €2,500. Men in the same position reported to be earning an average of €3,333.

While an average woman between 26 – 30 makes €2,450, men find themselves at around €3,200, the study calculated. However, the gap gets even more intense at the age of 36 – 40. Women reported to earn €2,270, while men climbed up to €4,000. While an excuse is often that women are not as tough as men when it comes to salary negotiation, that is probably not the explanation at this age. Having had kids and staying home seems the more likely explanation.

Just as the salary itself, the gap is different depending on the job one is working in:

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Interested in more numbers?

Find the entire report here.

Image: Some rights reserved by 401(K) 2013
Screenshots: Jobspotting