Which professions give you more money

Best-paid professions in 2021: 36 extremely well-paid jobs

What are the highest paid professions in Germany? The career choice should not only be made for financial reasons. Nevertheless, the earnings prospects irritate some when choosing a suitable job. And there are massive differences in pay and salary prospects! Between industries and professions. We will show you the best-paid professions in Germany (with and without a degree) and which career choices you have chances of being among the top earners. You can read numerous tables with starting salaries ...

➠ Content: This is what awaits you

➠ Content: This is what awaits you

Best-paid professions in 2021: Extremely well-paid jobs

You may have the perfect job for a lifetime. It's good if the future earning potential is right. If your career choice falls on a medical degree, which is particularly lucrative. A rise to the position of chief or senior physician catapults you into the Olympus of top earners in Germany. This is also confirmed in salary studies for the year 2021. Top doctors realize salaries in the six-figure range. Definitely the best paid professions. It gets more colorful underneath. The extremely well-paid jobs mainly include finance, IT and engineers. According to the Stepstone Salary Report, there are the highest-paid occupations for graduates from these programs:

1. Medicine (and dentistry): 92,215 euros
2. Law: 77,877 euros
3. Industrial engineering: 72,437 euros
4. Engineering: 70,879 euros
5. Business informatics: 70,321 euros

A look at the Salary Atlas 2021 shows how different the results of studies can be. In this, these five industries are named for the best-paid professions (values ​​as median):

1. Biotechnology: 67,524 euros
2. Other capital goods: 66,594 euros
3. Semiconductors: 65,586 euros
4. Banks: 61,651 euros
5. Pharma: 60,536 euros

Best paid professions in Germany in 2021

The current list of the best-paid professions in Germany looks like this (Source: Salary Atlas 2021, Salary.de):

1. Head physician, resident physician: 196,251 euros
2nd senior physician: 121,748 euros
3. Sales control / sales management: 94,796 euros
4. Regional sales manager for capital goods: 90,812 euros
5. Commercial management: 90,661 euros
6. IT management: 88,610 euros

10 best paid professions without a degree

Another list shows: good salaries are also possible without a university degree or degree. These are the best-paid professions without a degree (Source: Salary Atlas, Salary.de):

1. Regional sales manager: 73,053 euros
2. Pharma speaker: 68,558 euros
3. SAP consultant: 64,909 euros
4. Branch manager of a bank: 64,737 euros
5. Revisionist: 62,038 euros
6. (Key) Account Manager: 61,019 euros
7. Sales manager: 60,837 euros
8. Tax advisor: 60,000 euros
9. Business Developer: 59,599 euros
10. Business consultant: 55,240 euros

Best paid professions - according to training

Apprenticeship years are not master years - this applies not only to work, but also to pay. The training salary is usually significantly lower than the later payment - but there are not only extremely well-paid professions, but also trainees who already receive a high salary. These are the best-paid training courses (the information relates to the last year of training).

1. Air traffic controller: 4,000 to 5,000 euros
2. Ship mechanic: 1,700 euros
3. Bricklayer: 1,200 to 1,400 euros
4. Policeman: 1,100 to 1,300 euros
5. Mechatronics technician: 1,100 to 1,260 euros
6. Social Security Employee: 1,250 euros
7. Insurance agent: 1,200 euros
8. Banker: 1,150 euros
9. Administrative clerk: 1,100 euros
10. Financier: 1,000 to 1,100 euros

Important NOTE

The salary tables and information on the best-paid professions are largely based on surveys, estimates or personal information. These can vary widely and lead to different results. The information provided can hardly be verified objectively. This would require receipts, such as pay slips or bank statements. But nobody has that. At most, it is different for publicly available data such as collective agreements or the salary levels in the public service. The ranking lists are therefore only approximate values, which are mainly used for orientation.

These factors determine your salary

In addition to the profession and the industry, there are other factors that have a major influence on the salary. Even within an industry or a profession, there can be large differences in wages. This can sometimes create a falsified impression. The following influencing factors determine how much salary an employee actually earns in the end:

  • position
    Young professionals earn less than experienced specialists or managers. Income usually peaks between the ages of 40 and 50.
  • qualification
    The better educated, the more skilled and specialized you are, the more you will earn.
  • Company size
    In large, international corporations, salaries are usually higher than in small and medium-sized companies.
  • Number of employees
    The larger the company, the greater the specialization of the employees, which leads to higher salaries.
  • Location
    People pay more in cities and other metropolitan areas than in rural areas or structurally weak regions.
  • federal state
    There is a north-south divide in Germany: Bavaria, Baden-Württemberg and Hesse have the highest salaries. The lowest in Saxony, Thuringia and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania.

The comparison of the best-paid professions shows at least the financial potential that lies in a job description. On top of that, such rankings satisfy curiosity: Despite the saying “You don't talk about money”, everyone actually wants to know what others earn on average - and how you yourself fare in comparison.

Tables and overview: starting salaries for the highest-paid professions

In Germany, the average gross salary is 3,994 euros per month (source: Federal Statistical Office). However, this value varies depending on the study: According to ZDF, the average gross salary is 2,990 euros. The StepStone salary report again speaks of an average of 4898.75 euros per month for specialists and executives. The tables of entry-level salaries often show who can (potentially) earn what and how much in which occupation. For the most part, these are not among the best-paid professions. However, the salary comparison also reveals who has the best chance of becoming one of the top earners.

Starting salaries for the most wanted professions

The following tables show the gross monthly starting salary for various occupations. By clicking on the "To the job description" tab, you can access a comprehensive job profile - with an overview of training, career prospects and application tips.

Engineering, IT & technology

Trade, sales & logistics

Management, finance & consulting

Services & Freelance Professions

Health & Social


Public service

Best paid professions & return on education

Longer training pays off. Often more so for women than for men. According to a study by the Institute for Labor Market and Occupational Research (IAB), an additional year of education later brings a wage increase of five percent. An employee who has invested 16 years in education, for example, can expect an average 25 percent higher income over his entire working life than someone who left the education system after eleven years. Experts speak of the Mincer coefficient or the “return on education” in this context.

Trick for better payment: create a service portfolio!

Finally, an extra trick with which you can score points in your own salary negotiation and get more out of a salary increase: Create a so-called performance folder in advance! In a conversation with the boss, this provides you with hard facts and convincing arguments for more money. The following video explains how this works:

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