Salary

When should I men­tion my pre­ferred salary?

  • As a rule, you should only mention your preferred salary in an application when it is EXPLICITLY requested for you to do so in the job advertisement.
  • When stating your preferred salary, it is important to always give the yearly amount and always pre-taxes (yearly gross salary). Do not use a monthly or post-tax sum (net salary) as they are unreliable.
  • You have the option to give a salary range, for example "… in the range of 37,000 to 40,000 Euros annually". This can be interpreted as a sign of your flexibility and willingness to negotiate. Pay attention to the size allotted for the overall range, do not make it too wide. It is also possible to provide a concrete number, for example "… of 40,000 Euros annually,".
  • Never directly bring up the topic of salary yourself as the employee responsible for such matters will mention it on their own.


What factors con­trib­ute to de­term­in­ing what con­sti­tutes a proper salary?

  • Entry level salaries can vary vastly depending on the branch and type of work.
  • Larger companies generally pay more than smaller companies.
  • The closer the match between your qualification profile and that of the job description, the better your chances are at negotiations. Further qualifications (time abroad, MA, MBA, Doctorate, additional training courses, special IT skills) also can contribute greatly, but they cannot be said necessarily to contribute to a higher salary.

Why is a pre­ferred salary even men­tioned in job ad­vert­ise­ments?

The employer wants to see with this if you have a realistic understanding of proper salary categories for the appropriate branch. Research in advance on what the average salary is for the position in the field. Please do so before your job interview at the latest in case the salary issue was not previously touched upon in earlier aspects of the application process.

Salary for Pub­lic Sec­tor Em­ploy­ees

Germany has a state-wide public sector wage agreement (TV-L), with Hesse being no exception (TV-H). In public sector positions, salary is essentially non-negotiable as the base rates are openly available online.

As an employee in the public sector with a BA degree, the wage group 9 to 12 (TV-L/TV-H; referred to as higher service) is the confirmed starting point. For those with a MA or a doctorate, the categories 13-15 (TV-L/ TV-H; referred to as higher service) are where they are expected to begin. There are no specific categories for those with a post-doctorate, as the starting wages as such are determined by the individual tasks and responsibilities and not based on the degree obtained.

Information Minumum Wage


Where can I find more com­pre­hens­ive in­form­a­tion on con­crete salary op­tions for my de­sired po­s­i­tion?

A wide array of websites that can help you get a clearer idea of what your potential salary can be, are found here; currently only available in German: Linkliste Gehalt

Be careful with concrete numbers that you might find on the internet. It is more reasonable to search with multiple sources rather than to estimate a salary based on the first number you see online.

Tip: In­clude gradu­ate sur­veys in the salary searches

Graduate surveys often containt direct questions to entry level salary or income. Reading through these studies is a good strategy to get an overview of the current job market per vocational field. Oftentimes, the data is available for free on the internet or is available upon request. The Incher (International Center for Higher Education Research of the University of Kassel) is a participant in KOAB (Cooperation Project Graduate Studies), which is implemented nationwide.