I initially published a comment in the Berlin Android Developer group slack, which then turned into a very popular Twitter post, so I decided to use this topic and opportunity to start my blog about IT life in Berlin, with a focus on hiring in tech.
So what can a software developer expect to make in Berlin?
For a junior position salaries range around 40 to 50k Euro.
For a mid level developer it’s around 50 to 70k Euro.
A senior developer can expect to make between 70 to 85k Euro.
Engineering Managers tend to be paid between 85 and 110k Euro.
Same goes for very senior Tech Leads — Team Leads.
Keep in mind a 5k more or less for all the above numbers.
While all the other roles, such as CTO, Director of IT, VP of Engineering and similar can expect to start around 100k Euro and go up from there.
Comparing this to the Bay Area, where junior developer salaries start around 130k USD, and go all the way up to around 480k USD for senior developers, we can notice that a junior developer in the Bay Area is likely to make more then a CTO in Berlin, and while the cost of living is definitely higher in the Bay Area, it’s not proportional, a new contract for an apartment in Berlin is likely to cost around 20 Euro per square meter, and the prices have been rising sharply, with no end in sight.
And while variations in salary between mobile, backend, frontend are there, they are really not major, I can confirm that DevOps also make similar numbers in Berlin as listed above.
An important legal note is that in Germany it’s illegal for companies to demand from their employees not to disclose their salaries, you are always allowed to openly discuss how much you make anywhere in Germany.
I know for a fact that some companies even try to put clauses in contract trying to stop employees from discussing their salary, but such clauses are illegal and are automatically annulled by law.
Please don’t work for such companies.
If you are interested in maximising your salary in Berlin (and Germany in general), I would suggest aiming at the classic tech giants, who like in most parts of the world, tend to pay more then startups.
On the other hand the worst paying tech jobs in Berlin (and Germany in general) can be found at small to medium size older (as in, non startups) German companies, here salaries can be significantly lower then above mentioned.
I don’t have enough data about what tech internships are paid like in Berlin, I just know that SoundCloud pays 24k Euro a year for a 40h a week developer internship.
All the data above is based on my experience working in Berlin for the past 5 years, both as a developer and as a Director of IT and hiring manager.