Show Me The Money: Who’s Earning What in the Berlin Startup Scene

This post was written by Carrie M. King, Editor of the Journal by Jobspotting. Jobspotting is a recommendations engine that suggests relevant jobs to users based on their skills and experience.

Who’s actually making money in the Berlin startup scene? That’s a question on the lips of many people, especially job seekers flocking to Silicon Allee as a launchpad for their careers, or startup employees who want to get right to the top of those flat hierarchies.

Up until now, finding information on the status of the earnings landscape in Berlin — and indeed across Germany as a whole — has been incredibly difficult. Salary ranges aren’t advertised alongside job descriptions like they are in other countries, and there’s no real conclusive information available to the public about going rates.

Today, Jobspotting released The Berlin Startup Salary Report which is based on data collated from a quantitative survey of Berlin job seekers. Since April 2013, BerlinStartupJobs.com hosted an anonymous survey which gave people the opportunity to share details about their positions, their salaries, and other information about their working lives.

For the first time, job seekers and startup employees can find up-to-date information on salaries in Berlin like who’s earning the most, who’s taking home the least, and how their own salaries compare to those of their peers. Using this knowledge, people will hopefully be able to make more informed professional and financial decisions, and back up their salary negotiations with hard facts.

So, what’s the skinny on money in the Berlin startup scene?

3,388 people responded to this survey as a whole, 60% of whom said they already lived in Berlin. Nearly 80% of respondents weren’t from Germany, which is probably due to people accessing the survey through the English language.

Berlin startup employees are a young bunch, with over 40% of respondents falling into the 26–30 age bracket. They’re also educated, with almost 82% of participants reporting that they hold a university degree and 2.5% holding Ph.Ds.

Surprisingly enough, university dropouts reported earning higher salaries than graduates. Granted, dropouts comprised just 6% of all respondents, but nonetheless they reported earning a median salary of €3,450, while grads reported median earnings of €3,000. These incomes were only topped by Ph.D holders who clocked in a median salary of €3,750.

Software developers and managers earn the most in Berlin startups, with devs at the top end of the salary scale throughout all experience levels. For example, at entry-level, coders earn a median salary of €2,900, rising to €5,000 median with 10 or more years of experience. Compare this then to marketers, who earn a median of €2,092 at entry-level, reaching a median of just €3,300 with 10 or more years of experience.

Do men earn more than women in Berlin startups? They certainly do, my friends — and not just a couple of pennies extra here and there either! The median salary for male respondents is €3,333, while female respondents reported a median salary of €2,500. The gender pay gap average across the EU is 16.4%. In Germany, the average is 22.4%. According to this survey, in Berlin startups the gap is almost 25%!

Berlin startup employees generally feel underpaid, but bear in mind that this survey was hosted on a jobs board which probably counts more than a couple of disgruntled employees among its daily visitors.

At the same time however, those who already worked for startups were generally happier than those who worked for more traditional companies. There was no data to indicate whether this increased happiness was in direct relation to the availability of Club Mate.

Interns don’t earn very much anywhere, and unfortunately in Berlin the story isn’t any different. According to the survey’s findings, interns earn a monthly median of just €660, which is actually a lot more than it used to be.

Germany introduced a mandatory minimum wage of €8.50 per hour for the first time in its history in January 2015. Before that date, companies weren’t obliged to pay interns at all! But the plot remains thick, given several legal loopholes that poor interns still fall through.

There are tons of other insights in the full report, which you can check out here on Jobspotting. For questions or comments, tweet @JobspottingHQ. You can get directly in touch with Carrie @ARhoticStory.

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