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Checklist: These factors influence your engineering salary

6. The contract

On average, engineers in companies with no collective bargaining agreement earn less than those of employers who have collective agreements. Engineering employers who are bound by collective bargaining agreements and work with trade unions generally offer greater income security. With Collective agreement Engineers earn on average between 8.8 and 17.7% more. But even without a collective agreement, you can earn more as an engineer with the corresponding bonus payments than an engineer with a collective agreement.

7. The additional services

Your starting salary will be made up of your basic monthly salary and an individual "variable remuneration". These are performance-related additional services and bonus payments and thus voluntary payments from your employer. Companies often pay a so-called 13th salary or Christmas bonus. Other options are vacation pay, a company pension plan or cash bonuses. But there are also bonuses and bonuses that are not paid out with your pay slip. Examples are material benefits such as company vehicles, company cell phones, laptops and further training measures. What you will get later in addition to your basic salary depends on your employer. What is certain, however, is that the further you have worked your way, the more additional benefits you will receive.

8. The responsibility

As your responsibility increases, so does your salary. A clear indicator of this is personnel responsibility. The larger the number of employees for whom you are responsible, the higher your starting salary as a rule. Managers and managing directors consequently have the highest engineer salaries. Production managers in mechanical engineering or construction managers also have a great deal of responsibility in the company and therefore often achieve an above-average annual salary in the six-figure range.

9. The work experience

Basically, the more work experience you gain in engineering, the more you earn from year to year. On average salaries rise of engineers slowly after 5 years and considerably after 10 years of professional experience. After 10 years in the job, engineers across all professions earn an average of € 66,200. After the 10th year of work, the engineer salary averages around € 81,800. The salary range of experienced engineers is therefore very large overall and is at a comparatively high level.

10. The qualification

You have no direct influence on many factors that affect your starting salary. What you can influence, however, is your qualifications. The higher your degree, the higher your starting salary as an engineer. With a master’s degree, engineers earn an average of 7.3% more than bachelor’s graduates. If you have a doctorate, it's a total of 26% more than with a bachelor's degree. The type of your degree or the university at which you obtained it is rather irrelevant. Your starting salary does not depend on whether you studied at a state university or a private technical college. In the end, it is your skills and work ethic that count.

11. The region

As an engineer, you can find employers all over Germany. What differs depending on the region, however, are the salaries of engineers. And quite clearly. For example, the average starting salary for engineers in Baden-Württemberg is € 49,900, while Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania brings up the rear with an average of € 37,600 per year. It is generally noticeable that Engineers in South and west Germany can earn more than in the east and north. This is due both to the different economic situations in the federal states and regions, as well as to the fact that the south is the historically grown home of machine and vehicle manufacturers. Almost all large companies in the classic engineering sector are based in Baden-Württemberg and Bavaria.

12. Your negotiating skills

In the end, how much you can earn as an engineer also depends on your tactical skills. At the engineer job interview and the annual appraisals with your employer, your negotiating ability has an influence on your starting salary that should not be underestimated. In order to be able to negotiate well, you have to be able to assess your market value. Find out beforehand by researching the latest figures and statistics and asking around in your circle of friends to see whether they include engineers with long professional experience. The exchange with experts will help you the most with the preparation. In this way, you can optimally negotiate your starting engineer salary during the interview and get the best out of yourself.