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Industrial engineer salary

Industrial engineers are among the top earners among engineers. High salaries for young professionals and rapidly increasing earning opportunities make the profession very attractive from a financial point of view as well. What your actual salary looks like afterwards, however, depends on various factors that we have summarized for you below.

Starting salary as an industrial engineer

According to a study by the Association of German Industrial Engineers (VWI), the starting salaries of industrial engineers are between 41,323 and 51,703 euros gross per year. The average starting salary of young professionals is therefore 46,294 euros and can therefore already be seen.

Another study comes to an even higher value, as is clear from the following graphic: Here, the starting salary of industrial engineers is put at a good 52,800 euros:

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So you can assume that as an industrial engineer you can count on a very good starting salary and that you will top the salary tables in comparison with other professions or even engineers.

This is how the starting salary develops with professional experience

After just one to two years of professional experience, a clear increase can be seen in salaries. A study by the Hans Böckler Foundation shows that even a small amount of professional experience can have a positive impact on salary. After the first year industrial engineers earn an average of around 4,280 euros, after two to three years they can expect a payroll of 4,700 euros. It is also not uncommon in the industry to give employees a share of the profits when they perform well, so that one can earn one or the other bonus in addition to the regular salary (www.boeckler.de).

The Stepstone Salary Report 2018 puts the average annual salary of industrial engineering graduates at around 70,231 euros! The top salary figure makes it clear: The starting salary increases enormously. Graphically presented and compared to other subjects, it looked like this in 2017:

Examples: Industrial engineering salaries

Here we introduce you to some selected professional fields for industrial engineers and the associated salary.




Female, 27 years

Sales assistant in electrical engineering

10,000 euros

Female, 47 years

Sales engineer in mechanical engineering

3,659 euros

Male, 27 years

Business development in the automotive industry

3,958 euros

Male, 34 years

Project handling in the field of energy, environment, disposal

3,250 euros

Male, 33 years

Industrial engineer in the automotive industry

4,362 euros

Male, 40 years

Consultant in mechanical engineering

6,111 euros

Female, 24 years

Production engineer in an engineering office

4,051 euros

Male, 23 years

Industrial engineer in controlling in the automotive industry

3,434 euros

Male, 38 years

Industrial engineer in the automotive industry

4,313 euros

Female, 26 years

Industrial engineer in the food sector

5,059 euros

Male, 30 years

Industrial engineer in mechanical engineering

7,188 euros

Male, 28 years

Quality engineer in telecommunications

4,283 euros

Male, 33 years

Industrial engineer in an engineering office

3,174 euros

Source: Salary.de

As you can see from these examples, it is difficult to make a general statement about salary. Whether young or experienced, whether employed in an international corporation or a small company, whether employed in the south of Germany or in the east - none of this is evident from the examples. And the salary is influenced by a number of factors. Depending on your qualifications, your employer and place of work and the industry, you will also find different amounts on your pay slip at the end of the month.

More facts about the industrial engineer salary

Your qualifications

In general, the higher the qualification, the better the salary. Industrial engineers with a doctorate usually receive the highest salaries; an employee with a master’s degree receives more than an employee with a bachelor’s degree. This is mainly due to the fact that doctoral and master’s graduates have access to management positions. But: In the course of professional life, these differences definitely cancel each other out. So you can also get high financially with a bachelor's degree! And when it comes to starting salaries, you can quickly see that the difference is small. With the Bachelor of Engineering you can count on 47,116 euros, with the Master of Engineering 48,902 euros (Absolventa.de).

University or FH degree?

Who deserves better? University or college graduates? A bachelor's degree from a university of applied sciences often brings in a slightly higher salary than that of a university. This is due to the fact that teaching at the technical college is usually more practical than at universities. With a master’s degree, on the other hand, it is exactly the opposite: the master’s degree from a university leads to a slightly higher salary on average than a comparable master’s degree from a university of applied sciences. Ultimately, however, it is not the type of university, whether it is a university or a technical college, that is decisive. The size of the company and the industry have much more influence on salary and starting salary.

Company size, industry and region

The size of the company in which prospective industrial engineers seek employment is a decisive factor: in small companies with fewer than 100 employees, the wages are also the lowest; they rise with the size of the company. Large companies with more than 500 employees pay the highest wages.

Regional differences also have an impact on salaries: in eastern Germany these can sometimes be up to 20 percent below the western German average. However, this does not only apply to industrial engineers, but also to all professions (www.lohnspiegel.de).

According to Lohnspiegel.de, industrial engineers in companies in the telecommunications and vehicle construction industries get the highest salaries with an average gross wage of almost 5,000 per month. Industrial engineers in the fields of energy and water supply, research and development and mechanical engineering receive salaries in the middle range. The worst-paid industries with salaries between 3,600 and 4,100 euros per month are company-related service providers, the construction industry or data processing.


The fact is: industrial engineers have high starting salaries and can count on very good earnings growth. In engineering, industrial engineering graduates have some of the highest salaries.

Already looking for a job in engineering? Here you can search for vacancies throughout Germany.