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Compensation is essential to your company’s success. You, therefore, want to ensure that you are within industry salary ranges, if not above. Employees who receive fair compensation will be more engaged and productive, and are less likely to leave.
Talent acquisition professionals, hiring managers and candidates all need to have an idea about what a particular role or industry pays. This will not only help all parties to show up to the interviews prepared, but will ultimately result in fair compensation, with none of the involved parties feeling shortchanged.
The question therefore becomes, “Which is the best place to get salary information in Germany?”
The following guide explores the top 10 salary range information sources in Germany. We used the following criteria to determine these sources:
- how accurate the information is,
- survey statistics and data points,
- site traffic,
- site usability,
- length of time taken to come up with the salary information,
- and information sources - surveys vs user generated data vs independent research
We came up with the following:
- Gehaltsvergleich.com (SalaryComparison.com)
- Salary Expert
- Crosswater Job Guide (CJG)
- Compensation Partner
- Reports or Studies
The following table also summarizes the comparisons between the sites:
Salary Information Comparison Table
In this table, we compare salary information based on several factors like how accurate the information is, survey statistics and data points, site traffic, site usability, length of time taken to come up with the salary information, and information sources - surveys vs user generated data vs independent research.
|Site/Platform||Salary Information Source||Site Traffic||Data Points||Information Accuracy||Usability|
|Payscale||Company surveys; customers; surveys from site visitors||5.2 million monthly visitors||Over 8 million||Data is continuously validated||Relatively easy|
|Gehaltsvergleich.com||Direct employee surveys; employer and company surveys; job advert data||1.1 million monthly visitors||3.6 million plus||Plausibility checks by remuneration consultants||Easy|
|Salary Expert||ERI’s Database; employer-provided compensation surveys, other salary survey data||575K monthly visitors||Decades' worth of data||Survey data is thoroughly vetted and verified||Relatively difficult|
|GEHALT.de||Direct employee surveys; corporate customer information||3.5M monthly visitors||Over 3.6 million records||Analysts check the data with comprehensive plausibility checks||Easy|
|Crosswater Job Guide||Surveys||14.9K monthly visitors||Year 2005 to the present day||N/A||Relatively difficult|
|StepStone.de||Existing database, estimation algorithms||5.1M monthly visitors||600 K data points||N/A||Relatively difficult|
|Compensation Partner||N/A||7.2K monthly visitors||250 K data points||N/A||Relatively difficult|
|Glassdoor||Company employees||74.8 million monthly visitors||90 million reviews, salaries & insights||N/A||Relatively difficult|
|Reports (The Honeypot Developer Salaries Report)||N/A||N/A||13 K data points collected over 5 years||N/A||Relatively difficult|
What makes Payscale the number one salary range information source on our list? In addition to having a significant amount of traffic, the site collects data from several sources (Payscale customers, company surveys and surveys from site visitors).
Payscale customers represent about 2 million employees. The site also receives over 5 million visitors per month, and survey data is also collected. There are also over 10,000 third-party surveys on the site that you can use to analyze your own surveys. We are talking about copious amounts of data here.
The site also has the most comprehensive salary information. For example:
- you can get salary information from several countries, and cities,
- you can filter by jobs, employers, schools or degrees,
- you can search by job title, employer name or school name,
- the information is based on job title, level of seniority, experience, skill, and even programming languages for software development and engineering roles,
- length of time taken to come up with the salary information,
- there is additional information on other perks like bonuses, profits and commission,
- and you get access to the entire salary range from the lowest to the highest paid.
The site also has additional remuneration reports that provide more salary information, for example, the 2021 Compensation Best Practices Report. Some insights from this report:
- at least 59% of organizations use free online data sources to determine salary ranges,
- 39% of organizations use paid sources (image below)
For you to get salary information on Payscale, you need to ensure that you are on this URL Otherwise, it will be extremely difficult to find any salary information.
The number two source on our list is GEHALTSVERGLEICH.com. We like the fact that the salary information is calculated from over 3.5 million data points, mostly from job ads and Salary.de GmbH. Remuneration consultants check the data for validity and plausibility.
You can find salary information on 1,200 professions from 60 industries.
When showing salary information for a particular role, you can see a summary of the range in the 25th, 50th and 75th percentiles.
The roles and salary information based on geographical location, for example, jobs within 15 kilometers of an area.
You also access more information about the role you searched for in terms of the roles around different states and their salary information in the 1st, 2nd and 3rd quartiles.
There are graphs that show the salary increase range based on age, company size, and gender (male vs female).
You can also see salary information for similar roles, and a list of all professions in alphabetical order.
The site then goes on to further analyze the role and the salary information. It reveals the data points that resulted in the salary information and the time taken to collect the data. The role is further described to include what the tasks may involve, the education required, and the knowledge as well as the skills required to perform the job.
The role you are looking for is finally summarized with a table that shows some of the data points based on age, years of experience, state, working hours and salary.
Taking the number 3 spot is Salary Expert. This site uses data from the Economic Research Institute (ERI) Global Salary Calculator, and has been collecting salary information for decades. The site contains large amounts of data from 8,500 cities in 69 countries (45,000 positions).
Salary Expert separates salary information based on whether you are looking to “set pay” (you are a recruiter, hiring manager or entrepreneur involved in hiring) or are “looking for how much I should be paid”.
If you are on the “set pay” side, you can request for a free demo. You will then be redirected to the ERI site where you set up an account and fill in some information like your name, company name, industry and company size.
You can choose to view salaries monthly, semi-monthly, annually, weekly or hourly.
The salary information is divided into the 10th, 25th, 50th, 75th and 90th percentiles. You can choose the job title and location. It also compares the salary information nationwide (for example, in Germany) and a particular location (for example, Aachen).
The job title is also described at the bottom, just to ensure that you are looking up the correct job title.
The downside to the free demo is that it limits the job titles and locations that you can search. For example, it may limit the job title to occupations beginning with ‘CA’ to ‘CH’, and locations that begin with ‘A’
If you are on the “how much should I be paid” side, then all you need to enter is your employment status, education, skills, employer information, years of relevant experience, and salary information. You will then receive your “Salary Calculator Report” that shows:
- salary estimate,
- annual bonus,
- total compensation,
- base salary (market rate and national average),
- bonus (market rate and national average),
- and total compensation (market rate and national average).
The report gives you a summary of the hourly base salary you should make, based on the information that you provided. It also compares your current salary to the market rate experience, skills and education, giving you a percentage of what more or less you could earn.
There is also a summary of the hourly bonus.The report compares it to the market rate experience, skills and education, giving you a percentage of what more or less you could earn.
The report finally shows salary potential - what you could earn in the future, including the percentage increase over the next 5 years.
GEHALT.de takes the number 4 position, because of the many data points used to provide the salary information (over 3.6 million). You will find salary information for over 800 positions. The site gets its information from direct employee surveys and corporate customer information. The company ensures that the data gets anonymized. The data is also verified by analysts via checks for plausibility.
The site has a salary check section where you enter your age, gender, education level, occupation, personnel responsibility, and city. The results are sent via email.
You need to confirm your email to view your results. It redirects you to the site where you view a comparison of people with a similar job profile, in the top 25%, median salary and top 25% categories.
You can also see job offers in your city and their salary ranges.
If you need more details, you need to sign up for the site’s free salary analysis (there is a preview of what to expect in the analysis). You, however, need to fill up a profile (the details you had entered before are already filled). Some details you need to fill include:
- personal data,
- educational path,
- job title,
- personnel responsibility and annual budget,
- working hours (actual and vacation days),
- typical training path,
- current employer,
- company size and other details like sales headquarters and location,
- base salary (annual or monthly),
- additional payments (bonuses, paid vacations, commissions, premiums, employer-funded pension, overtime compensation, and automobile),
- communication requirements (a percentage is given to choose from, between 15% and 75% of working hours),
- and cultural type communication (international vs national or both).
The results are again sent via email.
The results include your pay level (median, below median or above median). They show you the percentage increase based on experience level. Other details include a percentage increase in salary based on company size, and industry change.
The salary analysis also shows recommended jobs and their salary estimates.
Crosswater Job Guide (CJG)
What makes Crosswater Job Guide (CJG) our fifth option is the fact that the site contains a salary comparison database that has been built since 2005. The database contains data from different surveys like the Robert Walters Global Salary Survey 2017. It also has a variety of criteria you can use to filter the data ranging from country, salary period, work experience, and company size.
It also generates quite comprehensive results, and you get information like the year the salary was last updated, location, seniority level, and currency.
We ranked StepStone.de 6th despite having impressive monthly traffic (5.1M) as getting salary information on the site is not straightforward. The process looks like this:
- searching for a particular position for example, software developer,
- clicking on one of the available listings,
- signing up,
- and finally accessing salary information.
The salary information is a gross annual salary estimation.
One thing that we do give them credit for is the fact that they use an algorithm to estimate salaries, based on an existing database of over 600,000 data points. The algorithm uses job titles, industry, work experience, location, and level of seniority to estimate salaries. The estimated salaries are mostly accurate, with an error rate of less than 15%. In locations with more data to process, the margin of error is even lower.
We ranked this site 7th as it only provides information for hiring managers, recruiters and entrepreneurs who are involved in the recruiting process. Additionally, the free demo does not work with real salary information. It is meant to help you understand the functionalities of the site.
The site has a salary information database with over 250,000 data points. The site is also a partner to the Federal Ministry for Family, Seniors, Women and Youth.
After registration, you can access different options like:
- entering a new position,
- calling up saved positions,
- signing up,
For you to access salary information, you need to go with the first option. You will then get market comparison data for the position you have created in the previous step. You will get information like base salary, overtime, variable remuneration, and benefits like a company car. You will also see how your employee compares to others in the market.
The salary information is classified into the lower quartile, median, average and upper quartile. The site also states the number of data points used in collecting the data.
Since Compensation Partner, Gehaltsvergleich.com and GEHALT.de are under the same company umbrella, it is safe to assume that they have access to the same pool of data, thus will have the same data sources.
The information on Glassdoor is user generated. Users on the platform (usually employees) add information like company reviews and salaries. What makes this our fourth choice is the fact that it has so many data points - over 90 million. In addition, people tend to trust information from other users (that is why referrals and testimonials are very important).
The downside to using Glassdoor is that you need to create an account, activate it and login to access salary information. In addition, if you do not frequently use the account, you need to write a review or salary in order to access any information on the site.
Reports or Studies
Reports or studies can also be insightful sources of salary information. They usually involve lots of data points and a lot of time and resources are invested to ensure data accuracy.
One such report is the 2021 Honeypot Developer Salaries Report. The report is based on over 13,000 data points collected over 5 years.
Several factors influence how much a developer earns, ranging from the technology stack they work with, location, role, personnel responsibility, and company size. The report has classified the salary information based on the aforementioned elements.
Here is some salary information based on experience and role (backend, frontend, full stack and managerial positions):
The report also includes salary information based on cities (Berlin, Hamburg, and Munich) and roles (frontend, backend, full stack and management):
Salary information based on the ability to speak Deutsche, as well as whether developers live in Germany, in the EU or outside the EU.
Salary information based on city and gender:
Salary information based on company size:
Having the right salary range information in Germany helps you get the right candidates for a particular role. You don’t have to worry about losing excellent candidates to competition. It also helps you ensure you offer fair compensation without gender and other bias, which could make or break your company’s reputation.