Why don't engineers make higher salaries

Electrical engineers are in great demand. And not only that: you also earn particularly well. What do the salary forecasts say? How much wages can you expect as a career starter and what do experienced electrical engineers earn? We have compiled the most important information here.

Starting salary for electrical engineers

For a qualified electrical engineer, the starting salary is around 40,000 euros gross per year. According to the salary database personalmarkt.de, the average wage for the first three years of employment is around 47,500 euros. Note: These are average values ​​in which factors such as company size, region & Co. have been disregarded - so it is less, but also significantly more possible.

The Stepstone Salary Report 2018 comes up with even better numbers. Here, the average salary of electrical engineers with less than two years of professional experience is around 51,241 euros / year. Not a bad sum!

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Earnings development with professional experience

Of course, the professional experience increases over time and thus the salary also increases. Within the first five years, depending on the region, around 50,000 - 60,000 euros per year can be on the pay slip. After five or more years of experience and depending on the position, for example as a department head, you can definitely climb the 100,000 euro mark (personalmarkt.de).

How the salary can increase in parallel with professional experience can also be clearly seen in the Stepstone salary report. Here is the average annual salary of qualified electrical engineers:

  • Work experience 3 - 5 years: 58,822 euros
  • Work experience 6-10 years: 66,126 euros
  • Work experience> 10 years: 74,828 euros

Examples: salaries of electrical engineers




Male, 26 years

Electrical engineer for electrical / automation technology

2,950 euros

Male, 27 years

Project engineer electrical engineering

3,980 euros

Male, 23 years

Data manager in the field of communications technology

4,400 euros

Male, 28 years

Development engineer at a large corporation

5,300 euros

Male, 50 years

Electrical engineer

3,890 euros

Male, 48 years

Electrical engineer

5,782 euros

Female, 26 years

Electrical engineer in the automotive industry

3,484 euros

Female, 40 years

Electrical engineer in an engineering office

4,446 euros

Male, 57 years

Electrical engineer in mechanical engineering

8,725 euros

Male, 27 years

Electrical engineer

5,499 euros

Female, 34 years

Electrical engineer in the automotive industry

6,933 euros

Male, 28 years

Electrical engineer in metal processing

6,439 euros

Male, 36 years

Electrical engineer and project engineer

5,523 euros

Male, 51 years

Electrical engineer

3,906 euros

Male, 56 years

Electrical engineer

8,631 euros

Source: Salary.de

More facts about the electrical engineer salary

You cannot read from the examples presented here whether the graduate has a Bachelor, Master or the (old) engineering diploma. You also don't see what responsibility the person takes on, whether it's a large corporation or a small regional company. The factors that affect salary are numerous.

The most important are:

Industry and company

Electrical engineers are needed in all technical industries. Companies in the chemical and pharmaceutical industries usually pay above average, and salaries for electrical engineers are also very high in the IT and consumer goods sectors. They are lower on average in mechanical engineering, metal and electronics companies. But here, too, the following applies: There are simply too many factors that influence the salary that a general statement is difficult. Since large companies are more often bound by collective agreements and the profit margins are higher than in small and medium-sized companies, electrical engineers employed here usually also have the higher salaries.

Salary after the Bachelor and salary after the Master

Is it worth taking a master's degree? Is the difference in wages greater than that of bachelor graduates? Yes and no. You can't answer that flatly. Even as a bachelor's degree you can earn very good money that does not necessarily have to be less than that of a master’s degree. But: if you aim high, aspire to a management position and want to lead employees, it is usually a little easier with the master’s degree. And with a high position comes a higher salary.


Companies in eastern Germany pay less overall than companies in western and southern Germany. This difference can amount to a few thousand euros over the year. However, this is not only the case for electrical engineers, but a fact that extends across all industries.

Conclusion on the salary of electrical engineers

Incidentally, among the already well-paid engineers, electrical engineers are among the "higher earners", similar to their colleagues in aerospace engineering, mechanical engineering and industrial engineering.

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