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The complaints of many employers about the shortage of skilled workers have fallen silent in the wake of the corona pandemic. However, IT specialists still belong to the occupational groups on the labor market that are least threatened by short-time work or unemployment. This is also reflected in the salaries of IT specialists and executives, which the Hamburg compensation specialists from Compensation Partner have been analyzing for COMPUTERWOCHE for years.

IT consultant in front of IT security experts and app developers

The IT consultants and IT security experts continue to receive the highest salaries among IT specialists without personnel responsibility. The most recent evaluation of 12,000 data records from 170 companies showed an average annual gross salary for IT consultants of 78,700 euros. In second place are the IT security experts with 73,900 euros and just behind the software developers who program apps with 73,150 euros per year. Back-end developers come to an average of 71,250 euros gross per year.

Philipp Bierbach, managing director of the Hamburg compensation consultancy Compensation Partner and project manager of the study, notes that the security specialists were overtaken by the IT consultants for the first time in that year. In the past few years, the security professionals had increased their salaries the most and were able to take first place in the salary ranking.

The bottom of the list among the IT specialists are the employees in database administration (49,400 euros) and in user support (44,650 euros for employees in second-level support and 37,100 euros for employees in first-level support). This means that the salaries in support are stagnating.

also read: SAP consultant: 100,000 euros after five years

Masters earn more and more

Almost 60 percent of all people whose data was included in the salary study have a university degree. The doctorate is best rewarded with an average of 82,300 euros, the master’s degree brings IT specialists almost 70,000 euros. The numbers are not starting salaries, but rather incomes that can be achieved on average with the respective degree. in the previous year, IT experts with a master’s degree averaged 65,600 euros per year. This also shows that more and more experts have this qualification, but also that they have extensive professional experience.

This puts IT experts with a master’s degree well ahead of their colleagues who have a vocational training (51,600 euros), a bachelor’s degree (56,900 euros) or a master craftsman or specialist (57,100 euros).

Work experience has a positive effect on the wallet

IT career starters earn an average of 51,700 euros annually after one to two years. Specialists with three to five years of professional experience come to around 54,100 euros (previous year 52,200 euros) annually; those with work experience of six to eight years pay an average of 56,600 euros (previous year 56,400 euros).

Anyone who has been in business for more than 13 years has an average of around 72,600 euros on the pay slip. Despite all their professional experience, IT specialists cannot match the salary level of their bosses: Even in small companies with fewer than 100 employees, managers receive an average of 106,000 euros gross per year, in companies with 100 to 1000 employees it is an average of 118,530 euros and in large companies 143,200 Euros per year. IT managers in companies with fewer than 100 employees with more than ten years of professional experience, for example, receive almost 150,000 euros annually. This means that the gap between specialists and managers is widening.

Medium-sized companies are catching up

The size of the company has an impact on the level of the salary. The bigger the company, the higher the remuneration. To make this difference clear, Compensation Partner has lumped the salaries of all IT specialists in a company together and determined the average. The good news this year: In small firms, salaries have risen faster than in large companies.

In a small company with up to 100 employees, the computer specialist is taking home around 56,000 euros this year, compared to 52,700 euros in the previous year. If he changes to a larger medium-sized company with up to 1000 employees, it is around 5000 euros more per year. If he prefers a corporation, add another 22,000 euros, which makes a total of around 77,500 euros. Bierbach reminds that corporations also pay their employees more because they are bound by collective bargaining agreements.

Biotechnology attracts with high salaries

The industry to which the employer belongs also has a decisive influence on the salary. IT experts in biotechnology earn 39 percent more than their colleagues across all industries. The semiconductor industry (plus 30 percent) and mechanical engineering (plus 26 percent) also pay above-average salaries. In retail, in hospitals, in temporary work and in call centers, on the other hand, IT professionals have to make do with salaries that are between 15 and 31 percent below average.

For comparison: The software developer deserved in 2019

  1. The salary evaluation
    For COMPUTERWOCHE, the Hamburg remuneration consultancy COP Compensation Partner GmbH evaluated salary data from software developers. A total of around 6,000 data were used for this. 4,275 of them dealt with backend developers and 1,682 with frontend developers.
  2. This is what IT developers deserve
    All salaries have risen sharply, especially among young professionals. In Germany, backend developers earn an average of € 61,200 and frontend developers around € 46,700.
  3. Developers without professional experience deserve this
    A backend developer with no professional experience already earns around € 52,300. As a front-end developer, he has an average starting salary of € 40,400.
  4. Up to € 80,000 with 20 years of professional experience
    After 20 years of professional experience, the backend developer should earn almost € 80,000 and a frontend IT specialist around € 59,300.
  5. In small companies up to € 57,000
    In a company with up to 50 employees, backend developers earn around 57,000 euros and in the frontend area around 42,000 euros.
  6. This is what a developer earns in a company with 1,000 or more employees
    If the company has more than 1,000 employees, developers in the backend area receive an average salary of 68,000 € - in the frontend area, in turn, almost 54,000 € per year.
  7. With minor personnel responsibility from € 90,000
    If a backend developer has a small personnel responsibility of one to three employees, his salary increases to 105,000 and for a frontend developer to 94,000 euros.
  8. With up to 30 employees € 100,000 per year
    According to the study, there are around 115,300 euros per year for back-end developers with personnel responsibility of 16 to 30 employees and for front-end developers 102,300 euros.
  9. Earning € 60,000 a year in mechanical engineering
    The industry also has an influence on the salary. A backend developer in mechanical engineering achieves an average salary of € 63,700 per year.
  10. In chemistry up to € 49,000
    A front-end developer in chemistry receives an average salary of € 49,000.
  11. Munich is the front runner
    In Munich, the salaries for backend developers at € 74,000 are on average around € 10,000 higher than in other Bavarian regions. Frontend developers achieve an average salary of € 56,500 here - that's still € 7,000 more than in the rest of Bavaria.
  12. Earn up to € 130,000 with personal responsibility in Munich
    With personal responsibility, the salary for backend developers in the Bavarian capital can rise to € 132,000. A front-end developer earns around € 117,000 here.
  13. In Berlin around € 58,000
    In Berlin, the average salary for backend developers is around € 58,000. For front-end developers, there is around € 44,000 a year.
  14. 65,200 € for backend developers in Hamburg
    Hamburg offers an average salary of € 65,2000 for IT backend developers. In the front-end area there are significantly less: 49,000 € per year.
  15. Earn around € 46,700 in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania
    In Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, a back-end developer earns around € 46,700 - in the front-end area it's again less: € 35,400 per year.

About the study: IT salaries in 2020

  • Database: This year, 170 companies from the IT industry took part in the study and provided a total of 1509 data sets. Another 10,564 data sets come from direct surveys of specialists and managers. A total of 12,073 data sets were included. 941 reports were received on management positions and 11,132 reports on specialist and specialist positions. The data was collected from September 2018 to August 2019.

  • method: The Hamburg company Compensation Partner, which specializes in compensation data, examined the level and structure of salaries for a total of 19 IT specialist functions and 12 IT management functions. A distinction was made within the functions according to level of requirement: IT consultants, for example, have been analyzed from simple consultants to managers with personnel responsibility. In addition, the salaries were evaluated according to company size. Compensation Partner has calculated the total and the basic salary as well as all fringe benefits.

  • Buy study: The "IT Functions 2020" remuneration study can be ordered at a price of 680 euros (plus VAT and flat-rate shipping costs) via the Compensation Partner website. It is aimed at managing directors, HR managers and HR managers from the IT industry as well as HR and management consultants.