Salary Benchmark

General remarks

The following pages give info on the salary benchmarks for the German labour market, many general trends can be useful for an understanding of the situation in international settings.

If you have to name a salary benchmark, then include expected bonuses and extras and clearly state that this is the case, e.g.: “My salary expectation is 62 000€ gross annual salary including bonuses.” That way you make sure that both sides talk about the same thing.

When you research salary benchmarks for yourself, then try to find out whether they include bonuses or not, otherwise you´ll have a factor of uncertainty of 5-20%. Question all sources regarding how well they fit your situation: region, qualification level, field of study.

Finding your own salary benchmark requires more than just one piece of information, you´ll need to get a feeling of how all individual influencing factors will play together in your situation.



A very large collection of salary benchmarks for natural scientists and engineers. You can get an idea of the influence of education level, job field, company size, employer type and many more. It is not stated whether bonuses are included in the benchmarks, presumably they are not.


vbio: Verband deutscher Biologen

Some pretty general info about salaries for biologists, but a few useful links to other sites.


Public services

This is an overview over the individual salary scales. Note that although it seems like all set in stone, you can negotiate an important part of your salary for jobs within the public sector: experience levels can either include your experience as PhD student or not, which makes several hundred € difference in your monthly salary.


GDCh- German Chemical Society

Starting salaries

Career entry


An informative booklet which includes a section on salaries. Here you´ll get the figures for the union wages as well, which are (incl. all bonuses) 74 825€ for PhD chemists from the second year on (VAA Tarifvertrag).

The salaries mentioned by GDCh are “all inclusive”, meaning they include all extra payments like bonuses, Christmas package etc.

All salaries mentioned by GDCh include all chemists, not only the ones working at employers following the unionised wages (which VAA is citing). The salaries include all bonuses etc.

For more precise info on the chemistry union wage, see also a study from the Böckler Stiftung.

If you fill in the “Gehaltsumfrage” of the GDCh, which is done once a year, you´ll get access to the exact data of this study.


BIO Deutschland

Salary benchmarks for the biotech industry. The figures include bonuses and are differentiated with respect to job type (department) and years of experience.




Articles on the salaries of chemists and biologists, respectively. Influencing factors are explained and substantiated with statistical figures, which give good hints at the salary benchmark for your individual situation.

PhDs in biology can, in the long run, expect annual salaries of around 70 000€ when working for the private sector. The PhD title adds on average of 10% to the salary of a biologist.

Career starters in the chemical industry (incl TAs? Article does not state this) get starting salaries of 52 200€ on average. At research institutes, the average is 38 450€, the overall average is 43 700€. On average (not only career starters), MSc chemists get 57 000€, PhD chemists 63 000€

Those working for ten years as MSc chemistry earn 70 000€ on average. Leadership responsibility is acting as a big plus on the pay slip. MSc chemists with staff responsibility earn 92 800€ on average, those without 58 500€.



Average salaries, generated through a long-term online survey. Are refined to Germany East/West and Men/Women for hundreds of job types.



Median starting salary of chemists (2012, all job fields) 4140€.


Last checked: December 19th, 2017