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How to rock your salary negotiations in Germany

Salary negotiations are a hot topic in the workplace. And while, of course, everyone wants to get what they feel they are worth, a lot of young professionals but also seniors still report feeling insecure how to best approach a salary negotiation.

While it is not necessary to negotiate your salary when you get a job offer from a German company, this doesn’t mean that you should not try to do so. Salary negotiations in Germany are a crucial part of the German labor market and in fact, you can significantly raise your compensation if you negotiate.

This article will give you more insights into the German job market and what factors can affect your salary negotiation process. In the end, we will also share tips to help you professionally negotiate your salary. Read on!

Factors Affecting Salary Negotiations

Many factors can affect the salary negotiations in a job interview. It is essential to know what you are worth, how much you are asking for, and to prepare an appropriate answer for why you want to work with this company.

In Germany, it is customary to negotiate the salary before accepting a job offer. It is because Germans value fairness and want everyone involved in the process to be happy with their compensation. Following are some factors that can affect salary negotiations in Germany.

Degree and Skills

Your degree is still a critical factor affecting your salary and the salary negotiation process. If you have completed Bachelor’s or Masters from a good University, it will have a significant impact on your starting salary. However, it is not the only factor on which your salary or salary negotiation process depends. The real skills that you bring, that you might acquired outside a traditional school or university also affect your market value.


Once you’ve gained enough experience, its weightage to salary will be much more than your degree. Relevant experience plays a very crucial role during the salary negotiation process. So, explain to the HR team and your manager how your experience can help add value to your job. If the panel is convinced, they may offer you your desired salary package with added benefits.

Companies You’ve Worked With

Another crucial factor that can severely affect the salary negotiation process is the brands or firms you have previously worked with and what you have learned from your experience there. For example, if you have previously worked for a multinational firm, it will help you demand a better salary if you get an offer from a local business.

Tips For Negotiating Your Salary

Salary negotiations can start during an interview, but usually when an employer issues a job offer with a salary offer attached. The candidate can accept that offer or press for an improved package. Following are some valuable tips to assist you in negotiating your salary like a pro.

Do Your Homework

Do your homework before starting salary negotiations for employment in Germany. Having enough knowledge of the position you’re applying for, and the pay scale in your field will give you an advantage. To determine the typical pay for your occupation, review the market benchmark and rate statistics, research the German Federal Employment Agency, or try an online salary estimator like on Glassdoor.de

Set Your Desired Salary

Based on the typical pay, calculcate a desired salary according your experience level, skills, and education. Never just propose a number at random while discussing your compensation – You really need to believe in the number you are stating and that you are worth that money. 

We also recommend to build in some breathing room for you in case the company makes a counter offer. For example if your desired salary is 52.000€, your demand should be 55.000€ so that you can go lower and still receive your desired salary.

Consider Perks and Benefits

Also keep in mind: Salary is not the only part of an employment offer. In other circumstances, the income may seem a little low. Still, when you add up all the advantages and perks you receive from the firm, it may be much better than it appeared. These may include:

  • Remote Work
  • Strong Insurance Plan
  • A 13th or 14th Salary or Bonus Salary/Allowances
  • Retirement fund/plan
  • Company-maintained vehicle
  • Development and Training opportunities

So, ensure to consider all these perks and not just the base salary during negotiation.

Practice Your Negotiation Skills

There is a lot at stake to merely fluff your salary negotiation pitch. Instead, seek a colleague willing to help you with your negotiation process. After all, practice makes perfect. You’re far more likely to be certain and persuasive during your negotiation process if you have practiced your points beforehand.

Don’t Accept the Initial Offer

Often, an employer’s initial offer is not their final one. If you’re not satisfied, don’t take the employer’s initial offer that comes your way. Instead, express your gratitude for getting back to them after some consideration. Use this time to consider the offer carefully. Is it worthwhile, or do you feel it falls short of your desire? Can you ask for me and with which arguments? Don’t be afraid to negotiate in this phase. Remember: They made the offer to you for a reason.

Lastly: Show Passion and Commitment

Always make it known that you are passionate about working with the firm and the position while discussing pay. You don’t want to come as the kind of person only looking out for their financial interests and is only concerned with securing the highest compensation possible.

Summary: How to rock your salary negotiations in Germany

Salary negotiation can be challenging, particularly if you’re starting your career. It is the stage where your focus should be on learning. Still, you can ask for a good salary when you are knowledgable and confident about your worth. There is nothing wrong in negotiating the pay if you think you deserve more. 

A salary negotiation in Germany can be a challenge, but you can rock your salary negotiation with these tips. And if you want some more personal career guidance, make sure to check out our services here.

Picture of Laura Villafuerte

Laura Villafuerte

HR expert & Career Coach

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