Why Plumbers earn more than Engineers in Germany

Skilled labor jobs, such as plumbing, electrical work, and carpentry, have long been seen as less prestigious than white-collar jobs, such as engineering and management. However, in Germany, these blue-collar jobs can earn more than their white-collar counterparts. Today we will explore why this is the case, discussing the reasons behind Why Plumbers earn more than Engineers in Germany.

Why are there high salaries for skilled labor jobs in Germany? And some of the easiest blue-collar jobs people can get into in Germany. Lets start with the Reasons for High Salaries for Skilled Labor Jobs in Germany

High Demand for Skilled Labor Jobs

One of the main reasons why skilled labor jobs, such as plumbing and electrical work, can earn more than white-collar jobs in Germany is the shortage of skilled craftspersons.

Germany has a strong manufacturing industry, and many of these jobs require specialized skills, such as welding and metalworking. In addition, Germany has a growing construction industry, which requires skilled tradespeople, such as carpenters and bricklayers.

The high demand for skilled labor jobs means that those who work in these jobs are able to command higher salaries than those in other professions. For example, a certified electrician in Germany can earn an average salary of €3,000 per month, which is higher than the average salary for many white-collar jobs.

Specialized Training and Expertise

Another reason why skilled labor jobs earn more than white-collar jobs in Germany is due to the vocational education or apprenticeships system in Germany. Lets have a quick look at the schooling system in Germany:

An overview of the German education system
An overview of the German education system (make-it-in-Germany)

Students in Realschule and Hauptschule graduate when they are about 15 years old and usually finish the Vocational or technical training by the age of 18 years. While the training of academics is relatively longer as students need approximately 3 and a half years to finish their bachelors degree. If there are too many bachelor’s degrees on the market, the employer will opt for someone with a master’s degree. Requiring another 1 and a half years. That means a craftsman finishes his training much earlier.

When it comes to the training allowance, sometimes prospective plumbers earned 1252 euros a month. The trainees in the public sector also do well with just over 1000 euros a month. Ship mechanics with 1400 euros and real estate clerks at around 1100 euros .

In contrast, students of the same age are mostly poor. Even those with the Bafög maximum rate have to make ends meet with a maximum of 861 euros per month. As most student no longer live with their parents, unlike most trainees who are usually a couple of years younger.

Why Plumbers earn more than Engineers in Germany

Scientists at Tübingen Institute for Applied Economic Research (IAW) examined the lifetime income of more than 12,000 people born between 1948 and 1986. Over a lifetime, master craftsmen earn almost the same as an average academic.  After that, the employed academic will receive a salary of around 1.45 million euros until their 65th birthday . The master craftsman or technician is only three percent lower at 1.41 million euros.

lifetime income of more than 12,000 people born between 1948 and 1986
Lifetime income of more than 12,000 people in Germany

If the academic retires early at the age of 60, the financial benefit of his studies will melt away. This is the price for the long education at the university. Because up to their 60th birthday, master craftsmen or technicians earn even more than university graduates.

When the graduate starts working life, the craftsman has already received EUR 30,000 to EUR 100,000 in wages and already have between 3 to 8 years work experience. That is why the German government is implementing new immigration laws to increase the number of skilled workers in Germany

Strong Unions for Skilled Labor Jobs

Skilled labor jobs in Germany are often unionized, which means that workers are able to negotiate higher wages and better working conditions. This is particularly true for jobs in the manufacturing and construction industries, which have strong unions.

For example, the IG Metall union, which represents workers in the metalworking and electrical industries, is one of the largest unions in Germany.

Salary is negotiated between the parties to the collective bargaining agreement. This means that wages in the labor sector are roughly keeping pace with productivity and the general price level. In professions that are not subject to collective bargaining agreements, everyone has to negotiate their own basic salary which might not be good for everyone. In other words: craftsmen earn more because wages are continuously adjusted.

labor union in Germany

Easiest Blue-Collar Jobs to Get into in Germany

Germany needs skilled labor this year, the shortage of skilled workers in Germany has risen to an all time high. In 2022, the Institute for Employment Research (IAB) found 1.74 million vacant positions throughout the country.

In July last year, staff shortages affected almost half of all companies in Germany, forcing them to slow down their operations. These include

Construction and finishing Metal and electrical Wood and plastic Building cleaning trade Food trade Health and personal care trades Clothing, textile and leather trades Graphic design trade

So if you are up for working in Germany, you can start by looking up your prospects here. Non EU citizen can also look into the 6 months job search visa

Now that you know why Plumbers earn more than Engineers in Germany. Maybe you can read my guide on the top 5 highest payed jobs in Germany or get help on Get Hired Faster in Germany by improving your resume.

Frequently Asked Questions

The average pay for a Blue Collar Worker is €33,336 a year and €16 an hour in Germany.

There are a variety of blue collar jobs available in Germany, including: Welders, Carpenters Plumbers, Electricians, Construction workers, Mechanics, Truck drivers, Factory workers, Agricultural workers, Landscapers and gardeners

The minimum wage in Germany is 12 EUR/Hour in 2023

Some of the Highest paying jobs in Germany include : Engineers, Financial Accountants and Doctors

This article contains Affiliate links, I may earn a commission if you use the link and make an account at no additional cost to you

Disclaimer: None of the content in this article is meant to be considered as investment advice, as I am not a financial expert and am only sharing my experience with stock investing. The information is based on my own research and is only accurate at the time of posting this article but may not be accurate at the time you are reading it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *