Salary levels for PhD students in Germany

Info on how much the usual salaries are

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Your wecome -
My question is why did you not ask your bragging friend which taxation scheme he is on?
I could not tell him that I found it very hard to believe, for someone not married, with an MSc and no chieldren Anyway, its not a stipendium, the salary is as a regular employee. And its difficult to believe that Italy pays 50% more than Germany And thats the reason I was asking the real Italians
hi, am a doctoral student in Leipzig, at an international Grad School. I agree with Snaark as to the amounts, but it also depends on the kind of contract that you have with your employer (in my case, the Grad School!). Some people get a direct stipend and pay no taxes, others receive a higher 'salary' which is taxable. So, at the end, the take-home pay is 1100-1400 euros a months.
BTW, I love how a lot of places here (bookshops, skin care centers, hair parlors, droggories) give small student discounts. Yeah, you don't save much that way, but it is the gesture that counts!
Re: Italy. There are many knowledge-worker schemes in Italy (and elsewhere) that can put someone on an extra-low tax rate for a limited time. I dont know the exact details, but I believe an American friend at an Italian University also pays approximately 10%. (giving him a net monthly income in the range of 4000-4500€).

So the question is: is your friend foreign (preferably non-European)?
It depends. I get 1100 per month tax free, and since I live in a city that is very cheap, I can easily save half of that. So that would compare to getting say 1600 in Vienna/Madrid. I think you should not only look at the total amount you get but also the standard of living etc, and dont forget, German PhDs are considered prestigious.
If I find a PhD job, do I have to discuss my salary with my boss, or is it the same for all the PhD students?
It is very unlikely that you can negotiate your salary as a doctoral student. It's not like in a company. The amount is already set when you apply for the job. There's a fixed number of positions available each year that are directly paid by the university, plus a few more that are contingent on extra mural funding (ie. research grants), and therefore amounts may vary slightly.
Uhh it very much depends also on your field and organisation. I work with PhD students where I am and they get paid similar to what normal engineering graduates would get paid (approx. 3000eur a month). I thinks its very difficult to apply a blanket statement across all PhD students and their circumstances.
Sorry for resurrecting this old thread; I didn't want to start a new one (my first post here, and already a typo in my user-name! )

I'm asking this question preemptively, but I ask because I didn't know about the 13/2 rule and that got me wondering about what else I might not know. I've applied for an entry level research job at a Fraunhofer lab; entry level meaning ones that take Bach. and Dipl. Ing. They seem to be okay with my American Bachelors in Engineering. Anyway, they seem to like me (even though I didn't attach picture to my CV! (maybe that's why they don't not like me )), and they're checking up on what they have to do to get me there in terms of work permit etc.

From reading around the interwebs, pay seems to be according to TVöD 11 or 12. However, on the website, the work-week is given as 31.2 hours. My question is, assuming it's TVöD 12, would they pay me full or 75%? Advice on difficulty in obtaining work-permit would be appreciated as well. Thanks in advance.
From my experience - 75% of the salary.
As a disclaimer, I have never worked at a Fraunhofer but at university. But I suppose that the experience as a PhD student won't be that different.

The 31.2 hours aren't fulltime position but probably 75%. The hours mentioned have nothing to do with what you'll actually work since as a PhD student you're at least as interested in getting your project done as your boss. As long as you haven't got a weird boss, you're pretty much left to setting your own times, though you might get dragooned into doing stuff for the institute. (Though maybe engineering projects are more organized than what I did.) Depending on the funding of the institution, the salary ranges from 50-100% of a salary.

As for a working permit, such research institutions normally have extensive experience with organizing it since foreign PhD or post-doc students are common. I wouldn't rule out that there are some who are incompetent in organizing things, but normally they should know what to do.
Thank you very much for your answers.
Just a clarification that it's not a Ph.D yet, it's just a regular job, and I can apply for doing a Ph.D is I'm interested.

So, using the full pay, tax and deductions is coming out to around 40%. Oy, this is not looking good.
- is the Jahressonderzahlung also taxed?
- Suppose I start in the middle of the tax year, so I only earn half of what I would in a year. Do I still pay approx. 40% or does it come under a lower tax bracket?
- How is TVöD salary compared to that in the private sector? (e.g. TVöD 12, compared to an entry level engineering job at Siemens)

Thanks again. I've been busy reading all the threads; this seems like a great community!
Hello al there in Toytown.I just want to know how to apply for PhD in Germany? I have done BSc(3yr) & MSc(2yr) in Biology and i don't know to speak german. So my query is what i have to do to get a PhD degree here in my subject and do i have to pay for it and if yes its how much, and how long it will continue?
Thanks in advance to all.
For the basic info try
And they even have an Indian office
- is the Jahressonderzahlung also taxed?
Of course.

- Suppose I start in the middle of the tax year, so I only earn half of what I would in a year. Do I still pay approx. 40% or does it come under a lower tax bracket?
HR should imho be doing the precalculation (monthly deduction) based on only your remaining income for that fiscal year if you hand them an empty tax card. File a tax return at the end of the year to be sure...

- How is TVöD salary compared to that in the private sector? (e.g. TVöD 12, compared to an entry level engineering job at Siemens)
Actually, for entry-level, often not that bad - especially now with the crisis.

TVöD Group 12, Level 1, West is 34,880 € p.a. (39-hour work week) including the annual holiday pay plus a non-descript performance-based annual bonus regulated by employer-specific rules (probably somewhere around max. 1%, will be renegotiated this year iirc).

Siemens uses the ERA payment scheme, and has apparently for the past 3-4 years increasingly been pushing entry level jobs down to ERA EG 9, which comes out to about the same pay, maybe slightly less (too lazy to do the calculations, should come out somewhere in the 34-36k range). ERA EG 10, the next pay level, roughly corresponds to TVöD Group 12 Level 2 West pay, which you'd get after one year.
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