Salary ranges Web Developer in Munich

30 posts in this topic

I also know that this has been covered elsewhere, so I understand if you tell me to just look elsewhere, but any assurance, firsthand information, etc. would be helpful for me.

 

I manage web development teams of about 30-50 people here currently in San Francisco for really large companies.

 

I am in the final stages of interviewing with a consultancy in Munich to come work for them and relocate.

 

The salary expectation that has been set is about 130K Euros per year.  That salary is much much less than I make here in San Francisco.

 

I am making this move simply because I want to live overseas for a few years to quench my wanderlust and to get experience outside of the Bay Area.  Not to go to the highest bidder.  If I wanted to do that, I'd look a few doors down.

 

Making the move with me will be my husband (stay at home parent) and our two young children.

 

My question is

a) can a family of 4 make it on 130K Euros per year in Munich and likely as important,

b ) is that a fair wage for the job?

 

I've been in software development all my working life like 20 years.  Undergrad math.  Masters in computer science.  Managed teams of up to 30-50 for about 6 years at this point.

'

Anyone have any idea if that is fair?

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Hi there,

you will be well off with that salary, not sure about how fair it is.

Best
Z

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Hello Keri, 

 

Whether 130K per year is enough or not, depends largely on your lifestyle.I can give you a basic breakdown so you will have a reference point. You can calculate your net salary here:

https://www.brutto-netto-rechner.info/gehalt/gross_net_calculator_germany.php  

 

At 130k per year at class 3 with two children and no church tax I get  82.884,12 net income.

Expenses:

.1. Rent: You can expect 1500-2000 Euro per month for a 3 room apartment -> 21k year 

.2. Food & Consumables: 1300-2000 Euro per month assuming 1-2 nights per week out -> 20k year 

.3.Contracts: Phones, Liability insurances, Radio tax, Netflix -> 1k year

.4. Car: I don't own a car but from what I know it is around 3-4k year 

 

For your children, depending on their age, you will have different expenses. If they need to go to kindergarden, you should enroll them as quickly as possible. My colleagues told me that as a rule of thumb, you need to book a public kindergarden around the same time the child is born. Private is easier to find but obviously more expensive. 

 

.5. Children: Let's ballpark it on 1k / month -> 12k year 

 

This would cover from what I personally view the "mandatory" expenses. We are are 57k. You are still left with 25k per year. That's around 2k per month as backup or other expenses (e.g. furniture, latest iPhone ..etc) 

 

Side note: Buy your clothes in U.S. They are significantly cheaper. 

 

As whether the income is fair, that is complicated question. Having lived in both U.S. and Germany I can tell you that the appreciation for technical skills is considerably lower in Germany. Thus even a big technical gap between you and a power point manager will not result in a big income difference. 

 

A good Senior Web Developer takes home 85k per year. 

A Software Manager in automotive industry handling a team of 22 Engineers takes 122k per year. 

 

That is the only 2 examples I know that might be somewhat relevant. However, when discussing top 1%, general rules don't apply. You can always poke intermediate companies to see what offers you get. 

 

I would recommend that on top of you salary to negotiate a relocation package. You can expect another 10k upfront otherwise.You will need a real estate agent to find a rent. You can also try on your own but I do not know anyone who managed to find a reasonable rent within 2 months of moving to Munich. The law is heavily favoring the tenants so landords tend to be extremely picky. Last time I looked for a rent I had to prepare 37 documents before I got the place.

 

After you will settle, you will most likely love the city. Whether that makes up for the pay-gap, only time will tell. 

 

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Thank you very much for this thoughtful answer.

 

I get from your experience or estimates that I should be able to make it on 130K/year in Munich.

 

From the last time I lived there (only while in college), I did get the sense that Germany was more egalitarian in that there wasn't the spread of wages that there is in the U.S.  And I support that overall.

 

You alluded to and I am sort of worried about enrolling my oldest who is 7 in school.  As you noted here and I've been told elsewhere, it might be very difficult to get him enrolled in a quality public school in Germany.  Although, I prefer him to go to public school rather than a private international school just because part of the reason for the move is to get him exposure to different languages/different cultures.  I hear your concern about getting in altogether but I've also heard that quite often kids moving in might get held back in school -- which would be a reason to abandon that and just go with a private international school.  Any experience you can offer would be helpful.

 

I will be looking for a relocation package as you allude.  I am hoping for and expecting that to be at least 10k Euros.

 

Thanks so much for all this great information and if you happen to know more about the schools, let me know your experiences!

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41 minutes ago, Keri Carpenter said:

Thank you very much for this thoughtful answer.

 

I get from your experience or estimates that I should be able to make it on 130K/year in Munich.

That is an excellent salary for Munich and you should have absolutely no issue.

 

41 minutes ago, Keri Carpenter said:

You alluded to and I am sort of worried about enrolling my oldest who is 7 in school.  As you noted here and I've been told elsewhere, it might be very difficult to get him enrolled in a quality public school in Germany.  Although, I prefer him to go to public school rather than a private international school just because part of the reason for the move is to get him exposure to different languages/different cultures.

Let me simplify your choice there: put him in an International school, either BIS or MIS.

If you put him on a public school, he will be exposed to 3 cultures: German, Eastern Europe and Arabic. If you put him on an international school, you will expose him to culture from 52 countries (BIS).

The German primary school has one single and stupid objective: for your kid to master the German language, so that at the age of 10 his teacher will decide all his life by pre-assigning him to either a Gymnasium, a Real Schule or an hauptschule. As your kid is not German and will have a bad German language level, they will send him to Real Schule or hauptschule, thereby potentially fucking up his life.

I have many other issues with German public school, especially regarding lack of support and feedback, but let me just save you a huge pain and give you one device: spend 15-20k€ per year, put him on an international school.

 

 

41 minutes ago, Keri Carpenter said:

 

  I hear your concern about getting in altogether but I've also heard that quite often kids moving in might get held back in school -- which would be a reason to abandon that and just go with a private international school.  Any experience you can offer would be helpful.

He will be held up and he will be miserable, as the German primary school is not meant for foreign people who haven't learned German since early life.

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On 6/7/2019, 7:44:02, Keri Carpenter said:

Making the move with me will be my husband (stay at home parent) and our two young children.

You will find women in management positions in German companies are a rare sight. My wife's engineering company, over 1500 employees, has ZERO women in management positions.

 

On 6/7/2019, 7:44:02, Keri Carpenter said:

I've been in software development all my working life like 20 years.  Undergrad math.  Masters in computer science.  Managed teams of up to 30-50 for about 6 years at this point.

 

Anyone have any idea if that is fair?

Yes, I would say such position pays between 105k and 140k, depending on team size, company size and field of expertise.

 

 

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On 6/8/2019, 11:32:58, WanWhiteWolf said:

Expenses:

.1. Rent: You can expect 1500-2000 Euro per month for a 3 room apartment -> 21k year 

She is making 130k€, a 1500€ apartment is not for her. I would say between 2100 and 2700€

 

On 6/8/2019, 11:32:58, WanWhiteWolf said:

.2. Food & Consumables: 1300-2000 Euro per month assuming 1-2 nights per week out -> 20k year 

Now this seems a bit too much.

 

On 6/8/2019, 11:32:58, WanWhiteWolf said:

For your children, depending on their age, you will have different expenses. If they need to go to kindergarden, you should enroll them as quickly as possible. My colleagues told me that as a rule of thumb, you need to book a public kindergarden around the same time the child is born. Private is easier to find but obviously more expensive. 

Try to include it on your contract. Some companies have priority on some kindergartens.

 

You forgot some extra income:

  • Kindergeld, 190€ per month, per kid
  • tax return, assuming school costs and others can be placed in. Around 1-3k€ per year.

I would estimate expenses without school to be around 50k€, for a comfortable life.

Income would be the 82k€ cited from WanWhiteWolf, plus kindergeld, plus tax returns, so at least 88k€

So that would leave you with 38k€ per year for savings. 

If you put both your kids in private school, it would not be left much more, unfortunately.

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A family earning €130000 a year before taxes - not exactly that much money for Munich - with two children at BIS and paying more than likely a high rent in Munich will be left with mostly nothing at the end of the month. Do it for the adventure, but not for the high life. Unless you’re already quite wealthy or your husband can work and contribute to the budget, in which case just do it.

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I doubt if Munich is as or more expensive than the San Francisco area as far as housing goes.

 

Where will your workplace be in Munich? Living a bit outside can be cheaper. 

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On 6/7/2019, 12:44:02, Keri Carpenter said:

I am in the final stages of interviewing with a consultancy in Munich to come work for them and relocate.

 

and so getting a work visa is no issue...right?

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15 hours ago, MikeMelga said:

She is making 130k€, a 1500€ apartment is not for her. I would say between 2100 and 2700€

 

If you want your personal swimming pool or your own garden, then yes. At a limit of 1855 Euro per month, 3+ rooms, 80+ sqm I get 200 results: 

https://www.immobilienscout24.de/Suche/S-T/Wohnung-Miete/Bayern/Muenchen/-/3,00-/80,00-/EURO--2000,00?enteredFrom=one_step_search  

 

Keep in mind that the prices on immobilienscout are topically higher than what you can get.

At 2k+, you can start looking for houses: 

https://www.immobilienscout24.de/Suche/S-T/Haus-Miete/Bayern/Muenchen/-/-/-/EURO--2300,00?enteredFrom=one_step_search

 

Of course, it depends what is important for her. 

On 6/8/2019, 11:32:58, WanWhiteWolf said:

.2. Food & Consumables: 1300-2000 Euro per month assuming 1-2 nights per week out -> 20k year 

 

15 hours ago, MikeMelga said:

Now this seems a bit too much.

 

I spend 850 Euro/month and I live a decent/modest life. I don't think a family of 4 can live comfortably under 1300/Euro per month but that is a matter of perspective. 

 

@OP you can compare the expenses here:

https://www.expatistan.com/cost-of-living/comparison/san-francisco/munich?  

 

Munich is around 32% cheaper than San Francisco. 

 

If you exclude the rent, the same money In San Francisco have 58% of the purchasing power in Munich: 

https://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/calculator.jsp?sourceCityId=3483&name_sourceCityId=San+Francisco%2C+CA%2C+United+States&destCityId=5483&name_destCityId=&money=2000&displayCurrency=EUR  

 

https://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/compare_cities.jsp?country1=United+States&city1=San+Francisco%2C+CA&country2=Germany&city2=Munich&amount=2%2C000.00&displayCurrency=EUR  

 

Some products are cheaper; others more expensive..You can multiply your current expenses with 0.6 to get an idea of what you can expect. 

 

17 hours ago, Keri Carpenter said:

Thanks so much for all this great information and if you happen to know more about the schools, let me know your experiences!

 

You can also check the "Family" section of the forum: 

https://www.toytowngermany.com/forum/forum/65-munich-family-life/  

 

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When it comes to schooling let me quote myself from here:

On 12/2/2013, 9:25:51, jeba said:

So, I am convinced that especially when it comes to migrant children who don't speak the language of the host country the Montessori system really is excellent (barring extraordinary circumstances) because it offers much more interaction between kids than mainstream schools (as it requires the kids to help each other wrapping their minds around whatever task at hand) which results in learning the language and making friends much more easily. My son was fluent in English within less than one year and really enjoyed school.

And take MikeMelga´s rant about German schools with a large spoon of salt. It´s possible to go to Gymnasium and university even if you graduated from Hauptschule (which renamed to Mittelschule a few years ago) as I pointed out e. g. here.

Btw. in Germany there are others pathways to a successful carreer than university.

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1 hour ago, jeba said:

 

And take MikeMelga´s rant about German schools with a large spoon of salt. 

 

Perhaps you could share with the OP from which part(s) of Germany your opinions are formed by and also how up to date the basis for your perspectives is?

 

My understanding is you are

 

1. German

2. Currently have no school age children

3. Do not live in Germany

 

Please do correct me if I have got any of the above wrong.

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14 minutes ago, Kommentarlos said:

My understanding is you are

 

1. German

2. Currently have no school age children

3. Do not live in Germany

 

You can add:

 

4. Your kid(s) went to primary school 35 years ago.

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1 hour ago, Krieg said:

 

You can add:

 

4. Your kid(s) went to primary school 35 years ago.

Exactly! I spoke with a recently retired German teacher and she explained me that in the past 15 years the new teachers simply don´t give shit about students and especially put aside foreign students.

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2 hours ago, jeba said:

And take MikeMelga´s rant about German schools with a large spoon of salt.

Same as yours, let her get different perspectives.

 

Quote

It´s possible to go to Gymnasium and university even if you graduated from Hauptschule (which renamed to Mittelschule a few years ago) as I pointed out e. g. here.

Btw. in Germany there are others pathways to a successful carreer than university.

That´s not the point! Forget university for a second. Focus on the real problem:

  • German primary school is focused too much on German language
  • Teachers don´t give adequade support nor feedback
  • Teachers clearly separate Germans from others
  • At the end of primary school, at the age of 10, your kid is classified as "smart", "normal" or "dumb". Not only that, the assessmet is mostly done by 2 criteria: are you German? Is your German excellent?. Does this make any sense???
  • German school system is based on hard skills, but for the XXI century people with soft skills will fare much better
  • When she goes back to US (or to another country), an international school will make transition smooth. Her kids can even apply directly to US universities with an IB diploma.
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9 minutes ago, MikeMelga said:

Exactly! I spoke with a recently retired German teacher and she explained me that in the past 15 years the new teachers simply don´t give shit about students and especially put aside foreign students.

 

I wouldn't go to that extend to say that they don't care.  At least that's not what I saw in our kids' school.   The kids who do not speak German receive good support from the teachers and they managed to be relative fluent in around 1 year.   I would complain more about the general practice of putting white kids directly in a normal class and putting non-white kids in a Welcome Class, this seems to be the general thing in plenty of schools and I don't know how it is accepted.

 

But I see your point, even if I think you are exaggerating it.   It is pretty tough for a kid who comes in the time when the Gymnasium Recommendation is been taken.  So, arriving to Germany with a 6-7 years old kid with no German is no problem.  Above would be the problem and it will be very difficult for the kid.   Or a 10 years old if you are in one of the few states with 6 years of primary school.

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8 hours ago, Kommentarlos said:

 

Perhaps you could share with the OP from which part(s) of Germany your opinions are formed by and also how up to date the basis for your perspectives is?

 

My understanding is you are

 

1. German

2. Currently have no school age children

3. Do not live in Germany

 

Please do correct me if I have got any of the above wrong.

Ad 1: correct and I´m from Bavaria.

Ad 2: My last kid graduated 3 years ago

Ad 3. I left 3 years ago but have still been back a few moths each year.

How is that relevant? And how do MM´s rants invalidate my suggestion to consider a Montessori school? It´s not that they are public schools (at least not in Bavaria).

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6 minutes ago, jeba said:

 

How is that relevant? 

 

TT is a forum for ENGLISH speaking FOREIGNERS living in Germany.   We help each other in the daily chores of surviving in Germany as a non German, and in plenty of cases, a foreigner who can't speak yet any German language.

 

The experiences of a German living in Germany do not help us when the non-Germanness is the key issue in a thread.    Of course, opinions from Germans are welcomed when they are relevant, but you have proven to be wrong so many times about your own country than some of us do not really trust your information anymore and read it always with a grain of salt.

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