Negotiating a doctor's contract

Salaries for doctors in Germany: What can you expect to earn?

Good news – the medical profession has the highest starting salaries in Germany and doctors are well paid throughout their careers. Of course, exactly how much you earn depends on your professional experience and the medical area you work in.


Starting a career with a very good salary

You will usually start your working life as a doctor in a clinic. There are different career levels, with rising salaries attached. If you don’t yet have a recognized specialty, you will probably start as an ‘assistant doctor’. Assistant doctors are the job starters with the highest salary in Germany, around €68,000 per year, which can rise with your professional development. As an assistant doctor in training, you learn the diagnostics and methods of your speciality, treating patients independently as well as under the supervision of your ‘senior physician’ (Oberarzt).

Once you have successfully accomplished your ‘Facharzt’  (the title given to trained specialists), you can either choose to carry on working in a clinic or to establish your own practice. In the latter, you will work on a self-employed basis and your earnings will depend on your medical field as well as on your workload, number of patients, etc. It is therefore difficult to estimate average earnings. Currently, radiologists earn the most with an average of around €300,000 a year. A self-employed ‘general practitioner’ (Hausarzt), earns the least with an average of around €180,000 annually. Keep in mind that if you have your own practice, you will also have to pay for your own medical devices, insurances and any employees. And the administrative part of your work may be a lot higher here!


Doctor and Nurse


Climbing the ladder: with higher responsibility comes a better salary

If you choose to work in a hospital, you are usually promoted according to your years of professional experience, and your salary rises accordingly. With higher responsibility comes a better salary. Chief physicians are at the top level of their career and earn the most – with an average of around €278,000 per year. As well as their work with patients, they lead a hospital department and supervise employees. Next in line are the senior physicians – they also have leading roles within the hospital and earn more than colleagues without this title. Depending on your professional experience and the type of hospital you work in, this is normally around €115,000 annually. As a fully trained doctor without a leading position, on average you are likely to earn €85,000 per year – again, this may rise with your experience.

Doctors belong to the profession with the highest salaries in Germany, but they usually also have high workloads and a lot of responsibility. Germany is desperately looking for doctors in various medical fields at the moment, and we are here to help you if you choose to come and work as a doctor. Start by assessing your chances of finding a job in Germany or book a private consultation if you would like to have personal assistance from the start. We are happy to be part of this exciting time in your life!


References & futher reading  (German language) (German language) (German language)

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