Highest and Lowest Salaries in the Czech Republic and Germany

Why would anyone want a daily commute of several hours across the border to Germany? It appears there is a good economic reason for such necessity. For instance, in the Czech Republic, the lowest yearly median salary is € 5,274 while in Germany, the lowest paid workers earn about € 19,604 per year.

Median salary is the value middle of the listed numbers. It is considered a better indicator for salary overviews than the commonly used average. Using a simple example, the average salary would not inform us about the true amount of Joe’s average income as Joe may be sitting in a room with Bill Gates whose salary would be also taken into account when computing the average of the group.

Czech Republic: Yearly Median Salaries – Selected Jobs in 2016
Lowest median end Highest median end
Waiters and waitresses  €   5,274 Air traffic controllers  €   96,924
Assistant cook  €   5,525 Top representatives of large companies and institutions  €   71,631
Janitors in food and manufacturing  €   5,556 Pilots, navigators and flight engineers  €   47,382
Doormen  €   5,592 Chief physicians in the medical field  €   42,270
Security staff, guards  €   5,671 Executives in financial services  €   41,440
Janitors and helpers in health and social facilities  €   5,834 Executives in advertising and public relations  €   38,243
Kitchen maid  €   5,857 Economic and financial directors  €   36,547
Janitors in accommodation and educational establishments  €   6,037 Business directors  €   36,222
Janitors in office buildings  €   6,056 Top representatives of medium-size companies and institutions  €   34,810
Dressmakers, seamstresses and related workers  €   6,192 Executives in IT and operations  €   32,337

Source: Official Data by the Czech Average Earnings Information System (ISPV), 2016.

The top highest salaries in the Czech Republic are of Air Traffic Controllers, top Executives of large enterprises, Pilots and Navigators and Doctors. Air Traffic Controllers reach to earnings of almost € 100 thousand per year, with businessmen lagging just € 30 thousand behind. After that, the pay drops to thirties which creates a burden in social transition for the middle class.

In general, German employees earn almost 4 times more as the Czech ones though. The comparison of median salaries in the Czech Republic shows a gap between the earnings of the top paid professionals and the middle and lower class.

German data show a tendency to reward people with good education in the country – professional Surgeons and Lawyers are highly valuable to society and are well rewarded as such. Furthermore, there is no big gap in the wages favorable to the creation and growth of the middle class – according to many a foundation of any stable society.

Managing directors in Germany at companies with 25 employees reach up to € 170,000 a year; at large companies up to €807,000. For example, during his time as CEO for Volkswagen, Martin Winterkorn made  € 15 million a year reports Career Addict.

The table below by no means presents an exhaustive list of all top paid professionals but it gives an indication of salary levels for least / best paid jobs in Germany.

Germany: Yearly Median Salaries – Selected Jobs in 2016
Lowest median end Highest median end
Kitchen help  €   19,604 Oberarzt (surgeons, neurology, internal medicine)  €   73,892
Hairdresser, cosmetician  €   20,912 Corporate finance  €   72,400
Waiter  €   22,586 Lawyers  €   66,423
Maid, houskeeper  €   23,578 Business development  €   65,705
Shop assistant  €   23,810 Technical R&D  €   71,217
Nurse  €   24,216 Cash-management/Treasury  €   63,064
Receptionist  €   24,289 Tax consultant, Auditor  €   65,658
Call centre agent  €   24,337 Sales engineer  €   67,201
Industry service personnel  €   24,551 Client advisor of the bank  €   65,399
Cook  €   25,286 IT-safety  €   60,976

Source: German salaries data collected in 2016, data by Gehalt.de, 2017.

The exchange rate used during the conversion was verified with the European Central Bank on 22nd of May. 1 EUR = CZK 26.488.

Comparing the two countries does not do any justice to the quality of life index, although it offers a good value for one to grasp the difference in consumer baskets. The Big Mac Index, a measure of purchasing power parity between the countries, shows that the prices for goods in Germany are only 150% higher. Guess people don’t take long commutes to Germany each day for nothing.

Big Mac index

Czech Republic – 2.92

Germany – 4.25

Reference: Economist’s Big Mac index

Written by: ‎Taras Biletskyi‎

Business & Job Market, Relocation to the Czech Republic