IT salaries 2021/2022: The big salary comparison in computer science

IT salaries 2021/2022: The big salary comparison in computer science


Salaries of IT staff increased by 1.6 percent in 2020. Despite Corona, wages are developing above average compared to other professional sectors. […]

The IT experts ended the past year with a moderate salary increase of 1.6 percent. This is the result of the compensation analysts from Compensation Partner in the context of the IT Study 2021. Employees in IT earn an annual gross salary of 64,200 euros. In professional ranking among specialists, IT consultants receive the highest salary of around 75,700 euros. For the evaluation, the experts examined 12,225 data sets.

Philip Bierbach, Compensation Partner: IT specialists were still among the occupational groups on the labour market that were least at risk of short-time work or unemployment (c)

“IT specialists and executives remain a sought-after job profile – which is why their earnings development is higher in times of crisis compared to other professional groups,” says Philip Bierbach, Managing Director of Compensation Partner, Hamburg, commenting on the results of the current salary study. IT professionals were still among the professions on the labour market that were least at risk of short-time work or unemployment, which was also reflected in the salaries of IT professionals and executives.

However, it is also a fact that the influence of the corona crisis is noticeable in variable and performance-related compensation. “For many employees, bonus payments in 2020 were paid only in part or not at all,” says the Hamburg salary expert. “In IT professions, we are seeing a 25 percent decrease in paid variable compensation components for 2020,” his analysis said.

IT consultants and IT security experts continue to receive the highest salaries among IT professionals without personnel responsibility. The most recent analysis for around 12,000 data sets from 172 companies showed an average annual gross content for IT Consultant from 75.750 euros.

In second place follow the IT Security Experts with 69.900 Euro and just behind the Software developerwho program mobile applications, with 68,500 euros a year. Back-end developers come to an average of 66.100 euros gross a year. The SAP developers and frontend software developers, who have an annual salary of around 60,000 euros, are surprisingly below average.

Employees in database administration (47,000 euros) and in user support are still in the bottom position among IT specialists-and almost nothing has changed for years. IT professionals in second-level support earned about 42,000 at the end of the year and those from first-level support 35,000 euros a year. As a result, salaries for these professions are stagnating.

Almost 60 percent of all persons whose data were included in the salary study have a university degree. The doctorate is best rewarded with an average of 82,000 euros, the master’s degree brings IT specialists almost 70,000 euros. The figures are not starting salaries, but income, which can be achieved on average with the respective degree.

This puts IT experts with a master’s degree well ahead of their colleagues who have vocational training (51,300 euros), a bachelor’s degree (54,800 euros) or a master’s degree or specialist (57,900 euros).

IT career starters earn an average of 51,500 euros per year after one to two years. Specialists with three to five years of professional experience earn around 54,400 euros a year, while those with work experience of six to eight years earn an average salary of 55,500 euros. Those who have been in business for more than 13 years have an average salary of around 66,000 euros.

Even in small companies with less than 100 employees, managers receive an average of 103,500 euros gross per year, in companies with 100 to 1,000 employees it is almost 120,000 euros and in large companies around 143,000 euros per year.

It is also interesting to see the additional comparison between men and women, whereby the difference in the IT industry is not as great as in other industries and also between specialists and managers-in both categories the difference is around 4000 euros a year. Specifically, this means that, according to Compensation Partner, a female IT specialist earns around 60,000 euros a year and the colleague just 64,000 euros. For managers, it is 130,000 euros per year for women and 134,000 euros for men.

The size of the company affects the amount of salary. The larger the company, the higher the remuneration. To illustrate this difference, Compensation Partner lumped together the salaries of all IT professionals in a company and calculated the average.

In a small company with up to 100 employees, the computer specialist is taking home around 55,500 euros this year. If he changes to a larger medium-sized company with up to 1000 employees, it is about 5000 euros more per year. If he prefers a group, he gets another 16,000 euros, which makes a total of about 76,000 euros. Bierbach points out that corporations also pay their employees more because they are bound by collective agreements.

The industry to which the employer belongs also has a decisive influence on the salary. Thus, IT experts in biotechnology earn 36 percent more than their colleagues across all industries. Above-average salaries are also paid by the semiconductor industry (up 27 percent), mechanical engineering ( up 26 percent) and the software industry (up 22 percent) . In retail, hospitals, temporary work and call centers, however, IT professionals have to make do with salaries that are between 15 and 31 percent below average.

Finally, large differences in salaries can still be observed between regions. While employers in metropolises such as Frankfurt am Main and Munich pay around 20 percent more than the national average, IT employees in Lower Saxony or Schleswig-Holstein have to be modest at ten to 15 percent below the average.

The gap between East and West is even stronger – but this is not a new finding either. Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, for example, is close to 30 percent, or cities such as Cottbus or Frankfurt an der Oder, and even the high-tech region of Dresden is still around 15 percent below average. This widens the gap between East and West; two years ago, the East German regions were only ten to 20 percent below the national average. A surprising exception is Thuringia, which recorded an increase in salary compared to the previous year, Jena, for example, is about 15 percent below the national average.

What happens next, how do compensation experts at Compensation Partner assess the further development? “The year 2021 will continue to be shaped by the corona crisis for IT staff,” says Managing Director Bierbach. Nevertheless, the competition will bring about a slightly positive wage development, so that”we expect a salary increase of around 1.8 percent”. The payout amount of the variable compensation components will recover somewhat compared to 2020, but will not yet reach the level of 2019.

  • Data basis: This year, 172 companies from the IT industry participated in the study, which provided a total of 1518 data sets. A further 10,707 data sets come from direct surveys of specialists and executives. A total of 12,225 data sets have been included. 949 Reports were received on management positions and 11,276 reports on specialist and specialist positions. The data was collected from September 2019 to August 2020.
  • Method: Compensation Partner, a Hamburg-based company specialising in remuneration data, has examined the level and structure of the salaries of a total of 19 IT specialist functions and 12 IT management functions. Within the functions, a differentiation was made according to level of requirements: IT consultants, for example, were analyzed from simple consultants to managers with personnel responsibility. In addition, salaries were evaluated according to company sizes. Compensation Partner has calculated the total and basic salary as well as all ancillary services.

Compensation Partner’s compensation study is available at (c) Compensation Partner

The compensation study “IT Functions 2021” can be ordered at the price of 799 euros (plus VAT and shipping costs) via the Compensation Partner website. It is aimed at managing directors, HR managers and personnel managers from the IT industry as well as personnel and management consultants.

* Hans Königes is Head of Jobs & amp; Careers at and thus responsible for all topics relating to the labor market, jobs, professions, salaries, personnel management, recruiting and social media in professional life.

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