• Tell me where you work and your specialty, I tell you your income
Where you work and your specialty decide your income as a medical doctor in Germany! In this article, we explain the salaries of doctors in Germany, when they work in hospitals.
We explained other possible working places and the amount of money they could generate for the different specialties in the following article:
• Salary agreements (der Gehaltstarif)
Most German hospitals* use unified salary tables to pay their doctors. These salary tables are called a salary agreement (🇩🇪 der Gehaltstarif) and are published by the largest union of doctors in Germany (Marburger Bund – MB).
*There are few exceptions
• Some private and Christian hospitals have their own salary agreements. But their salaries are either the same or like 5-10% more or less compared to the salaries of the Marburger Bund (MB).
• Doctors working in university hospitals usually get around 5-8% more salary (the exact numbers are here), but for that, doctors in university hospitals need to:
– Work 42 hours instead of 40 hours a week (this means, 8 hours extra per month). So basically, if you worked in non-university hospitals these extra hours, you will almost get the same salary.
– The working conditions are usually hard in university hospitals and one is expected to work extra hours and these hours will not be paid or given to you as free time in the future (🇩🇪 der Freizeitausgleich)
• Understanding gross and net salary
Firstly, there are two terms to understand:
Gross salary (🇩🇪 Brutto) and net salary (🇩🇪 Netto)
In Germany, if your salary in the job contract is 5000 Euros. This does not mean that you are going to get 5000 Euros transferred to your bank account at the end of the month. The full details are in the following article:
So, if you read the article above, then you understand now that the net salary is the money you get transferred to your bank account at the end of the month. The net salary that remains from the gross salary depends on your marital status:
|Net salary is around:||59%||65%|
• Factors the influence the salaries
There are two factors that decide the salary in the salary agreements.
(1) Hierarchy level (if resident, specialist, senior physician, etc.)
(2) Years of experience
• Approximate salaries
The Numbers in Table (1) are in Euro and are approximate. The exact numbers are in the next section.
You will get the salary for:
– Working hours: 40 hours a week
– Vacations included: Around 30 vacations per year (>6 weeks)
– Public holidays: Around 10-14 (depending on state)
N. B. What you work extra (the shifts) will be paid per hour (this will be explained in table number 2)
|Hierarchy level |
|Resident (🇩🇪 Assistenzarzt)||5084||2999|
|Specialist (🇩🇪 Facharzt)||6711||3959|
|Senior physician (🇩🇪 Oberarzt)||8406||4959|
|Consultant (🇩🇪 Leitender Oberarzt)||More than a senior physician|
|Chief physician/Head of department (🇩🇪 Chefarzt)||9888-End is open|
but generally around 12-30 thousand
|At least 5833|
• Real life numbers from a salary table of the Marburger Bund (MB)
• Sources of extra income
– Extra shifts
• Money paid per hour for extra shifts
• Factors that adds more money to the hourly rates
|Working at night from 9 pm to 6 am||ca. 8 Euro per hour|
|Working on Sundays||ca. 8 Euro per hour|
|Working on Saturdays after 11 pm||ca. 3 Euro per hour|
|Working on holidays (ca. 10-14 per days year)||130% more (e. g. 69 Euro instead of 30 Euro per hour)|
|Changing shifts to and from a group of night shifts after one another||ca. 150 Euro extra for all of these shifts as a bonus|
|Taking a shift suddenly instead of colleagues who are ill or cannot do the shift for whatever reason||some hospital pay double the hourly rates (plus a lot of thanks and hugs 🫂💘🤣)|
33.63 Euro per hour (see table 1, last column, second row) + ca. 8 Euro extra for the night work = Total money of 41.63 Euros per hours = 41.63*9 hours = 374,67 Euro Brutto.
N. B. Usually, the night shifts are from 7 or 8 pm until 7 or 8 am on the next. So, you will be working around 12 hours.
So, if you work extra 50 hours per month, you get 1000-1800 euros as a net salary extra to your main salary. Many doctors in Germany nowadays want a work-life-balance. So, if you like to work more, many will even thank you for taking their shifts (sometimes even pay you to do it for them!).
– Paid vacations (der bezahlte Urlaub)
Doctors have in Germany around 30 paid vacations per year (>6 weeks). Paid means that for every day you are on holiday, you get around 80-400 Euros (depending on your position, numbers of years of experience and how many night shifts you did in the last three months).
– Paid sick leaves (die Krankschreibung)
When doctors are sick and do not work, they are paid for these days. So, you are not only not working but also being extra paid for not being able to work😅 Doctors have the right to have around 30 days per year as a sick leave. Extra days could be granted when the children are sick (so that the parents could take care of them).
– Child allowance (das Kindergeld)
You get per child 250 Euro extra as net salary.
– Parental leave (die Elternzeit)
If a women gets a child, she has the right for up to two years not to work and she would get 60% of her salary. If you are a male doctor and your wife is originally not working (housewife), then you can get a paid leave for up to 1 year (also, you would get 60% of your salary). Of course, you do not need to pay for the health insurance or pension funds during this period. If both the man and woman are working, then both of them can apply for a parental leave (but not at the same time).
– Maternity protection (die Mutterschutz)
If a female doctor got pregnant, then from the moment of pregnancy is she not allowed to work in some specialties (like pediatrics; danger of infection). Therefore, she would be asked to remain at home and of course get 60% of her salary. Moreover, if a pregnancy was endangered through working, a woman has the right not to work.
– Assessment (die Begutachtung)
In certain specialties, particularly psychiatry, you could do assessment for the courts or the pension funds. For example, you assess if someone has an advanced dementia and needs to be placed in an old people’s home or if someone is psychologically fit enough to own a gun. In Neurology, for example, you could assess the disability level after a work injury.
– Examination for the police in the emergency departments
If someone was driving under influence (e. g. Alcohol or drugs), the police can bring him to you in the emergency department to withdraw blood and do a physical examination. It lasts about 12-20 minutes. You will get around 30-120 Euros per patient (depending on time, what you exactly did in the examination). Normally, the internal medicine residents are responsible for such a task. Doctors from other specialties could do it too (of course, if the internal medicine resident did not already do that already before the patient even entered into the emergeny deparatment 😂… joking!).
– Unemployment benefit (das Arbeitslosengeld)
If someone worked for more than one year and lost his job or his job contract ended, then he will get das Arbeitslosengeld in form of 60% of his monthly salary. The money for the health insurance and the retirement funds will be paid too. Moreover, you will get money for transportation during interviews for neu job positions. No one will be running after you to find a job. So, take your time. You can get this money for up to a year.
– Working as a locum doctor (der Leiharzt/Honorararzt)
A locum doctor is a doctor (usually a specialist or a resident up the third year) who works on a short-term basis in a hospital to cover for an acute shortage of doctors in that hospital. For example, if two female doctors got pregnant and two resigned, then there are not enough doctors to do the shifts. In this case, a locum doctors or many would be hired. They are paid between 80 and 140 Euros an hour. They could be hired only for one night or for months until the shortage of doctors in the department is solved.
By the way, the term “locum” is derived from the Latin phrase “locum tenens,” which means “to hold a place.”
– Working as an emergency doctor (🇩🇪 der Notarzt/die Notärztin)
If you did a special course and after having a certain number of years of experience in Germany (1-2 years), you can do a little exam (Zusatzbezeichnung für die Notfallmedizin) and then you will be able to work as an Emergency doctor in the emergency services. Money paid is around 30-50 Euros per hour. In some cities, you will be paid extra 25-40 Euros for each deployment (🇩🇪 der Einsatz). In Dortmund, for example, the emergency did around 10-20 deplomyents per 24 hours.
– Tax declaration (eine Steuererklärung)
You can get around 1 and 8 thousand euros back. This needs a lot of explanation. We explained this in a separate article:
• General Notes
• The salaries of residents are almost always fixed. You cannot negotiate that. But starting from the specialist level, one could negotiate his salary, but not in all hospitals and not in all specialties. If you are for example a a specialist for dermatology and you agree to work in a hospital in a very small German city, then you have great chances to get more salary then mentioned above. But do not be too optimistic. They are not as a high as in the USA.
• It is in most hospitals easy to get promoted to be a senior physician ( ein Oberarzt/eine Oberärztin). Some residents in the last year of resdiency do reach this salary level. They are then called “ein Funktiosnoberarzt/eine Funktionsoberärztin). This means, they do the job of senior physician 😍🥳 but still do not have the German Board ( eine Facharztanerkennung).
• The salaries increase about 1-2,5 percent approximately every 2 years.
• Working in your own clinic (🇩🇪 eine Praxis) generates more money. In the following article in our website, you can see official numbers about average income of doctors owning their own clinics:
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• “Salary structure for Doctors in Germany 2019 – 2020 – 2021”, Your2ndHeart blog by Tejas Ghetia, link.