Despite the privation that many employees in the electronics industry have suffered during the months and years of the pandemic, the new year has not brought any large salary increases in this sector. However, it would seem that salary is no longer the main deciding factor for applicants these days.
Almost a third of employees in Germany do not know what their spouse earns. And eight out of ten have no idea how much their co-workers earn. These were the results of a recent StepStone study. It seems, therefore, that salary is still a taboo topic. But more transparency would be good for employees and employers alike. This is why each year several salary reports “reveal” income levels in various industries.
For example, StepStone and Gehalt.de analyzed around 600,000 current salaries. The analysis showed that the gross median income in Germany is currently EUR 44,100. As in previous years, physicians are by far the top earners and with an income of EUR 78,300 take home about 78 percent more than the average worker. They are followed by engineers (EUR 59,300), IT professionals (EUR 57,000) and business consultants (EUR 56,400).
Well paid employees can be found in the semiconductor industry (EUR 63,000), in the biotechnology sector (EUR 61,500), and in the automotive industry (EUR 55.900). And it seems that the larger the company, the more the employees earn. While employers with up to 50 employees pay a gross median salary of EUR 37,400, employees in larger companies (> 5,000 employees) earn almost 60 percent more (EUR 59,300).
Location also plays a role in regard to earnings. For instance, at EUR 47,840, the state of Hesse has the highest median income level in Germany, followed by Baden-Württemberg (EUR 47,806), and Bavaria (EUR 46,800). In the large city rankings, Frankfurt am Main comes out top at EUR 54,100, just ahead of Munich (EUR 53,900) and Stuttgart (EUR 53,600).
Management responsibility (EUR 86,300) and a university degree (EUR 59,700) also play a noticeable role with regard to salary. Professional experience is another factor affecting income: while career entrants earn a median salary of EUR 33,800, this has risen to EUR 52,000 after more than 11 years.
According to StepStone, the current job boom could lead to an increase of 3 to 4,7 percent this year, while in the ten years before the COVID 19 pandemic (2010 to 2019), salaries in Germany increased by just 2.4 percent on average.
However, this year's salary report from Interconsult does not see any big leaps in the electronics industry. On the whole, no catch-up effects are evident, even after the restrain of the past two years of the pandemic. But the semiconductor equipment segment has benefited from the chip shortage with an increase of 3.5 percent and employees in the medical engineering industry earned 4 percent more due to the corona virus effect. However, stagnation was experienced in the area of “active and passive components”. This is in spite of the fact that order books are full, but interrupted supply chains continue to affect revenue and, consequently, income.
In times of uncertain economic outlooks with fear of war, falling sales, and massive oil and gasoline price increases, a huge increase in salaries is not to be expected—according to Graf Reischach from Interconsult in an interview with Markt&Technik.
However, he also believes that salary no longer plays a major role. More important are other factors, such as the working environment and personal development opportunities. As a result, most job interviews these days involve discussions about working from home and personal freedoms.
According to Interconsult, in view of the worldwide shortage of electronics engineers, companies have to offer more. This includes market-based salaries at the top of the range, freedom to make decisions and development opportunities in the job. Employees now also expect modern approach to mobile work and a good work-life balance. At present, a change of job can mean a salary increase of five to eight percent. “Recruiting new staff has become a very, very complicated process”—according to Graf Reischach from Interconsult.