Breaking Down Developer Salaries in Cologne, Stuttgart, and Düsseldorf


Germany has a number of attractive opportunities for software developers. We are going to take a closer look, starting with the average salaries for different programming languages in Germany, 2019:

  • iOS- 50,450€
  • Python- 49,251€
  • Android- 48,966€
  • .Net- 48,621€
  • C++- 48,439€
  • Java- 47,533€
  • JavaScript- 46,669€
  • C#- 45,647€
  • PHP- 43,857€

We also examined some of the highest-paid positions in the IT sector in Germany. Remember these are average figures. The actual salary will depend on experience:

  • App Developer- 58.357€
  • Machine Learning- 55,579€
  • Embedded System- 55,342€
  • DevOps Engineer- 55,146€
  • Mobile developer- 51,552€
  • Database Admin- 49,841€
  • QA Engineer- 47,257€
  • Data Scientist- 49,363€
  • Sys Admin- 43,603€
  • Graphics Programmer- 39,996€
  • Graphics Designer- 29,987€

When you take all of the statistics, the average salary for a developer in Germany is $53,713.

English-speaking developer jobs in Germany

Germany was ranked 9th in the world by Education first. Even before software development, Germans knew the importance of English. Here is a summary of the regions with the highest levels of English proficiency. The figures are from 2018 and shown as a percentage of the population that speaks English:

  • Hamburg – 65.73%
  • Berlin – 64.24%
  • Lower Saxony – 64.07%
  • North Rhine-Westphalia – 63.90%
  • Baden-Württemberg – 63.67%
  • Rhineland-Palatinate – 63.48%
  • Bavaria – 63.28%
  • Hesse – 63.10%
  • Bremen – 63.06%
  • Schleswig-Holstein – 62.68%
  • Saxony – 62.42%
  • Brandenburg – 62.20%
  • Thuringia – 61.41%
  • Mecklenburg-Vorpommern – 61.11%
  • Saxony-Anhalt – 60.46%
  • Saarland – 59.32%

When looking at our specific cities, in Düsseldorf it is 64.67%, Cologne 64.17% and in Stuttgart, 63.56% of the population speaks English. All three cities are above the regional averages. Germany is ranked 10th in the world for English proficiency. Its 63.74% puts it at a country with a ‘very high proficiency’. Again, Düsseldorf, Cologne, and Stuttgart are above the national average. This makes them ideal for English speaking IT specialists who are looking for work in Germany.

Developer salaries in Stuttgart

The average annual salary for a developer in Stuttgart is 50,519€. It is slightly less than the national average but it is still very appealing, especially considering the city. It is the second-largest city in Germany and home to the Headquarters of Mercedes-Benz, as well as a number of startups.

Developer salaries in Cologne

The average salary for a developer in Cologne is 50,623€. It might be less than the average salary in Germany but Cologne has its advantages, in particular as a networking city.

Developer salaries in Düsseldorf

The average salary for a developer in Düsseldorf is 53,574€. This is the highest of the three cities and almost equal to the national average. This combined with the highest level of English proficiency makes Düsseldorf the place to be.

Best IT job in Stuttgart

An interesting Junior offer for PHP in Stuttgart is for entry-level developers or even students. There is a small amount of remote work available but an impressive 30,000€ – 50,000€ annual salary. If you are looking for DevOps Engineer positions you could earn between 50,000€ and 64,000€, with the possibility of visa sponsorship.

Best IT job in Cologne

Backend and frontend developers are in luck if relocating to Cologne. Job offers include a salary of between 50,000€ and 75,000€ with additional benefits of paid relocation and visa sponsorship opportunities.

Best IT job in Düsseldorf

Right now there are a number of jobs for those with C++ experience and some of those even offer paid relocation. If you have more than 5 years of experience you could be looking at a salary of 60,000€ to 70,000€.

In Summary

Whichever of the three cities you choose you will be able to enjoy a good level of English. This means a lot more than you can imagine in terms of a smooth transition. While the average salaries are slightly lower than the national average, the numbers are only a fraction lower and will depend on your experience. Most importantly, there is a range of job opportunities available!