How much does a nurse earn in Germany?

Dusseldorf Due to the high shortage of skilled workers in nursing, training as a nursing specialist is almost a guarantee of work today. Because the job is considered future-proof, especially in geriatric care due to the demographic development.

Until 2004, the profession of nurse was still called nurse or male nurse. Depending on the assignment, one spoke of health workers and nurses, health and pediatric nurses or geriatric nurses. Since 2020, however, people in the professional group have been referred to as nurses, nurses or nurses.

The salary of nursing staff differs depending on the employer and area of ​​application, but also between the new and old federal states. The differences depending on the area of ​​application are considered sensible due to the different workloads. The east-west differences are intended to compensate for future tariff increases.

At a glance: what salary nurses can expect in Germany.

How much does a nurse earn in Germany?

According to the Stepstone job platform, nurses in Germany can expect an average annual gross salary of EUR 38,500. This means that the annual salary of a nurse is below the German gross median salary of 43,842 euros in 2023. According to Stepstone, the salary range for the nursing professions of nurse is between 33,200 euros and 46,100 euros gross per year.

According to Stepstone, the average salary for a nursing specialist is EUR 37,100 gross per year, with salaries ranging between EUR 32,900 and EUR 43,500. According to the data, the income is slightly lower than that of “nurses”. One reason for this is that the job description has only been referred to as a nurse for a few years and the Stepstone calculation is therefore more based on starting salaries.

What is the starting salary for a nurse?

The starting salary of nurses varies by employer. In some cases, the federal state is also decisive, since separate wage agreements have been made for different collective bargaining areas – for example with Caritas employees, as can be seen in the tariff guidelines of the association.


Nursing specialists in hospitals are usually paid according to collective agreements.

Career starters in the public sector earn differently depending on the collective agreement. Employees in university hospitals who are paid according to the TV-L tariff receive a monthly starting salary of around 3000 gross (Status: December 2022). Anyone who works in municipal clinics in the public sector starts at around 2,932 euros gross (Status: April 2022).

This roughly corresponds to the salaries that the German Caritas Association has set in its guidelines for North Rhine-Westphalia, Baden-Württemberg and Bavaria since April 2022. In eastern Germany, Caritas has been paying a little more since January 2023 at EUR 2,976 gross per month. Young professionals in Hamburg can even count on 3,005 euros gross. At the German Red Cross, nursing staff start with around 2923 euros gross per month according to the collective agreement.

How much does a caregiver make per month?

The monthly gross salary of a nurse in the public sector is between around 3183 euros and 3751 euros (as of December 2022), depending on professional experience. Anyone who is paid according to the public service tariff receives between 3,108 euros and 3,654 euros.

The same values ​​apply to some tariff areas in the Caritas facilities. In Hamburg and East Germany, salary increases to over 3700 euros gross per month with more than eight years of professional experience in salary level 6. According to the collective agreement, employees at the German Red Cross earn around 3098 euros (level 3) to around 3653 euros (level 6) gross per month.

Where do you earn the most in nursing?

Employed nurses receive monthly allowances when working in a particularly demanding care area or with high-risk groups. Nursing specialists in intensive care receive around 100 euros per month.

intensive care

Nurses in intensive care units receive a monthly allowance.

Anyone who works with groups at high risk, such as immunocompromised patients, receives a monthly subsidy of between 46 euros and around 60 euros, depending on the collective agreement.

In addition, allowances are also paid for shift work, rotating shifts and night shifts, depending on the collective agreement. However, on-call duty and on-call duty also bring in more salary at the end of the month.

How can I increase my salary as a nurse?

Those who are paid according to the collective agreement receive a higher wage with increasing professional experience. More years of service lead to a step up within the salary group, which gradually increases the salary. Depending on the collective agreement, the highest level within a pay group is reached after eight to 15 years.

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In addition, further training or a management position can lead to classification in a higher pay group and thus higher salaries. For example, nurses with specialist training to become hygiene specialists who pursue a corresponding activity are classified in the TVöD in pay group P 9. There they earn around 3,734 euros at the lowest level. At the highest level, the salary is around 240 euros gross per month higher (around 3,974 euros).

Salary in care: With personnel responsibility

A significant increase in the salary in nursing can be achieved if a nurse takes on staff responsibility. For example, employees in the public sector who work as group or team leaders and who report to up to nine employees are classified in pay groups P 9 to P 11. There is already a gross monthly salary of around 3,734 euros to 3,757 euros. With increasing experience, the pay increases to up to 3,974 euros in salary group P 9 or up to 4,485 euros in P 11.

As a ward manager, you are classified in pay groups P12 or P13. The starting salary there is between around 3,969 euros and around 4,182 euros. With sufficient professional experience, earnings in P13 increase to almost 5,000 euros gross per month according to the collective agreement.

Caregivers in management positions can also increase their salaries at Caritas and the German Red Cross. For example, senior nursing staff at the DRK can expect up to around EUR 4,973 gross per month in pay group P 13. A ward manager at Caritas earns up to around 5,097 euros, depending on the tariff area – with the appropriate professional experience.

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