Civil engineer salary: where to earn the most in construction?

What starting salary can civil engineers expect after graduation and what are their chances of promotion?? Our salary study reveals.

How much does a civil engineer earn?? Our salary survey reveals it.

Civil engineers plan and organize construction sites. They take into account current methods such as BIM and exchange ideas with architects. How much salary is worth? According to the latest salary study by recorded the Civil engineer salary a plus of 1.7. Entry-level engineers in 2019 received between 40.000 and 50.000 euros gross annual salary. Experienced civil engineers achieved an income of up to 60.000 euros, which corresponds to an increase of 0.6%. In 2019, the median gross annual salaries of study participants overall (entry-level and experienced engineers) were 61.100 euros (+ 0.5 % compared to the previous year).

Civil engineer salary: This is how much there is in it with professional experience

Civil engineers with more than two years of professional experience earned on average in 2020 56.260 Euro. Here the salary trend has remained stable, as in 2018 the average was already 55.000 euros. Career starters can expect a salary of around 45.400 euros calculate. In 2018, the salary was still 44.600 euros.

A degree in Subject Civil Engineering includes with an average gross annual salary of 45.600 euros, they once again have the lowest earnings prospects. After civil engineers were able to record particularly large increases in 2018 as a result of the construction boom and numerous infrastructure projects in Germany, salaries in 2019 rose only moderately by 1.2 % compared to the previous year.

Construction industry with high demand for engineers

Row house, highway or bridges: Civil engineers build the future. Despite the Corona crisis, the industry is looking positively to the future. Civil engineers can take advantage of this development and find exciting job offers. The same applies to civil engineers as to any other engineer: the higher the position, the better the earnings. As a head of department, the income study determined an annual salary of 84.000 euros gross. As a project engineer, the income in 2020 was just under 50.000 euros gross. In project management, civil engineering salaries are higher. Üover 60.000 euros gross are earned on average. The highest salary beckons as a team leader. 65.000 euros gross per year is what they should be earning.

Salary for civil engineers: Digitization is shaping the construction industry

Digitization in the construction industry and increasing pressure on earnings for manufacturers of construction materials are among the key developments for the coming months. The construction industry also sees considerable potential in the areas of climate protection, sustainability, and infrastructure maintenance and expansion. In addition to pure construction activities, civil engineers must also offer the development, operation and utilization of civil engineering services. Skills that go beyond their technical skills are in demand.

Tablets and digital assistance systems are designed to help civil engineers.

Whether know-how in project management, knowledge of construction law and, not least, the innovations due to digitalization- Civil engineers always have to keep up with the times. For some time now, the industry has been driven by the potential of Building Information Modeling (BIM). The method is based on an object-oriented 3D model to which all planning and construction partners have access. Read more about BIM here.

Job search for engineers

Salary comparison: civil engineers are still paid less than their colleagues

Despite all the joy about the increase in recent years: Experienced civil engineers are paid significantly less than engineers in other disciplines. Accordingly, specialist and project engineers in the construction industry received in 2019 48.675 euros (middle quartile). In the upper quartile 56.000 euros in it. Project engineers in mechanical and plant engineering, on the other hand, already earned an average of 56.200 euros. However, specialist engineers in the construction industry are still ahead of their colleagues in engineering and planning offices. Here, project engineers received an average of 48.000 euros.

Tip: In Germany, all freelancers commissioned with the planning of construction projects are subject to the "Fee Structure for Architects and Engineers" (HOAI). It ensures both a binding price level and the possibility to sue for fixed fees in court. Because the cost and effort of freelancers, the responsibility to land contracts and thus money themselves, partly outweighs the plus compared to permanent colleagues. More on self-employment

Civil Engineer Starting Salary: How much does a civil engineer with a bachelor earn??

In 2017, the salary slips showed an average starting salary of 43.500 euros, thus consolidating a new income level. In 2018, entry-level salaries increased by 2.6% and averaged 44.650 euros. In 2019, a further increase: 45.415 euros was paid to young civil engineers.

To a certain extent, you can influence your starting salary yourself, namely by your own academic degree. Who after the Bachelor’s degree out, achieved a maximum of 50.000 euros starting salary. That’s about 6.000 euros less than a colleague with a university degree, i.e. a master’s degree. This has now risen above the level of the Dipl.-Ing. and thus seems to be finding its intended place in the economy. The choice of university also influences the salary: degrees from universities and technical colleges are slightly better remunerated than those from universities of applied sciences.

With all these factors, from Bologna degrees to the form of higher education to doctorates, it should be borne in mind that in the end it always depends on the respective position sought in the world of work which criteria are perceived as pluses and which as minuses. Finally, it is possible to be not only underqualified, but also overqualified- especially if there are many years of study but no work experience to show for it.

Salary for civil engineers: Be careful when choosing an employer

But there is another factor that can be adjusted: the choice of employer. Because the size of the company for which an engineer works is also decisive for the level of remuneration. While specialist and project engineers in a small company earn on average just under 50.000 euros In a large corporation, the average salary is around 17 euros less than in a large company.000 euros a year more. For a division manager, the size of the company can make up a large part of his salary (for example 72.000 euros in companies with 1 50 employees compared to 129.500 euros in large corporations with more than 5.000 employees).

ÜAcross all industries, the larger the company, the more it pays at the end of the month. Of course, you could say that the smaller competitors pay less, but they offer at least as many exciting jobs for civil engineers as the big ones. But in terms of salary, the following applies: A small company or. Planning offices and companies located in a structurally weak region pay lower wages on average than their large competitors.

In the West, more salary is paid for civil engineers

There is still a clear west-east divide in Germany. The engineering salaries of all eastern German districts are below the salary level in the west of the republic. The best chances in the salary poker can be calculated by the civil engineer who hires at a large company in the west of Germany. In Dusseldorf, gross annual salaries are in the middle quartile at 65.700 euros. In Cologne it is already 5.000 euros less. Here is the civil engineer salary at a good 60.000 euros gross.

At least in theory. If it weren’t for all the other influencing factors.

Engineering salaries in metropolitan areas 2020.

Salary civil engineer: Consider three key factors

Three soft factors are particularly important to consider in the salary poker, because they make a big difference in annual pay.

  1. Are you entitled to a vacation and/or Christmas bonus??
  2. How high are your contractually regulated weekly working hours?
  3. Does your annual salary include variable compensation components??

That Vacation and Christmas bonuses the employee, it’s clear that in a large company. More than half of engineers do not get paid vacation or Christmas bonuses, according to the income study. 45% of engineers with less than two years’ work experience receive Christmas and vacation bonuses. The picture is very similar for experienced professionals: Here it is 46% of respondents who receive special payments.

This is more difficult to explain when it comes to working hours: civil engineers are among the most hard-working of all engineers. The average working week for employees covered by collective agreements is 45 hours, the same for non-tariff employees and slightly less for employees not covered by collective agreements. Senior executives, on the other hand, work an average of 46 hours a week. What this has to do with salary? It’s simple: If you have a contractually agreed 45-hour week, but work an average of one hour of unpaid overtime every week, your salary at the end of the year will be reduced by approx. 10 %. Especially when it comes to salary increases, keep this context in mind.

And now to the variable compensation components: Although they don’t play a major role in construction compared to other engineering disciplines, they still account for a good 5% of pay on average.

Conclusion: Negotiating civil engineer earnings correctly

As professional experience grows, so does the salary. While you tend to have smaller salary jumps in the first few years, you’ll probably crack 60 after 6-10 years of work experience.000 Euro mark. The highest salaries beckon with a management position, for example as a team leader or in property management. The amount of the salary is often based on the negotiation skills, unless there is a collective pay scale. For the annual review, make a note of the successes you have brought to the company. Maybe you could reduce the cost a lot because of a new building material.

In our free salary test, you can calculate your individual civil engineer salary.

If you are looking for a permanent job, you can have a look at our job portal for civil engineers. If you’re digitally literate, you can quickly move into construction companies that work with BIM projects, for example. Otherwise, negotiating skills and a good overview of the strengths and weaknesses of one’s own profile are the most important factors. You can get support in our career section.

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