Although physicians are among the highest earners overall, there are still significant differences in income within the medical and dentistry sector. An overview.
They are the leaders in a comparison of academics' salaries: The salary of a medical or dentistry graduate in 2016 was €79,538 gross per year – 40% higher than the average of all specialists and executives. They are top earners right from the start of their career: At the beginning of their career, physicians earn €52,036 – more than any other degree course.
Salary in medicine: Earnings in medical practices and clinics in Germany
Doctors who prefer to be their own boss open or take over a practice. However, more and more young physicians are shying away from entrepreneurial risk. The leap into self-employment is worthwhile in terms of salary. The net income of a practice in 2011 was €181,000 for general practitioners and as much as €297,000 for ophthalmologists.
Doctors in German clinics are mainly employed on the basis of a collective bargaining agreement and are assigned to one of the pay bands assistant, specialist, senior physician or senior physician. Within these pay bands, physicians; salaries increase as they gain professional experience. A specialist at a municipal hospital earns €5,656.92 gross per month when hired, and after only three years this amount increases to €6,131.23.
Working alongside medical staff, the administrative staff in hospitals ensure that everything is running smoothly. On average, their income is significantly lower than that of physicians – even if a managing director is compared a the chief physician: The average chief physician earns €285,000 gross per year, while a clinic's top management will earn €194,000. In many hospitals, it has also become customary to link part of workers' salary to performance and success factors.
Salary of physicians in university hospitals in Germany
Doctors have their own collective agreement with the 34 university hospitals in Germany, which involves higher standard working hours but also stipulates higher salaries for university physicians compared to colleagues who are paid on the basis of the TdL (federal states' collective agreement). Physicians at university hospitals often divide their day-to-day work between the caring for patients, research and teaching. If their research work predominates for longer than twelve months, they fall into the TdL category. Medical representatives have been denouncing this situation for years, as it reduces physicians' motivation to do research. The tripartite division of physicians activities gives them more variety and interdisciplinary contacts, but they often sacrifice their free time as a result. According to a survey, three-quarters of physicians at university clinics work more than 48 hours a week, of these 23% more than 60 hours a week.
Salary in medicine: Differences between disciplines
As in the case of clinics, the salaries of physicians range widely depending on their specialist area. While the average surgeon earns a six-digit gross annual salary at €103,000, a general practitioner earns almost €40,000 less at €65,944. Although collective agreements treat all specialists equally, additional pay for night and on-call services or personnel responsibility result in salary differences.
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What does a dentist in Germany earn?
For prospective dentists, the trend towards employment in a practice has been evident for years. Founding or taking over a practice is no longer an option for many. The salary of an employed dentist varies widely and ranges between €34,500 and €54,200 per year. It increases considerably with growing experience, as illustrated by the additional article "Salary dentistry".
An underrated area: Medical technology
Their work is omnipresent in medical practices and clinics, yet they are often excluded from consideration in the professional field of medicine: medical technology. According to a survey, in 2016 the annual salary of engineers in the industry averaged €65,292 – €8,000 higher than the general average salaries of professionals and executives. At €48,038, earnings at the start of their career are only just below the starting salary of physicians. However, differences can be noted within the field of work: Large corporations pay better, women earn less than men and the salaries of medical technicians in Germany are higher in the north than those the south.
academics - December 2017
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