Social work – what does this actually mean? And what is the difference between social work and social pedagogy? The terms themselves provide the first clue: While "work" describes a general activity, "pedagogy" refers to education or instruction. There are also differences in the historical development of both professions: Social pedagogy developed from extracurricular support provided to children and adolescents, while social work has its origins in relief for the poor. Ultimately, both areas are now closely interwoven. However, social education workers generally work as educators outside school or as family helpers, while social workers tend to care for socially disadvantaged people in difficult life situations.
What does payment on the basis of a collective agreement mean?
Social workers and social education workers are often employed by the federal government or municipalities. Their salary is then determined on the basis of the applicable collective agreement for civil servants (TVoeD). In order to take the range of different tasks involved in social work into account, a separate table was introduced for social and educational services at the local level (TVoeD-SuE). It is divided into different groups, whereby groups S 11 to S 18 apply to graduate social workers and social education workers. Within these groups, there are several stages of development, which depend on the duration of employment. The starting salary of social workers and social education workers is therefore between €2,784 and €3,610 per month, depending on their role. With increasing experience, their salary will increase to a maximum of €4,152 and €5,446 euros per month, depending on the role, after 17 years of employment. The valid salary table, current information and a salary calculator are provided on an independent public service platform.
How much does an independent social worker earn in Germany in the private sector?
If the employer does not pay salaries on the basis of the civil service collective agreement, for example if they are in the private sector, the average earnings for social workers are between €2,540 and €3,380. This range is indicative – factors such as industry, company size, professional experience federal state have a significant impact on the actual pay received. For example, the earnings prospects for social workers are highest in Hesse with an average of €3,343. Baden-Wurttemberg (€3,190), Bavaria (€3,094) and Hamburg (€3,067) also offer good prospects. Social workers in the new federal states earn the least money: The monthly gross income here is between €2,199 (Mecklenburg-Vorpommern) and €2,322 (Thuringia).
Does a longer education mean more pay?
In addition to local differences, the earnings of social workers in the private sector also depend on their professional qualifications. With higher qualifications, workers can take on more professional responsibility and earn more. For example, social workers with a master's degree generally have better earnings prospects than those with a bachelor's degree. They often work in senior or managerial positions with personnel responsibility earning salaries of over €4,000 per month. Social workers can start their career with a bachelor's degree and catch up with a master's degree while working, thereby improving their salary prospects. This also applies to workers who specialise in a certain field, e.g. occupational social work. In this specialism, average salaries on the open market range between €3,270 and €6,534 per month, depending on the federal state. This is much more than what a social worker earns, for example, in the youth welfare office (€2,601–€3,426).
Which factors influence the earnings of social education workers in Germany?
The average starting salary of social education workers is around €2,300. Income increases with increasing professional experience – especially if the employee undertakes further training, as this significantly strengthens their bargaining position during salary negotiations. As a rule, public and church employers pay slightly less than private providers. The size of the employer also has a significant influence on how much social education workers earn. The following applies: The bigger the company, the higher the salary.
Compared to many other occupational fields, the salary difference between women and men in social education workers is fairly low. On average, male employees receive a gross monthly salary of €2,903 and their female colleagues earn €2,622. The same applies to all: Social education workers with a master's degree are more likely to be promoted and therefore earn more.
Are there any local differences in the salaries of social education workers in Germany?
In the case of social education workers, who are not paid on the basis of a collective agreement, salaries vary depending on the job – the pay gap between the individual federal states is just under €1,300. The average gross monthly salary for a graduate social worker is the highest in Hesse at €3,729, while the lowest level can be found in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania at €2,452. Those interested in working in the big city in the future should search for a suitable job in Frankfurt am Main: Here, the monthly gross salary of a graduate social worker is the most attractive at €4,011 on average, according to the salary portal Gehalt.de. You will earn the least in Leipzig (€2,716).
What are the earnings prospects in the academic sector?
Researchers at a university, doctoral candidates and postdocs are usually paid according to the collective agreement for civil service of the federal states (TV-L) for Pay band 13. Within this group, there are different levels of experience, which depend on the number of research or years in the profession. Professors and junior professors, on the other hand, earn salaries based on the W pay scale. This consists of their basic salary, a family allowance and additional performance bonuses.