Have you ever considered working abroad as a nurse? How about working in Germany? To help you with your decision-making process, this article focuses on how much you can earn as a nurse in Germany, including your gross pay, net pay, deductions and expenses.
All of the information in this article is shared by OFW YouTuber HEYabby through a video she made about the topic. If you’re interested to know more, you can visit the original video in the link below and you can browse through her other related videos in the channel.
Disclaimer: The information posted here is based on the personal experiences shared by the OFW in the video below. Please let this post serve as a guide only. If you have specific questions, you may ask the OFW by commenting on their video on their accounts.
How Much Can You Earn as a Nurse in Germany?
In this video, Abby answers some questions that some of her subscribers asked. One person asked about the net salary a nurse can earn in Germany, after taxes and costs of living are deducted. The said person is deciding between going to Saudi or Germany, and is initially inclined to work in Saudi because there’s no tax.
The next subscriber wanted to know about the starting salary of a nurse in Germany, and how much money a nurse can save after all costs are accounted for. Basically the same question asked by the first subscriber.
To answer these questions, she shared her first pay slip, for the month of April 2018, and shared relevant information about the salary of nurses in Germany. The information presented below is definitely useful and can help you decide if you’re trying to figure out where you want to work as a nurse abroad.
How Salary is Computed
The basic formula is gross pay minus deductions equals net pay. In Germany, she shared that gross pay is called brutto. Deductions are called steuer or zuschlag, and net pay is called netto.
When it comes to taxes, there are 8 basic ones in Germany. Sometimes though, you have the option of not declaring one of the taxes so you don’t have to pay for that one.
Basic Taxes in Germany
So what are the basic taxes in Germany? Here they are:
- Kirchensteuer – This is your church tax; it is something that you don’t have to declare so you don’t have to pay for it. But if you don’t declare this, you are basically saying that you are an atheist since you don’t have a religion. That’s okay though since a lot of people do it according to Abby, but she declared it because she’s a Roman Catholic and she pays taxes to the church.
- Solidaritätzuschlag – For this tax, you are paying 5.5 percent of your wages. It goes to the government.
- Arbeitslosenversicherung – This tax is shared by you and your employer, 50 percent each. This ensures that when you get fired from your job, you will have money to spend to sustain you while you are looking for another job.
- Rentenversicherung – this tax is your pension, and is 18.7 percent of your salary. It’s really high but you pay only 50 percent of this, while the other 50 percent is paid by your employer.
- Krankenversicherung – this is your health insurance and is 14.6 percent of your gross wage. Because of this tax, you don’t have to pay anything when you get a medical checkup. Also, through this tax, your only be paying 5 euros for any medicine no matter how expensive it is.
- Pflegeversicherung – this is equivalent to SSS in the Philippines. It takes 2.55 percent of your gross wage.
- Zusatzbeitrag – similar to solidaritätzuschlag in the sense that it serves the same purpose. Abby says the government is trying to eliminate this tax, which is a good thing since that will help reduce the deductions and get a higher net pay.
So when our YouTuber first entered Germany to work as a nurse, she was offered a salary of 2,325.89 Euros, which is equivalent to 133,157 Philippine pesos per month.
The deductions in taxes all reduce that gross pay into a net pay of 1,589.05 Euros, which is equivalent to 90,977 Philippine pesos per month.
However, she came to Germany in March 2018, but didn’t start working until April, 2018. That’s why her employer gave her a salary advance of 500 Euro, but that was deducted by April.
Also, during March she had a job but was paid 306 Euros, but that was taxed so the March salary deductions were 143.40 Euro.
All in all, she earned a salary of 1,327.62 Euros, or 76,155 Philippine Pesos for the month of April.
The following is a summary of Abby’s living expenses.
She used to stay in a 35 square meter apartment. While it is small, the advantage is that it is a really beautiful place and complete with all the appliances and furniture you need. So basically you don’t have to buy anything and just live there instantly.
Aside from that, the monthly rent also takes care of the electricity bill, water bill and internet bill. Plus, it is located in the city center and the work place is basically just a walking distance away. The monthly rent though is 600 Euros which is kind of high.
For food, our YouTuber spends around 100 to 150 Euro per month. At that rate, you can spend eating out and actually 100 Euro is more than enough for one month’s expenses in food.
Going back to the expenses, if you spend 600 Euro on accommodation and the bills that go along with it, and spend 150 Euro on food, then what you have left is 577.62 Euros, or 33,052 Philippine Pesos. Not a lot left.
The good thing is that she’s earning so much more than this nowadays. This was just her starting salary.
How to Get a Bigger Salary
Now before you get discouraged about working in Germany because of the salary presented here, just remember that this was her initial earnings. In fact, there are ways to increase your salary while working as a nurse in Germany. Here are some of them as summarized in the video:
Stufe – Stufe is seniority. If you have more experience working as a nurse, then you will get paid more.
Special Units – If you are working at special units, then you will be paid higher wages. Examples of these special units include operations, intensive units, anesthetics, etc. In her case, she is working in a special unit so she earns a little bit more compared to other nurses working in other areas.
Night Duty – Like in most other places in the world, when you work extra hours at night, you will earn a lot more. She estimates that you will get an additional 200 to 300 Euros into your salary, but that really depends on how many night duty hours you put work in.
Steurklassen – In English, this means tax classes, and it determines how much income tax you pay. So when can you have lower taxes? That happens when you already have a husband or wife, and even more if you have kids. Also if your spouse is earning little or no income. For singles though, you pay more taxes.
Fully Recognized Nurse – In Germany, the acronym for this is GKP. If you have this, then you will definitely get a higher offer.
Nebenjob – in English, this means part time job. A typical part time job is minimum 16 hours of work, which amounts to around 400 to 450 Euros. What’s even better is that this is tax free.
Here are some more details on the living expenses you may have while working in Germany.
You can save money with accommodation if you are willing to live with other people. That way you get to share the payment for rent with them. Also, if you’re lucky, the hospital you are working in can give you free accommodation, or they can offer it at a lower price, around 150 euros a month.
You can also choose an accommodation that is farther from the city to save. They are usually cheaper outside the city, but that obviously means you have to spend more on transportation and travel time.
Another advantage of living outside the city is that your other expenses, such as food, are cheaper as well.
Indeed, there are pros and cons to working abroad, whether it be as a nurse in Germany or anywhere else in the world. While the salary is definitely higher compared to that in the Philippines, the most important thing is for you to plan for your future and grow your savings.