What is success for a civil engineer

It is well known that engineers make good money. But what exactly is the situation with civil engineers? What starting salary can be expected after graduation? And what happens later? We have made ourselves smart and show you what salary fresh graduates can expect and what is on the payroll after several years of professional experience.

Civil engineer: salary at the start of the career

As a fresh university graduate you have of course not been able to gain much professional experience, so you have predominantly theoretical knowledge, which is very valuable. Graduates of civil engineering courses can count on a nice salary even when they start their careers. This is often between 30,000 and 45,000 euros gross / year.

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Civil engineers tend to earn less than many other engineers. Your salary is still good and studying is definitely worth it: academics earn significantly more than those who have gained a professional foothold through training in the construction industry.

What does it depend on how high the salary is?

In our article on salary in engineering, we explain the various factors that affect your salary in great detail. In a nutshell: Your salary is determined by, among other things

  • the region in which you work (the differences between the federal states can be serious),
  • the company itself (size, connection to a collective agreement, economic success),
  • the industry (after all, civil engineers are needed everywhere) as well
  • your qualifications (degree, position, professional experience).

Income development of civil engineers

With the years of professional experience, the salary of civil engineers also increases.

work experience


<2 years of work experience

42,340 euros

3 - 5 years of professional experience

51,079 euros

6-10 years of professional experience

60,231 euros

> 10 years of professional experience

57,596 euros

Source: Stepstone Salary Report 2018

As you can see, the more work experience you gain, the more knowledge and skills you have acquired and that has a direct impact on your salary.

But not only that: After a few years of professional experience, it usually becomes clearer how and where you want to work: whether in an engineering office or a construction company, whether in project coordination or in the technical area. The more responsible the tasks, the higher the salary as a rule. Civil engineers who climb the career ladder within their company and have worked their way up to a higher position naturally also earn more. So if you are steadily advancing, from assistant work to team management to supervisor position, you will always get a higher salary.

Examples: salaries of civil engineers




Male, 35 years

Civil engineer in civil engineering

4,231 euros

Female, 38 years

Civil engineer, structural engineer in an engineering office

3,025 euros

Male, 31 years

Civil engineer in an engineering office

3,533 euros

Male, 44 years

Civil engineer, structural engineer in an engineering office

4,700 euros

Female, 33 years

Civil engineer, structural engineer in civil engineering

4,882 euros

Male, 52 years

Civil engineer in civil engineering

7,812 euros

Male, 55 years

Construction manager in the craft

5,411 euros

Male, 30 years

Site manager in construction

4,401 euros

Male, 50 years

Site manager, builder in an engineering office

4,839 euros

Male, 37 years

Project manager under construction

7,671 euros

Male, 46 years

Civil engineer in the project management

5,947 euros

Male, 24 years

Engineer in project management

3,049 euros

Female, 55 years

Real estate construction technician

3,993 euros

Male, 48 years

Construction technician real estate

3,947 euros

Source: Salary.de

The salary figures listed here are only for Single exampleswhich don't tell you what degree the person has, what region they work in, whether the company is large, pays by collective agreement, etc. However, they can certainly help you estimate the monthly salary of a civil engineer.

Additional services that civil engineers can count on

Incidentally, both career starters and those with professional experience often receive attractive additional benefits such as:

  • own company car
  • Laptop & mobile phone (also for private use)
  • Vacation pay
  • Christmas bonus
  • 13th month salary
  • if applicable, bonuses
  • paid overtime

So if you are preparing for a salary negotiation, also consider the possible additional benefits that your employer can offer you.

More facts about the civil engineer salary

As in all professions, the salary of a civil engineer depends on various factors.

Bachelor or Master

For example, whether you have a bachelor's or master's degree. Although you can earn good money with a civil engineering bachelor's degree and get a crisis-proof job, those who specialize and acquire specialist knowledge with a master’s degree will have an easier time on the career ladder and thus improve the chance of a higher salary.

Collective agreement

The connection of a company to a collective agreement should not be underestimated. As the wage index from the Economic and Social Science Institute (WSI) of the Heinz Böckler Foundation shows, civil engineers with a collective agreement earn 23.3 percent more than those in companies without a collective agreement.


Already mentioned, but extremely important when it comes to the salary level: If you compare the salaries of engineers in Germany at the federal state level, there are still large discrepancies between East and West. However, one must bear in mind that the cost of living in the eastern federal states is usually lower than in the western federal states.

Already looking for a job in engineering? Here you can search for vacancies throughout Germany.