Startup & Tech Salary Trends: Berlin

Berlin Salary Trends surveys: For more transparency and lower noise

More information for the curious

*Munich was descoped, because we have not received enough responses

We’re doing it again after the great success of last summer’s first survey! This time, with an improved questionnaire and a clearer focus on startups and tech. On top, we are adding Munich, Germany’s second-largest tech & startup hub!

In short, Salary Trends is a hobby project to empower employees. It’s anonymous and community-powered because we believe knowing where you stand based on your experience, position, and industry is just … fantastic! Data on other platforms is often noisy and outdated, so let’s lower this noise together: each submission counts!

  • scope: Berlin with startup & tech focus
  • survey period: 1.3.2024 – 1.4.2024
  • total responses: 1302
  • valid responses: 1150

Team:

Media and important discussions:

Everyone working in companies or roles related to tech and startups. For example:

By company type:

  • Startups, early-stage to mature.
  • Tech companies focused on tech products or services.
  • Non-tech companies in traditional industries (e.g., manufacturing, finance, healthcare) with significant tech departments or roles.

By example roles (not a complete list!):

  • Technology & Development: Software Engineers, Web Developers, Full Stack Developers, DevOps Engineers, Product Managers, Information Security specialists, System Architects, Cloud people (hehe) and similar.
  • Data, Analytics & Finance: Data Scientists, ML Engineers, Data Analysts, Business Intelligence Analysts, Financial Analysts, Controllers, Accountants, Data Engineers and similar.
  • Marketing & Communications: Digital Marketers, SEO Specialists, Content Managers, Social Media Specialists, Copywriters, Public Relations Managers, Marketing Automation specialists, Brand strategists and similar.
  • Design & UX/UI: Graphic Designers, UX/UI Designers, Web Designers, Creative Directors, Art Directors, User Researchers, Interaction Designers and similar.
  • Sales, Customer Success & Operations: Supply Chain/Logistics Managers, Sales Representatives, Product Operations, Account Managers, Customer Success Specialists, Operations Managers, Business Development Managers and similar.
  • Business, Strategy & Legal Services: Risk Managers, Consultants, Business Analysts, Project Managers, Management Consultants, Strategy Analysts, Compliance Officers, Legal Professionals and similar.
  • Human Resources & Recruitment: HR Managers, Recruiters, Talent Acquisition Specialists, HR Analysts, Diversity and Inclusion Officers, Employee Engagement Specialists, Learning and Development Specialists, Office Managers and similar.
  • scope: Berlin
  • survey period: 2.6.2023 – 2.7.2023
  • total responses: 1061
  • valid responses: 970

Results:

In media:

Team:

  • Igor, handpickedberlin.com (design & execution of June 2023 survey)
  • Navid, Looker dashboard technical implementation (June 2023)
  • Akmal, Jupyter Notebook support and initial data analysis (June 2023)

Possibly Frequently Asked Questions

Why an anonymous survey?

Discussing money is taboo. How many times did you tell your colleague about how much you earn? Yes, probably never. We, the employees, have platforms like Kununu, Glassdoor, and Levels.fyi that provide salary information, but the data is noisy, inconsistent and inaccurate.

On the other hand, employers often have access to robust benchmarking services that give them good visibility into market metrics such as the number of applications per position, expected salary levels, and more. Regarding salary negotiation, this clearly tilts the balance in favour of employers.

This anonymous survey will not magically level this playing field, but it will provide a platform for the honest sharing of salary information. Hopefully, it will help you see how you compare to others and see where you stand. Numbers matter in every sense; the higher the number of submissions, the lower the noise.

So help us lower the noise together.

What are the goals and the benefits?

Our goal is to provide consistent and recurring data collection and analysis.

This will, in turn:

  • empower YOU to benchmark your salary against others in similar roles or industries, providing a clearer understanding of your market value,
  • improve transparency and fairness in performance reviews and interviews,
  • identify gaps within industries, roles or demographics,
  • serve as a valuable resource for employers to optimize their remuneration practices.

What is the plan?

Repeat the survey annually and potentially expand it to more cities in Germany.

How can you help and get involved?

You can help:

  • by participating,
  • by spreading the word on social media and elsewhere,
  • by volunteering to help in other areas.

Who is working on this?

The idea originated in issue #41 of a newsletter Handpicked Berlin. A poll “Would you participate in an anonymous salary survey for Berlin 2023?” had an excellent response rate (83% yes with 310 votes). 

You can find the current team in the overview at the top of this page. It’s a team of volunteers around Handpicked Berlin.

Where will the results be published?

  • Cleaned data will be available per request for research and non-commercial purposes under the license mentioned below.
  • An analysis/report will also be published as an article at handpickedberlin.com and Handpicked Berlin Substack.

Full disclosure (Igor): before releasing the first survey in July 2023, I intended to publish the data publicly in raw and cleaned format. However, after initial analysis, it became clear that the data could be easily abused or stolen, so I decided against it to ensure that proper measures preventing singling out are taken.

The survey results are licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike (CC BY-NC-SA). For usage and more info, see chapter License & Using Survey Data.

Who designed the survey?

  • Version March 2024: small improvements based on the learnings from the previous iteration.
  • Version June 2023: the survey is based on similar surveys with brevity in mind. It is also inspired by the European Social Survey and Destatis (Federal Statistical Office of Germany).

How can I use the data?

  • You can use it to benchmark yourself against others in similar roles or industries. 

License & Using Survey Data

The survey and the results are licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike (CC BY-NC-SA), which means you are free to use and share the data for non-commercial purposes. Non-commercial use does not include usage on monetized websites, blogs, etc., that can indirectly generate revenue or drive traffic due to the exposure of this data. To use and share the data, you must provide attribution to the original source, and any new works based on the data must also be licensed under the same terms. This license allows the data to be freely used and shared while still providing protection against commercial exploitation.

If you have any questions about how you can use the data or need to clarify whether your intended use is commercial or non-commercial, please refer to the CC BY-NC-SA license or contact the team for more information. In case of doubts, please ask.

Data Privacy and Confidentiality Disclaimer

Introduction

This policy outlines how we collect, store, use, and protect your data during this survey.

GDPR Compliance

As the private entity administrators of this survey, we operate under the assumption that we do not process personal data as per the GDPR definition, given the anonymous design of the survey. We make every effort to avoid any potential singling out of individuals. This includes grouping data points (for example job position titles) and removing any potentially identifiable information. Raw data will not be published anywhere. Any data that could lead to identification will be removed from the dataset. All questions have been designed to avoid collecting unnecessary or excessive data to focus on data minimization.

Anonymous Survey and Your Privacy

The survey is conducted anonymously. We do not collect any personally identifiable information (PII) such as names, addresses, email addresses, or IP addresses unless you voluntarily provide such information in free-form fields. These free-form entries will be removed. Individual responses won’t be singled out; the results would only be shared for research and other non-commercial purposes in a “clean format”, ensuring that no singling out would be possible.

“Clean format” means ensuring that “Roles” are not too specific (e.g. “Prime minister of Germany/Bundeskanzler” would be removed or, if appropriate, changed to “Elected official” or “Politician”). Similar to other positions, “cleaning” means avoiding specifically named positions that could lead to people being identified in combination with other data points.

Google Forms and Data Privacy

We use Google Forms for this survey. While we don’t collect identifiable information, Google may technically access this data. If you are logged into a Google account while participating, Google might collect and use your information according to its privacy policies. Thus, your responses may not be 100% anonymous from Google’s perspective.

You may consider using your browser’s incognito or private browsing mode to limit the potential for Google’s data collection when completing this survey. This mode prevents your browsing history from being stored and discards cookies after you close the incognito or private browsing window. Doing so reduces the chances of Google associating your survey responses with your Google account. However, this does not guarantee complete anonymity from Google’s perspective, as they may still collect certain information during your session.

Your Participation is Voluntary

Participation in this survey is entirely voluntary. You have the freedom not to answer certain questions or withdraw from the survey at any time. However, please avoid sharing sensitive information in free-form fields that you wouldn’t want publicly associated with your responses.

Data Usage

The data collected will be used to create a public report on salary trends in the cities of scope. This report will be openly available, supporting transparency in salary discussions. If you consent to participate in this survey, you agree to this use of the data.

Cleaned data might be shared for research or non-commercial purposes.

User Access and Correction of Data

Due to the anonymous nature of the survey, we cannot provide an option for participants to access or correct their data post-submission. We cannot identify your specific responses unless you voluntarily identifed yourself in any of the free-form text fields. Please review your answers carefully before submitting, as we can’t facilitate modifications once the data is collected.

Data Storage and Retention

All the cleaned data collected from the survey responses is stored indefinitely in Google Forms/Sheets and visualisation dashboards. This data could be shared under the license defined in the ‘License & Usage of Survey Data’ section. The collected data will be retained for historical reference and to track salary trends over time.

Consent to Participate

By proceeding with the survey, you confirm your understanding of these details and voluntarily consent to participate under these conditions.

Contact

If you have any concerns or questions regarding this policy, contact the team.