Starting salaries

Salary information for young professionals: inside

GDCh members can find more information on salaries for young professionals: at MyGDCh. You can reach the area reserved for members by entering your membership number and password at the top left of this page. The starting salaries can be found under "Special Offers" and then "Salaries".

In the GDCh graduate brochure "Career Entry in Chemistry" you will find overview articles on the world of work, career entry and the future as well as the chapter Money with information on starting salaries for chemistry graduates as well as scholarships and research grants for young scientists.

A rough overview of the starting salaries of chemists: inside the public service, inside and outside the chemical industry, is provided by the following graphic and further information on this page.

Please note that this graphic serves as a guide. The first bar can be seen as the "minimum" and the last bar as the absolute maximum.

The maximum value should only be specified as the salary expectations if all the requirements are met and the fit between your own qualifications and the job advertisement is optimal.

Salaries in the chemical industry

Collective agreement of the chemical industry

The official annual salaries for academic technical and scientific employees in the chemical industry are negotiated by the Association of Salaried Academics and Managers in the Chemical Industry (VAA) and the Federal Employers' Association for Chemistry (BAVC). In December 2019, the minimum annual salaries for the second year of employment in 2020 and 2021 were redefined:


for employees with a diploma / master?s degree: 67,600 euros;
for employees with a doctorate: 78,750 euros.


for employees with a diploma / master?s degree: 68,550 euros;
for employees with a doctorate: 79,875 euros.

For the first year of employment, the remuneration can be freely agreed between employer and employee as before. They are rather below the amount for the second year of employment. Technical and scientific employees with a master?s degree are generally classified as qualified employees.


It should be noted that many, especially small and medium-sized companies that employ chemists are not represented in the Federal Chemical Employers' Association and are therefore not bound by its tariffs. The salaries there are usually lower. This is also the case in most companies outside the chemical industry.

There are no tariffs for experienced chemists. Performance and success determine the classification.

Public Service Salaries

In the public sector, graduates with a university degree are usually classified according to the corresponding TVöD or TVL tariffs.

The corresponding pay groups are regulated in the respective collective agreements.

Each salary group is divided into six levels (1-2 basic levels, 3-6 development levels). With work experience with the same employer, you can move up to the next higher level after a specified period of time. Salary groups 13 - 15 are reserved for employees with a scientific university degree / master's degree. A doctorate does not lead to a placement in a higher tariff group.

HAW graduates: inside (formerly FH) and chemistry bachelors are grouped in E9 to E12. Entry-level positions with a higher level of responsibility (personnel responsibility / budget responsibility) are rewarded with salary group 14.

Which collective bargaining agreement is binding and which salary group is intended for the position can usually already be found out from the job advertisement. The collective agreements and the corresponding pay groups (grouping) as well as collective bargaining agreements (amount of the salary in the respective group) are publicly available on the Internet.

Salaries in food chemistry

For the first time, the Young food chemistry Working Group has carried out a salary survey on starting salaries at food chemists.

For starting a career as a food chemist: there was a range of salaries from 40,000 to 45,000 euros gross annually.

All evaluations and further information on the survey can be found in the "MyGDCh" area under "Salaries for chemists".

Salaries abroad

country information
since 2012, information on the salary has to be given in the job advertisement
Swiss Federal Statistical Office


American Chemical Society
ACS Salary and Employment Status Survey

separate reports for young professionals: inside and professional experience

Other countries

If you have any questions about salaries for experienced professionals abroad, the chemical societies of the respective country may be able to provide information

Salaries in non-academic chemistry professions (chemical laboratory assistant: in, CTA, etc.)

For chemical specialists with an apprenticeship background, the salaries in the chemical industry are regulated by the collective agreements of the respective group countries. These are negotiated by the company representative (BAVC; Federal Chemicals Employers' Association) and the employee representative (IG BCE; Mining, Chemical and Energy Industrial Union).

The grouping is done according to pay groups, similar to the public service. The collective wage agreements with the respective regulated income for the corresponding group can be viewed freely on the Internet, as is the case for the public sector.

In the GDCh graduate: inside brochures "Career prospects in chemistry " (explicitly for specialists with a training background) and "Career entry in chemistry " you will find useful information on career entry and experience reports from career starters as well as detailed overview articles on the subject of salaries.

A list of the pay groups in the chemical industry can be found below:

Pay group Explanation

Requirement 3-year completed vocational training or employees: in who demonstrate comparable skills through a corresponding number of years of practical experience, e.g. chemical technician: in, pharmacist: in


are given to employees who have skills above those of E6 (completed training that requires a higher degree of abstraction of the learning content) and who are carried out according to instructions, e.g. chemical laboratory technicians: inside e.g. carrying out routine analyzes, test procedures or preparative work according to standard company methods


E7 qualification plus regularly difficult activities that are carried out independently. Furthermore, you need special knowledge through additional company training in order to carry out these activities. Usually a longer occupation in E7 precedes, for example: complicated device controls of e.g. spectrometers or gas chromatographs or working with multi-stage preparations


E8 plus higher quality commercial or technical activities that are carried out according to instructions and that either require completed, function-related vocational training or who have additionally acquired job-specific specialist knowledge. For example: revise / create procedural regulations, optimization work in relation to production-related activities, administrative tasks


The prerequisite is high-quality technical tasks that are carried out independently according to general instructions. Vocational training with additional qualification as: r chemical technician: in or comparable is necessary. Example: Optimizing or developing new test procedures or methods, production support, monitoring work processes in the technical center coupled with special expertise in analysis or synthesis


Employees: those who have successfully completed a technical college entrance qualification, for example engineers or laboratory assistants with high-quality tasks that are also responsible for personnel and / or for cost centers and budgets.

The following graphic provides a rough overview of the starting salaries (monthly salaries) of chemical specialists with a training background in the public service and in the chemical industry. Another possibility is a survey by the Hans Böckler Foundation at

Explanation of the graphic

* without a pro rata annual special payment
** each federal state with the highest and lowest tariff

Income survey

Information on the member income survey can be found here.

This page has been machine translated. If you have any feedback or comments please feel free to contact us.

last modified: 10.05.2021 15:19 H from K.J.Schmitz