Starting salaries

Salary information for new entrants

GDCh members can find more information on salaries for new entrants to the profession at MyGDCh. You can access the area reserved for members by entering your membership number and password at the top left of this page. You can find the starting salaries under "special offers" and then "salaries".

In the GDCh graduate brochure "Starting a career in chemistry" you will find overview articles on the topics of the world of work, starting a career and the future, as well as the chapter on money with information on starting salaries for chemistry graduates as well as scholarships and research funding for young scientists.

The following graphic and the additional information on this page provide a rough overview of the starting salaries of Chemists in Civil Service, within and outside the chemical industry.

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.

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

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 Academics and Executives in the Chemical Industry (VAA) and the Federal Employers' Association for the Chemical Industry (BAVC). In November 2022, the minimum annual salary for the second year of employment in 2022 and 2023 was redefined:


for employees with a diploma/master's degree: 69,000 euros;
for employees with a doctorate: 80,200 euros.


for employees with a diploma/master's degree: 71,250 euros;
for employees with a doctorate: 82,825 euros.

For the first year of employment, the remuneration can be freely agreed between employer and employee as before. They tend to be less than the amount for the second year of employment. Technical and scientific employees with a master's degree are usually 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. Salaries are usually lower there. 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 relevant 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). Through professional 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 university degree/master’s degree. A promotion does not lead to a classification in a higher tariff group.

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

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

Salaries in food chemistry

For the first time, the AG Junge food chemistry has conducted a salary survey on starting salaries for food chemists.

For starting a career as a food chemist, the gross annual salary ranged from 40,000 to 45,000 euros.

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, salary information must be given in the job advertisement
Swiss Federal Statistical Office


American Chemical Society
ACS Salary and Employment Status Survey

separate reports for young professionals and experienced professionals

Other countries

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

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

For chemical specialists with a training background, salaries in the chemical industry are regulated by the collective agreements of the respective member states. These are negotiated by the representative of the companies (BAVC; Federal Employers' Association of the Chemical Industry) and the representative of the employees (IG BCE; Industrial Union of Mining, Chemical and Energy).

The classification is based on salary groups, similar to the public sector. The wage agreements with the respective regulated income for the corresponding group are freely available on the Internet, as is the case for the public sector.

In the GDCh graduate brochures " Career prospects in chemistry " (explicitly for specialists with a training background) and " Starting a career in chemistry " you will find useful information on starting a career and reports from newcomers to the profession, as well as detailed overview articles on the subject of salary.

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

Salary group Explanation

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


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


E7 qualification plus regular difficult tasks that are carried out independently. Furthermore, you need special knowledge through additional company training to carry out these tasks. This is usually preceded by a longer period of employment in E7, e.g. complicated device controls of spectrometers or gas chromatographs or working with multi-stage preparations


E8 plus higher-level commercial or technical activities that are carried out according to instructions and that either require completed function-related vocational training or who have acquired additional activity-specific specialist knowledge. E.g.: revising/creating procedural regulations, optimisation 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 qualifications as a chemical technician or similar is necessary. Example: optimizing or developing new test procedures or methods, production support, monitoring work processes in the technical center coupled with special specialist knowledge in analysis or synthesis.


Employees with a successful university entrance qualification, e.g. engineers or laboratory technicians with high-quality technical tasks who also have personnel responsibility and/or responsibility 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 sector and the chemical industry. Another option is a survey by the Hans Böckler Foundation at

Explanation of the graphic

* without pro rata annual special payment
**Federal state with 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: 25.06.2024 13:59 H from N/A