Entry-level salaries in the aviation sector

Entry-level salaries in the aviation sector

Aerospace offers top salaries

The StepStone salary report 2019 is one of the most popular sources to compare salaries in different industries in Germany. In 2019, this salary comparison looked very good for aerospace professionals and managers. This is because aerospace is in the top positions for many occupational groups.

Irrespective of occupational groups, aerospace is in sixth place with an average gross annual salary of €66,188. Aerospace engineers come in seventh place in the sector comparison with €66,840, in purchasing and logistics in third place with € 59,178 and in economics even in second place with €81,389. The sector is particularly attractive in technical occupations, where employees earn €52,507 on average per year and are thus the technicians with the highest income. A strong argument for entering or switching to the sector.

The task/function factor in the aerospace industry

The salary level depends on the tasks and duties involved in the various professions and the additional qualifications acquired. Air traffic controllers, for example, take on a great deal of responsibility and are paid accordingly higher salaries.

The high earners within the industry also include jobs in manufacturing, research and development and IT. Here the annual starting salary is between €45,000 and €50,000. This is followed by sales and purchasing in the middle salary range of around €40,000 to €45,000. In human resources and marketing, the earnings at the beginning of the career are the lowest in comparison, at around €30,000 to €35,000 per year.

In principle, engineers are part of the best-paid workforce, with aerospace engineers being ahead of the competition. According to ABSOLVENTA, their average entry-level salary is €45,000 euros per year. The range is between €38,000 and €53,000. This is higher than the starting salary of engineers from other industries, such as mechanical engineering or in the automotive sector. With the professional experience, the income also increases. The prospect of an average salary above €60,000 is attractive. 

In the list of the top 100 employers for engineers, companies such as the Airbus Group (6th place), Lufthansa Technik (9th place), the German Aerospace Center DLR (12th place) and the ESA European Space Agency (13th place) are among the top 15.

The education level factor

In Germany, the starting salary depends primarily on the specific degree, the university, your final grade or other factors are more secondary. Thus, on average, earnings are significantly lower with a completed apprenticeship than with a completed degree; this trend is even increasing at the moment. With a further training following the apprenticeship and a master craftsman’s or specialist degree, income also increases.

The factor employer in aviation

The most important variable in determining salary is the employer. It is true: the larger the company, the higher the salary. The XING Salary Survey 2019 shows that companies with up to 200 employees pay an average of around €7,000 less for technical professions than companies with more than 1,000 employees. For example, Airbus, a company with several thousand employees, offers its employees an entry-level salary of around €48,000 to €53,000, including vacation and Christmas bonuses.

The factor region

In fact, it is still the case that salaries in Germany vary from one federal state to another. The leading states in terms of entry-level salaries are still Hesse, Bavaria and Baden-Wuerttemberg. This is not surprising, however, as these are three very economically strong regions. The worst performing states are Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Thuringia and Saxony. Depending on the location, the salary can therefore vary considerably.

Money is not everything

What often sounds like a hackneyed phrase is nevertheless reality. According to a study conducted by the XING career portal, one in two employees would change jobs in order to experience more responsibility and meaningfulness. One of the reasons for this is the fact that more and more followers from the Y and Z generations are entering professional life. They would also accept a lower salary if the job is fulfilling.

Misconception about flight personnel

Jobs of flying personnel, i.e. pilots and cabin crew, are preceded by an excellent reputation; they see the world in their dream job and earn excellent money at the same time. However, times have changed even in the prestigious aviation industry. The ever-increasing price war ensures that every cent is planned and distributed precisely. This is especially true for the cost center personnel. In commercial aviation, it is currently difficult to find well-paid and attractive jobs. This requires countless flying hours and the basic willingness to leave home temporarily. Even training costs are often forgotten when salaries are attractive. These often amount to around €100,000, which the prospective pilots have to pay themselves – without the guarantee of being taken over by an airline. Furthermore, pilot training cannot be compared to a craft apprenticeship, as only licences are acquired which are more similar to a driving licence. The licenses can be lost due to health restrictions or misconduct and thus also cause the loss of a job. Occupational disability insurance, for example, is intended to counteract this. But even these are comparatively price-intensive and start at around €500 per month. In addition to the €100,000 training costs and the rather mediocre starting salaries, the financial prospects here are therefore only slightly rosy. There are also age-related restrictions, as very few people succeed in starting a career after 25 years of age.

A similar picture emerges for cabin crew. Although salaries are even worse and cabin crew members also have no apprenticeship in the narrower sense, they can find an acceptable job with above average flexibility. The decisive difference is that the training course of several weeks is paid for by the airline and you do not lose your work permit as quickly as pilots. The ideal situation is a job as a steward for a limited period of time, e.g. after graduating from high school for orientation (some airlines even have working students in the cabin) or just for a longer transition period.

Entry level salaries in the aerospace industry in comparison

You should always check whether the annual salary refers to 12 monthly salaries, or whether bonuses such as a 13th month’s salary or special payments agreed in collective agreements are already included.

The salary certainly plays a decisive role in the choice of career. Nevertheless, it should be more critical that the work is done with pleasure. If, in addition, the working environment and the working climate in the team are right, that is already half the battle.

Looking for a job in aviation? ARTS, as a service provider specializing in the aerospace industry, offers numerous open jobs.

We are looking forward to your application!

Career with wings - The aviation industry offers lucrative starting salaries

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