Why are government officials paid high

Official salary: this is how much you can earn

Table of Contents

  1. Salary
  2. Salary preparation service
  3. Starting salary
  4. Influencing factors
  5. Promotion opportunities
  6. overview
  7. Self test

Definition: salary

Instead of a salary, civil servants receive a salary. A salary is made up of one Base salary and several bonusessuch as family allowances and foreign allowances. The salary level is in the Federal or state salary laws regulated. Civil servants always receive their salaries in advance and not at the end of the month.

This is how much you earn in the preparatory service / traineeship

Around To become a civil servant, you have to do a preparatory service. For example, if you want to become a teacher, you will complete a two-year traineeship after your studies, which is equivalent to a preparatory service in others Civil servants. The Preparatory service counts as your training and you will be rewarded accordingly. As a civil servant, you do not receive a salary, but a salary. This is regulated in the civil service salary laws and divided into different salary groups. In your preparatory service you are considered to be Candidate for civil service. In this case, you will receive candidate payments based on the salary of your entry-level position. You will receive at least 30 percent of the salary that you would get in your entry-level office. Applicant payments apply to the applicants for the Grades A2 to A13 and R1. The salaries of the candidates differ, just like the salaries of civil servants, from federal state to federal state. In the following table we have the Candidate remuneration of the federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia collected:

GradeGross salary per month
AW A5-A81.299,78
AW A9-A111.355,68
AW A121.500,37
AW A131.533,28
AW A13Z1.569,43
AW R11.569,43

Starting salary as a civil servant

Your starting salary as a civil servant depends on the grade into which you are assigned. This in turn depends on the entry office. As a teacher at a primary school, for example, you will be assigned to salary group A12 in many federal states. In general, grades A form the majority of the civil service. Officials of the simple, middle, upper and sometimes also higher service classified. Additionally there is the Grades B for senior service and generals, R for judges and public prosecutors and W for professors. Grade A is divided into 16 subgroups. The starting salaries in North Rhine-Westphalia range from EUR 2,376.09 gross per month up to EUR 5,950.11 gross per month. In salary group B, the starting salaries are also the final salaries. They range from 6,763.72 euros gross per month to 14,105.40 euros gross per month. The situation is similar for grade W. Here the salaries are between 4,726.83 euros and 6,871.22 euros gross per month. Judges and public prosecutors are paid according to grade R and receive between EUR 4,497.91 and EUR 1,0891.49 gross per month.

Starting salary grades A

GradeGross salary per month

Starting salary grades B

GradeGross salary per month

Starting salary grades W

GradeGross salary per month

Starting salary grades R

GradeGross salary per month

Factors influencing the civil servant's salary

The Civil servant salary is not the same for every civil servant. It is influenced by many factors. We will explain the most important of them to you.


The grade is the biggest influencing factor for that Civil servant salary. Depending on which office you perform, you will be sorted into a different grade. A distinction is made between the grades in the Groups A, B, R and W, whereby the groups are divided into individual subgroups. Most civil servants are assigned to grade A. Group A has a total of 16 subgroups. In Lower Saxony, for example, teachers are assigned to groups A12 and A13 when they start their careers. The Teacher salary is EUR 3,721.97 gross per month in grade A12 and EUR 4,175.22 gross per month in A13. Many different professions can be found in grade A, for exampleFinance economists or Justice security officers

The Grade B is for civil servants in higher service certainly. For example be Heads of state authorities and department directors grouped here. The group is divided into ten subgroups and that Civil servant salary here in Lower Saxony is between 6,758.43 euros and 13,520.90 euros gross per month.

Judges and Public prosecutors will be in the Grades R sorted. There are a total of ten, but in some federal states only eight, different subgroups of grade R. However, grade R1 has not been reassigned since 2013. In the grade R2 become Presiding judges at the regional or administrative court and directors of local, social or labor courts. In Lower Saxony you earn 5,197.34 euros gross per month. The presidents of the Federal Court of Justice, the Federal Labor Court, the Federal Social Court and the Federal Fiscal Court earn the most. They are assigned to grade R10 and receive a gross salary of EUR 14,808.25 per month. So they belong to the highest paid professions.

The fourth grade is that Group W. It is only divided into three subgroups and will be after it Professors at technical colleges and universities paid. As Junior professor do you start in the Grade W1 and earn EUR 4,898.68 gross per month in Lower Saxony. Professors are grouped in W2 and can expect a gross salary of 6,085.88 euros per month. Chair holders and institute directors can obtain a gross salary of 6,801.88 euros per month in the Grade W3 looking forward.

federal state

The state plays a role Civil servant salary a major role. Because civil servants who are not employed by the federal government are paid by the state ministries. The However, the federal states regulate the salaries of their civil servants differently and so there are differences within Germany. Example: A civil servant in grade A8 earns 2,657.82 gross per month when entering Baden-Württemberg. In Saarland, on the other hand, a civil servant of the same grade earns only 2,483.95 euros gross per month. For the same job, you earn 173.87 euros less gross per month in Saarland than in Baden-Württemberg.

Experience level

As a civil servant in grades A and R, you have the advantage that your professional experience is directly reflected in your salary. The grades are namely in each case divided into levels of experience. The higher your experience level, the more you earn without changing your grade. To move up a level, you just have to be active in your job. The The level change takes place automatically after a fixed number of years of work. In grade A, there are two professional years between levels one to five. From the fifth to the ninth you have to wait three years for a step up and between the ninth and twelfth four years. It's less complicated in grades R1 and R2: this is where you wait for one step up every two years. There are no experience levels in the other grades. As you progress through experience levels, you can get your Increase salary significantly. As a civil servant in grade A7, you earn EUR 2,491.95 gross per month at the first level of experience. At the highest level of experience, you can look forward to 3,128.36 euros gross per month. Just through the increase in experience levels you can in the Grade A7 increase your gross salary by 636.41 euros per month.


Civil servants receive in addition to their salary various surcharges. For example, as a civil servant, you receive an allowance for being married or for each child, similar to child benefit. There are also:

  • Official surcharges for a prominent position
  • Foreign surcharges for activities abroad
  • Difficulty surcharges, for example if you have to work night shift
  • Anniversary surcharges
  • Performance bonuses for special achievements
  • Annual special payments
  • Employment allowances for temporary prominent functions
  • Pay for overtime
  • Asset-creating benefits, such as property promotion

Promotion opportunities as a civil servant

The Opportunities for advancement as a civil servant are very limited. You will not necessarily be promoted to good and hardworking work, but will apply rigid rules to become a civil servant. For example, you have to apply for an advertised promotion position, have completed a certain degree or hope that you will be suggested by a supervisor. Public service employees often go to court to obtain a Sue for promotion. In many cases it will be Promotion positions are only advertised internallyso that you have little chance of changing authority on the job market and thereby advancing.

Overview: all information on civil servants' salaries

  • The salary of civil servants differs from state to state.
  • With increasing professional experience, your salary also increases.
  • In addition to your salary, you receive various bonuses.

Self-assessment: Are you suitable as a civil servant?

Are you still not sure whether you want to become a civil servant or whether you are even suitable? Our test shows you whether you meet the most important requirements.