Germany is tapping skilled South Africans to fill these 20 jobs – with one paying up to R2.5 million

 ·1 Feb 2024

Germany is facing a massive shortage of skilled workers – specifically in the sciences – and it is desperately looking for anyone – including South Africans – to fill jobs within its top five in-demand fields.

Germany’s economy has been grappling with challenges such as elevated energy costs, unprecedented interest rates, and severe labour shortages, contributing to its sluggish performance.

The nation is experiencing a deficit of skilled workers, particularly in rapidly growing sectors – such as Science, Techology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).

Projections indicate that by 2035, Germany’s ageing population will face a shortage of 7 million skilled workers.

In 2022, The German Economic Institute (IW) reported a shortage of 320,000 STEM specialists in the country.

In the same year, foreign STEM employees in Germany reached 202,000, marking a remarkable 190% increase since 2012 – which includes South Africans.

According to, the top five most in-demand job sectors are Engineering, Information Technology (IT), Biotechnology and Life Sciences, Data Science and Analytics, and robotics and Automation.

The annual salaries for highly sought-after occupations in engineering range from R1.62 million to R2.5 million, while some titles in Biotechnology and Data Science can also breach the R2 million mark.

The top four in-demand jobs within Germany’s most sought-after sectors for foreign STEM employees and their salaries are listed below, as outlined by


Engineering is one of Germany’s most sought-after fields of work, and for good reason. The country is home to several global titans, including Bosch, Siemens, Mercedes Benz, BMW, and Volkswagen.

An estimated 15,000 annual engineering jobs in Germany need to be filled so there is long-term workforce security.

JobAverage annual base salary
Marine Engineer€82 825 (R1.67 million)
Petroleum Engineer€121 666 (R2.50 million)
Electrical Engineer€83 683 (R1.69 million)
Civil Engineer€80 341 (R1.62 million )

Information Technology (IT)

Germany’s IT sector is another field experiencing remarkable growth.

According to the Federal Government, the growth is marked by 137,000 vacant jobs in the sector.

JobAverage annual base salary
IT Technician€57 506 (R1.16 million)
Web Developer€92 064 (R1.86 million)
Computer Programmer€87 240 (R1.76 million)
System Analyst€84 247 (R1.70 million)

Biotechnology and Life Sciences

Germany’s biotechnology and life sciences sectors are key players in the economy, including pharmaceuticals, medical research, and bioinformatics, with the healthcare industry employing over 7.6 million people.

The biotechnology sector noted a 16% increase in vacant jobs.

JobAverage annual base salary
Biomedical Scientist€69 026 (R1.39 million)
Bioinformatics Specialist€107 085 (R2.16 million)
Pharmacologist€107 596 (R2.17 million)
Clinical Research Associate€71 236 (R1.44 million)

Data Science And Analytics

Data science and analytics are highly sought-after STEM skills in Germany.

The German Economic Institute (IW) found that between 2019 and 2023, one out of every five job postings required new employees to have data skills.

JobAverage annual base salary
Data Scientist€115 921 (R2.34 million)
Financial Analyst€84 393 (R1.70 million)
Data Engineer€99 093 (R2 million)
Business Analyst€90 112 (R1.82 million)

Robotics and Automation

Thriving and in high demand, the field of robotics and automation in Germany has experienced substantial growth over the past decade, nearly doubling its turnover from 2010 to 2019.

Germany stands out with its impressive density of industrial robots, boasting 415 robots per 10,000 employees, ranking third globally, following Singapore and China.

JobAverage annual base salary
Electromechanical Technician€68 930 (R1.39 million)
Mechanical Engineer€81 727 (R1.65 million)
Aerospace Engineer€61 982 (R1.25 million)
Robotics Engineer€92 581 (R1.87 million)
*Conversions in rands are accurate as of 1 February 2024.

Read: International companies are scouting South Africans to get the job done

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