Tech can be a lucrative career choice, with startups willing to pay a premium for top engineering and developer talent.
But which roles are the highest paid in European tech?
Using data from Figures, a compensation benchmarking tool, we’ve summarised the tech roles taking home the most dosh at the manager level, excluding C-suite roles, in Europe’s major ecosystems of London, Paris and Berlin in 2023.
Engineering managers take first place across all geographies
Engineering managers — which include head of engineering, VP of engineering and engineering team manager — are, on average, the most highly compensated across all roles in London, Paris and Berlin.
Engineering managers in London earn an average of €127k, and in Berlin, they earn €105k. Salaries for engineering managers are significantly lower in Paris, where they earn €80k on average.
Data managers (including head of business intelligence or head of data science, for instance) come a close second.
Unsurprisingly, London has the highest salaries across the board
The differences between the highest-paying professions in each capital are quite significant.
For example, London’s top average salary (€127k) is 16% higher than Berlin’s (€105k) and 50% higher than Paris’s (€85k).
“Salaries are notably higher in the UK compared to Germany and France, primarily due to differences in the cost of living and employment structures,” says Pierre Lallinec, data analyst at Figures.
“In the UK, employees tend to cover more costs out of pocket, which leads to higher negotiated salaries. Meanwhile, in France and Germany, there are more employer costs associated with employment, which often results in comparatively lower salaries.”
In Paris, data managers are paid the most
While engineering managers may be the highest paid when considering all cities together, in Paris, data managers are the highest-paid role. In Berlin and London, data managers do not make it into the top five highest-paying tech roles. Finance managers are compensated significantly less in Paris (€75m in 2023) than in London (€104m in 2023).
In Berlin, developer roles make it into the top five
Unlike Paris and London, back-end developers, full-stack developers and front-end developers make it into the top five highest-paid roles in Berlin.
A back-end developer in Berlin earns on average €85k — more than an engineering manager in Paris.
Changes in compensation between October 2022 and October 2023
According to Figures, all businesses in their data set have seen compensation grow since 2022 across all levels.
For example, base compensation for engineering managers grew by approximately 10% in London and Berlin, and 9% in Paris.
Finance managers saw big increases (12%) in salary in London, while salaries did not change much in Paris.
“It’s hard to estimate how much of these increases are due to inflation,” says Lallinec.
“However, we have already asked our customers on this topic and it appears that 38% of them said they will increase salaries to adjust to inflation, while 20% said they would not. The rest were unsure.”
Note on methodology: The data shows the median base salary compensation for each role in Figures’ dataset between the end of October 2022 and the beginning of October 2023.
Please note that the dataset has evolved throughout this period and could be impacted by a few changes such as: employees getting a pay rise, different seniority level representation per company and new companies joining Figures’ database.