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Career as a freelancer: start your own business? These industries are the most lucrative message


The annual income of the self-employed

It takes a long time for the German Federal Statistical Office to discuss and publish precise wage and income statistics. Because here the tax money actually paid is analyzed and evaluated accordingly, so the most current figures are for the year 2015.

The information about the income of the German self-employed proves to be interesting here, since these are not only sorted into salary groups like the salaried employees, but freelancers are listed here with the specific job title.

The large gap between the annual incomes of the self-employed is particularly striking, as the statistics reveal. The differences within some occupational groups are sometimes considerable.

Notaries head the field

At the lower end of the German freelance group there are self-employed teachers for sport and culture, with an average annual income of just 9,960 euros. The pay for freelance day care workers and child carers is similarly meager, with an average monthly salary of around 1,100 euros they come to 13,300 euros a year.

On the other side of the salary flow sit notaries, they represent the best-earning self-employed people in Germany. With an average annual income of 356,000 euros, they earn around 37 times as much as a freelance child carer. If notaries are categorized solely according to their notarial work, the pure notaries earn significantly more at 475,000 euros.

The professions of patent attorney and dentist, as well as general practitioner can be found at some distance from the top. They earn an average of 167,000, 160,000 and 130,000 euros, respectively, which means that they also clearly exceed the 100,000 euros mark.

The differences within an industry

However, it is not possible to generalize the annual salaries of the individual occupations, because, depending on the specialization, there are also considerable differences in income here. Lawyers who do not hold the office of notary only earn an average of 72,200 euros. On the one hand, this corresponds to almost twice the overall average of all self-employed, on the other hand, notaries earn a good 75 percent more.

A paradoxical phenomenon also occurs in the group of consultants and auditors: the formally less qualified tax consultants, with an average of 88,000 euros, earn more than freelance auditors, who earn an average of 84,000 euros. This could be due to the fact that tax consultants often run their own law firms, which means that some of them can earn significantly more, depending on the client base.

Although there are also significant differences in income among the self-employed, the statistics nonetheless reflect that significantly higher income can be earned with self-employment than with employees. In 2015, a total of 128,000 employed people had to pay tax on income of over 375,000 euros, 94,000 of whom were self-employed. For earnings above one million, the range was even wider: out of 21,175 taxpayers, 17,575 were freelancers.

Henry Ely / editors

Image Sources: Pressmaster /, everything possible /

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