While in an ideal world we could all do our dream job irrespective of money, we know that’s far from reality. Being paid a decent and stable salary is crucial, not only to ensure that you have enough money to support yourself, but also so that you feel your skills and time are valued. While salaries in non-profits and social enterprises are often lower than in the private sector, they have been improving in recent years due to a growing awareness of the importance of attracting and retaining top talent. It can be useful to use sites such as Glassdoor and Indeed when looking for a job to see how the salary you’re being offered compares to other similar roles. Plus, it’s always a good idea to discuss your compensation expectations openly with a potential employer during the interview process.

In 2016 and 2017, tbd* conducted an exclusive study on salaries in the social sector. 52% of those surveyed are satisfied or very satisfied with their salary. Employees are generally satisfied with other aspects of their work such as their team and the kind of work that they are doing. The results look a little different when it comes to their relationship with management and the opportunities for personal development.

What can you expect to earn?

Just getting started? During the first three years of employment in the German social sector, you can expect an average of €35,000 gross per annum, while as a top manager the average salary is €56,000. The overall average salary in the sector is about €45,000. Find out all the stats here.

Where are employees the happiest?

In Section 1 of this guide, we took a closer look at the various organization forms within Germany, but what’s it actually like to work in them? In 2017, we conducted a survey of professionals working in the German social impact and sustainability sectors to get an insight into job satisfaction and stress levels.

The results showed that organization size or contract type - full vs part-time, temporary vs permanent - didn’t have a significant impact on job satisfaction or stress levels. Organization type, however, did seem to be a more influential factor.

Of those respondents working in foundations (Stiftungen), 100% said that they were either satisfied or very satisfied with their job, closely followed by those who work in educational institutions (83%), and, in social startups (82%). In NGOs and associations, on the other hand, only half of respondents stated that they were satisfied in their job.

Interestingly, those who work for social businesses were found to have the highest stress levels compared to other organization types (at 73%), but they also stated high levels of job satisfaction--83% were satisfied or very satisfied. The respondents who felt least stressed by their work were those working in foundations and educational institutions.

*Please note that the sample size for the survey was relatively small, so it is difficult to draw statistical significance from the responses. You can find a more detailed report (in German) on the survey results here.