Why are SAP consultants paid so much


Even young SAP consultants without project experience can earn annual salaries between 40,000 and 50,000 euros. Within a short period of time, the remuneration continues to rise, after three to five years an annual income of 70,000 to 100,000 euros can be achieved. But what does the salary development depend on?

Thomas Biber, managing director of Biber & Associates, a personnel consultancy specializing in the SAP environment, explains which factors favor a high salary: "Above all, sound specialist knowledge and project experience, ideally in connection with geographical mobility, pay off." After more than five years of SAP project experience, the annual earnings are between 70,000 and 100,000 euros, in individual cases even over 100,000 euros. Senior SAP consultants can earn a six-figure salary - especially if they specialize in one of the currently "hot" SAP topics such as HANA, SuccessFactors, Hybris or special SAP logistics topics.

This also applies to consultants with managerial responsibility, but knowledge and experience pay off more: "The top specialists often earn more than managers," says Biber. Whether a SAP career develops so lucratively depends heavily on the industry and expert knowledge. And basically from the question of whether the SAP consultant is employed in-house in a company or as an external SAP consultant at a SAP consulting company.

S4 / HANA or SAP logistics: the knowledge pays off for SAP consultants

Experience is one factor, expertise in the sense of specialist knowledge is the other. Biber cites S / 4HANA, HANA BI topics and HANA technology topics, as well as hybrids and SuccessFactors as well as knowledge of finance or logistics components such as SAP EWM, IS-Retail or SAP PP-PI (production planning process industry) as examples of specialist knowledge that is in great demand by the market. .

Consultants equipped with this knowledge not only have a wide range of jobs, they can expect salaries at the higher end of the stated earnings ranges. In-house consultants, who primarily coordinate, on the other hand, operate on a tighter job market with correspondingly lower wage increases.

FIORI, WebUI, SAP UI5: Knowledge pays off for SAP developers

According to Biber, Abap developers and SAP basic administrators often earn a little less in-house than SAP module experts. Developers with knowledge of FIORI, WebUI, SAP UI5 or other topics related to software development on mobile platforms, on the other hand, are slightly higher than their "old-school" colleagues.

The most attractive salary packages are clearly offered by SAP consulting firms. Compared to the in-house consultant in a user company, the external consultant has to travel frequently. This high mobility requirement is worth a lot to employers. "Experienced SAP senior consultants in a successful consulting company sometimes earn more than an IT manager in an upper middle class," says Biber. Since the change from external consulting to an in-house position is often associated with a salary waiver, this jump is difficult, even if some would wish it.

These industries pay SAP consultants the best

The industry also has a strong impact on salary growth. High margins in the company's core business are also reflected in SAP consultant salaries. Chemicals and pharmaceuticals are the best remuneration for SAP consultants; banks, insurance companies and the luxury goods industry open up good earning opportunities. If an external SAP consultant works with a sought-after specialization for an industry that is currently buzzing, he can expect 100,000 euros and more after five to ten years. Large companies often pay better than small ones.

How much a SAP consultant can earn depends, as in other professions, on the region: in the new federal states as well as in the less densely populated regions of western Germany, for example Lower Saxony, the income of SAP experts is significantly lower than in the south and west of the republic: Here the metropolitan areas around Frankfurt am Main, Munich, Stuttgart, Cologne and Düsseldorf come first.

Personnel consultant Biber calculates: "A SAP-HCM-PY consultant with six to eight years of project experience can earn up to 100,000 euros even without managerial responsibility if, for example, he works for a well-known industrial company in the Frankfurt area. A SAP consultant with the same professional background comes to an annual income of around 50,000 euros in a health care company in eastern Germany. " The region and the industry in which a SAP expert works can lead to differences of up to 50 percent.

  1. IT salaries 2018/2019
    The Hamburg-based compensation specialists from Compensation Partner analyzed 12,225 data sets for the large salary study for IT specialists and managers.
  2. Security experts remain the winners
    Among the IT specialists without personnel responsibility, the security professionals earn the most with an average annual gross salary of 75,600 euros.
  3. Well paid IT project managers
    According to the security experts, the project managers are the best-paid IT specialists with an average of 73,200 euros per year.
  4. SAP knowledge is still a guarantee ...
    ... for a high demand and thus a correspondingly high remuneration. With an average gross annual salary of 72,900 euros, SAP consultants are among the top earners.
  5. IT consultant ...
    ... achieve a gross salary of 72,400 euros per year for IT specialists without personnel responsibility.
  6. Developer salaries
    SAP developers earn the best with 65,600 euros a year, followed by software developers in the backend (61,700 euros) and experts for user experience (58,200 euros).
  7. But also developers, ...
    ... those who are on the move in the mobile sector and program apps are doing well with an average of 59,800 euros gross per year.
  8. Network and system administrators ...
    ... on the other hand have to get by with a lower gross salary: 49,300 euros per year.
  9. Support staff ...
    ... are paid even less: 44,700 euros gross per year.
  10. Studying pays off
    The best honors are a doctorate (79,000 euros) and a university diploma (76,500 euros), followed by the FH diploma 70,700 euros). The master's (65,600 euros) has not yet reached the level of the diploma, which is due to the lower age of the master's holders. The figures are the incomes that can be achieved on average with the respective degree.
  11. With a bachelor's degree ...
    ... young professionals earn an average of 55,200 euros a year.
  12. With increasing professional experience ...
    ... the salary also rises: In the first three years after starting their career, IT specialists can count on 44,500 euros, after seven years it is 56,400 euros and after more than ten years it is 68,000 euros.
  13. Big companies offer better earning opportunities
    While companies with more than 1000 employees pay their IT specialists with an average of 78,148 euros, IT experts in companies with fewer than 100 employees can only expect 52,700 euros.
  14. Where IT consultants earn best
    The industry makes the difference in how much IT consultants earn. The 3 top industries are chemistry (95,160 euros), medical technology (93,400 euros) and pharmaceuticals (93,130 euros).
  15. Machine and plant engineering too ...
    ... pays IT consultants above average with 91,600 euros.
  16. The tourism industry and the hotel industry ......
    ... on the other hand, even sought-after IT consultants do not pay generous salaries with 60,700 or 58,700 euros.
  17. Research institutes ...
    ... take last place in the industry ranking with a remuneration of 57,500 euros for the IT consultant. This is because in most cases they pay their employees according to public law tariffs.
  18. In Munich ...
    ... IT professionals earn 20.5 percent better than the national average achieved in Hamburg. However, rents and other living costs are also high here.
  19. Frankfurt am Main ...
    ... offers IT professionals just as high earning opportunities with a plus of 19 percent compared to the national average.
  20. In Dresden ...
    ... and other major companies in the new federal states, on the other hand, IT experts have to be content with wages that are 15 percent and more below the national average.
  21. Benefit company car
    Only 9 percent of IT specialists have a company car, compared with 59 percent of IT managers. The new price of the car is on average 39,2500 euros for skilled workers. The cars of the IT executives are significantly more expensive at an average of 52,000 euros.

Bonus: the higher the salary, the higher the variable component

However, the variable salary components that are common for many consultants must also be taken into account. Personnel consultant Biber states as a rule of thumb: "The higher the salary, the greater the proportion of success-based bonuses. With a salary of 100,000 euros, only 70,000 euros are fixed." Large-scale bonuses are common when SAP is the core business, especially in consulting firms. In consulting there are sometimes bonuses of up to 50 percent of the base salary; 20 to 30 percent success-based allowances are common.

The variable portion for in-house SAP consultants, on the other hand, is significantly lower at around ten percent, as these professionals are not employed in their employer's core business. In many of these cases, the salary is fixed, there are no variable allowances.

Consulting firms lure with company cars

The monetary benefits for the external SAP consultant should not be underestimated either. In consulting, the company car is often part of the salary package right from the start and is based on the intensive travel activity as an external consultant. Young SAP professionals in particular are very mobile not only professionally but also privately.

Since, depending on the specific regulation, costs for private use of the car including weekend trips and even vacations are often covered, this is also a considerable financial advantage for a consultant. "If you do the math, you can easily get to 10,000 euros per year or more if you use gasoline, maintenance and depreciation intensively," says Biber. In addition, some consulting firms would stand out from the crowd with very attractive and unusual company cars. For in-house consultants, on the other hand, there are seldom company cars because they are hardly expected to travel.

Can the salaries be increased through skillful salary negotiations? Biber sees opportunities: "Contrary to popular belief, HR decision-makers are not interested in negotiating applicants' salaries as low as possible. Experienced HR managers assume that applicants will either not take up the position or will come to the new company frustrated from the start." The salary expectations mentioned in an application are therefore taken very seriously on the part of the company.

Biber advises applicants to use a sense of proportion: it is wrong to enter negotiations with the highest possible sum in order to then come to an agreement "somehow in the middle" with the other party. The consequence of an unrealistic demand is that employers do not invite applicants and they then do not have a chance to present their strengths.

Salary negotiation: playing the trump cards

Rather, candidates should go into the interviews with realistic salary expectations and then find out which knowledge, soft skills and abilities the employer considers to be particularly important in the position to be filled. This also includes language or industry knowledge. The applicant should check self-critically to what extent he fulfills these points. The SAP consultant should address the areas in which he can shine individually in the salary negotiations and explain why these points make him a suitable applicant for this position.

"Play your trump cards here point by point," advises Biber. Applicants who enter the negotiations with a realistic salary, who can really prove the necessary qualifications and then skillfully point out their strengths, may well receive an offer that exceeds the company's original plan.