What does a PHP developer earn?

These following occupations are in demand by companies:software developers, database developers, application developers, network administrators and IT managers. This is according to the study conducted by the recruitment agency Robert Half of salaries in the IT sector in 2015. One can therefore conclude that developers must make a good living. But what does a developer earn exactly? And what does it depend on?

Starting salaries

A PHP developer can expect a starting salary of between 36,000 and 43,000 euros annually. They are some of the lowest paid developers. A Java developer can earn between 41,500 and 48,500 euros each year, and a C or C++ developer can even earn 46,500 and 49,500 euros, according to t3n.

Over the course of time the starting salary of a PHP developer will increase overtime. In 2012 it was,on average, just 33,000 according to gehalt.de.

According to Handelsblatt it was between 35,000 to 42,000 euros in 2014.


The more the experience, the higher the salary. For a PHP developer with three to five years of experience their salary is between 42,500 to 50,000 euros. If a PHP software developer has 6-9 years of experience, they can earn from 48,500 to 59,000 euros. That is about 2.1% more than 2014.

Regional differences

The Robert Half study has shown that IT specialist in Munich, Hamburg, Frankfurt and Stuttgart are paid better than average. IT professionals in Berlin and Cologne are comparatively relatively poorly paid. In a comparison of the German federal states on gehaltsvergleich.com, Baden-Württemberg comes out on top with 48,500 euros per year. This can also be due to the fact that some large IT companies are established in Baden-Württemberg. Hesse and Saxony are last, by the way.

Company size

What’s unusual on gehaltsvergleich.com is that smaller companies with up to 500 employees pay, on average, better (36,800 euros) than companies with employees between 501 and 1000 (under 36,000 euros). What’s also unusual is that women earn more than men.   As well, companies with more than 1,000 employees pay more – over 42,000 euros yearly.

Career ladder

Specialising in a content management system (CMS) or a framework can kick start a career. A TYPO3 developer earns an average of 45,216 euros. In comparison, a PHP developer earns about 36,348.

And there are of course a few extra euros on the career ladder. An IT project manager without experience earned between 54,000 and 64,000 euros annually in 2014. As head of the development department you can expect a yearly salary between 56,000 and 67,000 euros. An overview of the entire IT department will reflect an annual salary of between 61,000 and 74,000 euros.

With three to five years’ experience you can become CIO and earn between 85,000 and 105,000 euros. And with over 15 years of experience, a CIO will earn upwards of 167,000 euros.


PHP has existed for several decades and already offers many opportunities. In the future even more exciting frameworks will be created for it. There will always be more and more complex and flexible systems. In addition, PHP is already used in many medium-sized and large companies. This makes the programming language even more interesting for developer.

For employers, the salaries are just a part of personnel costs. Extra costs such as advertising fees for job portals, time spent on job interviews and training are added on. Therefore it is important for employers to recruit good employees. We will gladly tell you more on what to look for when selecting a PHP developer. Ask us.