Are scientists well paid


How do I become a scientist?

also known as a researcher

Have you been passionate about a topic for as long as you can remember and would you even sell your grandma for new knowledge or a successful attempt? Then you should become a scientist. As a scientist, you work in research in state and private organizations - and thus make a significant contribution to the development of innovative and new products. Of course, it depends on the subject area, because depending on whether you are an expert in ancient history, biotechnology or astronomy, you will work in a different research area with different methods. Be it within a company in a research department or at a university, searching for and finding new knowledge is part of your daily challenge. You ultimately publish this in the form of a paper or give lectures on your specialty at conferences. Most of the time, in addition to research, you are also responsible for teaching at public institutions. In addition, you may occasionally take on administrative tasks, for example when you go on an excursion with students or organize an internal conference.


Required degrees

Master / Magister

Recommended training


Important school subjects

Different depending on the research field

Starting salary as a scientist

€ 3.429 – 4.288


80% / 20%

Scientists jobs6

Working as a scientist

Important skills as a scientist

As a scientist you have to have one thing above all: perseverance. Because attempts usually do not succeed the first time, but often require many frustrating attempts before results can be used. In addition, you have to be able to keep yourself up to date, read current literature and be able to write scientifically. Most scientists who are successful in their research are scientists with heart and soul. So be prepared for the fact that you have to work a lot and should keep a cool head even in stressful situations. Even more important than stamina, stress resistance and a high tolerance for frustration in science is only specialist knowledge. You should also speak English very well. In the natural sciences and technology in particular, publications are only published in English. The many international colleagues in research centers also require a confident use of the English language.

Important hard skills

Expert knowledge in the respective research field Scientific work and writing University career Sound knowledge of English

Important soft skills

Frustration toleranceEnduranceStress resistanceEngagement AmbitionAnalytical working methodStrong expression in spoken and writtenKnowledge of observationPerformanceReadiness for self-reflection

How do I become a scientist?

You can become a scientist in any subject. In the private sector, a Master's or Magister’s degree is often enough to be able to carry out simple research activities. However, if you want to aim high and do research at a university, for example, there is only one way to achieve your goal: the classic university career. You will first study the desired subject area in the Bachelor's and Master's degree. You will then enter research as part of a doctorate or PhD. Depending on the subject, you will already be paid at this point. Once you have completed these three phases, you have to apply for a habilitation position or a post-doc. Here at the latest, you will regularly publish your results, travel to conferences and be involved in research at a university.

Advanced training and specializations

There is one top priority in science: lifelong learning. After completing your habilitation, you apply for a position as an assistant professor or you will be offered one. Alternatively, you can work as a research assistant in a company. In addition, it is possible to become a university professor or even head of an institute with the appropriate commitment. In the private sector there is the possibility of becoming the scientific head of a department or even reaching the management level.

Future prospects as a scientist

Finding new solutions to problems will always be important, you can be sure of that. Accordingly, people who are also professionally capable of doing this are in demand. As with the field of activity, it depends a lot on the field in which you want to work scientifically. In the humanities, for example, it is more difficult to gain a foothold, since comparatively little money is invested in research here. Scientists in these areas often have to make ends meet with part-time jobs or live on fixed-term contracts. Other areas - such as technology, science or economics - are in turn strongly promoted. Technology and natural sciences in particular live from funding from the private sector, for example from large companies in the pharmaceutical industry that are interested in the development of new drugs. In general, the more money you can make with the results, the more likely your research area will be funded.