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Salaries under the magnifying glass

SAP consultants are still among the top earners. Even entry-level employees without project experience can earn annual salaries of between 40,000 and 50,000 euros. Within a short period of time, these salaries continue to rise. But what does salary development depend on and how is a salary structured in detail?
Thomas beaver
August 5, 2013
[shutterstock:313786052, PureSolution]
This text has been automatically translated from German to English.

Thomas Biber is convinced that well-founded specialist knowledge and project experience in particular will pay off. As Managing Director, he runs the SAP-The company was founded by Biber & Associates, a specialist personnel consultancy.

After more than five years of project experience, the expected SAP-Consultant-Salary between 70,000 and 90,000 euros.

SeniorSAP-consultants could even be a Salary earn in the six-figure range. Although this also applies to consultants with management responsibility, knowledge and experience pay off more:

"Top specialists often earn more than managers"

But not every SAP-career develops so lucratively. It depends heavily on the Branch and expert knowledge. And basically to the question of whether the SAPconsultant in-house in a company or as an external SAP-Consultant at a SAPConsulting company is employed.

Specializations are rewarded

Expertise through experience is one factor, expertise in the sense of specialist knowledge is another. Thomas Biber cites SAP BO (Business Objects), SAP HCM PY (Human Capital Management Payroll) and SAP PP-PI (Production Planning Process Industry) as examples of specialist knowledge that is in high demand on the market.

Consultants with knowledge in these areas will find a job market with many opportunities. These specializations are in high demand and rewarded with salaries at the upper end of the salary ranges mentioned.

Purely coordinating and in-house SAP-Professionals, on the other hand, operate in a tighter job market with correspondingly lower salary increases. Also ABAP-According to Biber, in-house developers and SAP Basis administrators earn less than SAP-module experts.

The most attractive salary packages are clearly offered by SAPConsulting company. Compared to the in-houseSAP-Consultant at a SAP-The external consultant's high level of travel activity, which is usually obligatory, is particularly noticeable for end users. This is worth a lot to employers.

"With experienced senior consultants, this can SAP-Consultant-Salary in a successful Consulting company be higher than, for example, the Salary of an IT manager in the upper midmarket"

says Biber. This is also what makes it so difficult for some people to make the leap from being a consultant: the move from external consulting to an in-house position is often associated with a salary sacrifice.

Also the Branch has a strong influence on salary development. High Margins at Core business of the companies SAP-Consultant-Salary clearly. Chemicals and pharmaceuticals are among the sectors in which SAP-consultants earn the most. But also the automotive industry, Financial and luxury goods sector is one of the best-paying sectors.

An external SAPconsultant with a sought-after specialization in a Branch with high Margins has a very good chance of earning a six-figure salary after five to ten years. SAP-Consultant-Salary. Medium-sized and large companies often pay better than small ones.

Difference by region and industry

As with all other professions, there are strong regional differences in pay. In the eastern German states, including Berlinas well as in the less densely populated regions Germany - Lower Saxony, for example - the income to be earned is SAPprofessional is significantly lower than in the conurbations of south-western Germany. Here, the conurbations around Frankfurt am Main, Munich, Stuttgart and Cologne/Düsseldorf are in first place.

"An HCM PY consultant with around six to eight years of project experience can earn up to 100,000 euros as a senior specialist, i.e. without management responsibility, at a renowned industrial company in the Frankfurt am Main area.

One company in the healthcare sector in eastern Germany has a SAP-Consultant with the same background earning around 50,000 a year"

explains Thomas Biber.

The region and the Branchin which a SAP-expert can therefore lead to differences of up to 50 percent. However, it should also be noted that most SAP-consultant salaries include variable salary components.

"The higher the Salarythe higher the proportion of performance-related bonuses. With a Salary of 100,000 euros is often only 70,000 euros fixed."

Premiums on a large scale are common when SAP the Core business is, above all in Consulting company. In consulting there are sometimes Premiums up to 50 percent of the base salary; 20 to 30 percent performance-based bonuses are widespread.

Generally speaking, the higher the Salarythe more is earned via the variable bonuses. Premiums for the in-houseSAP-consultants, on the other hand, are significantly lower.

At SAP-user company plays SAP just one the Core business supporting role, and the in-house consultant does not work in his employer's core business area. In such a constellation, the proportion of Premiums usually only around ten percent. In many cases, the Salary also only consists of a fixed component, without variable bonuses.

Curls with company car

The non-cash benefits for the external SAP-Consultants should not be underestimated. In consulting, a company car is often part of the salary package right from the start and is justified by the intensive travel activities as an external consultant.

Young people in particular SAP-Professionals are usually very mobile, not only professionally but also privately.

Depending on the specific company car regulations 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, intensive private use with gasoline, maintenance and depreciation can easily add up to tens of thousands of euros per year"

says Biber.

In addition, some consulting firms stand out from the crowd with attractive and unusual company cars. For in-house consultants, on the other hand, there are only rarely company cars, as they are expected to do practically no traveling.

Can the Salary but also increase it through skillful salary negotiations?

Thomas Biber sees opportunities:

"Contrary to popular belief, HR decision-makers have no interest in Salary as far as possible.

Experienced HR managers assume that applicants will then either not take up the position or arrive at the new company frustrated from the outset."

The salary expectations stated in an application are therefore taken very seriously by companies.

However, Biber advises applicants to keep a sense of proportion. Errorto enter into negotiations with as high a sum as possible in order to somehow reach a middle ground with the other party.

The consequence of an unrealistically high salary expectation is practically always that Employer do not invite applicants and they do not get the chance to present their strengths and successfully negotiate with employers.

Salary negotiation: play your trump card

Rather, applicants should go into the interview with realistic salary expectations and then find out what know-how, soft skills and abilities the applicant has. Employer is considered particularly important in the position to be filled.

This also includes language or industry knowledge. Applicants should take a self-critical look at the extent to which they fulfill these points. The points in which they excel can be SAP-consultant in the salary negotiations and explain why these points make him or her a suitable candidate for this position.

"Play your trump cards here, point by point"

advises Thomas Biber.

After all, applicants who enter negotiations in a realistic salary range, can really demonstrate the required qualifications and then skillfully point out their strengths have a good chance of receiving an offer that exceeds the company's original plans.

Thomas Biber is managing director of the SAP-environment Personnel consulting Biber & Associates. As a specialist in the recruitment of specialists and executives, he has a network of SAP-customers, consulting firms and professionals in the DACH region. Until 2006, he worked as a project manager and executive at SAP Germany and SiemensHe previously worked as a consultant at MicroStrategy in Washington and London.

Thomas beaver

Thomas Biber is Managing Director at Biber & Associates

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