I am currently working as a Java Developer in a permanent role in Berlin with a €45k salary and I'm moving to London on August. Assuming this salary in Berlin reflects exactly my level of experience, how much should I ask in London as a Permanent and specially as a Contractor?

I don't want to make a simple money conversion from my current net salary. My point is to get a fair salary for my experience.

€45k in Berlin is considered a mid-level salary, and anything above €50k is senior level. With a quick search in some job websites, I'm thinking about asking £400 per day since most senior roles seem to start at £500.

  • £400 per day is about the base level for contract developers in London Java should be higher
    – Pepone
    Commented Jul 18, 2015 at 10:07
  • I'd suggest that what really matters is the difference between the cost-of-living in the two cities vs. the actual salaries you are offered in each location.
    – keshlam
    Commented Jul 18, 2015 at 17:14
  • In 2017, you can earn above £65K a year, which leaves you with with £3590/month after tax and national insurance. (calculator: income-tax.co.uk ) . Here is a list of jobs offering more than £65K: indeed.co.uk/jobs?q=Java+Developer+%C2%A365,000&l=London Commented Oct 19, 2017 at 15:34

2 Answers 2


Coming to London at this point of time is not a wise decision, not that I mean to discourage you. The job market is quite competitive because loads of developers are in the markets, because of the layoffs. So be ready to wait for some time to land a role.

Banks aren't recruiting that heavily, but that might change if the economy picks up. Regarding salaries, the contract rates you quote are primarily for banking sector jobs, some outside banking also pay those rates, but they are few.

You can quote what you want to a recruiter, most contracts are through them as most managers have a fincancial get go between recruiters and themselves. Recruiters take their cut what they bill, 400+200(just a guess). So the more they take from the 400, better is their margin. So they try to decrease the 400 portion.

But the important point is be ready to keep your chair warm for some time. I am not sure why you have to move to London. Keep your current job. Get a Skype number or something and get the calls diverted to your phone in Germany. You can come down to London for interviews and schedule them so you come in a week and give all your interviews. London is a costly place, you can find cheap places to stay too. But without a job and searching for one will get you depressed(been there and experienced it)

  • I received 4 calls last week, maybe your information is regarding the job market as a whole, but usually it's not the same scenario for IT (specially Java). That's why I'm so concerned about the "how much" and not about "when". Though the information about the recruiter's cut is very interesting.
    – richardIG
    Commented Apr 22, 2013 at 6:07
  • @richardIG - I am talking about IT also. Please don't take it as trying to discourage you, but it is quite competitive out here. 4 calls, interview calls or recruiters called you up. Couple of queries, what contract rates/salary are you quoting ? If you are quoting your German salary, you are coming cheap as compared to developers based in London, hence the calls.
    – DumbCoder
    Commented Apr 22, 2013 at 7:47
  • no problem, I understand you are not trying to do that. I was quoting 450, but I think this was being ignored since all roles were Permanent. They told me to go for 45k pounds in this case. Since taxes are lower and pound is worth more, do you think this is reasonable?
    – richardIG
    Commented Apr 22, 2013 at 11:55
  • This is the HMRC website to figure out how much taxes you will pay. hmrc.gov.uk/rates/it.htm . Check here for how much you will take home listentotaxman.com . For permanent roles you cannot quote contract rates. Contract rates are more as compared to a permanent salary. For a start £45k is fine, can bargain for £50k also if you can(people have decreased salaries a bit as compared to the past). But London is a bit costly to reside in. But you can save on rent if you can commute a little far from London. Commuting to London willn't be a problem if you stay outside London.
    – DumbCoder
    Commented Apr 22, 2013 at 12:06
  • 2
    Why should your new job salary based on your current wages? You shouldn't disclose your current salary to any future employers as it puts you in disadvantages at the bargaining side.
    – ASF
    Commented Apr 22, 2013 at 12:12

Germany is substantially cheaper than the London . You would need at least double your current income to maintain the same lifestyle in London. Even then, you will likely have to settle for a cramped housing or a long commute.

Java developers are largely contractors in the UK. Typical wages and rates can be found at www.itjobswatch.co.UK

Wages go up and down depending on supply and demand.

Don't quit till you have another offer.

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