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Expat salaries around the world are far from uniform.
Just a quick scout around will reveal that expats working in some countries are remunerated far more generously than in others. The question is where expats are actually earning the most money?
It’s this exact question that international remuneration company ECA sought to answer in their recently-published survey.
The survey, entitled the MyExpatriate Market Pay Survey includes responses from 320 companies covering 167 countries. In addition, over 10,000 individual responses were also received. All of this data was then collated into the final salary figures.
It is important to note a number of points before we discuss the specific figures in question. Firstly, the figures shown aren’t the cash value of packages. Instead, they represent the full value of an expatriate package, including taxes and benefits such as housing and private education.
Secondly the packages shown are for mid-level management positions. That means that depending on your job role you might expect rather more or less than the averages discussed below.
As it turns out, the biggest expat packages are offered to expats working in the UK, where the average expat enjoys a complete package totalling an incredible $430,000. That said, the salary on offer equates to “just” $90,000 or so of this.
Then there’s $150,000 a year of benefits, with the remainder made up of taxes. All the same, there’s no denying that this is a sizeable chunk of money that British-based companies are willing to shell out.
Second in terms of overall package value comes Japan, though in this case benefits are considerably less, while take-home pay is marginally greater.
France takes third place, though in this case the total package on offer is considerably smaller, averaging between $300,000 and $350,000 in total value.
What is interesting is when one considers simply the salary on offer. Here the figures show an entirely different picture, with tax-free countries like Saudi Arabia and the UAE beating out the UK. Here classic expat destinations like Singapore and Switzerland – long known for their generous salaries – once again offer a higher base salary than the UK.
So what can we learn from the ECA survey?
Firstly, companies are still willing to pay considerable sums of money to attract the right kind of talent.
Secondly, when comparing potential job offers it is critical to discuss not just salaries, but also the entire package on offer. In many cases the total packages on offer may be considerably more is some countries than others.
Simply chasing the typically highly-paid destinations for job opportunities might not present the best monetary value.
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