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How to break into 100k+ Euro salary in EU/EEA?
61 points by eskimo87 on Oct 21, 2017 | hide | past | web | favorite | 56 comments
I have total 7 years of dev+DS experience and have ambitions to break into 100k+ salary range in coming year. Should I must move into management role for this?

Sorry mate, but if you'd like some good advice from this crowd, you should spend more than 20 seconds to describe your issue and the type of suggestions you are looking for. That's probably lesson #1 in how to get to a 100k salary :)

You don't mention: where you are located; what current job you have; what's DS; what kind of dev work have you done.

Also, any github / stack overflow link, so that we can get a better sense of your skills?

I don’t think a cursory glance at his/her stack overflow / github profile would be a good indicator of his overall skillset eyeroll

I think DS is datascientist

I'm a non European expat based in Dublin but willing to relocate anywhere in EU. DS- Data Scientist, niche in the area of IR/NLP/ML with MS in AI.

Plenty of contracting roles paying £500-600/day in London, a few even up to £800 (and 'Head of'/CTO level consulting gigs hovering around £1k/day although very rare as most of those positions are perm).

I know some rather mediocre developers on £550 day rates.

For perm positions, such roles aren't too uncommon for senior/lead level devs in finance, tech consultancy (doing SAP/Salesforce work at some place like Accenture, etc) or the top tech firms - though you'll want to avoid the underpaying Shoreditch start-ups.

Does mean living in London though, where a £100k salary still barely gets you a mortgage for a 3 bed semi. Plus, £100k will soon be worth about €27 but right now it's about 1:1.

$500 a day programming?

Belgian here. Day rates of 400+ euro are the normal rate over here for java and php developers (even to the lower side) for freelancers. But I should mention that you lose about 55% on taxes of it.

I suspect that the only companies with this kind of salary in the EU are Palantir and trading companies (e.g. Jane Street).

So, it kind of depends on what you're willing to do for money. I'm personally not quite enthusiastic at the idea of working for either.

Nonsense, most capital cities in the EU have contracting rates at €500+ per day.

That level of salary... well I'd say you gotta sell your soul and head off into banking or into a role as consultant somewhere, but no way for ordinary devs, even in Germany. For what it's worth I know directors of 300+ employee companies that don't crack the 100k.

Alternatively try to land a remote job for some Valley-based or other VC backed company, but beware of the tax and legal implications of doing so.

Google pays 120k+ for junior developers in Switzerland.

Switzerland is not in the EU as OP asked, also you spend a large chunk of the gains over Germany on higher living cost (rent, but also basic stuff like cheeseburgers is up to 3x the price of Germany). Oh and they have both a strict immigration regime as well as a huge right-wing problem, which might be another factor against moving to Switzerland for work.

You can pretty much just come to Switzerland and work if you are an EU citizen, so might as well be.

Zurich has probably the best ratio of earning potential to COL in the world (for the average person, not necessarily for software engineers). If you are cheap/thrifty you can even go do your shopping in a neighboring country, since Switzerland is so small.

I am Non EEA citizen :( true that Swiss is not immigration friendly.. difficult to find jobs

>Switzerland is not in the EU as OP asked

OP asked about EU/EEA. Switzerland is not in the EU but it could just as well be in EEA. Only reason it's not is because it has to be neutral on paper for historical reasons. De facto Switzerland is clearly EEA-like.

>a huge right-wing problem

Or a right-wing solution if you like direct democracy and societal cohesion.

haha. very well informed..

used to date a girl whose father worked during the week in CH and was home at the weekends ;)

> You call it "alt-left", I proudly call it "Antifa".

interesting line to put in your YC about

Yeah, put it in some months ago, when the term "alt-left" started popping up here, I believe it was a pretty flameful thread about the limits of free speech and what's acceptable to do against Nazis...

Not sure about a salary, but contracting can comfortably let you earn that based on a daily rate. I've even seen Qlikview or Excel roles at banks in the UK that pay 600+ per day! The trick is to have a niche - look at what's hot in contracting job ads and read up about it. Get confident with the tech/software they ask for and go for a few interviews. Getting a contracting role is generally a lot easier than a permanent position, and in my experience, a contracting job can be just as secure as a perm job.

Problem with contracting jobs is, depending on OPs country, they can be risky: health care costs can kill you at that salary rate (eg in Germany with its dual class health care system), contractors may not be eligible for ordinary pensions (and you might be tempted to skip over saving for retirement...) and when you're sick for more than a week (or, can't find a new project soon enough) it can burn through your entire savings sooner than you'd like.

I wouldn't do contracting again without serious money (aka F-U-Money levels, or a full year worth of expenses) in the bank.

In the UK, contractors are considered high-risk for mortgages and car loans. Even if you manage to lock-in a mortgage before starting your contractor career, it will make things difficult should you wish to remortgage (which is almost mandatory every 3 to 5 years, these days...).

Oh yeah, totally forgot about that one... and in case you end up broke/in debt with contracting, your personal credit score will be screwed up, too.

You can get a contractor mortgage based on your day rate in UK.

You've asked how you can get 100k EUR per year. But you have not mentioned anything about the value you can offer for this money (unless DS means something there, I have no idea what DS is).

In many companies, low-level managers don't earn that much (especially green ones, which it sounds like you would be during the time frame you specified). Companies wouldn't want to distract all their employees by offering a huge pay bump just to switch fields.

When you ask for money you should first talk about what you can contribute. Which is?

> unless DS means something there

I suspect it's data-scientist, which is a pretty hot field/buzzword these days.

Working remotely for a Silicon Valley company seems the easiest way.

Work remotely for silicon valley companies.

The time you consider the tax implications you’ve got to be on a very good US wage to break the 100k level.

100k in your pocket sure, but 100k gross? That's 120k USD, not sky high for the US. And don't taxes net out so you only end up paying the higher of the two rates in most places? In Europe total income taxes are likely higher than US federal income taxes just about everywhere.

Nearly every remote job I've seen in US citizens only or US timezone only

Yep, but you need a very specialized skill set that SV can't find locally.

If the salary is all you are after and do not mind the culture shock, did you look into relocating to Switzerland?

I've heard that a lot.. but a) Swiss living cost is expensive b) Difficult to find job as non European

Look at contracting and London. There’s tons of £500+ per day rates dev contracts around. https://www.jobserve.com/gb/en/JobSearch.aspx?shid=E1AD4AE0F...

Thanks.. but not an EU/GB citizen.. won't be possible contracting in U.K.

As others said, it is very difficult, a few devs earn that in EU.

Options are :

- CTO but not early stage

- freelancing : 7 years of experience could be more than 500€ per day. And if you are in a niche, could be much more

- Remote for an american company

- I know some startups in Paris which hire at more than 100k euro but you need to be outstanding.

Though technically not salary but revenue freelancing or rather self-employed consulting is a realistic option for reaching that kind of annual income.

One piece of advice though: Don't do it for the money (or the money alone, at least). If you want to run a sustainable consulting practice you have to be passionate about what you're doing and constantly deliver high-quality work.

Confidently marketing your services is essential. If you're good at solving important problems for your customers that should be reflected in your rates. Speaking of which, if possible adopt value-based pricing instead of time-based, i.e. daily or hourly, rates.

> Should I must move into management role for this?

Do you want to be a manager? If not, you will be trading a life of misery for a modest pay raise.

I know several engineers making over 100k in the EU. You just have to be really good at what you do and pick a company which pays well.

What companies would that be? If you could name few..

I know banking offers that kind of salary, in the Netherlands. But it's the higher tier of the bucket though.

ING/ABN? What kind of roles though? Sr/lead/principal or management role?

Both, actually for ING. Though, again, this is achievable for the top tier. Question of scale, more than position.

Migrate to Switzerland :) Salaries there are much higher than rest of the Europe but living there is more expensive too.

True but you pay basicaly no taxes (especially compared to Germany)

> So what makes you feel you deserve to earn more than 99.93% of the world's population?

Looks like you hit a nerve (perhaps a somewhat guilty one) with some users.

But I was wondering similar - why does the OP feel the need to earn this much money? I suspect psychological rather than financial insecurity, given that they're already likely to be a relatively high earner.

Management makes less than devs in my experience.



Don't be a crab in the bucket. If you're going to get angry at people having more money than you (perhaps rightly) feel they deserve, get angry at the ruling class who casually rake in millions, not at the better-paid of their servants.

You can make more than 90 percent of the worlds population by virtue of being born in the right place. ‘Deserve’ doesn’t have anything to do with it. Where I live, someone making 100k as a software engineer is being underpaid.

Considering most of HNs audience is software engineers in the Bay Area where the average salary is well north of 100k, you're making a mountain out of a molehill by raising this question.

1) Theses stats are false and quantifying wealth is crazy difficult

2) It's not about deserving but about /convincing/ someone to exchange your labour for this amount of money

Quantifying wealth is especially difficult when you confuse it with income.

What does income have to do with what you "deserve"? And why would they have to justify it to anyone besides whoever's going to employ them?

Determination to do something is worth a lot. Even if they don't reach their goal, they could get closer to it than they are now. What's wrong with striving for something better?

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