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Programmer salary in mainland Europe?
77 points by socialist_coder on April 22, 2011 | hide | past | favorite | 113 comments
I am an American programmer living in Southern California making around $100,000 USD per year. Pretty much your average experienced programmer salary, maybe even a little on the low side.

I have been applying for programming jobs in San Francisco and in Germany, the Netherlands, and other mainland European countries. I finally got an offer from a company in Austria but the salary was a lot lower than I was expecting, only 45,000 EUR (~$65,000 USD). This is even a "Senior" programmer position!

To put things in perspective, I also got an offer from a company in San Francisco that is a significant raise from my current salary, but that is to be expected given the current programming job market in SF.

I was expecting the pay to be worse in Europe, but not that worse. The company in Vienna insists that this is a fair salary for the region but I am finding this very hard to believe.

I'm not in this for the money at all, but I also don't want to sell myself short. Can anyone help me out with their experiences with programmer salary in mainland Europe? Should the disparity be this great?

You could not compare US/EU pays. The tax system and the benefits vary widely.

For example in France: a salary of 50k€/year like me, you should add 30% of tax paid by the compagny you would have paid from your own salary in US.

This salary is brut. You could retire 20% of direct tax on it. So it give a ~3000€ net by month.

Benefits paid by tax: - health insurance (70% rembursment for standard care like a flu, 100% for emergency or expensive care) - retirements (vary in function of the employment status, but count 60% of the 10years best salaries) - job insurance (6month to 80% of the previous salary, from memory, need to check)

All of this you have to pay from your US salary. If you want to compare a US salaty with an european one, you have to factor all the social benefits you would have to pay in US.

In the US typically the employer pays for your health insurance and it's not counted towards the salary number.

As for retirement, there is social security in the US, although not many people are happy to base their retirement plans on receiving social security checks. Whether the European retirement systems will fare better, the time will show.

I believe you have a point with respect to severance packages.

Are defined benefit pensions common anywhere outside of the public sector anymore in Europe? They weren't on offer for (smaller) private companies when I was in the UK 10 years ago.

Absolutely. The salary difference looks outrageous, but when you account for social security and retirement package, it's not that bad.

Still bad though. :)

Mainland Europe is a big place. (As is the United States, Japan, etc). There are huge, huge, huge disparities in income between e.g. programmers working finance in Paris and somebody cranking out back office code in Poland.

I have no specific knowledge about the market in Vienna, but find it easily within the realm of plausibility. You'll still be making a 50% premium to e.g. some fairly senior developers in the Midwest, and almost a 100% premium to common programming wages in Nagoya.

and Poland is not your target. I'ts quite sad, but and true.

Working as Python developer with 4 years of experience. Close to 23.000 eur(net), and used to think it's quite good, after this message it's no longer true. Thanks guys ;)

Same situation in Italy.

I'm pretty sure that IBM Germany wouldn't pay you more either. Guess how shocking I found salaries during my first time in the US ;-) Also, even though taxes in CA are "high", taxes in Germany will prob. be a lot higher. I recently spoke to a Norwegian who just moved here. He couldn't believe that he has to pay more here than back home. >50% including social benefits etc. is standard for a single.

However, you have to take into account, that, as far as I can tell, this already includes quite a decent federal retirement package. Additional private retirement plans are getting standard here now, but up until quite recently, lots of people would be happy with their federal ones. My parents for instance never bought a private plan.

Depending on what you prefer, there can be more bang for the buck, or quality of life. For instance in my hometown Munich, rent might be higher than in any other German city but even for European standarts its a joke. You can easily live in the center for way under 1000 Euro per month if you're not to picky. You can prob. reach everything incl. work, city parks and even mountains without a car. In theory bike + train can get you anywhere. The crime rate is a LOT lower. The best beer in town costs about 50 cents per bottle. There are almost know bums on the streets. And so on...

As far as I can tell if you try to save money, the US is the better place to be a high demanded employee. If you want to enjoy life, maybe central Europe is better for you. Oh, and last but not least, don't expect to find a start up community, larger than a few dozen entrepreneurs.

> I'm pretty sure that IBM Germany wouldn't pay you more either.

Wrong guess, they do pay more. I worked for IBM R&D Germany right after graduation and my salary was more than 45k, even excluding overtime, which was paid extra.

As for Germany, there's also a gap in salary depending on the size of the company you work for. Generally, larger cooperations pay better than smaller ones, so if you're looking to make more money, go for the bigger players.

Of course, there a huge differences in salaries for the same work, even within a company. Anyway, I know some IBM Germany employees in development/project management who don't make 70k after >10 years of job experience. Do you have any data to share on how much your senior peers at IBM made? Even public German research labs pay their Phd students >38k after graduation, so your numbers don't surprise me so far.

And many employes don't get paid overtime. They officially have to take vacation, which again is usually not possible due to project pressure. Hence, many vacation days become void after deadlines.

I don't have any good data on this, just what I hear from my peers. So my post is as anecdotal as yours. However, if you look at the Heise report, my numbers are not so far off.

I second your last point, but thats not a German/European uniqueness, right?

In Amsterdam as a starter you can expect somewhere between €30k and €38k, depending on your skill set and company you're applying for. I think €45k for a senior position sounds about right, but this really depends a lot on where you're going to live: cost of living in for example London is much higher than somewhere in Spain.

As an indication for taxes: €45k before taxes would probably be around €30k after income taxes in the Netherlands.

I've seen financial companies offering around 40k for starting developers. I would think 30k is a bit low for a university graduate, most offers will be around 32k - 35k I guess. 45K euro for a senior dev sounds really low to me though!

I was working in Holland for a year. Some of my senior colleges were getting 60k€ net or slightly more.

I can concur that the pay sucks in France - ludicrously low compared to Australian rates (like, half!) and it's not like living expenses are lower, that's for sure. If you're only in it for the dollars, then avoid!

However, bonuses are (at least for me) much much lower working hours. Which means plenty of time for side projects.

I don't know that I agree - as an Australian, my salary here in Paris, once bonuses and what not are thrown in, comes out to be about AUS$100k. Nobody in Australia has ever offered me something even remotely like $200k. And of course in France, by the time all of the RTTs are thrown into the mix, I have 9 weeks of leave a year. Thanks SFR!

I heard about the 9 weeks at SFR. How do you use it all! I'm having trouble just using up my 5 weeks.

I second this. "If you're only in it for the dollars, then avoid!"

The usual employe is expected to take all of his 6 weeks (in Germany the minimum is 4 but 6 is standard, in France I think its 8 weeks) of vacation even though there are lots of federal holidays and <40 hour weeks. Maybe you can even collect over hours for additional vacation. But don't expect to get paid for them, let alone 150%.

And yes French food is expensive. But com'on its French food!

That's untrue. In France high responsibility positions have a different status (called "cadre") and there is no such thing as RTT for them (although in very large companies they might happen to actually take them into account): there is practically no weekly limit and it's usually anywhere between 40 to 50 hours a week (known as the "you leave when your work is done"). Holidays are at least (and usually) 5 weeks.

This is not always true. I am a French software programmer, with the cadre status. I have 9 days of RTT. With the 25 paid holidays, I have almost 7 weeks of holidays / year (34 days).

As a cadre, I am not paid by the hour: I am paid to attain results ("you leave when your work is done"). If I can do it in 35 hours, great. If I need to work more, so be it. I often work 40-50 hours, but it's a choice. And I have relatively flexible hours, as long as the job is done.

Now, while the actual number of hours worked varies, and nobody keeps count of those hours... my employment contract still specifies that I am supposed to work 37,5 hours / week. Which is more than 35 hours. Which means I get 9 RTTs / year to "compensate" for working 2.5 hours more than I should (I work a lot more in reality).

Some cadres have contracts that specify they should work 39 hours / week, and they get 18 RTTs / year to compensate. Regardless of the actual hours worked.

Some companies have contracts that specify their cadres work 35 hours / week, and they get no RTTs... Even though they often work a lot more than that.

FWIW, I had 9 RTTs in my current and in my previous company. Both around 100-150 people.

(note: we should have 10 RTTs, but we lost one day due to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Journ%C3%A9e_de_solidarit%C3%A9... )

Oh, I'm very late. Thanks for the information, I really thought it was not legally possible to have RTT as a cadre (a quick Google search proved me wrong and, as I see, you too).

So I guess, that's because there was a negotiation with your employer to work on a 37.5h per week basis and get 37.5 - 35 of compensating RTTs (hence the name, by the way).

I remember being paid on a 35h per week basis as a cadre a few years ago. I guess this is what led me to a broken conclusion.

BTW, I'm French too, enchanté.

You are not late, it's me who decided to comment 11 days after you posted ;)

I think it definitely depends on the company. Maybe I was "lucky" with my first two companies? (both SSIIs, with around 100-150 employees).

I got offered a job at a smaller company (a "PME" with less than 20 employees), and it did not include any RTTs... Which is one of the reasons I declined (since the compensation was not better anyway...). I think small companies have a special status re: RTTs, and do not need to give them.

This is not true. I am a French software programmer, with the cadre status. I have 9 days of RTT. With the 25 paid holidays, I have almost 7 weeks of holidays / year (34 days).

As a cadre, I am not paid by the hour: I am paid to attain results. If I can do it in 35 hours, great. If I need to work more, so be it. I often work 40-50 hours, but it's a choice. And I have relatively flexible hours, as long as the job is done.

Now, while the actual number of hours worked varies, and nobody keeps count of those hours... my employment contract still specifies that I am supposed to work 37,5 hours / week. Which is more than 35 hours. Which means I get 9 RTTs / year.

Some cadres have contracts that specify they should work 39 hours / week, and they get 18 RTTs / year. Regardless of the actual hours worked (since they are paid by the results).

Some companies have contracts that specify their cadres work 35 hours / week, and they get no RTTs... Even though they often work a lot more.

Thanks for clarifying this.

I am a programmer living in Vienna (currently self employed, but I was an employee not that long ago).

45,000 EUR is above average programmer pay in Vienna (that is about the same as the highest offer I ever got here, for doing java enterprise stuff about a year ago).

Sounds about right.

However, as a contractor you can make significantly more (500-600 euros/day).

Hey, I am also living in Vienna (or at least close to it) and I want to get self employed as well - any tips how to start? (already have a few years of programming experience under my belt and soon a master in mathematics)

Send me an email! My address is in my HN user page.

Salaries do vary significantly between different European countries. For example, salaries in Germany are much higher than in Spain or Portugal. Within a country you can also expect some variation depending on the city. I don't know about Austria in specific but I would expect higher than that.

To give you a point of comparison, in Amsterdam (The Netherlands), I've known of several people with a salary like that, take or give 5k, and around 2-3 years of experience.

Suggestions: Check glassdoor, payscale and those types of sites. Remember to check how much tax you're expected to pay, some countries in Europe have very high taxes. Finally, cost of living, especially property, is a big factor in how much your money will be worth.

I'm a developer living in Amsterdam. From what I see around (in job offers and my last two employments), the pay is around 50K EUR per year for a senior position.

In the last company I was working there were also developers getting 60K. But they had around 10 years of experience.

Sounds about right. My base salary, no benefits, would be about 58K a year if I worked full-time. This is in Rotterdam, where salaries are slightly lower than in Amsterdam.

Senior ASP.NET developer in Rotterdam (Creative Agency), BICT degree, 6 years experience, 42K

You're comparing to the one tiny part of the US that pays programmers more than almost anywhere in the world. If you applied for the same position in different cities across the US, you'd also not be offered the same salary you get in California.

Heise, an IT publisher in Germany does regular surveys of IT salaries. See http://www.heise.de/jobs/artikel/Wer-verdient-wie-viel-98184...

Yeah, the German slashdot. Highly recommended if you want to get in touch with German IT - but don't expect to much ;-)

For those to lazy to fire up a translator: According to the heise.de statistic, the highest pay category for a software developer is "group/team leader" and will get you 67 800 Euro on average.

Chrome translate would work great if only it could look at text within the graph. Though I can mostly workout the English translation from the German title anyway.

Hi! :)

I'm working in Poland (Python / Django / Java (in previous job)). 3 years of experience. My salary is ~ 10000$ / year. I've talk recently with friends who I've been studying with, and I earn quite nice comparing to them...

I would assume that you are either talking net income or you mistyped the number?

Yes - I'm talking about net income. I've a small mistake: ~ 10.000 Euro (not $) / year this is ~ 14.000$ / year.

Sorry to be inquisitive even further, I am not in Poland but my friend is thinking about moving there. Are you talking Warsaw here or a smaller town (Krakow, Wroclaw, Tricity area)?

I'm working in Krakow, but I know that salary in Warsaw can be much more higher.

You need money to flourish like everyone else, but you say you're not in it for the money. Then what are you after?

Are you prepared to accept that Europe's socialism (taxes and regulation) are the cause of these low wages? Are you even open to asking yourself if this is true?

Incidentally, how did you choose "socialist_coder" as your username? Are you trying to be facetious by doing so, or are you serious?

I'm not in it for the money as long as I can keep my current quality of life. I enjoy traveling, eating at nice restaurants, buying gadgets, etc.

I remember back when I used to make $65,000 I was not able to do all of those things. I had a lower quality of life.

I'm to the point now where I feel like all my monetary problems are solved. I don't want to go backwards, but I also don't think any additional salary increase is going to increase my happiness.

The reason I was applying for jobs in Europe was because I thought the social benefits outweigh the lower salary. I want to live in a society where there is a good social safety net and where there is less income inequality than in the United States. I was prepared for a lower salary but I was expecting about 20% lower, not 40%.

I just re-read pg's essay, "How to Make Wealth": http://paulgraham.com/wealth.html

Have you read this? I think there's plenty in it that might stretch your mind. Here are two paragraphs taken from his essay almost at random:

"I can remember believing, as a child, that if a few rich people had all the money, it left less for everyone else. Many people seem to continue to believe something like this well into adulthood. This fallacy is usually there in the background when you hear someone talking about how x percent of the population have y percent of the wealth. If you plan to start a startup, then whether you realize it or not, you're planning to disprove the Pie Fallacy."


"This is why so many of the best programmers are libertarians. In our world, you sink or swim, and there are no excuses. When those far removed from the creation of wealth-- undergraduates, reporters, politicians-- hear that the richest 5% of the people have half the total wealth, they tend to think injustice! An experienced programmer would be more likely to think is that all? The top 5% of programmers probably write 99% of the good software."

Working as experienced contractor in Belgium you can make between 500 and 650 euro's per day. Less experienced can go from 350 until 500 euro's per day.

As a foreigner working in Belgium and you incorporate in a tax beneficial country you make a decent wage.

If you are going to work as a salaried employee you will take a lot less. So contracting work can be more lucrative.

I have a couple of questions...What is the amount that you gain after paying taxes? What kind of companies hire contractors?

are you doing this? Whats your recommendation as for a country to incorporate in?

I'm a Belgian working in Belgium. So my only option is to pay Belgian Taxes. But with my incorporation I can optimize a little bit. But in the end I pay a lot of taxes ;)

But If I would go to work in Germany or any other Shengen country I could optimize better.

Now for an American you first need to get a work permit: http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/234826/how_to_move_...

Then your options are open: all tax free places are possible to start your company. You can google for these places.

If you're just doing contracting on your own, incorporating in mainland Europe is basically insane, as you'll spend a ton of your time chasing after bureaucratic stuff, and paying a lot for the privilege. And in any case, what's the point...

I can't comment on what the actual average salary for a programmer in Europe is, but you have to remember that you can't just convert straight from EUR to USD and compare the amounts. You have to consider the cost of living etc. in the country you are getting the offer from compared to the cost of living where you currently live.

Good point. For this, I would recommend Purchasing Power Parity. See the map here:


The "2003" map may not be the freshest, but it gives a rough estimate. Relative to US:

  * Canada, Australia have 90%
  * Africa typically ranges from 20% to 30%. South africa is much better, often 40%.
  * Most of Asia is 20%, sometimes lower
  * Poland is 50%
  * UK, Germany, France are around 100%
  * Scandinavian countries (Sweden, Norway...) are 120% (!). Japan should be around 120% too.

Depending on your skills, a "senior" developer in Berlin would earn around 45 to 60,000 € per year. If you're specializing in Ruby on Rails or Magento, for example, you would be paid higher. Finally, don't forget the additional 20% of social security fees that your employer would have to pay on top of your salary.

California (and NYC) pay outsized salaries compared to everywhere else.

However, your US work ethic/hours/vacation is out of wack with what you'll see in Europe. You'll work a lot of fewer hours there in general.

Compare hours, days working vs off, etc compared to what people Actually work in a california software company.

> I'm not in this for the money at all

So what are you in for? Are you looking to live in Austria for personal reasons or is the new job scope intriguing?

If former is the case, maybe sticking to your current employer and telecommuting is an option? Or you could keep ties to the US and do contracting work remotely?

Pay is generally a lot lower in Europe, compared to the most competitive market in the world for developer talent. Be sure, however, that you're both talking about the same things: the number before taxes, and try and get an idea of how much actual take home pay would be.

Contract rates in London seem to be just shooting up. Two years ago £600/day was a "high" rate. Last year £700. This year several places are offering £850/day and I've heard rumours of £1000/day or more.

If you want to live in Austria, why not work in London and just commute ;-)

I had an offer of over £1000/day a few months back (it's was for a C++ lead dev at a firm no-one wants to work at).

I'm not sure how £1000/day even makes sense. Isn't that like £20000/month, which computes to ~$400K/year? What am I missing? Is it only part-time because of consulting?

It's was for an investment bank, full-time 6 month contract, they were looking for someone who was strong at multi-threading and networking, and could be a lead dev. That's a rare enough combination of skills.

When working this way, do you get to keep more or less of the money as compared with a "normal" position?

Well done anyway ;-) As a lead dev myself I totally agree that people strong with multi-threading and networking are rare.

I'm actually trying to bootstrap my startup, getting people waving wodges of money in front of me to do contracting work instead is really distracting :P

Typically you get to keep more (generally 73%-75% of the amount), but you'll also need an accountant to minimize your taxes and that'll cost you about a grand a year. But in most cases it's worth it.

Gross stuff like Oracle Financials or similar big ticket ERP consulting pays about the same rate in the USA.

I'm quite experienced with C++. Are these £850-£1000 rates common for C++ contract work in London?

No, £550-£750 is probably the norm, things in the £750-£1000 range do come up but generally in combination with some sector speciality or if a company is really desperate (not normally a good sign).

I've seen similar ranges advertised. It's probably worth noting that it's mostly the big financial firms that tend to offer this kind of money (£600+/day), and as well as the technical skills ig1 mentions, most positions also require real world experience working in their field. You are unlikely to jump from writing business admin software or games into financial modelling at that kind of money even if you've got a decade of programming experience and all the technical skills they can think of.

Also, keep in mind that these places are all based in London, so you have to factor in either relatively high accommodation costs or a significant amount of both time and money on the commute.

Also also, when you deal with these guys, you are usually not selling your services so much as your soul, because you aren't going to have much time and energy left to enjoy your off hours for as long as you're working there.

(I've been invited to work at these places but never taken them up on it, and having seen the effect it has had on some of my close friends, I have never regretted going a different way.)

Some of the banks, are willing to hire people from outside the financial sector. You might get a lower rate for it initially, but it's definitely possible to break in.

The work culture depends very much on the bank, the British/French/German banks tend to be much less work obsessed than the American and Japanese ones.

Just two words: FIX PROTOCOL

Care to elaborate please? (FIX engine?)

The C++ developers I've meet in London that earn 600 GBP/1000 GBP by day (consulting) are people who has been working for investment banks (JP Morgan for example) developing trading systems that use FIX Protocol (http://www.fixprotocol.org/).

The rule of thumb is that programmer pay is crap outside of NYC and Silicon Valley.

Developer in Paris here, 45K is about right. And this city is expensive, not as expensive as NYC, SF, or London, but definitely more than Barcelona.

Keep in mind the further south and east you go the lower the salaries.

yeah in Spain the average salaries are quite a bit lower than most places but you can get around 45K if you have a couple of years of experience. Throw in low prices, benefits (extra tax free restaurant tickets, pension plan, health care) and in the case of Barcelona awesome weather and lot's of beaches and it becomes more of a lifestyle decision than a pure monetary one. Yeah you might make 60K+ in London but the taxes are higher the rent is over double and the food is 50% more expensive.

«45K if you have a couple of years of experience» LOL that's interesting because, you know, it's false :) replace «couple» with "more than 5 years" and I will begin to believe you.

It's true that in BCN and Madrid things are better, but not that much. And in London you can earn more than 60K per year.

Spain is near Poland in salaries, we have tons of people with CS degrees (which doesn't means that they are good at programming) that make the salary lower by offer/demand law.

To put in perspective: rent a flat (average in the south) 600 EUR/months, buy a car 10.000EUR/30.000EUR, buy a house 150.000 EUR. And that's the south, in BCN you can increase rent and house price nearly by 100%.

It's not that bad. I rent a 3 bedroom flat for about 850 eur and most of my co-workers rent for between 700 - 900 eur a month. Prices have come way down during the crisis :)

Absolutely true, my 3 bedroom flat rent in the south is now 450 EUR month ;)

In Geneva, Switzerland, earning more than CHF 100,000 / year (ca. USD 110,000) as a programmer is not an exception, by far. Wages are rather high here, compared to the rest of mainland Europe. The cost of living is high, but overall Geneva is a good place to live. It is full of wealthy institutions, which makes it a advantageous place to work as well.

This has a two drawbacks however. First, it's not such a good thing for us programmers to have too many cash cows in one place. Indeed, too many employers of software engineers here are service companies that tend to neglect the good "explorer" mind set, resting on a more lucrative "milker" working style, and sometimes even relying on "cowboy" techniques to catch new clients. This is very disenchanting for engineers that cross their paths.

Another issue here is that you have within the same narrow space institutions with huge cultural distances. It is well known that Geneva has a bunch of international organizations, as well as banks and financial institutions. It is less known that some of the biggest tobacco industries have chosen this area to monitor their business, and that some health organizations have to deal with this neighborhood. If you are a sensible worker with values, all this will put you in trouble sooner or later, and maybe in very unexpected ways. Pragmatic programmers, beware of the cynics in pragmatism clothing!

This leads to my suggestion: think twice before you leave your friends and beloved ones in the hope of a better salary. There are plenty of reasons to move to other places or to explore the world, but this should not be the first one. Instead, concentrate on the good you can do with your skills, and the fun they can bring you.

I'm not a programmer myself, but I do know about CS graduates working as 'IT consultants' in Germany doing actual programming work getting around 50-60k EUR/year, fresh out of college, before bonuses.

to be noted, the salary variation in Germany is actually quite huge with Munich, Stuttgart, Hamburg (and some other high salary areas) being at the top. in some rural areas you might only get half the pay as in these metropolian areas.

Here are statistics for germany:


From my personal experience I can tell you that colleagues at the company I previously worked for in Vienna, Austria made about 42 k / year with a several years of experience and a masters in computer science. But pay was always an issue there.

It really varies a lot in my personal experience - in the UK/ROI salaries are much higher than for senior roles, salary basically spans from 45-50K to 80-90K euros, but contracting you can easily make much more than that. In Switzerland you get good deals, but if you cross the border to Italy you go back to figures similar to the one you mention for Austria.

I can only speak about France. In Paris you could expect maybe a little bit more than in Vienna, but it vastly depends on the company of course (small or large).

What you need to know if you get an offer in France :

Official working hours are 35 hours per week, and ~7 weeks of holidays, but in small companies expect to work much more than 35 hours (and don't expect to be pay for the extra time).

Quoted salaries are vast fantasies, not actually tie to any sort of reality. Or, more precisely, born out of the obfuscation dreams of some bureaucrats.

A 45k "brut" salary means :

- you get ~35k ("net" salary), on which you still need to pay income tax at the end of the year,

- your employer pays ~30k of "social contributions" which pays for healthcare, retirement, unemployment insurance (if you are fired you keep getting a large chunk of your salary for a while), and other stuff like URSAAF, which I'm yet to figure out the purpose.

So that put the total at ~65k, but you don't see much of it.

In Spain you can find net salaries from 800€/month to 3000€/month (if we forget about big banks, and top notch developers in Madrid and Barcelona).

Yeah, we have substandard salaries and we are not that crappy. This could be the reason why many London based companies are installing here their dev shops.

I work for one of them :)

In Madrid (Spain), an engineer with 10 years of experience in a technical role can expect an average of 55k€ per year, before a 25% tax cut. Similar (or a bit lower) for a programmer. I won't call it a crappy salary. You can make a pretty decent living with that. Welcome to southern Europe!

55k€ - 25% = 41250€ = 3437,5 EUR/month... after 10 years, in Madrid, which is expensive for Spain.

More or less in the range I told in my comment :)

I'm from Vienna, I would say it's quite average. To calculate taxes and to put it into perspective you can use this online-calculator of the federal ministry of finance: http://www.bmf.gv.at/service/anwend/steuerberech/bruttonetto...

Comparing salaries in europe is quite difficult, in Austria, for 45,000 €, your employer have to pay about 14,000 € taxes additionally which you don't see on your pay slip, so the employer is spending in your case about 60,000 €. And you have 25 holidays a year and lots of public holidays http://english.bmf.gv.at/Ministry/PublicHolidaysinAustria.ht... ;-)

There are a lot of variables to computing salary. What kind of industry are you in? What kind of technology are you working with?

As others have already mentioned, Europe is a broad spectrum. Salaries in UK and Scandinavian countries is about comparable to US. When you move south and east from here, expect to see a drop in salaries. On the other hand, living expenses tend to follow that trend as well.

Regardless of salary, do your self a favor and get in contact with a union in the country you're moving to. They will know what salary to expect and they can help you with a lot of legal things. I don't know specifically about Austria, but in Scandinavia, unions have considerable political influence.

Your best bet is to go for the fiscal havens in Europe: Luxembourg, Liechtenstein, Swiss. They have really LOWER taxes and banks pay VERY well.

As a graduate and competent C# developer you can easily get 65kEUR+ per year + car + meal vouchers working for a service company in Luxembourg. That's a bit more than 3500EUR/month in your pocket with pension + health insurance + unemployment etc paid for. Banks pay MUCH more than that. And European institutions pay about 5kEUR/month net with even better pension/health plan/etc.

It's 40 hours/week in Luxembourg and 25 days of paid holiday. I have yet to experience unpaid overtime.

Hi R4cOOn! I've a question about work market in Luxembourg - can I send you an e-mail? (My mail: martain87@gmail.com - please send me your address)

Dont forget to factor in the welfare and pension differences between EU and USA. I Work in Norway and people in our wider group in the USA get about 20% more salary and a much much cheaper cost of living. That said, I get real universal healthcare, excellent working conditions and employee rights, a state pension and a company pension and good working hours. Dont be too worried about getting paid less in Europe.

It's interesting to see the salary in different countries. I'm starting in a junior developer position in Norway with a salary of €56k/year ($82k/year). However, we have reasonably heavy taxes and cost of living. Another important aspect is that our currency is crazy strong right now. Just 10 months back it would have been about $65k/year.

I'm a developer in Stockholm, Sweden. Making around $72-75K a year. Pretty average salary around here, I think?

I'm also a developer in Stockholm, but originally from the US. Looking at my taxes from last year, I guess that I also made a similar amount before taxes, and most of my friends earn similar amounts. After taxes this would come out to about $50K.

Previously, I worked in Germany and I earned about the same amount (before taxes), probably a bit more afterwards. However, you can't and shouldn't compare the dollar amounts directly.

First of all, the taxes are higher (especially in Sweden), but you get more out of them. Health care, for instance, is excellent and is completely taken care of, whereas this is usually calculated as a "benefit" in the US. It's not uncommon for Americans to get shafted on the health insurance or to have to pay it themselves if they are independent contractors. Also, vacations benefits here are also very ample compared to the US. Five weeks per year is standard in Sweden, most professionals get six.

Also, I don't need to own a car here. That saves a ton of money, time, and mental health. I bike/walk/take public transport everywhere here. This is only possible in a handful of American cities, of which I have never personally lived in.

Stockholm is expensive, but the quality of life here is worth it. I consider myself very lucky to earn as much as I do, and I enjoy the life that I have here, which you can't put a price on.

How much do you get after taxes?

Around $55K I guess, maybe a little less.


I agree that there are so many things you can hardly put a prize on. Heck, I'm sure for many people living close to Christiania in Kopenhagen is a quality of life they would miss elsewhere.

I'm a senior developer in Salzburg, Austria (about a 1 hour drive from Munich). 50400 Euros before taxes, which means I'm only taking home 31870 a year. No matter how you look at it, Europe rewards lazy people and punishes the ones doing the work. I'd stay in California, if I had a chance.

€45K = $65K = £39K

In my eyes that IS a really good salary. I earn £36K (€39K) with 6 years of experience in London.

It's certainly enough to have a quality of life in the region better than most. Personally I think you're lucky to get the opportunity to travel and experience another lifestyle.

dude, you should be making way more than that - in Ireland (not even dublin) senior (perm) positions are going up to €70K

you have to take into account that cost of living will not be anywhere near sf cost of living in germany or austria.

i cant say anything about austria but in germany 36-40k€ would be a good starting salary for someone with a Diplom or M.Sc. straight out of college.

I'm working as Rails programming for a new startup in Madrid and I'm earning 40,000 EUR working as Senior. I think you can expect higher salaries in other countries like Germany, Netherlands and Nordic countries

Since you are thinking of German-speaking countries, consider Switzerland. The pay is better than in Silicon Valley, and the taxes (in Zurich at least) are lower.

I'm trying to stay in the video game industry, and to my knowledge there aren't many video game companies in Switzerland, but I am going to check now. Thanks for the tip!

Look up CCP in Iceland, they're hiring for positions in Reykjavik, Atlanta and Shanghai.

You can find that salary for a "senior" position in Utah as well. California salaries are much higher than the average.

I'm a programmer from Russia, Moscow. My salary is ~$3000USD per month, I think its average picture.

$3K is way above average in Moscow, and Moscow salaries are much bigger than anywhere else in Russia. To give a comparison, a salary of $1K per month is considered above average in most of the Russian cities, except for 2-4 largest ones.

It's above average if you're not software developer or you have no experience.

guys, http://www.worldsalaries.org/computerprogrammer.shtml

US has the highest income in the world for programmers. The only european country close to US is UK, everything else is at least 50% less.

What about Greece? Is, for example, 2000 EUR per month net a decent salary there?

That's a huge salary for Greece, believe me :)

In Spain/Greece most salaries for young people are 1000€/600€ month.

I made around 45K with 2 years experience at a big company in Hamburg, Germany.

In Paris, its right on target

Oh man.

Don't make me start on South African salaries. You'll cry.

America just is the place to be. JUST FACE IT, europe sucks. They should nuke it.

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