Where in Europe do HR professionals earn the most?

Imagine if you knew that you could do the same job you love, but make much more money at it, work fewer hours and have longer holidays?  According to Credit comparison website TotallyMoney.com, this can all be achieved – simply by moving abroad.


So where should you move to?  It seems that the best location for each individual depends on your job:

  • HR managers should head to Sweden
  • Germany ranks as top country to work in
  • Netherlands earn highest average salary overall
  • Over half of UK feel underpaid, and 1/3 feel overworked

The company has  done extensive research on salaries and working hours across Europe and created a handy interactive tool where you can choose your profession, and compare the pros and cons of working in each country.

Show me the money!

If it’s money you are chasing, those who work in Human Resources should head for Sweden (with an average salary of over £64k for managers).  Electricians will make most money in France (followed by Greece and Spain), and IT consultants should head for Germany (then Greece and Spain). Britain, however, is the best country to work in if you are a train driver, airline pilot or accountant.

However, for many workers who choose to move abroad, it’s not all about the money.  It’s often about a change in culture, better weather or achieving a better overall standard of living – including a better work/life balance.

More time off?

Germany, the economic engine of Europe, ranks as the top overall country to work in. German workers, living up to their stereotype for being hardworking and efficient (we don’t hear about the superiority of German engineering in car ads for nothing!), may not boast the highest average salary (that distinction belongs to the Netherlands, in fourth place overall, where people earn on average £39k a year), but they work the fewest hours per week (26), and have one of the lowest living costs.

In second place is France, with the highest paid leave (30 days per year), and so it is apparent the republic has a healthy regard for a good work/life balance; they have even suggested a law banning out of hours emails, so called the “right to disconnect”.

Whilst it is clear that no countries are equal, neither are job benefits, and the study found that depending on the type of work you do, some countries offer better rewards than others – to explain in its simplest terms, you would far prefer to be a lifeguard in Portugal than in Britain!

Should we start packing?

So, should we be worried that this research will see a flurry of Brits about to up sticks and head to Europe chasing a higher salary ahead of Brexit, or workers generally satisfied with their UK employers?

TotallyMoney.com also commissioned a survey (1,500 people; via OnePoll) to look at how satisfied Brits our with our our work.  1/3 of Brits told researchers they feel over-worked, with 55% also feeling underpaid – and, perhaps as a result, over 55% of Brits have considered moving to a different country. However, leaving family and friends is the biggest worry for Brits when considering moving abroad – but for some, the extra income could be too tempting to ignore.

Joe Gardiner of TotallyMoney.com thinks that with so many unhappy workers, the rewards could inspire some to give Europe a try:

‘It might inspire workers to think about moving abroad, when they see they could earn more elsewhere for doing the same job they love. Sometimes a change of scene is, as they say, as good as a rest – with the added bonus of making you even more money.’

(Full dataset available from TotallyMoney.com on request.)

Author: Editorial Team

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