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Expat salaries differ from country to country and tax also plays a major contributing factor to what your take-home pay will be. The recent My Expatriate Market Pay Survey conducted by Employment Conditions Abroad (ECA) provides a good benchmark of which professions command the highest salaries. The survey explored expats’ pay levels across the world and covered more than 300 global companies in 170 countries, making up more than 10 000 employees around the world.

The professions that currently command the highest salaries

Doctors: USD$ 120 000 to $290 000 annually

Doctors tend to earn high incomes in most parts of the world, but there are some European countries like Netherlands and Switzerland that pay premium salaries for highly skilled doctors. To qualify for practice, doctors must have a degree in medicine, a specialisation certificate and a medical license.

Financial managers/directors: USD$ 60 000 – $200 000

Financial managers and directors are other professions that command a good salary. Expat professionals with plenty of experience are most likely to land the best jobs. The countries where finance professionals are in high demand are mainly centred in Asian countries like China, Singapore, Japan and Hong Kong. Qualifications for a well-paying job in finance include a degree in business or commerce with an MBA.

Petroleum Engineer: USD$ 40 000 – $150 000

Senior Petroleum Engineers are rewarded for the difficulty of their tasks and their high level of expertise and skills. To earn a good global salary, a senior Petroleum Engineer requires an engineering degree and good experience in the field.

Pilots USD$ 50 000 – $250 000

Pilots command good salaries especially in the UAE, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Asian countries like China and Hong Kong. To receive a good salary, a degree in aviation is required as well as plenty of experience.

IT: USD$50 000 – $150 000

Many countries are looking for IT professionals including New Zealand. An IT professional is always in demand in all the major cities of the world and can command high salaries in countries like Belarus and Germany.

Engineers: USD$50 000 – $102 992

Engineers top the list of professions in demand in Australia. An engineer’s salary depends on their skill level and countries where there is a greater demand for engineers are likely to pay more. In Germany there is a growing demand for mechanical and electrical engineers. To command a high salary, an engineer will need a recognised engineering degree and good experience.

Business Process Outsourcing: USD$35 000 – $250 000

Outsourcing is becoming a major source of revenue in countries like India and the Philippines. Other popular destinations include Serbia, Canada and Bulgaria. Outsourcing can cover a range of services, but most expat outsourcing professionals earn high salaries with generous expat packages.

If you are living and working abroad or are thinking of doing so in 2018, contact us for expert, personalised advice concerning financial emigration, competitive foreign exchange rates and other financial aspects relating to living abroad including transferring retirement annuities.