If you’re considering moving abroad for work, but haven’t yet settled on your final destination, it might be worth considering where you could benefit from a high income.
The valuable research in the annual InterNations Expat Insider report, looks at all aspects of personal finance and cost of living. It also lists the top 10 countries where you could earn a better wage than you would do in the UK for the same job role.
We have focused this article on the five top countries for a better income, looking at their employment options and other benefits.
Doha is a popular location for British expatriates and could be beneficial in terms of income. On paper, your contracted salary in the UK and in Doha are likely to be pretty similar. However, the biggest difference to income is the fact that in Qatar you won’t be paying personal income tax as you would in the UK. This makes a significant difference to your net income.
It’s increasingly less common to receive separate benefits as part of your package, for example for housing costs, travel and school fees. Therefore, these elements also need to be considered to be able to balance up whether you will be earning more than in the UK.
It’s also important to take into account additional benefits that are included. In Qatar, this may include an end-of-contract or end-of-service payout after at least five years of working for an employer.
Looking forward, there is potential for Qatar to continue to offer high incomes for experienced expatriates. It is in the middle of making large investments into improving infrastructure, particularly in light of the 2022 FIFA World Cup, which will put the country on the world stage once again.
Switzerland has long been a top-ranking country for British expatriates when it comes to earnings. In the most recent version of the HSBC Expat Explorer Survey, it ranks first for Economics overall, which includes high scores in both Wage Growth and Disposable Income. Therefore, if a high income is one of your top criteria for making an international relocation, Switzerland is definitely worth considering.
While it is one of the best places in the world for a high pay packet, the cost of living and daily expenses is also high. There are also two taxes to consider. Federal tax is set at the same rather throughout the country, and is relatively low. However cantonal and municipal taxes vary widely, which can impact on your net salary.
Salaries in Switzerland continue to grow year on year, with no signs of slowing. It is set to remain a popular destination for British expatriates in the future thanks to its high quality of life.
With its breathtaking landscapes and exceptional quality of life, it’s no wonder that Norway is a popular option for expatriates looking for a better work/life balance. It’s also viable for those looking to increase their income, as it’s well known for its high salaries.
The average wage is higher than most European capitals, including London. However, this is partially thanks to a better pay rate in traditionally lower-paid work. For senior, professional roles, the income increase in comparison to the UK might be smaller. Norway does offer good working conditions and a strong, stable economy, mainly focused around the oil sector.
The cost of living is high, particularly in Oslo, the key expatriate destination. The standard of living is also excellent, which is what attracts many professionals to the Nordic capital seeking career growth, a good income and an enhanced lifestyle.
Luxembourg has good conditions for workers across all sectors. It actively promotes gender equality in the workplace, with employers obliged to pay both men and women the same salary for equivalent job roles. Salaries are also equal regardless of whether someone is on a fixed-term contract, permanent contract or part-time contract (pro rata) for equivalent roles.
Employee wellbeing is also high on the agenda. Working hours are capped at 10 hours a day as a maximum, and overtime has to be formally approved. This means that the workforce is productive and highly motivated.
Indexation, keeping salaries in line with inflation, in August 2018 impacted positively on wages in Luxembourg too. All salaries and pension salaries increased by 2.5%, which for high-earning professionals can lead to quite an income increase.
There are good employment opportunities for skilled workers from the UK, most significantly in the finance sector where salaries are generally high. The country is also a global hub for technology and data, with big names like Amazon and Skype having European headquarters in the country.
The UAE has long been a prime choice for British expatriates, drawn to the opportunity to earn a high income. Many international corporations are based in the UAE for their off-shore operations, particularly in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, which helps to keep a steady stream of foreign workers coming into the country. Many expatriates are relocated to the UAE with their current employment on short- or long-term contracts.
Sectors that are particularly beneficial to UK expatriates include finance and specialised industrial professions, such as within the oil and petroleum arenas. A huge majority of the UAE’s working population is made up of expatriates, which does make it easier to acclimatise to the lifestyle.
Salaries are traditionally high in the UAE for expats, though they are starting to level out. However, due to favourable taxation, most expats have more disposable income in the UAE than they did in their home country.
If you’re moving to any of these countries, find out how our international removals team can help to arrange packing, storage and transportation on your behalf.