Where in Europe can you earn more money than in the US?



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It’s easy to be a little envious when seeing some of the high salaries on offer in the U.S., especially when it comes to tech jobs.

According to Indeed’s salary search tool, in America, a Software Engineer can expect to make $105, 202 on average, a data analyst can pull $78,126, an AI research engineer can command $130,722, and an engineering manager’s salary averages at $130,463.

It’s not as common to see 100K+ jobs advertised so prominently across Europe, though it’s important to also take into account what particular countries offer in terms of quality of life due to taxes and public services.

3 skilled jobs hiring right now

Salaries in the U.S. are falling too. Analysis by ZipRecruiter on pay trends reveals that 48% of 2,000 U.S. firms polled have already reduced pay for specific roles.

Overall the average salary in the U.S. is $59,384 per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) as of Q4 2023, but many European countries offer considerably more than this on average.

In fact, Switzerland, Iceland, Luxembourg, Norway, Belgium, Austria, Germany, Netherlands, Denmark, Finland, Sweden, and Ireland all have average annual net earnings above €60,000, according to Eurostat.

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The highest paying countries in its analysis were Switzerland (€106,839), Iceland (€81,942), Luxembourg (€79,903), Norway (€74,506) and Belgium (€70,297). Let’s take a closer look.


Switzerland stands out as the undisputed leader in European salaries. Swiss workers enjoyed an average yearly salary of €106,839.33 in 2022, setting a new benchmark for compensation in Europe.

Switzerland boasts a robust and stable economy, which is driven by sectors such as finance, pharmaceuticals, and tech. This economic strength allows companies to offer competitive salaries to attract top talent. 

But, while Swiss salaries are impressive, it’s important to note that the cost of living in cities like Zurich and Geneva is among the highest in the world. These high wages partly offset the elevated living expenses.


With a highly-educated workforce, Icelandic companies are willing to pay premium salaries for skilled professionals, but the country also has a high cost of living. 

Iceland is also known for its focus on work-life balance, making it a doubly-attractive destination for tech workers. 


Luxembourg is one of Europe’s smallest countries, but packs a big punch when it comes to salaries.

As a major financial centre in Europe, it attracts high-paying jobs in banking, investment, and related sectors. 

The presence of European Union institutions also creates a demand for well-paid, skilled professionals, and Luxembourg boasts one of the highest GDP per capita figures, globally.


Norway’s vast oil and gas reserves have contributed significantly to the country’s wealth, allowing for higher wages across various sectors. 

Norwegian labour unions also play a crucial role in negotiating fair wages and working conditions, helping to maintain high salary levels. 


Belgium’s strategic location as the de facto capital of the European Union contributes to its high pay scales. The presence of numerous international organisations and multinational corporations creates a demand for highly-skilled, well-compensated professionals.

The country’s strong focus on research and development, particularly in sectors like biotechnology and pharmaceuticals, also drives the creation of high-value jobs. 

60K+ club

Also offering above 60K are Austria (average salary €68,690), Germany (average salary €66,635), Netherlands (average salary €64,412), Denmark (average salary €62,972), Finland (average salary €61,497), Sweden (average salary €61,139) and Ireland (average salary €60,687).

In Austria, advanced manufacturing accounts for buoyant salaries, while tech workers are spoiled for choice for innovative companies in the Netherlands. Germany’s robust manufacturing sector requires no introduction, nor does Finnish innovation

Tech and green industries are booming in Sweden, while Ireland is the location for many international tech companies’ European HQs, plus homegrown heroes like Stripe and CarTrawler dominate the global tech industry too.

3 more European roles hiring now

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So while the United States remains a top destination for high-earning professionals, these twelve countries demonstrate that Europe can offer equally, if not more, lucrative opportunities for skilled workers. 

Each country’s unique combination of economic strength, social policies, and industry focus contributes to their ability to offer competitive salaries.

And don’t forget, European countries often provide more comprehensive social benefits, such as healthcare and education, which may not be reflected in raw salary figures.

Lastly, European workers generally enjoy more paid time off work, and shorter working hours than their U.S. counterparts, which many people value more than higher salaries.

Want a high-paying job in tech with generous paid time off? Find it on the Silicon Canals Job Board today


Amanda Kavanagh, content strategy, production, and writing & editing at Jobbio.


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