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Good salary in Western Europe

Good salary in Western Europe

Postby shadylane » Mon Jun 24, 2019 8:47 am

What would a 'good' salary in Western Europe be? (net and after housing)

I'm in a fairly developed past of asia in a good (but not famous) school and take home about US$5k per month. Would that be possible in europe?
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Re: Good salary in Western Europe

Postby Heliotrope » Mon Jun 24, 2019 8:59 am

Where in Western Europe?
Some countries are way more expensive than others, and in some countries saving will be hard while in others less so.

What kind of lifestyle do you have?
Do you travel a lot? Do you like to eat out? Will you use public transport or would you buy a car?

Are you single?
Or have a trailing spouse, or a teaching spouse? Kids?

Do you think you would have a shot at top tier schools in WE?

And I wouldn't ask about what you take home in salary, but what the savings potential would be.
Without all this info: savings potential will be lower in WE, but at some schools you can still save while still do some travelling and some eating out.
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Re: Good salary in Western Europe

Postby shadylane » Mon Jun 24, 2019 12:05 pm

Heliotrope wrote:
> Where in Western Europe?

I'm flexible - France, Spain, Italy, Germany, UK, Benelux, Scandinavia etc. I'm guessing salaries are better further away from the Med.

> Some countries are way more expensive than others, and in some countries
> saving will be hard while in others less so.

I can work out the savings - just wondered where pays well after tax and accommodation apart from Switzerland.

> What kind of lifestyle do you have?
> Do you travel a lot? Do you like to eat out? Will you use public transport or would you buy a car?

I guess that would depend on how much I could earn net after paying my rent and bills :-)

> Are you single? Or have a trailing spouse, or a teaching spouse? Kids?

I'm married, no kids. OH doesn't teach but is self-supporting financially.

> Do you think you would have a shot at top tier schools in WE?

Maybe - I've 15 years experience, and have a decent enough resume.

> And I wouldn't ask about what you take home in salary, but what the savings
> potential would be.

I can work that out once I know roughly what the salary would be.

> Without all this info: savings potential will be lower in WE, but at some schools you can still save while still do some
travelling and some eating out.

What does a good net salary look like in WE countries after accommodation ? Can you take home €3000 / €4000 / € 5000 per month ?
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Re: Good salary in Western Europe

Postby sid » Mon Jun 24, 2019 12:16 pm

Nowhere you mentioned pays well after tax and accommodation. If you intend to stay more or less permanently, you can earn sufficient in some of those places, perhaps Scandinavia and Germany, to have a comfortable but not lavish life, using the country’s social care to support your health and eventual retirement, but if you intend to move after a couple years, don’t expect to take savings with you.
The other Europe, former Soviet etc, will do you much better after tax and accommodation, with a similar standard of living.
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Re: Good salary in Western Europe

Postby Thames Pirate » Mon Jun 24, 2019 12:50 pm

Housing is pretty radically different, too. Having two kids and a pet is a far cry from a 38m2 studio, and living downtown is not comparable to suburbs.

To give an idea:

In Amsterdam an under 50m2 apartment downtown will run 1400/mo. To find anything cheaper, you are moving quite far from city centre, and you would be hard pressed to find much at all under 900.

Meanwhile in Brussels, you can get 80m2 just a block off the Grand Place for under 1000 or a three bedroom house with a yard slightly further out for 1400. A studio downtown can be as little as 550.


So when you say housing, what do you mean? And of course so many other factors come into play.

ETA: You can take home 3-4K/month at some of the top paying schools, but then you pay for housing, etc.
You don't go to Europe for the savings. But if you do your homework, you can live comfortably, save comfortably, travel, etc. easily enough.
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Re: Good salary in Western Europe

Postby shadylane » Mon Jun 24, 2019 2:02 pm

a studio . . ?! Is that a serious consideration for experienced international teachers in Western Europe? Is the standard of living that low? I've never been provided with anything smaller than a one bed apartment, and usually 2 bed.

I wasn't looking for exact figures as I get that you have to pay for your own accommodation, but I was just hoping for some idea. What would a good salary in WE look like ? So if you take home 3 -4 k, and pay about 1 k for a flat, you'd take home about 2 -3 k per month - if you were at a good school ?
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Re: Good salary in Western Europe

Postby sid » Mon Jun 24, 2019 3:04 pm

You wouldn’t take home that much, even if you earned that much, and there’s no guarantee you would earn that much. Taxes will eat a lot of it before you see it.
Yes, a studio is a potential thing for a teacher in mainstream Europe, and the more mainstream you are, the less you should expect. Do not expect to replicate either your take-home pay nor your standard of living in mainstream Europe, as compared to SE Asia.
FYI you mentioned Switzerland before. It’s no better than the rest of mainstream Europe.
Again, consider the other Europe. It has much to offer.
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Re: Good salary in Western Europe

Postby Thames Pirate » Mon Jun 24, 2019 3:29 pm

For a single teacher, why not? I know quite a few who prefer a lower rent and smaller space--more savings, less cleaning, and you can get some nice lofts for a decent price in many cities. That isn't a low standard of living--just a smaller space. Square footage is not the same thing as standard of living. Not by a long shot.

A good salary in WE is taking home around 3K before rent or any other expenses. If your partner is working, you could probably bank their entire salary if you are making that, but of course it depends. We can live easily off one salary with one big trip/year and lots of local travel. We could even save a tiny bit. With two salaries we travel a bit more and save a lot more. Note that this is at a school that pays well--which is not always the same as a good school.

Prices vary wildly even by country. You cannot compare rent in Munich to that in Hannover, for example. You really should be able to calculate cost of living pretty easily with some quick rental information, price comparison sites like numbeo, etc. Tax calculators are also readily available.

WE isn't for everyone. You are paying for clean air, for example. But if you want a cheaper alternative, as sid said, try eastern Europe. It has lots to offer. But even there you won't take home 5K.
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Re: Good salary in Western Europe

Postby shadylane » Mon Jun 24, 2019 4:03 pm

Thanks for taking the time to reply - I really appreciate it. TBH it falls roughly where I expected - apart from the studio bit. I haven't know anyone that's lived in one of those since I left college.

Can I ask you where you are? Are you both in WE?
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Re: Good salary in Western Europe

Postby sid » Mon Jun 24, 2019 4:23 pm

I’m in my second other-Europe country and loving it. I’ve been doing this International thing for over twenty years and have been courted at times by schools in mainstream Europe. But the math never added up, at least for me. I have quite a few colleagues and friends who made the move to mainstream Europe and they love the culture but none of them have any money or enviable housing.
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Re: Good salary in Western Europe

Postby Thames Pirate » Mon Jun 24, 2019 5:35 pm

I am in Western Europe (one of your listed countries). Hubby and I do just fine in our two bedroom with pets, regional and international travel, hobbies, savings, and going out regularly. Our place is not fancy, but it is plenty for our needs, not central but ideal to our regular locations and right on the train line. Lots of green space. We have a car as well.

Honestly I know people who live in studios and complain about the lack of savings and people who can rent full houses with yards on the same salary and save. It's amazing how much other stuff is part of one's budget (or not). Studios aren't common, but I knew someone who preferred small and in good locations because he only owned two suitcases' worth of stuff. He was able to be more flexible in his living situation and save a LOT of money that way. And again, we are talking about 28m2 lofts in central locations, not college quads with a shared and dirty kitchen. Don't let the word throw you.

Also, have you looked at how most people live in comparable cities the US? If you are in major cities like NYC or San Francisco, you are also going to be looking at those tiny lofts or small one bedrooms. My friend lived in NYC for 18 years and lived in tons of places, almost all of them far smaller and far more expensive than my current place.

My point is that there is variation and that you can make anything work if you are willing to make concessions in other areas. We don't need a huge place, but we do need access to places where we can get out of town/let the dog run/do our hobbies. So what if we don't have the fancy place? It has a guest room, so we're happy. But that choice isn't for everyone. We travel a fair bit, but we could do a lot more if we earned more--but we also have pets, so we probably would not actually do more (and we do a fair bit). We go out as much as we want. And we are saving.
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Reply

Postby PsyGuy » Mon Jun 24, 2019 11:53 pm

USD$5k/mth post tax and housing in WEu, I assume by housing you mean rent and utilities. Its possible at an elite/1st tier IS at the senior end of the salary scale. USD$5K/mth, thats USD$60K/yr post tax, assuming a modest USD$1K/mth for housing is another USD$12K/yr, thats USD$72K/yr. At a very broad average tax rate of 30% thats USD$21600 in taxes for a total of USD$94K/yr. Thats the math, are you going to find top 5 or bottom 6 figures all over WEu, no, not outside of Switzerland. You get there as you get to the senior side of the salary but thats a long way getting there.

Most ITs take home between €2500 and €3500 a month before housing.
Housing costs vary greatly. A lot of people live in studios or efficiencies. You need a second income really before you can comfortably afford a 2LDK or larger. A lot of ITs in WEu have these 1LDKs where the LR is little more than a corridor with a sofa, end table and a flat screen and enough room to walk through to the BR which is large enough for a bed, night stand, a rack for hanging clothes (with shelves or flat bin storage under the bed).

Switzerland is better but only at the top elite/1st tier ISs.Switzerland pays well, some data shows better than elsewhere in WEu but its not some multiple of the rest of the WEu, its those exclusive, elite, boarding ISs that make that possible.
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Re: Reply

Postby Heliotrope » Tue Jun 25, 2019 4:03 am

Don't get blinded by the high salaries in Switzerland, as everything is crazy expensive there. As a teaching couple without kids you can save very, very well there though.

You're right, one of the European countries that border the Mediterranean Sea have schools that allow you to save a lot.
But if you North from those countries, it gets a bit better.

For example, in The Netherlands, there's a certain North American school in The Hague there where you will earn 4,200 euros per month if you have a MA and 8 years experience. You have 15, so you should make that or more.
That's before rent. Right now in The Hague there are 134 houses or apartments with two or more bedroom that you can rent for under 1,000 euros per month (https://www.funda.nl/en/huur/den-haag/0-1000/2+kamers/), so that leaves you with 3,200 euros per month to spend, which is enough to save about half of that if you're single and still want to travel.
But with a spouse who is earning as well (like you have), you can probably save a whole salary, unless you're really into champagne brunches at fancy hotels and hot air ballooning on the weekend.

That being said, there are plenty of schools, cities and countries in WE where you won't save anything, so Eastern Europe is definitely worth a good look. If you'd like to explore Western Europe, you can do it from there almost as easily, as flights are short and cheap.
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Re: Good salary in Western Europe

Postby snowphantom » Mon Jul 01, 2019 7:09 am

@Heliotrope

4200 before or after taxes? What’s the max step you can come in on?
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Re: Good salary in Western Europe

Postby Heliotrope » Mon Jul 01, 2019 7:41 am

snowphantom wrote:
> 4200 before or after taxes? What’s the max step you can come in on?

After, based on the salary and tax rate listed on their SA profile.
Note that The Netherlands has an advantageous tax ruling for 8 years for expats, and I've heard they're about to shorten that period by 2 or so years (or have done so already already). After that, the tax rate will go up, but you will still earn around 3500+ after taxes I think. Others might have more accurate information though.

Not sure what step you can come in on.
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