Expat salaries increase the most in Saudi Arabia and Switzerland

Published:  29 Sep at 6 PM
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Expatriate professionals in the pharmaceutical and banking industries are sitting pretty if they’re based in Switzerland with its reputation for extremely high salaries, but those working in Saudi Arabia’s petrodollar economy get even more money.

The oil and gas, banking and pharmaceutical industries are favourite sectors for expats whose main objective is to make huge amounts of money out of their specialities. It’s no coincidence that life in the two hotspots of Saudi Arabia and Switzerland is geared to the luxury end of the market where earning loads of cash is the only way to survive.

A recently released expat survey revealed the average wage for expatriate professionals in Switzerland’s pharmaceutical companies, private banks and commodity trading hubs is over £144,151, the highest average earnings anywhere in the world. That’s 54 per cent more than had they stayed in their home countries. The massive boost in average wages is only topped by the 58 per cent increase they’d have received if they’d been petrochemical specialists working in Saudi Arabia.

Switzerland has beaten off all comers in career progression, personal finance and local economy strength for three successive years of surveys, but is also a very expensive location for living life to the full as an expat professional. Almost 80 per cent of respondents agreed they had a far higher level of disposable income than if they’d remained at home, as well as having far more job security than in other upscale hubs.

However, all is not perfect in the land of mountains, lakes and untrammelled luxury, as the manicured little country dropped to 11th in the overall rankings due to poor results in the ‘family’ category. Its social life rankings came in at 44 out of 46, with the same result in the difference and diversity category, perhaps proving that money isn’t everything. Even so, Switzerland is, it seems, a good place to bring up a family, and the kids are likely to have many international playmates as more than 60 per cent of the country’s population is foreign-born.
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