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Six things you need to know about salaries in Austria

Amanda Previdelli
Amanda Previdelli - [email protected]
Six things you need to know about salaries in Austria
Prices are expected to stay high in Austria for a while longer, despite inflation finally falling. (Photo by moerschy / Pixabay)

Austria is a great country to live and work in, and the government is currently looking for skilled workers in most sectors. Here's what you need to know about wages in Austria before working here.

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If you are moving to Austria, you might soon start looking for a job in the country. However, like many other aspects of living abroad, there are several cultural differences and specificities when it comes to job hunting in Austria - especially when it comes to salaries.

And, yes, some particularities of the Alpine republic may surprise people from other countries. Here are six things you need to know about salaries in Austria.

READ ALSO: How Austria is making it easier for non-EU workers to get residence permits

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Companies need to post the salary for each position

By law, companies are required to post the salary for each position they advertise. The intention is that things become more transparent. However, you will usually see a gross yearly amount advertised followed by a sentence that might read something like this: "Abhängig von Qualifikation und Erfahrung", which means the actual amount depends on qualifications and experience.

Or they might add: "Bereitschaft zur Überbezahlung", meaning there is a "willingness to overpay", and the advertised amount is only the starting salary. 

In some positions, they will mention payment is according to "kollektivvertrag", which are the sector salary negotiations in Austria, which leads us to…

There is no minimum wage in Austria

For many new arrivals to Austria, it is surprising that Austria does not have a legal minimum wage. However, this does not mean people can be paid as much (or as little) as their boss likes.

While many other countries worldwide set a statutory minimum wage to ensure workers – particularly those working in the service industry – are not underpaid, in Austria, this takes place through negotiating collective agreements.

Collective agreements in Austria stipulate how much employees must earn. This is, in effect, a minimum amount, as employers are free to pay their employees a higher amount if they see fit or to set up bonus schemes.

So, if you see a job post saying they pay according to the "kollektivvertrag", it means they pay minimum wage for the position. You can check the collective agreements of every sector HERE.

READ ALSO: What you need to know about the ‘minimum wage’ in Austria

Negotiating salaries is very common

Since most job ads already state that there is a "willingness to pay more" or that the actual salary depends on "qualification and experience", it is widespread to negotiate salaries in Austria.

While this might be considered too forward in some countries, in Austria, people are expected to bring their qualifications to the table and negotiate a salary. Depending on the company and sector, this might even be the case for positions with a fixed salary announced. 

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READ ALSO: How long do I have to work for in Austria to get unemployment benefits?

Negotiations

You can negotiate your salary in Austria. Photo by Headway on Unsplash

Check if the salary is for full or part-time positions

Sometimes, a company will announce a part-time job or a position with flexible hours but mention the wage for a full-time worker. Here's a real example where the company was very clear about it:

"Überkollektivvertragliche Entlohnung brutto € 2.000,00 bei 40 Stunden pro Woche. Das gewünschte Stundenausmaß kann individuell vereinbart werden. Wir bieten selbstverständlich eine marktkonforme Überzahlung entsprechend Ihrer Qualifikation und Erfahrung."

What they are saying is that the salary for the position is above the minimum required for the sector totalling € 2,000 for 40 hours/week. However, they say the desired number of hours can be agreed upon individually. Not every company clarifies this, and the job might be for 20-hour weeks, but the salary could be for 40 hours/week. So, you'll need to do the maths.

This particular ad also had a variation of the "we are willing to pay more" sentence. They said: "We offer an overpayment in line with the market according to your qualifications and experience".

READ ALSO: REVEALED: What are the best paying jobs in Austria?

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Austrians are paid 14 times a year

If you are a salaried employee in Austria, you'll be happy to know that you are likely entitled to 14 payments a year. One of the "extra" ones comes just before the summer holidays, while the other is paid ahead of the Christmas holidays.

Additionally, they are taxed at a much lower rate than regular salaries, so you get to keep more of it.

The thing to pay attention to is when you are looking for jobs and they advertise the yearly pay. If you want to calculate how much you will get on each month roughly, you'll need to divide it by 14 instead of 12.

READ ALSO: Six official websites to know if you’re planning to work in Austria

The gross vs net difference

Most ads will show the gross salary a worker can expect. Social security contributions and taxes in Austria take a chunk of workers' wages. However, public services, including health care, are excellent, and the country's quality of living is outstanding.

If you want to calculate how much will be sent to your bank account based on a gross salary advertised, you can use several online calculators. One of the best is this one, offered by the Chamber of Labour: HERE.

Do you have any other tips or questions about salaries in Austria? Let us know in the comments below or email us at [email protected].

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