What Is A Good Salary In France?

Updated :
| By : Christine
I’m a retired 65 years old and I live in western Paris. Born in Alsace, I have always lived in this beautiful region of eastern France. Passionate about travel, culture and literature. Find me on Linkedin.

Coucou les amis !

For those who don’t know me, I’m a 65-year-old Frenchwoman who has retired from a long and fulfilling career in real estate transactions.

Let me tell you that I’ve got some valuable insights to share with you about what makes a good salary in France today.

My life today is to share my ideas sometimes interesting and sometimes not :).

Take a look at my favourite posts :

And don’t worry, this won’t be a boring lecture!

I’ll make sure to spice it up with a bit of humour, as if we’re just sitting in a café, sipping some good Bordeaux and chatting about life.

Allez, on y va ! (Let’s get started!)

I. Factors influencing a good salary in France (2023)

A. Geographic location

1. Cost of living In 2023

Ah, la belle France!

The cost of living can vary drastically depending on where you hang your chapeau (hat).

Living in Paris or other big cities like Lyon or Nice can be quite expensive, while life in rural areas or smaller towns may be more affordable.

So, what’s a good salary?

Before answering, keep in mind where you plan to live.

A Parisian salary might seem like a fortune in “la campagne” (the countryside)!

2. Regional disparities in salaries

Average net hourly earnings of executives in 2020 - Source: INSEE

Just like the cost of living, salaries can also vary depending on the region.

Average net hourly earnings of executives in 2020 – Source: INSEE

You’ll find higher salaries in larger cities or in the Île-de-France region, where Paris is located.

Salaries are lower in rural areas or less developed regions.

But hey, it’s not always about the money, right?

Sometimes, the quality of life and the stunning landscapes can make up for a slightly smaller paycheck.

B. Industry and job type (2023)

1. Public vs. private sector

It’s no secret that the French love their “fonctionnaires” (public servants).

And why wouldn’t they?

Working for the public sector can come with some nice perks like job security, a clear career progression, and some say, a more relaxed work environment (wink, wink).

Average net salaries in the public service - Source: INSEE
Average net salaries in the public service – Source: INSEE

Salaries in the public sector are typically lower than those in the private sector, especially at higher levels of responsibility.

Average net salaries in the private sector - Source: INSEE
Average net salaries in the private sector – Source: INSEE

2. High-demand jobs and industries

As in any country, some jobs are more in-demand than others, which can lead to higher salaries.

For example, engineers, IT professionals, and healthcare workers often enjoy above-average pay.

Real estate, my former profession, can also be quite lucrative if you’re good at it (and trust me, I was!).

So, what’s a good salary?

Before answering, think about the industry you’re in and the demand for your specific job.

Average net salaries in the private sector - Source: INSEE

Average net monthly salaries in the private sector by major activity – Source: INSEE

C. Education and experience

1. Influence of educational background on salary In 2023

In France, having a diploma can open doors, and sometimes, even wallets!

The more prestigious the school, the better your chances of landing a high-paying job.

So, whether you’re a proud graduate of an elite grande école or a humble autodidact (self-taught person), your educational background can play a big role in determining your salary.

2. The impact of professional experience

Experience is the secret sauce that can turn a mediocre salary into a mouth-watering one.

Your value to employers typically increases if you gain experience and expertise in your field and so does your paycheck.

Just remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither is a fabulous career: be patient, and let your experience speak for itself.

III. French salary averages and benchmarks

A. National average salary

In France, the national average salary can be a good starting point when trying to figure out if you’re earning a decent income.

In 2021, the average gross annual salary in France was around €39,000.

Of course, this number can vary greatly depending on your industry, experience, and location.

As a rule of thumb, if you’re making around this amount, you’re not doing too shabby!

B. Median salary by age group

Age, like fine wine and cheese, often comes with wisdom and experience.

And in the working world, that usually translates to a higher salary.

In France, the median salary tends to increase with age, peaking for those in their 40s and 50s.

C. Comparing salaries across different industries and job types

Just like you wouldn’t compare apples to oranges, it’s important to compare your salary to others in the same industry and job type.

Sites like Glassdoor or Payscale can be helpful in finding salary benchmarks for your specific job, so don’t hesitate to do some research.

D. Understanding the minimum wage (SMIC) in France

The French minimum wage, or SMIC (Salaire Minimum Interprofessionnel de Croissance), is another important benchmark to consider.

Today the SMIC was around €1,745 per month for a full-time position.

Average net salaries in the private sector - Source: INSEE
Average net salaries in the private sector – Source: INSEE

It can be a helpful reference point when evaluating your salary.

IV. Benefits and additional compensation

A. Social security and healthcare benefits

In France, we’re quite lucky to have a robust social security system that covers things like healthcare, unemployment, and family benefits.

Part of your salary goes towards funding this system, so don’t forget to take that into account when considering your overall compensation.

B. Retirement and pension plans

When it comes to retirement, the French system is rather complex, with both public and private pensions playing a role.

It’s important to think about your future and plan accordingly.

French Minister of Economy

C. Annual leave and paid time off

One of the perks of working in France is the generous amount of annual leave and paid time off.

Legally, you’re entitled to at least five weeks of paid vacation per year.

Some companies offer even more.

Your salary might not be astronomical, but having time to sip rosé on the Côte d’Azur or ski in the Alps can be priceless!

D. Performance-based bonuses and commissions

Depending on your job, you might be eligible for performance-based bonuses or commissions.

This can be a nice way to boost your income, but keep in mind that they can be unpredictable and might require some serious hustle.

V. Tips for negotiating a good salary in France

A. Researching industry standards and averages

Before entering any salary negotiation, it’s crucial to do your homework!

Research the industry standards and salary averages for your job, and come prepared with this information.

B. Emphasizing your value and experience

When negotiating, focus on your unique skills, experience, and the value you bring to the company.

Show them that you’re worth every “centime” (cent) they’re paying you!

C. Balancing monetary and non-monetary compensation

Sometimes, a good salary isn’t just about the numbers.

Non-monetary benefits like flexible working hours, additional vacation days, or professional development opportunities can make a significant difference in your overall job satisfaction.

So, when negotiating, consider the entire package, not just the digits on your paycheck.

D. The importance of networking and professional connections

As the French say,

“C’est dans les vieux pots qu’on fait la meilleure soupe” (the best soup is made in old pots) –

meaning that sometimes, your most valuable assets are your connections and relationships.

Networking and maintaining professional connections can lead to new job opportunities, higher salaries, and better working conditions.

So, don’t be shy – get out there and mingle!

VI. Conclusion

A. Recap of factors that influence a good salary in France

A good salary in France in 2023 depends on various factors:

  • your geographic location,
  • industry,
  • job type,
  • education,
  • experience.

Remember to consider the national average salary, median salary by age group, and the minimum wage as reference points.

B. Personal insights on achieving financial satisfaction in the French context

I’m a 65-year-old Frenchwoman with a successful career in real estate.

I can attest to the importance of finding the right balance between salary, benefits, and overall job satisfaction.

While a high salary can certainly make life more comfortable, it’s essential to consider the entire package and what truly matters to you.

And remember, you can always rely on your wit, charm, and good old-fashioned hard work to make the most of your professional journey in “la belle France.”

Now, I hope you enjoyed our little chat as much as I did.

I’ll leave you with one last nugget of wisdom:

L’argent ne fait pas le bonheur, mais il y contribue” (Money doesn’t bring happiness, but it helps).

So, go out there, chase your dreams, and remember to enjoy every step of the way.

À bientôt, mes amis!

People also asked about Salary In France :

What is a livable salary in France In 2023?

A livable salary in France in 2023 is between €3,100 and €5,500 per month.

To maintain a decent standard of living in France, one should aim for a monthly income of €3,100 if living alone or €5,500 for a family of three.

Keeping in mind that metropolitan areas such as Paris, Lyon, or Nice require a higher budget due to elevated living expenses compared to other French cities.

What is considered high income in France In 2023?

In France in 2023, a high income typically exceeds €60,000 annually, placing earners within the top 10 % of the population.

Source : INSEE.

Is 70000 euros a good salary in France In 2023?

Yes, €70,000 annually, is considered a good salary in France in 2023.

With a salary exceeding €60,000 annually, you are in top 10% of the French population (according INSEE).

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