The average salary in Italy is probably one of the first things you’ll consider if you want to make Italy your new home. If you’re aware of the average pay, you’ll be able to determine whether an offer you’re getting is a good salary in Italy for your industry, position and experience. The simple answer is you can expect to earn about €2,475 per month working in Italy. But this number can vary depending on a number of factors.
Luckily for you, we’ve already done the digging necessary to help you figure out how much you should be earning as an expat in Italy.
According to Salary Explorer, the average gross salary for Italy as of March 2023 is around €43,800 per year or €3,650 a month. If this sounds high, it’s because this number includes various benefits, such as housing stipends, travel expenses, vacation allowance, etc.
If we look at the most recent salary data provided by Statista, the average gross salary for Italy shows a more realistic number around €29,700 or €2,475 a month. Either way, the national average for Italy is higher than that in the majority of European countries.
Combine that with the fact that the cost of living in Italy is lower than the EU average and the likelihood that you, as an expat, are a highly skilled worker means that life in Italy could be pretty cosy on the financial end!
Don’t forget that the median income doesn't represent the absolute reality since 50% of Italy's population earns less than that.
The other factors that have an influence on the wages you’ll encounter are:
Additionally, it’s pretty likely that, as an expat, you’ll be looking for international- or English-speaking jobs. These jobs are more likely to be found in larger companies, which also tend to pay more than average. In conclusion,
Earning more than €43,000, including benefits, is considered a good salary in Italy, with many opportunities offering even more than that.”
You're most probably wondering "Where will I earn the most in Italy?". Let’s take a look!
If you’re looking for better salaries in Italy, there’s an easy rule to follow: go North!
The provinces with the highest average earnings include Lombardy in North Italy, Lazio in Central Italy and Piedmont in North-west Italy. There are no real surprises as to why these areas do very well. To start off, Lombardy is the home region for Milan, which boasts the highest average salary in Italy overall.
Then there’s the province of Lazio in the centre of Italy, which is where you’ll find Rome! In the province of Piedmont, we find another economic powerhouse that boosts the average in the region: Turin.
The regional averages are one thing, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t earn a good buck if you live in a different region.
Let’s take a look at some of the average salaries per city in Italy (Based on the numbers by SalaryExplorer):
That said, the further south you go, you'll find that the average salary gets lower. In fact, the average yearly salary in the Basilicata region (around the ankle of the famous Italian ‘boot’) is almost €7,000 lower than in Lombardy. So, if you’re going for the big bucks, follow the needle of your compass.
But why are southern salaries so much lower? For one, the southern regions and the Islands have a much higher share of low-income employees (17,8%) compared to the northern regions (6.7%)(Statista & Job Pricing). Some measure of explanation for the pay gap can be found in the higher levels of unemployment and the lower cost of living in the southern regions of Italy.
But what if you’re a student or intern, who often can only find work at minimum wage? Unfortunately, it’s not a straightforward answer: Italy does not have a national minimum wage. Instead, the minimum wage is determined on a sector-by-sector basis, known as national collective bargaining agreements (NCBAs), or negotiated at a local or even at a company level.
These agreements are renegotiated every 3 years. To give you an idea, the minimum wage for agricultural workers is around €900 per month or €5.60 an hour which makes it one of the lowest in the country and even Europe. Germany, for example, has a nationwide minimum wage of €9.35 an hour, even for interns. So, if you’re planning on taking on a student job, make sure you leverage your skills and multilingualism to negotiate a decent salary where possible.
It’s no secret that some industries offer better salaries than others. Such industries typically require higher education or a specific set of skills to become employed there. So let’s take a look at some of the highest-earning and noteworthy(*) sectors in Italy:
|National average (Statista)||€31,000||Baseline|
|Banking & Finance||€43,277||+39%|
|Pharmaceutical & Biotechnical||€39,294||+26%|
|Oil & Gas||€38,093||+22%|
|IT & Software consultancy||€36,118||+16%|
|Fashion & Luxury*||€28,540||-8%|
Italy is well-known for its automotive and high-end fashion industries. Unfortunately, the average salaries in these industries are below the national average. In these sectors, you’d have to be a hotshot designer or manufacturing wizard to make it to the big bucks.
If you’re looking to find which particular careers have the highest average salary in 2022, SalaryExplorer reports that you should look into picking one of the following professions:
|Profession/ Position||Average monthly salary|
|Bank manager||€ 8,690|
Unfortunately, even in this day and age, there's still a discrepancy between the wages of men and women in the same field. Salary explorer reports that overall, women earn around 6% less than men across all industries, but some industries discriminate more than others.
Job pricing indicates that the Finance and Insurance industries favour men at an almost unreal rate. Men in finance and insurance can make up to 25% more than their female counterparts.
So how does Italy hold up to its European neighbours? Looking at the numbers by Reinis Fischer, Italy hangs around the middle in terms of the average gross monthly wage. Let’s compare it to some other countries popular among expats.
Ok, so, Germany leaves Italy in the dust. It’s the motor of the European economy after all. That said, Germany doesn’t have much on Italy’s climate, language and all that money certainly won’t make up for the wealth in culture and history you’ll find in Italy.
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