Employers who are savvy understand the need of offering competitive compensation and benefits to attract and retain quality workers. Compensation includes wages, salaries, bonuses, and commission structures. This article highlights the top 10 countries in the world with the highest salaries. You’ve come to the correct spot if you’re a recent graduate seeking for opportunities.
The World Bank places countries in four distinct categories: lower-income countries, lower-middle-income countries, the upper- middle-income countries, and highest-income countries. The highest-income group has the highest income globally, with a GNI per capita of at least $12,476. The upper-middle-income group has per capita incomes between $4,038 and $12,475. The lower-middle-income nations have GNI per capita of $1,026 to $4,035. Finally, low-income countries have a GNI per capita of $1,025 or less. Unfortunately, the lower-income countries are predominantly African countries.
As of January 2023, 82 countries and territories are classified by the World Bank as high-income countries. Some of these countries, such as the United States, have consistently held this classification since the 1980s. However, this article highlights only the top 10 countries with the highest salaries, best compensation, and benefits packages for their workers.
Top 10 Countries with the Highest Salaries in 2023
1. Luxembourg (Average Salary: $68,681)
The country’s economy is largely dependent on the banking, steel, and industrial sectors. Luxembourgers enjoy the highest per capita gross domestic product in the world (CIA 2018 est.).
Luxembourg’s economy is quite similar to Germany’s and enjoys a degree of economic prosperity very rare among industrialized democracies. With a population of 632,000, Luxembourg is one of the world’s wealthiest and highest-paying countries.
The salaries of workers average about $68,681, which is the highest in the world. The primary industries include banking, finance, steel, mining, telecommunications, and tourism.
2. Iceland (Average Salary: $68,006)
Iceland has a mixed economy with high levels of free trade and government intervention. However, government consumption is less than in other Nordic countries. Hydro-power is the primary source of home and industrial electrical supply in Iceland.
The average annual salary for workers in Iceland is $68,006. The total monthly salary including bonuses varies drastically among different job categories. Iceland is one of the smallest nations on the planet, with a population of just 350,000. On the contrary, it is also one of the most expensive countries to live in in the world.
3. Switzerland (Average Salary: $66,567)
Switzerland has one of the world’s most advanced and highly-developed free-market economies. The Average annual salary for workers is $66,567.
This prosperous and vibrant country offers its people some of the highest salaries in the world. Although the country is landlocked, it has excelled in many areas including finance, banking, chocolates, electronics, pharmaceuticals, watches, and tourism. Many of the world’s top multinational companies have their headquarters in Switzerland.
4. United States of America
The United States has a population of 326.7 million people and is the country with the highest disposable income per capita measure of $65,836. In 2018, the country’s GDP was $20.58 trillion. Key sectors in the U.S. include financial services, professional and business services, manufacturing, and health care.
An American worker works an average of 44 hours a week. It is interesting to mention here that American employees get salaries every week in most companies. Regardless of your field be it engineering or a teacher, you will earn well.
Top industries in the U.S. include consumer goods, electronics, petroleum, steel, motor vehicles, telecommunications, food processing, aerospace, lumber, mining, and chemicals.
5. Denmark (Average Salary: $57,150)
Denmark’s economy is a modern mixed economy with comfortable living standards. Minimum wages in Denmark are not defined, but still, this country has the lowest income inequality in the world. This country is known for having the happiest workers also. The country is relatively small with a limited number of jobs available. Its industries focus primarily on mining, metals, food and beverages, transportation, furniture, shipbuilding, and pharmaceuticals. Workers in Denmark smile home with $57,150 annual pay
6. Netherlands (Average Salary: $56,552)
The Netherlands has one of the lowest unemployment and inflation rates in Europe and boasts a high standard of living. The country’s economy is based on international trade because it has the largest ports in Europe, and people have to work an average of 35 hours a week to earn an average annual salary of $56,552. Many surveys indicate that Dutch people are content with their lives because of their excellent healthcare system and outstanding schools. Overall, The Netherlands has an exceptional agriculture and fishing industry, advanced electrical and mechanical engineering industries, pharmaceuticals, tourism, and microelectronics.
7. Germany (Average Salary: $56,000)
Germany has the biggest economy in Europe and is one of the wealthiest nations globally. The country has a diverse list of lucrative industries that have been critical to the national economy. Notable industries include pharmaceuticals, health care, manufacturing, tourism, transportation, and farming. It also has some of the best healthcare facilities globally, and equal distribution of wealth. The per capita income in Germany is roughly $56,000. The country has a solid infrastructure and a well-developed schooling system
8. Belgium (Average Salary: $55,590)
Belgium has few natural resources other than fertile soils. Most traditional industrial sectors are represented in the economy, including steel, textiles, and refining. The average salary for Belgians is $55,590. Unlike other countries in the region, getting a job is not that difficult if you live in the European Union. The country is most famous for its beer, chocolates, transportation, engineering, car assembly, scientific instruments, textiles, and tourism. Chemicals, food processing, pharmaceuticals, automobiles, electronics, and machinery fabrication industries are also found in Belgium.
9. Australia (Average Salary: $54,401)
The minimum wage in Australia is one of the highest in the world. Here, the worker gets 17 US dollars for one hour of work compared to 6 dollars obtainable in the USA. According to the size of its GDP, Australia is the 12th largest economy and as per the per capita GDP, it is the 5th largest economy in the world. Australia produces the finest quality marine wool in the world
An employee here gets an average of $54,401 per year. Employees work for 35 hours a week. Whatever work done after 35 hours is be considered overtime and the employer pays separately for that.
10. Norway (Average Salary: $54, 027)
Norway is a natural resources-rich country with abundant oil, forest, and other natural resources. The country has high tax rates but offers high-quality health services and higher education for free. According to the World Bank and IMF, Norwegians have the fourth-highest per capita income in the world. Employees in Norway earn an annual salary of $54, 027, one of the highest in the world. Besides having a very low crime rate, Norwegians are also rated as one of the happiest people in the world.
Drivers of Higher Average Incomes
Several elements are crucial to producing a greater per-capita disposable income. Due to the fact that governments have the power to execute a variety of policies, increasing earnings per capita is often simpler. The number of hours that employees work may be increased, government spending may be increased, and workers may get an education. It is important to note that raising salaries or cutting taxes has a greater influence on disposable income than altering spending patterns.