Who has better salaries? Expatriate or local Engineers?

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There are many factors that affect in engineers wages. In this way, expatriation of a sector´s professionals will always increase theirs economic benefits. In addition, formation, experience and geography are the most influential factors which conditions expatriate staff´s salaries.

As a company dedicated to search, selection and talent´s identification for senior management positions and engineering middle management, we have carried out a study to analyze the current situation and the short-term prospects about expatriated wages in construction and EPC companies into ducts and Industrial plants sectors of America, Europe and the Persian Gulf.

The conclusions of study are based in a more than 900 interviewed candidates samples about various disciplines, roles, companies and geographies where they are serving, to confirm and contrast current trends.

Then, we are going to talk about which the most influential variables in expatriate´s wages are.

The destination place

It is one of the most influential variables in professional engineer’s wages. In this sense, the conflict zones or in conflict and Persian Gulf zones are the best paid. On the other hand, destinations such us America, except for Canada Artic Zones, South America jungle zones or Andean zone, are less paid. However, Europe is a more comfortable and beneficial destination than others, but less profitable for workers, because of high public taxation.

Experience and job title

There are differences between compensation based on experience and between types of expatriate positions. Accordingly, the higher the charge, the more equality in wages, regardless of origin country. However, the same thing does not happen in intermediate or junior positions. In this cases, there can be twice of difference. By this way, a mechanical Asian engineer can receive half a French or an Italian engineer in Gulf of Persian in the same position.

The benefits of being expatriated

This study puts the annual salary of a Project Director engineer, in his origin country, for projects with budgets exceeding 1,000 million, between 130,000 to 170,000 euros, and a supervisor between 75,000 to 85,000, against salaries that have an increase of up to 30% in expatriation conditions. So, the same Project Director engineer can charge up from 240.000 and supervisor 120.000.

However, Expatriation have a higher economic retribution but difficulties and sacrifices too. Being away from family and friends, adapting to an unknown culture, language, climate difference and time change are big obstacles. Moreover, there are destinations that are in the desert or deserted places.

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