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A Closer Look at the Average Salary in Belgium for 2024

A Closer Look at the Average Salary in Belgium for 2024

Are you curious about the average salary in Belgium for 2024? If you are planning to work or live in this beautiful country, you might want to know how much you can expect to earn and how it compares to other European nations.

The average Belgian worker earns a gross annual salary of €45,984, which corresponds to a net monthly pay of €2,463. This is slightly higher than the national average of €44,560 in 2023. However, salaries in Belgium vary drastically depending on the sector, location, experience, and skills. The minimum salary in Belgium is €1,890 per month, which is one of the highest in Europe. The belgian minimum wage is also indexed to the cost of living, which means it increases every year.

In this blog post, we will take a closer look at the Belgium average salary, minimum wage, net salary, median income, and the highest paid professions in this country.

As an expat who has worked in Belgium for two years, I can say that the average salary in Belgium is enough to enjoy a comfortable lifestyle, especially if you live outside the major cities like Brussels or Antwerp. However, you should also be aware of the high taxes and social security contributions that are deducted from your gross salary.

What Is The Average Salary in Belgium?

expat thinking about the average salary in Belgium

Belgium is a small but prosperous country in the European Union, with a high standard of living and a diverse job market. But how much do people earn in Belgium, and what are the factors that affect their income? In this section, we will explore the Belgium average salary per month, the minimum wage, the net salary, and the living costs for singles and families.

Average Salary in Belgium for Singles

smiling woman using her smart phone

The average salary in Belgium is €45,984 per year, or €2,463 per month, according to the latest data from the Belgian government. This is slightly higher than the national average of the EU, which is €41,329 per year, or €2,278 per month. However, the average salary in Belgium varies depending on the region, the sector, the education level, and the experience of the worker.

Factors That Affect The Average Salary in Belgium

The highest average salaries in Belgium are found in Brussels, the capital city, where the average salary is €54,181 per year, or €2,950 per month. The lowest average salaries are found in Wallonia, the French-speaking region, where the Belgium average salary is €39,024 per year, or €2,128 per month. The Flemish region, the Dutch-speaking region, has an average salary of €46,301 per year, or €2,525 per month.

The average salary in Belgium also depends on the sector of activity. The highest-paying sectors are finance, insurance, and real estate, where the Belgium average salary is €66,578 per year, or €3,630 per month. The lowest-paying sectors are hospitality, catering, and personal services, where the average salary is €28,718 per year, or €1,566 per month.

The education level of the worker influence the average salary in Belgium. The more qualified the worker is, the higher the salary. The Belgium average salary for workers with a higher education degree is €56,061 per year, or €3,056 per month. The Belgium average salary for workers with a lower secondary education or less is €31,053 per year, or €1,692 per month.

Moreover, the average salary in Belgium increases with the experience of the worker. The average salary for workers with less than one year of experience is €32,621 per year, or €1,778 per month. The average salary for workers with more than 20 years of experience is €60,509 per year, or €3,296 per month.

Looking for a high paying job? Check the in-demand jobs in Beligum

Minimum Wage in Belgium Per Month

The minimum wage in Belgium is €1,625.72 per month, or €9.65 per hour, for workers aged 21 or older. This is one of the highest minimum wages in the EU, and in the world. The minimum wage in Belgium is adjusted annually based on the inflation rate and the cost of living. Minimum Belgium salary per month also varies depending on the age and the sector of the worker.

Furthermore, the minimum average salary in Belgium for workers aged 19 or 20 is €1,466.15 per month or €8.70 per hour. The minimum wage for workers aged 18 or younger is €1,306.59 per month or €7.76 per hour. The minimum wage for workers in some sectors, such as agriculture, construction, and domestic work, is slightly higher than the general minimum wage.

Are you planning to work in Belgium? Check our post: What Is a Good Salary in Brussels, Belgium?

Net Salary in Belgium

The salary in Belgium after tax is the amount of money that the worker receives after deducting taxes and social security contributions. The net monthly salary or salary in Belgium after tax is lower than the gross salary, due to the high tax rate and the generous social benefits. The average net salary in Belgium is €2,463 per month, or €29,556 per year. This means that the average Belgian worker pays about 35% of their gross salary in taxes and social security contributions.

The taxes and social security contributions in Belgium are progressive, meaning that the higher the income, the higher the rate. The tax rate in Belgium ranges from 25% to 50%, depending on the income bracket. The social security contributions in Belgium are 13.07% of the gross salary, paid by the worker, and 25% of the gross salary, paid by the employer. The social security contributions cover health care, pension, unemployment, family allowances, and other benefits.

Family Salary Requirements in Belgium

two children riding their parents on piggyback

What’s the good salary for expats who are moving with their family? The monthly salary requirements for a family in Belgium depend on the size of the family, the lifestyle, and the location. The living costs in Belgium are relatively high, especially in the urban areas, such as Brussels, Antwerp, and Ghent.

The living costs in Belgium include housing, food, transportation, utilities, health care, education, entertainment, and other expenses.

CategoryCost
Rent (1-bedroom)€750
Rent (3-bedroom)€1,200
Food (family of 4)€600
Transportation (family of 4)€200
Utilities (family of 4)€150
Health care (family of 4)€100
Education (family of 4)€300
Entertainment (family of 4)€400
Other expenses (family of 4)€200
Average Monthly Expenses for a Family of Four in Belgium

Based on these estimates, the average monthly cost of living for a family of four in Belgium is €3,700, or €44,400 per year. This means that a family of four in Belgium would need a net annual Belgian wages of at least €44,400 to cover their basic needs. However, this amount may vary depending on the specific circumstances and preferences of each family.

Expats need a health insurance solution when moving to Belgium. We recommend Cigna Global for international coverage. Because Cigna insurance is international, you can use your policy not only in Belgium but almost anywhere in the world. If you want an affordable healthcare coverage, you can sign up for private insurance that will save you money.

Also, if you’re planning to stay for a long time, this can help you: How Much Does A House Cost in Belgium?

Job Market in Belgium Compared to Other Countries

flag of Belgium with Royal Emblem

Salaries in Belgium allows you to live comfortably. However, it’s still necessary to check statistics so employees know what to expect when working in this country.

The job market in Belgium is expected to face some challenges and opportunities in 2024. On the one hand, the country is likely to experience a slowdown in economic growth, due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the rising cost of living, and the uncertainty of the global trade environment3. On the other hand, the country is also likely to benefit from some positive trends, such as the expansion of the tech and healthcare sectors, the increase in public investment, and the recovery of the manufacturing and engineering industries.

One of the main issues that the job market in Belgium will have to deal with is the shortage of talent in certain fields and regions. According to a survey by ManpowerGroup, 80% of employers in Belgium report difficulties filling vacancies, mainly for senior or team leader positions. The most in-demand skills are related to software development, data science, IT project management, nursing, medicine, and caregiving. To attract and retain talent, employers will have to offer competitive salaries, flexible working conditions, and training opportunities.

The job market in Belgium is also open to foreign workers, especially those from the European Union, who can work in Belgium without a work permit. However, non-EU workers, including those unpaid internships, need to obtain a work permit and a visa to work in Belgium, and may face some challenges in finding a job, such as language barriers, cultural differences, and discrimination. The job market in Belgium is also competitive, as there are more workers than jobs available, especially for young people and low-skilled workers.

Also read: Reasons Not To Move To Ireland You MUST Know

Top-Paying Sectors in Belgium

Based on the average salary data from the Belgian government, the top-paying sectors in Belgium are the following:

  • Finance, insurance, and real estate: €66,578 per year, or €3,630 per month

  • Information and communication: €59,909 per year, or €3,266 per month

  • Electricity, gas, and water supply: €58,671 per year, or €3,198 per month

  • Professional, scientific, and technical activities: €57,512 per year, or €3,134 per month

  • Public administration and defense: €55,839 per year, or €3,044 per month

Belgium’s highest-paying jobs are in services, the backbone of the economy. These sectors, especially executive roles, require advanced education, skills, and experience. This demand, along with strong growth potential, creates fierce competition for workers.

Fueled by innovation, technology, and globalization, these top sectors are expected to be major job creators. This growth will further boost Belgium’s economic development and competitiveness.

Also read: What Is A Good Salary in Norway? [2023]

Unemployment Rate in Belgium

The unemployment rate in Belgium increased and is higher than the national average of the European Union, and has been increasing in recent years, due to the economic crisis, the COVID-19 pandemic, and the structural changes in the labor market.

According to the latest data from the Belgian Statistical Office, the unemployment rate in Belgium was 6.5% in December 2023, up from 5.4% in December 2022. The unemployment rate in Belgium varies depending on the region, the age, and the education level of the worker. The highest unemployment rate in Belgium is found in Brussels, the capital city, where the unemployment rate was 14.9% in December 2023. The lowest unemployment rate in Belgium is found in Flanders, the Dutch-speaking region, where the unemployment rate was 4.1% in December 2023. The unemployment rate in Wallonia, the French-speaking region, was 8.9% in December 2023.

Moreover, the unemployment rate in Belgium is also higher for young people and low-skilled workers, who face more difficulties in finding a job, due to the lack of experience, qualifications, and opportunities. The unemployment rate for workers aged 15 to 24 in Belgium was 17.4% in December 2023, compared to 13.9% for the EU. The unemployment rate for workers with a lower secondary education or less in Belgium was 14.7% in December 2023, compared to 11.6% for the EU.

Related article: Germany vs Austria: Cost of Living

Final Thoughts About The Average Salary in Belgium

In summary, the average salary in Belgium for 2024 is €45,984 per year, with variations based on factors like region, sector, education, and experience. The minimum wage is one of the highest in the EU at €1,890 per month, and the net salary after taxes and social security is around €2,463 per month. Expats can enjoy a comfortable lifestyle, but high taxes should be considered. Top-paying sectors include finance, information, and communication. Despite challenges like a rising unemployment rate, Belgium’s job market remains diverse and open to foreign workers.

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