How much would you need to earn to live comfortably in Italy, taking food, accommodations, and other essential factors into consideration? Our extensive research shows that salaries are generally higher here than in some European countries and that you can live quite comfortably even on an average income.
What is considered a good salary in Italy? Statistical data shows that gross salaries in the country average around 28,500 EUR per year, which is about 1,624 EUR net per month. A wage above 35,000 EUR is considered to be good in Italy for a single person. This is higher than average salaries across the country.
Of course, salaries aren’t the only factors to consider when determining the feasibility of moving to a particular country. Even so, you will find that living in Italy offers many perks and advantages that make the relatively high salaries even more worthwhile. Read on to find out how much you could make working in Italy.
If you are American, read this article about living in Italy before you accept the job offer.
What is considered a good salary in Italy in 2023?
For a young and single person, upwards of 35,000 EUR per year would be considered a good salary by most people in Italy. This translates to an after-tax income of 1,949 EUR per month.
That said, about half the country’s residents would consider you “rich” if you earned 50,000 EUR or more yearly.
An income of 35,000 EUR to 50,000 EUR a year would be more than enough for you to afford the rent for a 3-bedroom apartment, a car, and all the amenities that would ensure a comfortable and enjoyable life.
It might also be enough to pay for children’s education in a small family, medical expenses, dining out, the occasional vacation, and savings for the future.
Which jobs are in-demand in Italy?
Typical salaries in Italy
Some statistical data on salaries in Italy:
- About 1.6 million Italians have a gross annual income above 60,000 EUR.
- 22.7 million Italian workers don’t earn even 20,000 EUR/year.
- Out of 40.5 million taxpayers, only 4% make more than 2,850 EUR net per month, while 56% have less than 1,300 EUR net per month.
- Less than 41,000 taxpayers (0.1% of the total) have an average gross income above 300,000 EUR (or 12,000 EUR net per month).
As with most other countries, salaries in Italy depend on many factors such as:
- Qualification level
- Public vs private sector
- Economic sector
- Size of the company
Gender and age are significant factors as well. Men generally earn 25% more than women in most sectors. Salaries start out fairly low in entry-level positions and increase as workers gain more knowledge and experience.
Location is also an important factor in determining salaries. Jobs usually pay more in the northern part of the country, which is where most industrial developments are located. In the south, where the main industries are agriculture, salaries tend to be considerably lower.
Salaries are highest in the major urban centers of Rome, Milan, and Turin. But these areas also have a significantly higher cost of living than smaller cities.
Public organizations vs private companies
In 2019, the average salary of civil servants in the public sector was 34,500 EUR. That said, teachers in schools earned 28,440 EUR on average.
In the private sector, e.g. privately owned companies, wages in financial services were at 45,295 EUR on average as of 2021. Employees in agriculture, however, earned only 24,619 EUR annually on average. In manufacturing, salaries were around 30,538 EUR gross per year.
Salaries also range depending on the professional qualifications of employees. So, in 2021, executives with large personnel responsibilities earned 112,326 EUR/year, middle managers 57,444 EUR, average office workers 31,447 EUR, and blue-collar workers 25,118 EUR (or 1,500 EUR per month).
Lastly, the larger the company, the higher the salaries: you can expect to earn from 26,000 EUR (in companies with less than 10 employees) and up to 36,800 EUR in companies with over 1,000 employees.
Here’s a look at the average annual salaries of professionals in specific fields:
|Profession||Annual salary (EUR)|
Average monthly salary for some of the most popular jobs in Italy:
|Job||Average net monthly wage (EUR)|
|Operator social health||1,200|
The minimum wage in Italy
Italy is one of the few countries that doesn’t have a regulated minimum wage.
Average salary in Italy in 2022
In 2022, the average salary in Italy was 28,500 EUR, which is approximately 1,624 EUR net per month.
The highest average salaries in Italy are in the financial and banking sectors. But there is a large discrepancy in the wages earned by men and women in these fields. In 2019, men earned about 25% more than women in finance and banking jobs.
Furthermore, salaries in the North are higher than in the South:
- Average salary in the North of Italy: 30,276 EUR
- Average salary in central Italy: 29,075 EUR
- Average salary in the South and Islands: 26,473 EUR
Here are the average salaries in different Italian cities:
|City||Average annual salary (EUR)|
Salaries in Italy by jobs
The table below shows the average salary in Italy across different jobs:
|Job||Industry||Average monthly salary (EUR)||Average annual salary (EUR)|
|PHP Programmer||Information Technology||3,528||42,336|
|Electrician||Electrical & Power Engineering||1,300||15,600|
|IT Project Manager||Information Technology||4,167||50,004|
|Java Programmer||Information Technology||2,292||27,504|
|Waiter||Tourism, Gastronomy, Hotel Business||2,500||30,000|
|Data scientist||Information Technology||1,500||18,000|
Gross annual salary by industry
The table below shows the average gross annual salaries in different industries in Italy:
|Industry||Gross annual salary in EUR|
|Legal, financial, management consultancy||31,608|
|Media, web, communications||31,531|
|Energy, utilities, environment||31,309|
|Mode and Luxury||28,400|
|Integrated business services||28,335|
Highest paying jobs in Italy
The highest-paying jobs in Italy can be found in the Finance and Banking sectors. Professionals in these fields can earn an average gross income of about 44,059 EUR per year.
Other high salary industries include Engineering (38,831 EUR), Oil/gas (38,198 EUR), Telecommunication (36,960 EUR), Insurance (36,560 EUR), and IT (35,857 EUR).
In Aeronautics, professionals can earn a gross annual income of 35,269 EUR. Chemistry, electrical, and electronics professionals earn about 33,876 EUR and 33,002 EUR annually.
Is 30,000 EUR before taxes a good salary in Italy?
The average salary in Italy is about 28,500 EUR to 30,000 EUR per year, which works out to about 2,375 EUR to 2,500 EUR per month or 1,624 EUR to 1,707 EUR net.
So, a salary of 30,000 EUR would place you slightly above the national average, more so if you have to deduct taxes from that amount.
That being said, it’s possible to live comfortably on 30,000 EUR a year, but only if you are single and don’t have many financial responsibilities. In the south of Italy, this amount is considered a very good wage given the low cost of living in that area.
Besides, living expenses in Italy are lower than in many other European countries.
Therefore, if you are young and single, you could easily afford the standard living expenses such as food, accommodations, transport, healthcare, and taxes and still have some money left over for the occasional perks.
How much money do you need to live comfortably in Italy?
A gross annual salary of 30,000 EUR per year would be enough to live comfortably in Italy if you are young and single, live modestly, and avoid the major metropolitan centers such as Rome and Milan.
If you have kids, like to eat out a lot or have a taste for the high fashion that the major Italian cities are known for, you would need 40,000 EUR to 50,000 EUR or more to live comfortably.
Of course, various factors such as accommodations, food, and utilities come into play when determining the feasibility of a particular salary range. For instance, you could expect to spend about 763 EUR monthly as a single adult apart from rent.
For a family of four, monthly expenditures would be closer to 2,693 EUR, again without taking rent into consideration.
So how much does it cost to rent an apartment in Italy? Prices vary considerably depending on the city and which particular area you prefer to live in.
But in general, you can expect to pay about 692 EUR per month for a one-bedroom apartment near the city center. Further out, you might pay only 529 EUR.
For a 3-bedroom apartment near the city center, monthly rental prices average 1,324 EUR. It is considerably cheaper when you look further out, with prices averaging 932 EUR.
If you would prefer to purchase an apartment outright, expect properties near the city center to cost about 4,110 EUR per square meter. Outside the city center, prices average 2,332 EUR per square meter.
Read about house prices in Italy in the dedicated article.
In most cities, a meal at an inexpensive restaurant will cost you around 15 EUR. In a mid-range restaurant, expect to pay around 60 EUR for a three-course meal for two. A combo meal in Mcdonald’s and other similar establishments would cost around 8 EUR.
Domestic beers cost about 5 EUR for a half-liter bottle. A 0.33-liter bottle of imported beer costs around 4 EUR.
A regular cappuccino would cost about 1.45 EUR in most coffee shops. Sodas are about 2.19 EUR per 0.33-liter bottle, and water costs about 1 EUR for the same sized bottle in a restaurant.
You can reduce your food expenses considerably by shopping and preparing your food at home instead of eating out.
Regular milk costs about 1.16 EUR per liter, while white bread costs about 1.61 EUR for a 500 gran loaf. Expect to pay around 1.96 EUR for a kilo of white rice.
Eggs are about 2.83 EUR a dozen. A kilo of local cheese would cost around 12.35 EUR in most cities.
As for meat, expect chicken fillets to be priced at around 8.66 EUR per kilo. The same amount of beef round or similar red meat costs about 14.86 EUR per kilo on average.
You will want to have some fruits and vegetables in your diet, of course. Apples cost about 1.87 EUR per kilo, while bananas cost 1.63 EUR. A kilo of oranges will set you back around 1.82 EUR, and tomatoes, 2.35 EUR.
Potatoes cost about 1.28 EUR in most markets. Onions cost about 1.30 EUR, while a head of lettuce costs about 1.05 EUR.
A 1.5-liter bottle of water typically costs 0.41 EUR. A mid-range bottle of wine would cost around 5 EUR or more. A half-liter bottle of domestic beer generally costs 1.39 EUR, while imported beers cost about 1.92 EUR for a 0.33-liter bottle.
Cigarettes cost about 5.70 EUR. This price is for the 20-pack box.
Public transportation in Italy is generally cheap, as in most European countries. Even so, you will have to consider these costs if you have to commute to work regularly or live away from the city center.
A one-way ticket on a local bus line would cost around 1.50 EUR. You can save quite a bit of money by getting a monthly pass, which costs 35 EUR.
Taxis have a flag-down rate of 5 EUR. You then have to pay 1.28 EUR for each kilometer. If you need to have the taxi wait for you at a stop, expect to be charged about 27. EUR per hour.
If you are going to settle in the country or live there semi-permanently, purchasing a car might be more cost-effective. A brand-new Volkswagen Golf 1.4 or similar model would probably set you back around 23,350 EUR. A brand-new Toyota Corolla Sedan 1.6l would cost around 25,090 EUR in most cities.
Don’t forget to account for gas! At current prices, expect to pay around 2.14 EUR per liter all over the country.
And then there are monthly utilities. In most apartments, residents are charged a bundled rate that covers the cost of electricity, heating, cooling, water, and even garbage collection for the month. The rate is typically around 168.82 EUR for an 85-square meter apartment.
A minute of prepaid phone credits costs around 0.16 EUR. But there are also many discounted plans and promo offers that give you more minutes at cost-effective rates.
Cable internet will cost you around 28.44 EUR per month. For the price, you get speeds of 60 Mbps or more and unlimited data.
In Italy, you must have valid health insurance by law. Depending on your employment status, you might be able to get public coverage or will need to sign up for private insurance.
Nonetheless, have at least 100 EUR per month within your budget for health insurance. For expats, we recommend Cigna Global. It’s one of the world’s largest providers.