The worldwide earnings of twenty eight of the most popular career choices has been revealed by Yell Business. Detailing international average earnings for roles ranging from an accountant to a bricklayer, Yell Business has filtered each salary by the local cost of living, to truly answer the question: ‘Is the grass really greener?’

Employees and small business owners alike could be in for a shock when learning just how much better (or worse) off they could be for their career choice in another country. When it comes to HR positions, the UK ranked in position #22 out of the 25 countries analysed, with an average salary of £28,886. In comparison, Saudi Arabia came out at #1 with equivalent earnings of £58,332 – a difference of almost £30k. Saudi Arabia was followed by China (£54,240) and Switzerland (£49,507), which placed in second and third place respectively. However, those wanting to stay closer to home could earn an additional £20k following a move to France (and that’s after cost of living is taken into account), which ranked in at #4 on the list with an average salary of £48,734.


When it comes to Recruitment positions, the UK again ranked in position #22 out of the 25 countries analysed, with an average salary of £25,523. In comparison, China came out at #1 with equivalent earnings of £73,102 – a difference of almost £50k. China was followed by Saudi Arabia (£62,863) and Switzerland (£56,129), which placed in second and third place respectively. However, those wanting to stay closer to home could almost double their salary following a move to France (and that’s after cost of living is taken into account), which ranked in at #4 on the list with an average salary of £49,054.

In other industries however, UK workers fare slightly better. UK plumbers, for example, are only better off in four of the other 24 countries (Canada, China, Australia and Saudi Arabia). A plumber considering a move to Canada could take-home close to an extra eight grand per year (an additional £7,848 on average), and those who would relocate to China could take-home close to an extra six grand per year (an additional £5,927 on average). When it comes to bricklayers, there are just five other countries in the research where they’d find the grass genuinely greener, including the USA, Canada, China, Japan and Ireland. A bricklayer opting to move across the pond to the USA could take home an extra £7,556 per year.

While some of the biggest changes to equivalent earnings are seen in further flung destinations, a simple trip across the channel, for some roles, can still put some extra cash in your wallet. For example, relocating to France could see UK accountants adding almost £9K to their yearly finances, with their equivalent earnings averaging at £45,328, while the UK’s are £36,561.

Claire Miles, CEO at Yell said:

“Our aim is to help small business owners from across the UK make the most out of their choice of trade. By looking at how equivalent earnings from around the world differ and how the UK stacks up against them, we aim to arm those who may be thinking of relocating with as much insight as possible as to the salaries and expenses they can expect across the world.

“To get a clear idea of these differences in worldwide earnings, we wanted to add in some popular career choices, alongside common small business choices such as plumbing, hairdressing, builders and florists. 

“At a time when people may be considering career choice and where to live, this research can help people at any age see where they stand against the national average, and decide whether the grass actually is ‘greener’ for them in other parts of the world”.

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