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MONEY

How much do you need to earn for a good life in Austria?

Austria is known as a country with a high standard of living, but it also comes with a high cost of living. Here’s an overview of what you can expect to earn in Austria.

How much do you need to earn for a good life in Austria?
Austria is an expensive place to live, but with the right salary it can be affordable. (Photo by moerschy / Pixabay)

As with most things in Austria, the question of ‘what is a good salary?’ is difficult to answer as the cost of living (and wages) can vary between states and cities.

For example, the east of Austria is typically much cheaper than the west for housing (with the exception of Vienna). And those living in cities often have easier – and cheaper – access to public transport when compared with people living in rural areas. 

READ ALSO: ‘Bad-tempered locals’: Vienna ranked the world’s ‘unfriendliest city’

Childcare is also something to consider with huge differences between Vienna, where there is access to heavily subsidised services, and places like Tyrol where childcare costs more.

To delve a bit deeper, we looked at the data to find out the average salary in Austria and how it differs between professions and locations.

What is the average salary in Austria?

In 2021, the average gross annual salary in Austria was €44,395, according to the latest data from Statistics Austria

However, in the latest survey by online job platform Step Stone, the average gross annual salary in Austria is €49,609.

The Step Stone survey then broke it down further by industry with those working in pharma earning the most at €60,504. This was followed by energy at €60,345, medical technology at €59,106 and banking at €58,711.

The industry with the lowest average annual salary is hotels/gastronomy at €37,546, followed by agriculture at €39,779 and tourism at €43,965.

FOR MEMBERS: REVEALED: The best and worst districts to live in Vienna (as voted for by you)

Occupation also plays a part with people working in management earning the most – on average €66,768. Consulting came second at €53,721.

And like many other European countries, the gender pay gap in Austria prevails. The average annual salary for a man is €52,633 and for a woman it is €44,330.

Furthermore, the top earning city in Austria is Bregenz in Vorarlberg with an average annual salary of €54,620. When comparing the west of Austria with the east, the median salary in Vorarlberg is €46,450, whereas in Burgenland it is just €39,100.

What is the average cost of living in Austria?

Many international residents will find everyday living costs in Austria to be expensive, especially for those that come from countries with a much lower cost of living.

Inflation has also been rising steadily in Austria throughout 2022, leading to some steep rises in prices for groceries, housing costs and energy.

READ MORE: EXPLAINED: 10 ways to save money on your groceries in Austria

However, the average cost of living varies across the country, depending on the location. For example, Vienna and Innsbruck in Tyrol are two of Austria’s most expensive cities, but more affordable places to live are Graz in Styria and Klagenfurt in Carinthia.

In Vienna, the average price for a one bedroom apartment in the city centre is €915, going up to €2,000 for a three bedroom apartment, according to Expat Arrivals.

Whereas in Graz, the average cost of a one bedroom city centre apartment is around €609, and a three bedroom apartment is €1,170.

Member comments

  1. I’d be interested if the figures for Bregenz reflect those working in Liechtenstein or Switzerland but living in Austria.

    1. It was our thought too as we were surprised by the numbers, but it would make sense, wouldn’t it? We’re looking into it!

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COST OF LIVING

Reader question: When will I receive my delayed €500 Klimabonus payment in Austria?

The Austrian government has started sending out the final €500 payments for its anti-inflation and climate bonus 2022. This is what you need to know.

Reader question: When will I receive my delayed €500 Klimabonus payment in Austria?

Starting Thursday, February 2nd, the last instalment of the Klimabonus for 2022 will be paid out, according to Austria’s Climate Protection Ministry.

Most people in Austria have already received the €500 payment, meant to offset rising inflation and a part of the country’s ecotax reform, in the fall/winter of 2022. However, those who only fulfilled the requirements later in the year will receive it now. 

According to the responsible Climate Protection Ministry, this affects around 457,000 people in Austria. 

These people either only transferred their primary residence to Austria in the first half of 2022, were recently born or for whom the status under the immigration law has yet to be clarified by the Ministry of the Interior.

READ ALSO: ‘I’m still waiting’: Foreigners in Austria still not been paid Klimabonus handout

How will the payment be made?

According to the ministry, the climate bonus comes without application and automatically via bank transfer or mail as a voucher. 

About 300,000 people will receive it directly to their account by Monday, February 6th, and about 150,000 will receive the climate bonus through the mail as an RSA letter – the vouchers will be delivered from the second half of February and should arrive to all by the beginning of March at the latest. The Post Office will deliver the vouchers in the second half of February, it said.

Is this the final payment?

Even those who received the Klimabonus in 2022 will also receive another payment in 2023. However, don’t get too excited; it will be far from the €500 subsidy the government offered in 2022.

The €500 Klimabonus was actually a Klima- und Antiteuerungsbonus, two bonuses in one. One, totalling €250, is the “climate bonus”(Klimabonus). The other, also €250, is the “anti-inflation bonus” (Anti-Teuerungsbonus).

The anti-inflation bonus was a one-off payment and is not expected to be repeated in 2023.

READ ALSO: Reader question: I’ve received my Austrian Klimabonus as a voucher, now what?

The climate bonus is part of Austria’s “ecosocial tax reform”, a set of measures destined to promote climate protection. One of them is a tax on CO2 emissions, which will raise the fuel prices in the country, affecting Austrian drivers.

The yearly Klimabonus will offset this expense. The idea is that the more you use public transport, the more of the bonus you will have “left” by the end of the month. 

According to the government, those living in well-connected cities with plenty of options for public transport (people who, therefore, could easily choose more eco-friendly transportation instead of a car) will receive less money. For example, in Vienna, the payment will be €100.

The maximum payment will be €250.

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