What are the best paying jobs in France?

The Local
The Local - [email protected] • 30 Jul, 2020 Updated Thu 30 Jul 2020 15:30 CEST
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For many people, moving to France is more about the quality of life or the fulfilment of a lifelong dream. That said, having some cash in your pocket can't hurt either, so here are the best-paying jobs in France.


The 'rich list' of the best-paying professions has been compiled by L'Observatoire des inégalités (the inequality observatory) using data from the Labour Ministry and statistics body INSEE.

The ranking breaks down salaries by profession for both self-employed and salaried workers. The data is from 2019, so does not take into account the effects of lockdown on business sectors.

The salaries quoted are net salaries, after the French taxman has taken his (fairly hefty) slice of your monthly wage, and take the top 10 percent of earners within the profession.


For salaried employees, these are the best remunerated professions:

  • Transport, logistics and aviation - the top 10 percent of earners take home an average of €6,958 a month
  • Salaried doctors (ie hospital doctors as opposed to GPs who are self employed) - €6,408
  • Banking and insurance - €6,089
  • Engineers and tech employees - €5,924
  • Finance executives - €5,855
  • Commercial executives - €5,736
  • Researchers - €5,461
  • Communications professionals - €5,073
  • Construction executives and managers - €4,977
  • Computer engineers - €4,739

At the top of the list is transport and aviation, a category which includes airline pilots - the best-paid of whom net around €7,000 a month.

Several of the categories listed had a wide range of salaries, particularly the IT sector which showed high pay at the top, but also low salaries for those just starting out.


The report also looked separately at fonctionnaires (civil servants) who also show a wide diversity of salary.

The average earning among the top 10 percent of earners is €3,260 a month. In the top 1 percent of the profession, the average salary rises to €6,410 with the best paid being senior staff in embassies and consulates abroad, who take €13,800 a month.

But if you really want to be making money in France, you need to look at the self-employed workers including the professions libérales - which includes lawyers and doctors.

Among these the highest earners are;

  • Lawyers and accountants - the top 10 percent of earners take home an average of €18,940
  • Doctors and dentists - €17,740
  • Pharmaceutical professionals - €13,430
  • Finance and insurance - €13,410
  • Vets - €10,350
  • Management consultants - €9,420
  • Wholesalers - €8,270
  • Architects and engineers - €8,110
  • Real estate agents - €7,930
  • Communications - €7,800

But while being self-employed is clearly where the real money is, as an employee in France you will enjoy a range of benefits including generous holiday allowance, subsidised healthcare, plenty of days off on public holidays and (for some) extra benefits like restaurant vouchers and subsidised travel.

READ ALSO The perks and benefits of being an employee in France 






The Local 2020/07/30 15:30

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[email protected] 2020/07/31 17:39
Researchers earn Euro 5461 in France? I wonder where that stat came from? Possibly only institute directors and heads of R&D in major corporations get to take home that much. Researchers working for CNRS, INRA, INRIA, INSERM and other French agencies, who constitute the bulk of the community, earn far less than that. A CR2 in CNRS, who almost always holds a PhD and usually has several years of post doctoral experience, starts off with a monthly net of 1800 Euros! Researchers are generally, very poorly paid in France compared to other EU countries.

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