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MONEY

Working in France: What you can expect to earn?

If you want to work in France, it's helpful to know what you can expect to earn - here's a look at the industry-standard salaries on offer in a range of different jobs.

Working in France: What you can expect to earn?
Marie-Chantal Baumstarck, a middle-school English teacher at du Roy d'Espagne, in Marseille, southern France, on the eve of the 2014 school year. (Photo by BORIS HORVAT / AFP)

If you want to work in France one of the key questions is how much can you expect to earn? France is not generally known as a high-wage country, although on the other hand the cost-of-living in some areas is also quite low.

READ ALSO How much money do you need to live in France?

French daily newspaper Le Parisien has put together a ‘salary simulator’ where you can check the industry standard for your profession, covering a wide range of different types of jobs.

With the obvious caveat that a lot depends on your experience, whether your qualifications are recognised in France and whether (if applicable) you speak French, you can check out the simulator HERE

Below are five examples of standard rates of pay (annual, before tax) using the salary simulator, for jobs popular with foreigners in France;

Tech

France has been making a big effort to attract tech workers in recent years. It has even launched the ‘French Tech Visa’ – a type of ‘passeport talent’ (you can read more about this residency permit HERE) that allows you to work in France for up to four years if you have been offered a job at an eligible French company.

French President Emmanuel Macron also launched the “Choose France” campaign to attract foreign investment in French tech, as well as to make France a more appealing place to work for technology workers. The website Welcome to France (written in English) is also geared toward attracting foreign talent and start-ups, and offers links to tech-specific job boards for English-speakers looking to work in France.

To give an example of this, we picked the average salary expectations for a “Data Scientist or ML Developer”

With 0 to 2 years experience in the field: Between €40,000 and €45,00
With 2 to 5 years experience: Between €45,000 and €60,000
With 5 to 10 years experience: Between €60,000 and €70,000
With 10 to 15 years experience: Between €70,000 and more than €80,000
With 15 years experience or more: Between €70,000 and more than €80,000

Healthcare Assistant/ Worker

A shortage of healthcare workers means there are plenty of jobs in this sector – but many roles require French qualifications.

Foreigners looking to work in French healthcare might consider being a healthcare assistant or aide – more accessible professions which require less country-specific training.

For this field, we chose a ‘healthcare assistant’ at a care facility for the salary example:

0 to 2 years : Between €21,000 and €24,000
2 to 5 years : Between €24,000 and €28,000
5 to 10 years : Between €28,000 and €32,000
10 to 15 years: Between €32,000 and €36,000
15 years and more : Between €32,000 and €36,000

Marketing and Public Relations

As many French companies and businesses seek to increase their appeal to English-speaking audiences, your status as an anglophone could come in handy. The website Emploi Strategies is focused on jobs in marketing and PR, with many ob postings asking that candidates either be bilingual or speak some level of English in order to apply. 

We chose the role of “Product Manager” for the example within this field. 

0 to 2 years : Between €30,000 and €35,000
2 to 5 years : Between €35,000 and €45,000
5 to 10 years : Between €45,000 and €55,000
10 to 15 years: Between €45,000 and €55,000
15 years and more : Between €45,000 and €55,000

Tourism

This is a field that is accessible for English-speaking foreigners – France is the world’s most-visited tourist destination and the relaxation of Covid-related travel restrictions helped create a huge rebound in tourism in France, particularly on the part of American tourists, who made up around 12.7 percent of foreign tourists in 2022.

With an influx of English-speaking tourists, as well as a minimum level of English often being a stated requirement for those working in France’s tourism industry, being a native speaker could be in your favour.

We chose the example of an “Account Manager”:

0 to 2 years : Between €28,000 and €35,000.
2 to 5 years : Between €30,000 and €38,000
5 to 10 years : Between €35,000 and €45,000
10 to 15 years: More than €45,000
15 years and more : More than €45,000

Local variations

The data comes from PageGroup, a firm specialising in executive recruitment, who analysed the majority of salaries offered in the first half of 2022 – encompassing over 800 jobs in 24 sectors across France.

Some career fields might not be listed on the simulator, particularly those pertaining to public servants whose salaries are indexed.

French salaries will also depend on region – you can expect to earn more in the Greater Paris area than in other parts of the country. On average, salaries were between five to ten percent lower than Paris in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, Pays de la Loire and Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, 15 percent lower in Brittany and Occitania, and up to 20 percent lower in Centre-Val-de-Loire, Nouvelle-Aquitaine, Normandy, the Grand Est and Hauts-de-France.

If you did not see your industry listed above, you can try the job simulator HERE.

Education

This is another common field for foreigners seeking to work in France. Education is one of the ten fields that the French government expects to be hiring the most in the next ten years.

Additionally, English-language instruction has become more of a priority for the French Education Ministry, particularly after launching its Emergency English learning plan for French public schools.

Teaching is not included on Le Parisien’s salary simulator as teachers are considered ‘fonctionnaires‘ (civil servants) in France, however the government does publish national pay scales for teachers. 

Keep in mind that if you are looking to teach English in France, you will need a TEFL certificate. If you are looking to work as a secondary school teacher generally, you must pass the “Capes” examination (Certificat d’Aptitude au Professorat de l’Enseignement du Second degré). 

You can see the table for teacher salaries based on seniority below – unlike the salaries listed above, these are displayed as after-tax. 

Education Minister Pap Ndiaye announced in August that starting in September 2023, first year educators will earn €2,000 (post-tax) per month, and that there will also be increases for teachers in the “middle of their career” by the same date.

As of September 2022, a first year teacher earned approximately €19,680 per year after taxes. For a teacher with four years of experience, this amount would be closer to €28,068 after taxes.

The table with salary levels by teacher seniority, as of January 2022, from the education ministry can be seen below:

Table by Education.gouv.fr

The education ministry also has its own salary simulator, that you can find HERE for more precise estimates based on your situation.

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For members

LIVING IN FRANCE

Overstaying, working without a permit and polygamy – what can get you deported from France?

From committing a crime to overstaying your 90-day limit and even having multiple wives - here is a look at all the things that can get foreigners deported from France, and how likely this is in reality.

Overstaying, working without a permit and polygamy - what can get you deported from France?

If you’re living in France and you’re not a French citizen, there are certain scenarios in which you can be expelled from the country, and although this isn’t an everyday occurrence there are quite a wide range of offences that can see you kicked out of France. 

Process

In France, there are a few different deportation procedures for foreigners.

Expulsion – The first, which you may have heard about before, is “expulsion”, which means you must leave the country immediately.

French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin recently made headlines after calling for the expulsion of an Imam for making anti-Semitic, homophobic and sexist comments, as well as speeches that were “contrary to the values of the Republic.” 

For the average person, being expelled from France is very unlikely.

Under president Nicolas Sarkozy, a 2003 law was passed allowing for three possibilities to expel foreigners who are already “integrated” into France – if they have engaged in “behaviours likely to undermine the fundamental interests of the State; that are linked to activities of a terrorist nature; or constitute acts of incitement toward discrimination, hatred or violence because of the origin or religion of persons.”  

In most cases though, “expulsion” only occurs if a person is living in France illegally (ie without a residency permit or visa) and they represent a “serious threat to public order.” 

Notice to quit – The more likely scenario for the deportation of a foreigner living in France is an OQTF (Obligation de quitter le territoire français) – an obligation to leave France.

The decision is made by your préfecture. You will be formally notified, in a document which outlines which country you are to return to, as well as the time limit for when you must leave France. 

This can occur following a prison sentence, or if your residency permit has been withdrawn (again, the most common scenario is following a criminal conviction) or if your application to renew a residency permit has been denied.

You can challenge an OQTF. In most cases, the administrative court responsible for handling appeals should offer a response within six weeks.

Barred from returning – if you have committed an immigration offence such as overstaying your visa or overstaying your 90-day limit, this is often only flagged up at the border as you leave France. In this circumstance, you are liable to a fine and can also be banned from returning to France. Bans depend on your circumstance and how long you have overstayed, but can range from 90 days to 10 years.

In practice, being barred from returning is the most common scenario for people who have overstayed their visa or 90-day limit, but have not been working or claiming benefits in France.  

You can be ordered to leave France within 30 days if you are in one of the following situations:

  • You entered France (or the Schengen area) illegally and you do not have a residency permit or visa. You can be immediately ordered to leave France under specific scenarios such as representing a threat to public order or being a “risk of fleeing.”
  • You have entered France legally, but you have overstayed your visa or overstayed your 90-day limit. If you stay more than 90 days in every 180 in the Schengen area without a valid residency permit, then you can receive an OQTF, although in practice this is not the most common response.

READ MORE: What happens if you overstay your 90-day limit in France?

  • Your residency permit application or your temporary residence permit has not been renewed or has been withdrawn.
  • Your residence permit has been withdrawn, refused or not renewed or you no longer have the right to stay in France (more on this below). 
  • You failed to apply to renew your residency permit, and stayed after the expiration of your previous permit. Keep in mind that once your permit expires, you can stay an additional 90 days in France if your home-country does not require a 90-day visa. However, in order to do this you must exit the Schengen zone and come back in to re-start the clock. 
  • You are working without a work permit and have resided in France for less than 3 months. A scenario where this might apply would be coming to France for under 90-days as a tourist (ie without a visa) and take a seasonal job. If you are found to have done this, you can receive an OQTF.
  • Other scenarios include being an asylum seeker whose application for protection was definitively rejected, or being categorised as a threat to public order (for those who have resided in France for less than 3 months).

Why might my residency permit be withdrawn or refused?

For those with a valid temporary or multi-annual residency permit, you might have your titre de séjour withdrawn in any of the following scenarios: 

If you no longer meet one of the necessary conditions for obtaining the permit in the first place. Keep in mind that if you have a salarié residency permit or a passeport talent, these cannot be withdrawn if you become “involuntarily unemployed” (meaning – you do not need to worry about potentially being deported if you lose your job). The best advice for this would be to request a change of status as needed rather than staying on a permit that no longer applies to you.

If you did not fulfil all the criteria for renewing your permit – this could involve failing to appear for an appointment you have been summoned to by the préfecture. 

If your permit was issued on the basis of family reunification, you could lose your titre if you have broken off your relationship with your spouse during the 3 years following the issuance of the permit. This does not apply in the case of death or spousal abuse, and there are exceptions for couples who have children settled in France. 

Other reasons might include:

  • Living in a state of polygamy in France
  • Serious criminal conviction (drug trafficking, slavery, human trafficking, murder etc.)
  • Illegally employing a foreign worker
  • Having been deported or banned from French territory previously
  • Being a threat to public order (usually terrorism related)

If you have a residency card, you can also lose your right to residency if you are out of France for a period of between 10 months and two years – depending on the type of card you have.

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