Saturday, 16 February 2013

What's a Good Salary in Malta?

...definitely not growing here
It is always difficult to discover exactly how much people pay or get paid in wages.  Potentially embarrassing dinner party conversation, don't you know.  But I have done some digging around on the internet to try to come up with an answer for you.   A lot of sites ask people to enter their own wage and job type and work on estimates that way, but I'm guessing this attracts the type of person with a better salary, not to mention encouraging them to exaggerate a little, so I will try to stick to more reliable sources.

In mid 2012 Eurostat released figures showing that the average Maltese wage was €11, compared to a €27 average across the Eurozone.   But no sooner had those figures been published in the Malta Star, then a storm of comments from Maltese followed, laughing at the idea that such a high hourly rate was realistic here.  Some of the comments suggested that the average Maltese person earned €4 or €5 per hour, with figures inflated by the top earners.  Maybe the answer is somewhere in between, but in summary it can be said that if you get €10 an hour here you are doing pretty well.

Eleven euro an hour equates to around €23,000 a year for a 40-hour-a-week job, if my maths are correct.  These NSO figures reported by the Malta Times would suggest that this is considerably above average.  Now the numbers refer to the end of 2010, but show the average gross salary as just €14,466.   (Hotel and restaurant workers average just over €12K per year, based on these figures).  This overall average had slightly increased to €15,013 by the end of 2011.

Confusingly enough, these figures from June 2012 (Malta Times again) show an average private sector salary of over €21,000 in 2010.  Sadly, a lot of what passes for journalism in the Malta Times involves writing down numbers that they have been told by someone, without doing a whole lot of research.  The commentators below the line on this piece are less accepting though, mocking the idea of such a high average.  I tend to agree with the commentators, so I'll leave the last word (or words) to some of them:

"Please, average annual earning at 21,446?  Does anyone believe that?  Starting wage for someone with a degree in this country is about 17,000 before NI and taxes".

"If one person has a salary of 99,000 euros and another person has 1,000 salary, their average is 50,000 euros, but is this the truth?"

"The average salary is 21,500 euros in Malta, not many people earn that sort of money here, I like to know who is supplying these figures, but whoever it is is not living in the real world".

" I don't know from where these figures come from, but they are surely unrealistic"

"This is ridiculous. I am a university degree graduate working (as a senior health care professional) in the public health care sector. I am a Scale 9... I earn about 18,500 per year"

"who ever said that the Maltese worker earns €21-500 per year is telling a big fib or other wise he don't know what he is talking about"

...Sir, I couldn't have put it better myself!

I guess it all boils down to the difference between average, median and mode - remember your primary school maths?  (No, me neither. I had to look it up).  So average is when you add up all the salaries and divide by all the workers;  Median is when you take the salary of Joe Blow who is exactly in the middle of all the workers in the country; and Mode is the most common salary.  Maybe that last one is what the newspapers should really be reporting...


  1. Have you written about finding a place to live?

    I have been keeping an eye on a few realty websites for long-tem lettings, and at the same time have checked with people in my industry to gauge realistic salary expectations.

    It looks like I can expect to earn about 1/2 to 2/3 of my current salary, but still have to pay the same rent I pay in Ireland, and that makes me wonder if I'm looking at the right apartment listings...

  2. you need to be a political member or a minister to have a good salary!! i studied 4 years on a vocational course at the institute of building and construction at naxxar i had choose the apprentise = work and study to get the trade.
    i achieved every certificate of mcast certification, city and guilts,diploma and 2 gurney man certificates etc etc... in 2012 i was finished and i tried to find a job on my trade restorer/conservator my componey that i was apprentis this refairs to HERITAGE MALTA the contarct was expyred and they didnt refine the contract, they just told me to go register with the etc to find a job on the trade so i tryed this way...
    in july 2012 i find a job with a contarctor and he was paying 5.58euro ratley this wasn't good for me but i was in need of a job so i tryied to stick in... so what im trying to sayy in malta there are no good salarys, the good salarys are only for the big fishh... or big headss so try to be one of themm!!!

    1. Man, if you speak as you write you should be working on a potato field and being thankful for having a job and something to eat!

  3. You could try learning how to write proper Inglish now that you have your apprentise gurney man conservator stuff in order. Maybe you would appear somewhat more presentable to a potential employer!

    1. LOL! You are criticising somebody for not wring in proper "Inglish" the irony haha! I think you mean "English". You've miss pelt several words in just a couple of sentences, take a look at yourself before criticising others.

  4. I agree with Anonymous ur lucky if u gt 5 euros an hour an I work in d health section good money is 4 big heads or ripoffs

  5. You have to understand that there is a lot of people who allow themselves to be taken advantage of.
    The high average is due to the International companies like Internet betting which pay high salaries.
    Also, a lot of Maltese just love their comfort zone and do not try and explore what else is out there to offer.
    I have NO qualifications (just O levels) and currently earn 30k + and am starting a new post shortly paying 50k!
    There are good paying jobs in Malta. you just have to have the drive to find them!

  6. I am a British expat living and working in Malta for 2 years. I work in the financial services sector and my salary is significantly above the average wage here. This is due to working for an international company. Lets not forget Malta is a tiny place and practically everything is imported, those who work in restaurants, clothes shops supermarkets etc have very little scope to increase earnings. I can understand (as a bl**dy foreigner) how this would irritate the locals but in the grander scheme of things these earnings are being pumped directly back into the Maltese economy which can only be a good thing long term.

  7. so how much is renting a 2 bedroom in Malta? How much is an average electricity bill, and shopping for grocery? If you don't give this numbers knowing the average salary is not so useful.

    1. That's a fair point Luca... I will talk about renting in another post, but you should expect to pay at least €500 for a 2 bed in the Sliema area. Groceries are not too cheap but you could probably get by on €60-70 a week if you are careful. Gas/electricity will cost between €50 and €100 per month depending on usage. These figures are just off the top of my head so not precise. If anyone wants to give their estimate then feel free.

  8. In 2012 I lived in Marsascala, a beautiful fishing village on Malta's south coast (20 minutes from Valletta). I rented a near-new 3-bedroom, fully furnished apartment, on a six month contract. It cost me €100 per week. It's not as easy to get to Uni / language schools by bus - but I didn't need to do that. So - if you don't need to live where all the other students live, life can be a lot cheaper than the prices generally being quoted. Fresh fish from the boats in the early morning, fruit & vegetables from the farmers' market - these items are a third or a quarter of UK prices. Skol larger is 67 cents a pint at Scotts supermarkets. White table wine is €2.30 a bottle. Red meat can be a little pricy, but a whole chicken at Lidl costs €3.50. A pasta meal for two with a shared bottle of wine at the D-Centre restaurant in Birgu will cost €20 all up. It's about the same in the Football Club and the Band Club. A large pizza and a couple of beers would come in at half that price. If you go to tourist restaurants, you pay tourist prices, naturally. It's no use asking about prices "in Malta" - it's as varied as asking about prices "in Manchester". It depends where you live, where you shop, where you eat - but maybe the above gives you some idea of how to live well without breaking the budget.

  9. If you earn 17,000 eur before NI and taxes a year, How much will it be monthly?



Please feel free to comment below, all feedback welcome - it's great to hear other people's opinions and experiences.