What’s a Good Salary in Malta? – Updated

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.

money tree malta howtomalta

I got the information in this chart from wonderful Wikipedia.  Looking just at Eurozone countries, Malta ranks 8th from bottom out of 19 based on Net monthly income (meaning what’s left after tax).  Luxembourg tops the list, but I just put their average salaries in here to make the rest of us feel bad. 

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”

More recent figures from the National Statistics Office gave the average gross salary of employees as €15,722 for the 3rd quarter of 2013 (according to this article) which backs up what Wikipedia said in the chart above.  This average included managers making about €25,000 down to around €10,000 for what is described as ‘elementary staff’.  In the third quarter of 2014 meanwhile, there was only a slight increase to a €16,081 before-tax average salary.  More useful numbers here.

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.

money tree illustration:


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34 thoughts on “What’s a Good Salary in Malta? – Updated

  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!!!

    • 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!

  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.

    • I’m pretty sure that’s a bit of a fallacy. Most of the people I know who earn international-company wages are sending a lot of their money back out of Malta, either to savings & investment accounts, or paying off loans, or for something they want to do when they leave Malta. And sure, they pay rent here and buy groceries here, but they do most of their shopping online, sending a percentage of their wages to Amazon, ebay, Alibaba, and other online non-Malta-based companies. And of course, the international companies themselves only end up paying 5% corporate income tax & low/capped social security contributions, while ordering their computers, furnishings, and office supplies online. We internationals (as a group) use the country’s infrastructure and add to overcrowding and pollution and contribute very little in return.

      • I think expats do contribute to the economy quite a bit by paying taxes and paying rent, let alone spending money in the bars, restaurants, shops etc.

  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.

    • 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. When I first moved to Malta from the United States, the EU was worth approximately $1.35 USD and I took this into account when deciding to make the move. Now that the two currencies are essentially at par, I am essentially earning 25% less than I did years ago in USA.

    • Hi Greg,
      I also moved to Europe when the exchange rate was $1.35, but I have the advantage of not planning to move back to the US. Your experience is definitely something I warn friends and colleagues about – if you are planning to move back to the US, the exchange rate matters, as does the decision to have your salary rated in USD or EUR. Those of us who are staying permanently have the luxury of not having to think about it.

  10. Like in many countries, salary in Malta is heavily dependent industry, apart from qualifications & experience. The amount of certificates and papers are useless unless you can prove yourself in industry. I graduated with a Masters in Computer Science in 2005 and earned under €20,000 annually on my first job as a programmer. Within 6 years I tripled my salary to €60,000+. Of course money comes at a cost. If you want to a ‘secure’ or ‘relaxed’ 9-to-5 job with the government, you cannot expect to earn anything close to a self-employed who takes risks, gives us his weekends and works crazy hours. I have friends who dropped out of highschool who are earning more than me, but they really excel at what they do, so it’s not about your degrees and certificates but about your personal abilities and your life priorities.

  11. 16k? If you don’t have a degree or just starting to work maybe. This is stupid. All of my friends earn 22-28k aged between 19 and 22. I’m also 22 and just found a great opportunity and am about to jump to 40k, as a developer, not in a betting company. I know there aren’t many 22 year olds earning that here, but if I can do it why can’t others?

  12. I am a South African moving to Malta this year. I have no tertiary education but have a very strong skill in my field. My package a year is 70+.

    Not bad for an ex-pat at all/

    • Hi all
      I would to like learn about big four audit company. Do you know about salary audit asistant.can you say please
      .i wanna apply but i dont.know their benefit

  13. Hi guys I need a word of advice. I live in Pakistan and recently got work permit for malta. I being offer 29500 per annum. I am married person. I need to know does this salary is a attractive or above average salary or not?

    • The answer depends on a lot of variables. Are you married with a working spouse, or married with a dependent spouse and children? Where will you live? What do you like to do for fun? Will you have a car (or two), are you used to buses, or will you live walking distance from work & shopping? Do you need luxuries like air conditioning and heat, or do you tolerate heat well and just put on a sweater when it gets cold?

      Some people live here on €5/hour, but those people generally live with family in a home that is already fully paid for. I know someone who is single and earns over €50,000/year, and is always broke. €30,000/year for a married person is about €1,700/month after taxes and social security deductions, so look at your probable rent and budget €400/month (total, on average) for electricity, water, and groceries.

      And be realistic about housing costs. Most of the real estate agencies post old ads for houses for sale and for rent, at very low prices. When you get the real listings, there are fewer choices at higher prices. Whatever prices you see online, add another 50% on top of it to get a closer estimate. You *can* live very cheaply in Malta, but only if you make a lot of deliberate choices.

    • PS: I just read the news, and there was a snippet about “more people earning between €20,000 and €30,000 per year, greatly expanding the middle class” – so that’s what the government thinks is a middle class salary.

      PS again: If you are thinking about bringing a car or buying one here, talk to someone who keeps true records about costs. I live a block away from a big bus stop (8 bus lines, about 15 buses per hour) and I work in Sliema, so I haven’t bothered with a car. I spend €26/month for my bus card and probably €30/month for taxis, and I use the commute time to catch up on email or to read – but I have met a number of people who *hate* the buses and would leave Malta before giving up their cars. I hear complaints regularly about the cost of registration, road tax, petrol, and repairs, though, so if you aren’t willing to give the buses a chance, be sure to add car costs into your budget.

    • Depending on experience, education, qualification (are you ACCA?), and industry, between €20,000 and €30,000.
      If you’re an assistant financial controller for a local company in a traditional industry, you’ll earn on the lower end. If you’re working for an international company in a modern industry, you’ll earn on the higher end. Same goes for hotels – locally owned hotel will pay less than a higher-profile international chain.

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