Budapest is the capital city of Hungary and the ninth-largest city by population within city limits in the European Union. Budapest is among the top preferred tourist cities in Europe due to its beauty and photogenic effect. If you’re looking to work in Budapest, some of the factors to consider include work permit accessibility, the city’s economic status, average salary, and the likes. This article will give you clear insights on what to expect as an expat working in Budapest. Note that the currency used in Budapest is the Hungarian Forint (HUF) and at the time of writing 1 USD = 338.48 HUF.
What is an Average Salary in Budapest? A person working in Budapest can expect to earn an average gross salary of $3,840/month or $45,778 a year. Most jobs pay a monthly rate, but there are some that pay hourly. Such jobs attract an average gross hourly rate of $22.09. Keep in mind that these are just estimated as an individual’s pay is affected by various factors, which I will cover later in this article.
Working in Budapest is such an exciting experience packed with benefits like healthcare, dental care, child-home allowance, family allowance, unemployment benefits, and insurance. Some of the benefits specific to expat employees include relocation assistance, travel incentives, job search help for partners, school search and a possible tuition cover to international schools in Hungary, as well as housing allowance. I can assure you that working in Budapest will give you valuable experience. I’ll give you all the information you need to work in Budapest, including job opportunities for foreigners, how to find a job here, employment laws, salaries offered, and more, so you can make informed decisions about working in this city.
Average Salary in Budapest
Currently, salaries and wages are on the rise in Budapest, which is a good economic tiding for ex-pats and residents. As mentioned earlier, it’s important to note that your actual monthly wage depends on a number of factors such as your occupation, education level, years of experience, the industry of practice, and seniority among other factors. The economic outlook of Hungary is quite stable since the 2008 crisis, which gives you another reason to want to work here.
Potential jobs for Expats in Budapest and their Salaries
Budapest has a high demand for Expatriate workers, who are allowed to occupy specific positions in the job market. Some of the most attractive job opportunities for expats in Budapest include positions in telecommunication & IT, ACCA accounting, project management, teaching English, certified auditor jobs, as well as front desks and admin jobs.
IT & Telecommunication
IT and Telecommunications are highly demanded skills. Expats with high credentials in this field receive a good salary package with an average salary of $3,792.8/month. This average monthly salary is gross, meaning it’s inclusive of housing, transport, and other benefits. That being said, the amount can be higher depending on your academic qualifications and/or years of experience.
Certified Auditing and Accounting
A certified auditor in Budapest is highly sought after human resource. Auditors earn an average gross salary of $4,017 per month. Salaries in this occupation will also differ based on academic qualifications and working experience. For instance, audit roles such as audit manager or partner will attract better pay because of their experience and skills. Accounting professionals working in Budapest are also paid well with their average gross salary at $2,703.92 per month.
An expat looking to take up a project management job in Budapest can anticipate good pay at an average gross of $4,223 per month. This is a good salary; it can comfortably sustain a family and leave you some savings. The amount could be higher, depending on your qualifications and seniority.
Budapest is predominantly a Hungarian speaking city. For this reason, there are many opportunities for English-speaking expats to teach English in schools and other institutions. This skill is on high demand for both full time and part-time jobs. To teach English in Budapest, teachers need to have a Bachelor’s degree in Arts (BA) and TEFL international qualification. Being a native English speaker is an added advantage to getting the job. The average gross salary for a bilingual teacher is $3,012 per month. The pay is higher if you’re teaching at the college or university and depending on your credentials.
In addition to these popular go-to jobs for expats seeking employment in Budapest, here are the average monthly gross salaries for other popular jobs in Budapest:
- Administrative assistant – $1,961
- Creative director – $4,076
- Nanny- $2,359
- Architect – $3,603
- General Manager – $6,734
- Engineer – $3,603
- Chef – $3,130
- Waitstaff – $2,389
- Denstist – $9,569
- Computer technician – $3,072
- Attorney – $5,375
- Cashier – $2,091
Budapest Average Income per Person
Average income per person in this city is calculated by dividing its total income by its population. This is a great way to gauge the standard of living in Budapest. That being said, the personal income per capita in Budapest as of 2017 was about 9,186,206 HUF, which translates to about $27, 220. The average monthly income mentioned earlier shows that the per-capita income of the city is high compared to most cities in Europe. The great news is that the monthly income in Budapest has been on the rise for the last couple of years.
Minimum Wage in Budapest
The Hungarian government determines the minimum wage for workers in Budapest. Employers violating the minimum wage law may be subjected to punishment by the Hungarian government.
The minimum wage for unskilled labour in Budapest is HUF 926 ($2.73) per hour, HUF 7, 410 ($21.89) per day, HUF 37,020 ($109.34) per week, and HUF 161,000 ($475.51) per month. Professionals, on the other hand, are entitled to a higher minimum wage at HUF 1,211 ($3.5) per hour, HUF 9,690 ($28.71) per day, HUF 48,420 ($143.47) per week, or HUF 210,600 ($624) per month. Keep in mind that these amounts are before tax. Knowledge of these laws will help foreign workers to get the best remuneration for the service offered.
In addition to minimum wage, labour laws also define the working conditions for workers in Budapest. For starter, the official working time is 8 hours/5 days, meaning a 40-hour workweek. Employees are also entitled to 21 days of paid vacation, which increase with seniority. There are also 10 public holidays in Hungary.
The salaries we’ve covered above are all in gross. But that’s not what you take home to fund your lifestyle, which is why it’s important to know the common deduction for people working in Budapest. The first one is income tax, which is at a flat rate of 15% of taxable income. The employer will also deduct 10% for pension contribution. Other common deductions include health insurance and vocational training contribution, among others.
Budapest Income distribution
Budapest is a true reflection of the country’s income distribution. Since most of the income is spent within the city, which is the commercial and conference centre for the country, we can determine the economic status of the country by observing the income generation and distribution within the city.
Despite offering the highest salaries in Hungary, everyone doesn’t earn the same amount of money. In fact, there’s a relatively enormous income disparity gap with just 10% of the population owning 46% of the city’s entire wealth.
When it comes to disposable income in Budapest, studies show that 20% of the high-income earners earn 4.3 times more than the 20% lowest income-earners. Only 25% of the working population makes more than $11,370/month while there’s another 25% making less than $2,094/month gross.
The income distribution curve of Budapest is pear-shaped, with just 2% elite income earners holding the most significant chunk of the country’s income, 10.5% upper middle class, and the considerable majority of around 23% of the low-class people wallowing in extreme poverty. Currently, policy changes are being pushed to address inequality. The Government proactive move to address minimum wage issues is a part of the strategy to grow the income disparity between the low and high-income earners.
That being said, Budapest has a lower-income inequality when compared to other cities in the European Union. While it may not be a wealthy city, the standard of living in Budapest is higher than in some major cities in the EU.
Budapest Job Market
Budapest has been engaging in re-skilling and up-skilling tactics in their job market due to the shortage of labour and the rise of the technological era of Artificial Intelligence and digital transformation.
The rate of unemployment in Budapest is currently at 3.5%. Though this is not a high figure, the job market has become quite competitive. As such, ex-pats should consider offering unique skills as the government of Hungary may not open its borders for them to do the jobs that can be done by the local Hungarians.
Since Hungary joined the EU, several international companies have set up branch offices in the capital city of Budapest. This has created many employment opportunities for foreigners and locals alike. The easiest way to find employment in Budapest is through a transfer by your employer. If that’s not possible, check online job sites or recruitment agencies.
Traditionally, foreigners who relocate to Budapest have often found jobs as language teachers. If you’re looking for a job in that area, you should be able to find one sooner rather than later. There are also some job market skills that Budapest needs but is lacking. This includes skills in the robotics sector, which are highly demanded to operate and drive the industry. The construction industry also lacks skilled workers, particularly those who can speak multiple languages. There are delays in several construction sites due to lack of labour force as most of the workers left Budapest for the neighbouring countries with better pay and benefits. The information- communication branches and the administrative sub-sectors have also grown and currently have several unfilled job positions.
- Hungary Government https://www.kormany.hu/en
- Portal of the Prime Minister’s Office http://www.meh.hu/
- Ministry of Foreign Affairs http://www.mfa.gov.hu/
About the author: Marta Kovachek is the author of this article. She graduated from the University of Chicago with a master’s degree in Economics. Marta enjoys writing about the current economic situation and loves helping our readers to find their next "destination". From places to live to complex social and economic topics, we always enjoy Marta's work. Please contact us in case of any questions.