Romania 2019 – The salaries market looks to be more unpredictable than it has ever been.

Click here to read the original article in Romanian. Written by Irina Vasile of Antal Romania. Find out more about Irina and her office here.

According to our latest observation and surveys, the average Gross Salary (Income) in Romania 2019 is around 1’000Eur per month (bit less than 1’000Eur) which includes housing, transport and other benefits. Indeed, the salaries differ drastically between different jobs.

If looking at all jobs approximately 25% of people earn less than 500Eur, an approximate of 50% earn less than 900Eur (therefore 50% of the entire salary earners are below this 900Eur level) and at maximum 50% of the salary working population do earn equal or less than 1’400Eur. Out of this last segment there is a slight % of less than 15-20% who would be over 1’400-1’500 Eur and a very small number (<2-3%) with over 3’000Eur per month.

A maximum salary that was required during last year was of >7’000 Eur (more exactly of 35’000RON gross a month) for a general manager in a betting (games) CEO role, which wasn’t actually finalized in the end due to this high level of expectation of the particular candidate.

All are just indicators. If your salary is higher than both of the average and the median then you are doing very well. If your salary is lower than both, then many people are earning more than you and there is plenty of room for improvement. If your wage is in between the average and median, then things can be a bit confusing.

Salaries for specific job categories are very different and might not usually make a lot of good sense.

The IT software developer roles are very well regarded. A good .Net developer with a minimum 4-5 years relevant experience can earn Eur 2’500 net in hand a month while a good finance controller with over 5 years of finance controller experience, can’t hope for more than 2’000-2’200 Eur net in hand a month, hardly can come up to the same level as the IT developer, who is not leading a team. There’s at least similar stress level at work or even more responsibilities in a leadership role, in fact.

While nobody is expecting big salary jumps when changing a job from an employer to another or/and from a job level to a higher one as it used to be back before year 2009, there is still a sort of nonsense forecast or budgeting process for most of the roles and salaries in this current market, because it is full of “surprises” and it very rapidly evolves sometimes.

The in-house legal adviser job did also register a lot of movement within the last year. For instance, in the second part of 2018 the demand for a good legal adviser – moreover due also to the GDPR regulation coming into force –  was growing while the salary allowed was budgeted on the level of 2017 and less.

We expect a higher and higher demand on various roles. Here I just give a couple of examples, such as IT Security and cyber security experts, as well as for the legal advisors who will have the wish to be internalised into operational businesses (and not acting as freelance or within legal services firms).

The salaries expectations here went up by min. 30% while for some top managerial roles such as CFO or CEO, COO, the salary (at least their fixed level) came down by 5% even 10% in some cases, within the last 3-5 years.

Why is that? Many factors can explain it and they are nearly not the same ones in each case.  In general, an younger (usually “cheaper”) generation went to replace some elder, mature C and top level of management (including the expats).  Unfortunately there is an unavoidable price to pay on quality of the top management in some instances …  especially considering the fact the overall talent in the mid-top management segment is not going up but merely down.

The “Save money” talented individuals with that particular “HOW TO” … faster and better than the competition – this is an extremely important skill that most professional wish to have or to develop.

The Salary trend in Romania

Over time the average salary evolved more or less as follows:

Average Salary 2016     =    5,220 RON
Average Salary 2017     +3%    5,367 RON
Average Salary 2018     +2%    5,495 RON
Average Salary 2019     +2%    5,605 RON

Percentage increase and decrease are relative to the previous value

As displayed in the chart, salaries in 2019 are ~ 2% higher than those of 2018. The trend suggests a slow yet continuous increase in pay in 2020 and future years. These numbers differ slightly from industry to another.

Still to consider that with an hourly wage per hour being ~ 6Eur there is no wonder how many people – especially from the blue collars segment – do migrate to the UK or similar countries where they can make double income.

Some salary comparison made also by several cities of Romania.

An average salary comparison by city in Romania can indicate highest levels in Bucharest ~1’200Eur, followed by some extreme levels in counties such as Galati, Suceava, Braila (due to un-competitiveness in some industrial areas around there), then closely followed by Timisoara, Cluj then Brasov, Iasi and at the lowest level Constanta and Sibiu at levels of ~7-800Eur). Once again these are purely indicative numbers and the statistics aren’t probably completely accurate and it depends on many factors indeed, local, sometimes seasonal etc. 

In general our practice demonstrates that the Salary and Compensation Surveys must be made in a lot more dynamic and customization than ever, eventually on a quarterly level and ideally in real time. A salary grid which was quite realistic one year ago and even six month ago, certainly isn’t reflective of today anymore…

Irina Vasile

Headhunting – Antal International Network Ltd – Romania