Best Places to Work for Expatriates

According to a recent survey commissioned by HSBC, the following 10 countries top, in order, the best places for expats to work.

  1. Switzerland – Average expat salary: $188,275
  2. Germany – Average expat salary: $97,693.
  3. Sweden – Average expat salary: $84,802.
  4. United Arab Emirates – Average expat salary: $112,820.
  5. Norway – Average expat salary: $97,486
  6. Singapore – Average expat salary: $138,641
  7. Austria – Average expat salary: $85,288
  8. Hong Kong – Average expat salary: $169,756
  9. United Kingdom – Average expat salary: $83,227 (survey done prior to Brexit)
  10. Bahrain – Average expat salary: $98,622


When choosing one of the above countries, there is always a trade-off between making money and having a life outside of work.  For example, 50% of surveyed expats working in Hong Kong reported a decline in work-life balance while 65% said that it was a good place to further their career.  So whether or not you would pursue a job in Hong Kong depends on how important you consider factors other than work.

Austria rated high in work-life balance; 71% of respondents cited this as a plus and 62% said that their marketability in their home market increased significantly as well.

Sweden and Switzerland are both noted for their strong work culture coupled with outstanding work-life balance.

What you are looking for regarding work and life balance as well as who is looking for your skills will determine the best place to seek work as an expat.

How to make your choice?

If you are looking to work hard for a few years and return to your country of origin, then Hong Kong might work for you.  If you are looking for permanent employment in a different country, one of the other countries  might be better. Look to your timelines, goals, and priorities before making your choice.