Top managers’ salaries in CEE countries show major variations



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Over the last couple of decades CEE country capital cities have become appealing destinations for foreign investments. International and local companies in the capitals usually offer higher-than-average salaries. The salaries of top managers across CEE also show major differences.

In September 2016, the Paylab international salary survey analysed the salaries of senior management in nine CEE countries over the last 12 months, it found that the top managers in Prague and Bratislava have the highest pay cheque.

Employees in capitals consistently have higher salaries. The amount on the paychecks is 20 up to 30 percent higher in comparison with the average country salary. Among the surveyed countries in Central Europe, employees have the highest earnings in Bratislava, where the average gross salary is €1,400. Similar amounts are also in Tallin (Estonia) and Prague. Belgrade ranked last among the surveyed capitals, with an average gross salary of €736.

The survey monitors the average salaries of top management of all types of companies in the capitals, differentiated by company size and industry, and the salaries also include any bonuses. Among the countries surveyed, bosses in Prague have the highest income, with an average gross salary of €3,980, which is almost three times the average income in Prague. The Czech Republic shows the biggest difference between the average salary of top managers and the average salary in the capital of the surveyed countries. The capital with the second highest income of company managers is Bratislava, with an average of €3,702, which is 2.6 times more than the average salary in the city. The third capital is Zagreb, with an average of €3.131. Zagreb has achieved the best position among the surveyed Balkan countries. Fourth place is Budapest with €3,036.

Top managers in Baltics area have the lowest pay cheque in Vilnius, Lithuania, with only around €1,567 netto. Their colleagues in Riga, Latvia, achieved a slightly better result with an average of €1,610 netto. Of the three Baltic States, Tallinn, Estonia, has the highest income in general, with the top managers earning an average of €2,010 netto. It is interesting that of the countries surveyed, the Baltic countries show the smallest vertical difference between average salary in the capital and the income of top management: the average salary of managers is only 1.7 times higher than the average salary in the capital.

By way of comparison, top managers in the Balkan capitals Zagreb, Sarajevo, and Belgrade earn about 2.5 times more than the average in the capital. The highest difference is in Prague, where the average salary of top managers is three times higher than the average salary in the city.

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About the survey

The Paylab salary survey included nine capital cities: Belgrade (Serbia), Bratislava (Slovakia), Budapest (Hungary), Prague (Czech Republic), Riga (Latvia), Sarajevo (Bosnia and Herzegovina), Tallinn (Estonia), Vilnius (Lithuania), and Zagreb (Croatia). The analysis of top managers’ income examined the following positions: Country Manager / Director, Economic / Financial Manager, General Manager, Marketing Manager, Sales Manager, HR Manager, Operations Manager, Director of the Security Service, Head of IT, Head of Quality and ISO, Logistics Director, Branch Director, School Principal, Director of Publishing, Director of Medical Facility, Technical Director, Executive Director, and Production Director

About Paylab

Paylab is an international salary survey platform that collects information on the incomes and bonuses of employees in various positions. Paylab uses a unique methodology for collecting data with a three-phase control and over eight years’ experience. Visitors to the Paylab website or partner sites in their country can easily and anonymously complete an online questionnaire on their salary, and compare their income with the national average for that position. The system always uses current data for the last 12 months. The independent salary analyses are then used by companies for the appropriate internal setting of salary levels for individual work positions.

Paylab’s Background

Paylab salary survey was established in Slovakia in 2007. Profesia (the largest job board in Slovakia) created the methodology for collecting, aggregating and processing the data for Paylab. The salary survey in Slovakia was subsequently complemented by the Balkan States (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Serbia, Slovenia), Central Europe (Hungary, Czech Republic), and the Baltics (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania). Finland, Kenya and Slovenia are the most recent countries to have joined the Paylab salary survey. Profesia – which launched the salary surveys – has been on the Slovak market since 1997, growing into the biggest and most popular job portal. It also operates in the Czech Republic ( and Hungary ( Since November 2012, Profesia has been part of Alma Media – the Finnish media group. Alma Media publishes several prominent Finnish newspapers, and also focuses on digital services. As well as journalism, the company’s product range includes useful information for lifestyles, careers and business. In addition to Profesia, Alma Media has shares in job portals in the Visegrad countries, Baltics, and Balkan States.

Contact for media:

Daniela Beráková

Pribinova 25, 811 09 Bratislava, The Slovak Republic

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