Salary around the world | Which location is best?

I am currently looking for a job and considered working remotely. The main idea being, that by working in another country I could earn more in proportion to my living expenses.
So that’s why I am wondering wether some of you have had a similar experience and could perhaps share in which countries around the world the entry level salary for full stack developers is the best.

Thanks in advance!

There are sources for developer salaries by country, like this. Realize that they may not tell the whole story, like cost of living, taxes, services you get, benefits, etc.

You mention “entry level” - be aware that the first job you get is very difficult to get and you may not have the option of being picky. They are hard enough to get, but trying to get a fully remote, location independent first job might be extremely difficult.

Also keep in mind that you may not be able to get an “employee” position, but a contractor position - that’s fine if that’s what you want - some companies/countries have certain rules.

And keep in mind that some companies are becoming aware of the arbitrage that people get if they take a high paying salary in Silicon Valley but live on a beach in Thailand - some pay less if you live somewhere cheap. At least that’s what I’ve heard. I’m sure it’s still very good, but it may be less.

If you’re starting out, my advice would be to just get any job you can. Just work that for a couple years and then you’ll be able to get a lot more flexibility.

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Pretty much every large company scales pay according to cost of living in the employee’s country. Small shops tend to pay less, but also tend to pay solely on merit rather than any predetermined pay scales. @kevinSmith’s advice about getting any job as a starter is a good one: it’s much easier to get a good-paying remote job when you have experience under your belt.

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If you live in another country than where you work, a company will have to go through more work to hire you as they now have to deal with different laws/taxes depending on where you live and where they are located.

Unless we are talking about an international company, this might be an instant deal breaker for smaller companies, or a significant consideration for larger ones.

Now if the company has international presence, it also probably understands the local pay scale and will pay you accordingly to your area.

These considerations don’t matter if your freelancing, but then your also competing against other freelancers so you can increase your price too much, otherwise you price yourself out of a job.


But yea I’d consider what others have said more than “how much can I get paid”.

You need to get the job first. Unless you have a specific set of skill and experience to the point your getting spammed by recruiters who all want you on their teams, you can’t be too picky, let alone plan pick and choose how much you get paid.

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This is a good resource. I would like to note that Switzerland pays $5-10k less than US, but you would have unlimited access to free healthcare and free child care. That’s worth well over $10,000 a year in saved stress alone.

Yeah, you can’t really compare salaries like that since there are so many factors, like that. For example, compared to the US, Switzerland also has a much lower murder rate (as do most developed countries). Crime in general is significantly lower? How do you put a price on that? Quality of life? For similar reasons, my wife and I are moving to Spain. That, and the food was so much better and so much cheaper. How do you put a price on that? There are so many things to consider besides gross salary.

If your primary goal is to earn as much as possible in relation to living expenses, the equation will be (overly) simple:

net income / cost of living

Your best bet would be to find a company that employees people who work remotely from different countries but pays Silicon Valley / San Francisco / NYC salaries regardless of location factor. There will be a lot of competition for jobs like these, so it could be difficult to get an interview and even more difficult to get hired if you’re at the beginner/intermediate skill level.

I completely understand wanting to minimize expenses and save up money, but I would encourage you to not sacrifice quality of life in pursuit of riches. In the grand scheme of things, your happiness is more important than how much you have in your bank account.