You may want to spend your days in France, sitting at a fine bistro and working on your next great novel. But if a professional occupation that delivers a weekly paycheque is more up your Parisian alley, you can be confident that France has a plethora of lucrative employment opportunities, from public service to the skilled trades. This way, you can have your baguette and eat it too!
When you compare other European nations, France ranks just behind Germany in terms of national income, affordability and employment. The country is home to many Fortune 500 companies that offer a diverse array of good jobs to those who are qualified. Moreover, most employees are unionised, and employees have many rights and excellent job security. However, one mandatory requirement for a great paying job in France is that you must be able to speak and write in French.
So, why should France be on your list of destinations to live and work? For many people, the key reason for moving to France is the quality of life. Are you interested? First, you might want to know about the best jobs in the land of delicious wine, incredible architecture and love!
Here is a list of the highest-paying jobs in France, as well as a brief overview of what the job entails and the requirements necessary to get hired for that position.
Average salary: €41,160 (£36,610 / $48,910)
Individuals who are skilled in certain trades, such as roofers, locksmiths, plumbers and electricians, also have ample job opportunities in France, especially because France is in the midst of a housing and business boom. Many of these jobs are unionised, too, and employees enjoy significant job stability and good pay.
An electrician’s salary can range from $3,000 to $5,000 a month. But to be hired as an employee in the trades in France, you will need to possess a college degree, an apprenticeship of one to two years, and bilingual proficiency.
Average salary: €42,350 (£37,670 / $50,320)
The demand for English teachers in France is high. In fact, it could be at a record high right now. In recent, teaching positions have opened up in both private and public teaching institutions. At first glance, the pay scale may not be quite large as it averages between $2,000 and $4,000 per month. But once you start factoring short hours and received paid time off for weekends and public holidays, the salary adds up.
In addition, many teaching jobs in France also include accommodation, although certain requirements that must be fulfilled. In order to become a teacher, one has to be bilingual and should be proficient in both English and French.
8. Research scientist
Average salary: €44,750 (£40,690 / $54,360)
France is well-known for having some of the most celebrated and elite research centres in the world, dedicated to the fields of biology, medicine, engineering, oceanography and other specialities in science and technology. This incredible level of research conducted over the centuries has produced innovation that is unmatched anywhere else in the world.
Because the government invests in the nation’s research efforts, academic researchers have access to state-of-the-art equipment and facilities – and a great paycheque. Since facilities want to attract the best and brightest, the pay scale starts at a generous $4,000 and can climb as high as $10,000 per month.
Your success will depend on, of course, your qualifications and experience. The prerequisite is often an advanced degree, like a PhD.
7. Computer science and IT professionals
Average salary: €45,700 (£40,650 / $54,300)
France is one of the most advanced countries in Europe when you assess its widespread adoption of technology. And it has not slowed down one bit, embracing all sorts of technologies, tools and applications. As a result, technology jobs are heavily in demand, from computer programming to information technology and data science.
Technology professionals can expect earning anywhere from $5,000 to $9,000 a month. What’s more, French workers say there is always room for advancement, which they note is far more common in France than in North America. But you will still need a degree in computer science, IT or engineering to access the best employment opportunities.
6. Financial analyst
Average salary: €47,350 (£42,110 / $56,260)
Within Europe, France maintains one of the strongest banking and financial sectors. The industry is always growing and, thus, has many job opportunities at any level. To receive a high-paying position, you will need to have several years of experience in the industry and a degree in business, economics or finance. Once you have achieved these demands, it is more than likely you will earn the average pay of between $5,000 and $10,000 per month.
5. Allied healthcare professional
Average salary: €74,000 (£65,810 / $87,930)
In addition to physicians and nurses, there are many job openings in France for allied healthcare workers. So, what is allied healthcare? These are positions that serve as an extension of primary care providers. Here are just some of the high demand health care positions in France:
- Laboratory technologist
- Emergency medical service provider
- Mental health counsellor
- Radiology therapist
The salary for allied healthcare workers varies from $3,000 to $7,000 a month, depending on experience and qualifications. While therapists, pharmacists and counsellors require the appropriate degree, other allied healthcare workers only need about two to three years of technical training.
Average salary: €80,300 (£71,420 / $95,420)
It is estimated that pilots earn anywhere from $7,000 to $12,000 per month. But why? For one thing, France has possibly the strongest airline industry in the world. It is also home to Airbus, a European multinational aerospace corporation and world’s largest airliner manufacturer.
But it is not as easy as getting a pilot’s license and applying for a job. In order to become a pilot with a national airline, you are mandated to have a pilot’s license, apply for a pilot’s certificate and generate thousands of hours of flying experience.
Average salary: €107,960 (£96,030 / $128,310)
France reveres its legal professionals as attorneys are highly respected and well-paid legal professionals, starting from junior level to seasoned veterans. Once you receive a law degree and the necessary training, and licensure, you can start your legal career as a junior-level lawyer, earning a starting salary of $5,000 per month.
It should be noted that proficiency in French is mandatory to gain employment in the legal profession.
Average salary: €117,000 (£104,060 / $139,050)
Despite having one of the best health care systems in the world, the country’s medical care industry is facing a labour shortage. Dentists have become increasingly in demand over the years. French dentists may have their own private practice or work for the government. The pay scale for dentists varies from $8,000 to $15,000 a month, depending on location, type of practice and experience.
How do you become a dentist in France? You first need to complete dental school, followed by an internship and certification.
Market research has found that many dentists have started specialising in cosmetic dentistry and reconstructive facial. Therefore, if you wish to concentrate your skills on particular dental fields, these are ostensibly booming areas of the sector.
Average salary: €133,220 (£118,480 / $158,360)
As previously noted, the health care sector in France is badly in need of medical professionals. The labour shortage is immense, affecting the most important position of all: doctors. Because of this, doctors are among the most paid professionals in France. On average, junior doctors take home about $7,000 a month.
Like other countries, doctors in France will need to complete medical school. If you wish to be a specialist, you will also be required to complete four to eight years of additional training and education. Is it worth the effort? No doubt because the more qualified you are, the higher your annual salary.
For a lot of people – from the café society typewriting novelist to the attorney looking for a change of scenery – living in France is a dream. Why wouldn’t it be? The scenery is enchanting, the food and culture are mesmerising, the day-to-day existence seems quiet, and everything about France is majestic.
Whether you are passionate about your career or you do it to earn a decent living to follow your true passion, Paris or Nice are great places to relocate your career.
Are you surprised to see any of these professions on the list or shocked others didn’t make the cut? Let us know in the comments section below!
This article is an updated version of an earlier article originally published on 24 May 2017.
Salary information was compiled from a variety of sources, including Glassdoor, ERI Economic Research Institute, Salary Explorer and PayScale. Currency conversions are based on rates supplied by XE.com on 24 Nov 2020.