Romania is extremely attractive for people looking for a cheap country to live in. While it is in the European Union, it has one of the lowest costs of living in Europe, making it an amazing choice for people who wish to retire here, as well as digital nomads or people who get their income from outside the country.

But what about those looking to move to Romania and work here? In today’s article, we’ll cover that aspect by looking at the minimum wage in Romania, as well as the average salary in Romania.

In my opinion, this paints a better and clearer picture of the country as a whole: by knowing the minimum and average salary in a country, you won’t just know where your level of income would place you if you were to live here, but you also know what to expect from the jobs market. So let’s get it started!

What is the minimum wage in Romania in 2017?

At the moment of writing this article, the minimum salary in Romania is 1,250 RON (which is around 275 Euros or $290). However, the newly elected government promised to raise the minimum salary to 1,450 RON starting February 1st, 2017. So this would mean that the minimum would be in 2017 at around 320 Euros or $335.

But the above values represent the GROSS minimum wage in Romania!

The take-home, netto minimum wage will actually be 1065 RON (around 235 Euros or $245) starting February 1st, 2017.

What is the average wage in Romania in 2017?

A funny thing about the average salary in Romania in 2017 is this: the newly elected government promised a spectacular increase of the average wage this year, drawing heavy criticism from opponents who (rightfully) claimed that even though you can impose a minimum wage, nobody can predict the average wage since that’s dictated by the economy itself.

Back to actual values, the average take-home salary in Romania in 2017 is around 2,100 RON per month (465 Euros or $485). You can check out the National Institute of statistics for updated monthly values of the average wage in the country.

An interesting thing to note about the average salary in Romania is that it kept growing – slowly but steadily – over the past few years. Compared to 2013, for example, the average wage increased by about 100 Euros. This is a 25% increase and things could keep going up in the near future as well.

Another thing to consider when thinking at average wages is that the numbers are usually bigger in larger cities (Bucharest, Brasov, Cluj, Constanta, Timisoara etc) and get closer to the minimum the smaller the city.

Cost of living

Back in 2014, I wrote an article detailing how you can live in the country on $1,000 per month. Despite the increase in the minimum and average wages in Romania since writing that article, the cost of living did not increase too much – if it did increase at all.

The increased revenue in the country was met by tax cuts and lower prices for food, resulting in a slightly better standard of living and not being a result of excessive inflation or increased prices. So the cost of living has remained pretty much the same over the years and there are no signs that it should increase drastically in the near future.

Best paid jobs in Romania

Finding a job in Romania – especially if you don’t speak the language – could prove difficult to say the least. The bureaucracy and employment systems are old and outdated and plain stupid. I remember reading an article a while ago about Noble prize winners who would not be allowed to become University teachers in Romania because they would not meet the silly criteria (not that any Noble prize winner wanted to start teaching in Romania…)

However, there are some areas where it’s easier to find jobs in the country and fortunately these are also the best paying jobs in Romania. Think about large corporations and IT and you have a clear picture!

Here are the best paying jobs in the country in 2016 (take-home average salary per month):

1. IT: 5,340 RON (1,185 Euros per month)
2. Oil extraction: 4,829 RON (1,070 Euros per month)
3. Heavy industry: 4,450 RON (985 Euros per month)
4. Insurance and private pensions: 4,309 RON (955 Euros per month)
5. Banks: 4,280 RON (950 Euros per month)

Hopefully knowing the minimum and average salary in Romania will paint a clearer picture on the actual cost of living, the job prospects you’d have and how far your money would take you in case you have income from a different country.

22 COMMENTS

  1. Super low isn’t it compared to the rest of the E.U. I remember us comparing with Malta a couple of years ago when l thought it was so low over there before realizing it’s even lower there. I think the language barrier would probably prevent a lot of people from working. You need to have some business going if you need to work while living there. Thanks for giving us a good picture of life in Romania.

  2. Hi Calin: Long time, no hear–ha, ha! How’s the weather?
    IT seems to be the highest paying career all over. Is there an
    area in Romania which is a hub of IT activity? You know,
    like “Silicon Valley” in San Jose, CA USA.
    I wish I paid more attention in school, but I don’t have the brain
    power to write code, etc. Me, I’d be satisfied (back in the day)
    working for a successful IT company where I’d be some support
    role–like an office manager (being obsessive–compulsive helps;-)).
    What’s next for your travel write-ups? Have you ever been
    to Chișinău, Moldova? How does it compare with Bucharest?
    Hope your next blog entry won’t be so long in the waiting–ha!
    Thanks for the salary update!
    ~Teil (USA)

    • Hello Teil,

      There’s no real IT hub like Silicon Valley in Romania, but the larger cities attract the bigger crowds.

      The weather is pretty warm for this time of the year and we’ve had no snow in Drobeta Turnu Severin (although it did snow throughout the country).

      I’ve never been to Chisinau, but from what I’ve heard, Molodova is even poorer than Romania as they didn’t have the EU to pour funds into them for the past several years.

  3. Hi Calin,
    That is interesting, and the top wages(like IT) are actually a little higher than I thought, which I’m sure don’t seem that high to the people in those positions! Cluj seems like it would be most active for the better IT jobs, but maybe some in Bucharest as well. I suspect it’s a universal problem, but too often as wages go up, so does the cost of living, and it seems like you’re not really gaining much.

    From all my research, (on paper and from afar unfortunately!), very few countries in the world, can compare with Romania’s overall appeal to expats, if you can get deal with four seasons (& cold winters), and the bureaucracy of establishing residency. Beautiful countryside, friendly people, low crime, and one of the lowest costs of living are hard to beat. Southeast Asia and Central/South America are warmer, but maybe too hot for some, plus have higher crime, and arguably aren’t as beautiful. Plus, for expats who grew up in the west, culturally, your lifestyles will be more aligned with the way Romanians live, than those in S.E. Asia, for example.

    Calin, as you noted in a previous article, Budapest may be an amazing city, but is a big city, with big city issues, and higher costs. Again, only on paper and through research online and with a few expats, Romania beats the competition, with Bulgaria also worthy of consideration. Ideally, I’d love to see Romanian wages go up, so more young people would stay in the country, but selfishly I would also like cost of living to remain low for us expats who plan to settle there. Thanks again for your interesting insights Calin! Best Regards, JC

    • There is still a big division between the top earners and the little earners. We should also take retired people living in the country into account – and many of them have pensions of 100 Euros or less. This means that the overall income of the population – if it was possible to get the numbers – would be well under the average wage.

      Even if the buying power of some Romanians might have increased a bit in the past few years, that only managed to bring a few more into a middle class status – and for many years after the revolution, it was said that there’s no middle class in Romania. So I personally believe it will take some time before cost of living increases, especially if the newly elected government keeps their promise and slash taxes even more.

      • You bring up an interesting point, and it brings to mind something many outside the U.S. may never suspect. But, I read recently, that it’s believed as many as 30% of retired Americans in some areas, rely entirely, or almost entirely on their Social Security benefits to survive. Therefore, if the average benefit is $1,300 a month, and there are a husband & wife, each getting that or more, and their mortgages & cars are paid off, then they may be ok. But, let’s say you’re on your own, and only draw $1,000 a month, and still have to cover rent. hmm? In America? Good luck!

        And unfortunately, cost of living increases are a joke. Last year, S.S. recipients got no increase, and some got as little as $4 a month more for 2017. I assure you that actual cost of living in the U.S. will increase a lot more than $4 a month this year. I’m not trying to say it’s as difficult in the U.S. for it’s low income citizens, as it is in Romania or elsewhere. But, even though there are super wealthy people here, there are also a lot of people here struggling just to survive as well. So, this is why so many retirees are starting to consider less expensive living options all over the world, and even those with a decent amount put away in savings & retirement accts are afraid. Why? It’s simple, because people are living longer, and often trying to maintain the same lifestyle they had when they were working and making a good income, and their savings could be gone a lot faster than they planned.
        If that happens, then what?

        That’s why I think Romania (and other less costly options), may provide a lifeline for those expats whose finances may not support their hopefully, many long years of retirement anywhere else.

        • Indeed, JC! The poor will always have a tough life no matter where they live. The good thing is that at least in some cases, the poor of one country can be the decent living folks of another. 🙂

  4. Interesting!! I love reading about this stuff because the wages are so much higher here in the U.S. and many times we don’t appreciate that. Then again the cost of living is higher in many states as well. Thanks for sharing, C! Hope you had a good holiday!

  5. As the Japanese say: “Benkyou shimashita!” or “I have studied and learned” from this article, thank you. Yes, the minimum and average salaries look very low from our perspective in more prosperous countries. But we must remember that the typical Romanian is also very savvy in finding good deals, low rents, etc., and most have an extended “safety net” of family and friends who provide food and monetary assistance if it is needed. Just the bureaucratic grind in Romania would be too much for most go-it-alone retirees, not to mention the difficulty of learning the Romanian language. I am sitting here in my father’s assisted living retirement home in California which is costing him $6000 a month, I kid you not. He is only mildly happy with the service he is getting. Every special request takes days to get fulfilled and the maids spend more time looking at their smart phones than cleaning. I already told you about the cable TV fiasco. Romania would be the ideal country to build up a retirement home industry. You could import all these “golden geezers” who would love the friendly Romanians and the interesting cultural offerings. They would bring money and jobs and probably much higher standards of health care for all Romanians with them. This has happened in Costa Rica and Panama, why not in Romania?

    • Wow, that’s indeed a big amount of money to spend on a monthly basis! Your father has the right to be very picky for that kind of money!

      And I do believe that your proposed business could actually be a good idea for somebody who would have the money to start it up and a nice plan for marketing it outside the country!

  6. Plus, another interesting revelation here. I’ve noticed that not only a few posters here on your blog, but several on other expat forums, where one partner of a couple, is Romanian, and they either currently live in the U.S. or were, and have now decided to go back to Romania to live after years of a successful life here in the U.S.A. This is very telling, and not always just financially motivated. It certainly makes the decision to move to Romania easier, but it seems it’s also about a simpler, more enjoyable life. Many of these couples have been successful enough in America, but making the decision to live the rest of their lives in Romania. This speaks volumes on the broad appeal of a wondrous place like Romania.

  7. Reply to: Teil B Jorgensen
    The ‘Silicon Valley’ of Romania is Cluj from IT perspective, I remember I saw some TV news stating that, the potential is high and the it jobs are growing. There are lots of students that graduate faculties and then they stay in the city,so it’s a young and opened city. Now, what I find funny is that we work in it and earn -average- together and we save each month more than the average in few eu countries .. and we eat what we like, go out and we afford a car.
    There are plenty of jobs in IT and not only on programming, I encourage you to visit and if you like it make it for long term. Young people speak EN and they are quite friendly, most of the time after you start knowing them they are loyal and you keep them for life.
    I would say that the focus is family, that’s because after 8 hours most people leave work instantaneously in 5 minutes the office is 90% empty and still complain we spend too much time at work:) If it was career, than they would spend more time at work, wouldn’t they?
    Some of the reasons for coming could be : low crime rate and building a family, good tasty food, feel free – if you’ll have the curiosity you’ll unravel here the original religion that helps geting closer to God for real (why not mention that), natural landscapes and access to seaside.
    Some of the unpleasant reasons could be: bureaucracy- would lose your patience if you need something from the public representatives, the changing weather, TV shows were you see how rich the politicians are from their ‘ways’, few people from other countries call people ‘gypsy’ unjustly.
    Regards,

  8. Nice article! My wife is Romanian and I’m American. We currently live in the U.S., but, more and more, we are talking about retiring in Romania. So the info you provide here is good to know. Now if I could just discipline myself to learn the Romanian language! We are also practicing Orthodox Christians, so it would be nice to live in an Orthodox country. A concern that I have is this: I like living in a more rural area, in the countryside. But would it be safe outside of the cities? Are the gypsies a concern in the countryside? I know this may sound offensive, but from what I’ve heard from my wife, gypsies can be very dangerous if you are away from the city crowds. Plus, they would not think twice about coming onto your property and stealing your stuff. Is it like that or have things gotten better? Sorry if this offends you.

    • Hello John,

      For most of Romania, knowing the language is not really a must as you can easily get by with English and learn as you go.

      If you want to live in more rural areas, the quality of live and the education level of people will start to go down. The farther you go away from the cities, the bigger the culture shock will be.

      Things have improved a lot in the villages, but I wouldn’t suggest anybody moving to Romania to jump straight into village life. Safety concern should still be considered: people are still extremely poor, so there can be stealing involved. I wrote a bit more about living in a Romanian village here: https://www.romaniaexperience.com/why-living-in-a-romanian-village-might-not-be-the-thing-for-you/

      However, you have options. Near the large cities (and even smaller ones), some communities of people wishing to live a more rural life are starting to be formed. It’s basically places close to the city where younger people are buying land, building or rebuilding houses and live there. That could be an option.

  9. Well
    Guys there is the imaginary economy
    And the truth.
    And the truth is, most countries citizens are suffering with high mortgages,rent levels
    and bad interest rates, with unhelpful banks, and lots of those citizens have to rely on credit.

    So it’s incomparable to say one is better off because houses are more expensive and wages are higher , surely it’s a balance and it usually balances out that we are all much the same.

    Look at the UK high streets full of £1 stores and Charity shops
    That’s the real economy here, in the Uk and I am sure most places ar % wise the same
    Sure there are rich areas but if those people think that’s normal sorry they have head issues.

  10. Comment:I’m from Nepal and I just applied for Romania to work there .there in demand paper we get job offer for beer company and the salary will 500 euros I really very confused is that true salary the agency said or not I want find the minimum salary for beer employment and the agency said if I spend five years in Romania I will legally hold the citizenship of there that makes me to work easily in other European countries.

    • Hello. There are various positions that you can hold in a beer company, so salaries vary. You should pay attention to see if 500 Euros is what you take home or the salary before taxes. If it’s before taxes, the actual salary will be lower.

      Have in mind that even for Romania, 500 Euros is a relatively low salary, especially if you have to pay rent for it. If you have housing and/or some of the food paid for, things will be better. Otherwise, it will be a struggle to make ends meet on this amount.

  11. hi i am filipino working here in dubai. My customer romanian offer me a job in romania to a oil company he offer me 40 dollars a day with free accomodation and food. Sir can I know if the offer is true?

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