Which are the best paying jobs across the world's top cities?

New York, London, Paris, Zurich

Many professionals at some point in their career will come across an opportunity to live and work abroad. An exciting adventure, it is also in many cases a financially attractive proposition, with some locations offering lower taxes or / and lower costs of living.

Emolument.com has analysed 5,162 pay data points for professionals working in New York, London, Paris and Zurich. In most cases, New York is the city paying the most across the board; for the top paying job, Trading takes the top spot in London, Paris and New York.

ActivityNew YorkLondonParisZurich
Advisory Consultant119,00076,00065,000127,000
Fund Manager - VP201,000125,00090,000138,000
Lawyer - Associate95,000111,00097,000162,000
Marketing Manager63,00044,00044,000NA
Middle & Back Office - VP112,00080,00054,000106,000
Software Developer79,00044,00034,00085,000
Trader - VP216,000165,000118,000NA

Trading in New York: stars align

CityTrading - VPPay gap with New YorkCost of living indexDifference of cost of living compared to NY
New York216,000N/a1000%

Trading is the highest paid job in New York, London and Paris. The pay gap with the second best paid job ranges from 7% in New York to 32% in London! Despite a high cost of living in New York City, Traders are still better off there than in London or Paris.

Legal professionals: head for Zurich, London or even Paris!

CityLawyer - AssociatePay gap with ZurichCost of living indexDifference of cost of living compared to Zurich
New York95,000-41%100-25%

Working in the legal sector in New York is not the most financially sound option when comparing pay and cost of living with other European cities. Best pay is actually in Zurich, but when adjusting for cost of living, pay packages are as attractive in Paris or London. As a lawyer, however, where you took your degree is likely to have a huge impact on the countries in which you are able to practice, so expect less flexibility than in other jobs on our list. Being a lawyer in New York does become significantly more attractive with increasing seniority though: an ideal solution could be to start in a less expensive location in the US and move to the Big Apple having made it past Associate level.

Apple over cheese please.

CityFund Manager - VPPay gap with NYCost of living indexDifference of cost of living compared to NY
New York201,0000%1000%

Fund Managers should avoid Zurich where cost of living is so high, they won't have a chance to enjoy their pay package as much as in New York. We observe the same pattern with software developers, who are extremely well paid in New York. Proximity to top technology centers such as MIT and high performing firms such as Google or Facebook might be one of the factors boosting developer pay.

Financial services' jobs remain the best choice

Financial Services remains by far the best paying industry globally as bonuses boost the total pay package far beyond other jobs. The high concentration of financial professionals in some locations such as Zurich, London and New York is a contributing factor to the high costs of living with bankers pushing up property prices in the most desirable locations.

[2] Cost of Living Index by city


Emolument provides bonus and salary statistics based on data submitted directly by professionals like you. It is free, anonymous, and already a trusted tool for thousands of professionals worldwide. Are you paid enough? Click here to find out now.

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