How is the Salary Landscape in Austria: A Clue by the Stepstone Salary Report 2023?

More+Work & Careers ♦ Published: October 12, 2023; 17:18 ♦ (Vindobona)

Salary discussions are often taboo, yet they play a central role in the world of work and significantly influence the decisions of both employees and companies. The Stepstone Salary Report 2023 emerges as a crucial resource to shed light on salary structures and dynamics in Austria.

The Stepstone Salary Report 2023 brings transparency to the taboo topic of salary in an Austrian culture where money is often negotiated in silence. / Picture: © Brandl & Talos Rechtsanwälte GmbH

With a gross average salary of €57,731 for full-time employees and a median of €50,633 in 2023, the report outlines a revealing landscape of financial remuneration across different sectors, regions, and demographics in Austria. Significant here is the remarkable 8.9 percent year-over-year increase in median gross annual income.

Factors influencing salary

Leadership, education, and experience are key drivers of salary differentials. It should be emphasized here that executives earn 25 percent more and academics on average one-third more than their non-academic colleagues. In addition, regional and industry-specific data illustrate that location and sector, such as Vienna and the pharmaceutical industry, are considered crucial variables for salary levels.

In the hierarchy of salaries, a clear correlation between managerial responsibility and compensation emerges: managers with HR responsibility earn around 25 percent more than their non-managerial colleagues, with a median salary of €58,333 compared to €46,667.

Educational background continues to play a key role in salary dynamics, with academics earning an average of €63,700, a third more than non-academics, who come in at €47,833. Professional experience also significantly influences salary. For example, professionals with over 25 years of experience earn almost 1.5 times as much as entry-level employees.

Another factor influencing compensation is company size: large companies with 5001+ employees pay an average of €62,000, while startups with 1-10 employees come to about €42,000. Interestingly, employer attractiveness cannot be measured by salary alone, as other factors such as corporate culture and benefits also play a significant role, as other studies by Stepstone make clear.

Regionally, Vienna remains the top-earning region in Austria, while in the industry-specific analysis, the pharmaceutical industry emerges as the frontrunner with a median income of €66,547. At the lower end of the scale is the hotel and catering industry with around €38,000.

The "top earners" are defined, among other things, by their location in Vienna, their employment in large companies, their academic education, and extensive professional experience of more than 25 years. These factors catapult the median salary into ranges of €60,000 and above.

Gender inequality and salary

One critical point that emerges from the data is the persistent gender pay gap. At 15.5 percent gross per year, a woman employed full-time earns on average €8,340 less than her male counterparts. This difference not only points to a manifest inequality but also represents a corporate and social challenge that requires addressed action.

Salary as the key to employer branding

Nikolai Dürhammer, Managing Director of Stepstone Austria and Switzerland, emphasizes that salary is one of the decisive criteria in the job search and its transparency is increasingly becoming a key factor in employer branding. 85 percent of people rate companies more positively if they provide transparent salary information, and more than half are more likely to apply if they offer a good, stated salary. In this respect, it's not just about fair compensation, but also about strategic HR marketing and attracting talent.

Demystifying salaries through tools such as the Stepstone salary report and salary planner represents an important step toward a transparent, fair, and equal compensation culture. In this regard, there is both a challenge and an opportunity to question existing structures and actively develop strategies for action that do justice to a diverse, talented, and innovative working world.

About Stepstone

The perspective of Stepstone, which is active in more than 30 countries and employs around 4,000 people worldwide, provides orientation and offers a solid basis for salary negotiations and career planning. In this respect, the report not only contributes to transparency but also supports employees and companies in making informed and market-driven decisions and in conducting dialogues.