What is the average salary in Serbia?

by Time Doctor
average salary in serbia

The Republic of Serbia is a Balkan nation located in Southeast Europe. 

The average monthly salary in this country is around 140,000 RSD (Serbian Dinar). This amounts to USD 1,324 per month (as per the exchange rate in May 2023). 

These approximate average salary figures depend on several factors such as industry, experience, job type, education, etc. 

However, Serbian wages tend to be lower than other developed countries like the United Kingdom (USD 8,044) and the United States (USD 7,900), making it an excellent outsourcing destination.

In this article, we’ll explore the key statistics around the average salary in Serbia, the annual increment rate, and the minimum wage. We’ll also look at four key benefits of outsourcing your business to this country. 

Table of Contents

Let’s dive in!

What is the average salary in Serbia?

According to salaryexplorer.com, a person working in Serbia typically earns 140,000 RSD per month or 1,680,000 RSD per year. This amounts to USD 15,893 or 14,231 EUR (Euro) per year as per the exchange rates in May 2023. 

Note: The Statistical Office of The Republic of Serbia generally calculates the average salaries and wages based on tax administration data. However, several third-party surveys also collect salary data from employees to calculate the average salaries in Serbia. 

In addition to the average salary, other indicators such as the minimum salary, median salary, and annual increments can offer insightful data to an employer planning to invest in Southeastern Europe. 

This is why it’s a good idea to look at average earnings in Serbia from different perspectives. 

Here are some important statistics: 

1. Median salary

In Serbia, the median salary is 123,000 RSD per month (USD 1,163)

The median salary is the ‘midpoint’ within a salary range. It’s calculated by arranging all the given salaries in ascending or descending order and choosing the middle salary value. 

It means that 50% of the Serbian population earns less than 123,000 RSD per month while the other half earns more than 123,000 RSD.

Usually, a country’s economic development is directly proportional to the number of people earning more than the median salary.

2. Average salary range

The average salary in Serbia ranges from the average lowest salary of 35,500 RSD per month (USD 336) to an average of 626,000 RSD per month (USD 5,922) on the higher end. 

Note: These wages only indicate the average salary earned by Serbian employees. The actual maximum salary or minimum salary can differ depending on factors like job type, experience, location, etc. 

3. Average annual salary increase

Employees in Serbia are most likely to get a salary increment of approximately 7% every 20 months. The rest of the world receives a 3% hike on average in 16 months

Note: Although ‘annual salary increase’ generally implies a salary increment every 12 months, that’s not always the case. The rate of salary increment can also vary based on industry and experience. 

Let’s look at the salary increment rates from two different perspectives. 

A. Annual increment rate by industry

Here are the average annual increment rates in income across different industries: 

Industry Average Annual Increment
Information Technology9%

Source: Salaryexplorer.com

B. Average salary increase by experience

Senior, highly-experienced employees are more likely to receive greater salary hikes in both the public sector and private sector in Serbia. After all, a company’s human resources department may want to put extra effort into retaining an experienced worker.

Here’s the average salary increase based on experience level:

Experience LevelAverage Annual Increment 
Junior Level3% – 5%
Mid-Career6% – 9%
Senior Level10% – 15%
Top Management15% – 20%

Source: Salaryexplorer.com 

Next, we’ll look at the difference in income based on profession, experience, and more. 

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Salary comparison in Serbia

No two individuals will attract the same salary. You’ll have to consider several other factors like profession, experience, education, etc., to better understand Serbia’s average salary distribution. 

Here we’ll explore all these factors in detail. 

1. Profession

Here are the ten highest-paying careers in the Republic of Serbia: 

ProfessionAverage Monthly Salary
Doctors330,000 RSD (USD 3122)
Judges354,000 RSD (USD 3349)
Attorney249,000 RSD (USD 2403.8)
Bank Managers233,000 RSD (USD 2249.4)
Chief Executive Officers296,000 RSD (USD 2857.6)
Chief Financial Officers264,000 RSD (USD 2548.7)
Orthodontists311,000 RSD (USD 3002.4)
Marketing Managers246,000 RSD (USD 2374.9)
Pilots228,000 RSD (USD 2201.1)
Professors (Foreign Languages)189,000 RSD (USD 1824.6)

Source: Salaryexplorer.com

Note: Even within the same industry and profession, the salaries can differ based on job type (full-time, part-time), job titles, experience, etc. 

2. Experience

The experience level is perhaps the most important factor in determining the salary range. Usually, the more years of experience, the higher the wages will be.

In Serbia, employees with 2-5 years of experience earn about 32% more average gross salary than entry-level employees. Likewise, professionals with more than five years of experience have a 36% higher income than those with lesser experience.

Once an employee hits the ten-year mark, their average gross salary increases by 21%. The income goes up by an additional 14% for those who cross the 15-year mark.

3. Education

Change in average salary based on education can vary from one location to another. Moreover, professionals working at the same level but with different educational degrees will earn differently. 

The following data is the combined average of multiple jobs shared by anonymous employees in the salaryexplorer survey: 

  • Workers with a certificate or diploma earn 17% more than high school pass-outs.
  • Employees with a bachelor’s degree earn 24% more income than certificate or diploma holders.
  • Master’s degree holders earn an average salary that is 29% more than those with a bachelor’s degree.
  • Ph.D. holders earn the highest average wage, 23% more than master’s degree holders.

4. City

Employees living in the capital city of Belgrade have the highest income in Serbia. 

Here are annual salary estimates of the top paying Serbian cities:

CityAverage Annual Salary
Belgrade3,001,426 RSD (USD 28976.2)
Subotica2,885,987 RSD (USD 27861.7)
Novi Sad2,592,141 RSD (USD 25024.9)
Leskovac2,592,141 RSD (USD 25024.9)
Niš2,508,185 RSD (USD 24214.4)
Kragujevac1,836,537 RSD (USD 17730.2)
Others1,700,108 RSD (USD 16413.1)

Source: averagesalarysurvey.com

Note: The earnings mentioned above are derived from salary survey reports of Serbian employees and should only be taken as general guidelines. The actual figures may vary based on different factors. 

Let’s also look at the minimum wage an employer is legally bound to pay in Serbia. 

The minimum wage in Serbia

According to Wage Indicator, the minimum wage in Serbia is 49,399 RSD per month (USD 467.)

The minimum wage in Serbia is determined by Serbia’s Social and Economic Council, based on certain parameters set by the country’s labor law

These parameters include: 

  • Employment and unemployment rate of the country.
  • The GDP (Gross Domestic Product) growth rate.
  • Change in consumer prices.
  • Productivity and average wage trends. 
  • The basic needs of the employee and their dependents.

In addition to fixing the minimum wages, the labour law of Serbia also governs the rights and obligations of employees and employers. 

Employee benefits and rights in Serbia

Here are some of the employee benefits and rights safeguarded by the labor law in Serbia: 

  • Every employer must provide a formal employment contract agreed upon between the employee and the employer. 
  • Expats can only work in Serbia if they obtain a work permit and a permanent or temporary residence permit.
  • The standard weekly working hours in Serbia are 40 hours a week. In any case, the working hour limit can’t be longer than 60 hours.
  • Employees must not work overtime for more than 8 hours/week. An employee is entitled to an increased wage of at least 26% of the base wage for any overtime work.
  • The annual leaves shall not be shorter than 20 working days.
  • Sick leave is classified as paid leave, and an employee is entitled to salary compensation for the same. 
  • Employees must be allowed to organize trade unions and carry out trade union activities.
  • Unemployed persons shall be entitled to an allowance from the employer for a maximum of 12 months. The allowance cannot be lower than 22,390 RSD/month (USD 212) or higher than RSD 51,905/month (USD 491)

Despite the provisions, the average income in Serbia, after deducting income tax, is still lesser than in the United States or other European Countries. 

The cost of living is also considerably lower than other member countries of the European Union. This makes Serbia a highly cost-effective outsourcing location.

Let’s explore the other top reasons to outsource to Serbia.

Top 4 reasons to outsource to Serbia

If you are thinking of expanding your business in Eastern Europe, here are the primary advantages of outsourcing your operations to Serbia:

1. Proficiency in English

The Serbian population is quite fluent in English. As per the EF English Proficiency Index (Nov 2021), Serbia ranked 14 out of 112 nations in English proficiency. 

Moreover, several employees living in Serbia can also speak a third language like Hungarian, Serbian, Bulgarian, etc. This helps Serbian call centers to offer multilingual services to their customers.

2. Compliant with EU laws

Like Montenegro, Serbia officially applied for European Union (EU) membership in 2009 and is expected to join the Union by 2025. 

The other EU countries include the Czech Republic, Austria, Croatia, Bulgaria, Slovakia, and Slovenia, whereas Herzegovina and Bosnia are potential candidates. 

So opting for BPO in Serbia means doing business in a country that has laws compliant with EU standards.

How will it help an employer?

Companies outsourcing their business operations to Serbia can rest assured that their data will be protected by the local law and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

3. Favorable time zone

Serbia lies in the Central European Standard Time Zone (GMT+1). So Serbia only has a time difference of 2-3 hours from other European countries. This makes it feasible for European companies to nearshore to Serbia.

Moreover,  Serbia is close to several member countries of the European Union. The capital city of Belgrade is reachable via 3-4 hours flights from any European nation. This means that employers can easily visit the country to take care of their business deals. 

4. Great IT ecosystem

Serbia is experiencing an IT renaissance with companies like Microsoft, BOSCH, Siemens, Panasonic, IBM, Intel, etc., establishing their offices and headquarters in this country. In fact, Microsoft opened its 4th development center in Belgrade.

The availability of skilled software developers, lesser operational costs, and favorable company regulations for employment have also allowed numerous startups to flourish and offer better work opportunities.

Moreover, the IT outsourcing sector has got tremendous government support in the form of investment incentives, technology parks, startup support, etc. 

Wrapping up

Serbia offers a lot of growth opportunities for startups and businesses. 

Moreover, factors like English proficiency, good legislation, and lower costs are some great reasons to consider Serbia as an outsourcing solution. 

If you plan to outsource your operations to this Balkan nation, use this average salary guide to understand the Serbian economy better and make the right call for your business.

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