Workers in Belgium who start their careers with a bachelor’s degree earn an average of €36,574 ($41,687) annually, which is 11% more than the €32,803 ($37,389) paid to those who stop their education at high school.
The Willis Towers Watson Starting Salaries Report, which looked at pay levels offered to recent graduates who had no relevant work experience, found that having a master’s degree led to an average pay of €41,932 ($47,780), an MBA €46,753 ($53,273.41), and a doctorate €47,446 ($54,063).
“With unemployment figures continuing to decrease, and a tightening in the market for attracting young professionals, it is increasingly important that employers know the right levels of pay to remain competitive,” said Beatriz Castro, Willis Towers Watson Belgium. “Educated, skilled young professionals are highly sought after, and employers need an agile employee value proposition to attract them.”
There was a wide range of pay offered to those in entry-level “starter” roles. With a bachelor’s degree, those entering IT were the best paid, with a maximum average of €37,729 ($42,996), closely followed by law (€37,336—$42,548) and marketing (€37,267—$42,462). The lowest paid were in customer services and technical support roles (€35,818—$40,811), and administrative services (€35,876—$40,877).
Starting salaries for bachelor’s degree graduates in Belgium compared favorably with those in neighboring France (€35,418—$40,355) and the Netherlands (€37,003—$42,158), but are lower than in Germany (€46,547—$53,032).
The highest maximum starting salary found in the survey was €43,151 ($49,163) for those entering marketing roles with an advanced degree, such as a master's or PhD. 31.7% of Belgium’s workforce of 5.3 million has completed higher education.