Low Psychology Salaries in France?

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Low Psychology Salaries in France?


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Old 8th February 2011, 07:11 AM
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Hi everyone!
I am a graduate student, almost finished with my Masters in Research Psychology (Masters recherche psychologie) and I will be starting my PhD in Organizational Psychology (Psychologue du travail) this summer. When that is completed I plan on moving to France via immigration work permit or if possible by transferring positons from an international organization.

The problem is that it seems like the starting salaries for Psychologue du travail positions are really low: from about 1400 to 2500 € (salaire débutant brut moyen) which if I understand correctly is the monthly salary before taxes. Can this be correct? This seems to be about half or even 1/3rd of what I would be making if I just stayed in Phoenix;

Can anyone say what is the career average salary for this type of position? Or can anyone say if these numbers seem accurate? The only thing that I can imagine is that these are strictly salaries for individuals fresh out of school and that hopefully they would be quite higher after a few years of positive work experience.

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Old 8th February 2011, 09:22 AM
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I'd be curious to know where you got your starting salaries information from. That said, however, I think you'll find that salaries in general are much lower here in France for just about all kinds of jobs. A medical doctor is doing well to make 50,000€ a year - how many US doctors would work for that salary?

There are a number of big differences you have to consider - first of all, folks fresh out of school here in France don't have a mountain of school debts because the university is considered part of the public education system. It's also becoming too common that new graduates work for quite some time in a succession of CDD's (temporary jobs) before they can land a CDI (permanent job).

I gather that psychology is a popular course at university, but I'm not aware of a large number of psychology jobs out there, so you're also on the wrong side of the supply-demand equation. Too many graduates chasing too few jobs (which also makes it more difficult to find a job where the employer is willing to support a work visa application).
Cheers,
Bev

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Old 8th February 2011, 11:17 AM
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Hi,
All french salaries are around 1/2 what they would be in the UK.

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Old 8th February 2011, 03:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by parsnips View Post
Hi,
All french salaries are around 1/2 what they would be in the UK.
Other variables to consider are the cost of living, which will vary by location. The buying power of your euros in Paris will be less than in the countryside.

Another way to look at it is the number of hours you need to work to maintain a given lifestyle.

There are a number of English speaking psychologist/therapists that have set up shop here in Languedoc: Counselling in France
Cheers

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Old 8th February 2011, 08:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bevdeforges View Post
I'd be curious to know where you got your starting salaries information from. That said, however, I think you'll find that salaries in general are much lower here in France for just about all kinds of jobs. A medical doctor is doing well to make 50,000€ a year - how many US doctors would work for that salary?

There are a number of big differences you have to consider - first of all, folks fresh out of school here in France don't have a mountain of school debts because the university is considered part of the public education system. It's also becoming too common that new graduates work for quite some time in a succession of CDD's (temporary jobs) before they can land a CDI (permanent job).

I gather that psychology is a popular course at university, but I'm not aware of a large number of psychology jobs out there, so you're also on the wrong side of the supply-demand equation. Too many graduates chasing too few jobs (which also makes it more difficult to find a job where the employer is willing to support a work visa application).
Cheers,
Bev


Hi Bev,
I'm not allowed to post urls here to tell you where I found the starting wage info but if you go to etudiant dot fr you can find everything.
There are still a large number of psych jobs in France for my area of study, and I'm fluent in French already so I'm not too worried about that. It just seems to me that they might just keep starting salaries low for a few years then increase them.. but to what I'm not sure.

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Old 9th February 2011, 06:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by voislaterre View Post
Hi Bev,
I'm not allowed to post urls here to tell you where I found the starting wage info but if you go to etudiant dot fr you can find everything.
There are still a large number of psych jobs in France for my area of study, and I'm fluent in French already so I'm not too worried about that. It just seems to me that they might just keep starting salaries low for a few years then increase them.. but to what I'm not sure.
Salary increases in France tend to be a function of seniority rather than merit. And they can depend quite a bit on the contract covering the industry you find yourself in. I wouldn't count on any big bumps in pay after a few years, especially in the current climate. Employers know that having a CDI is a huge advantage to a young person, and they consider that to be a big advantage.

As Parsnips said, salaries here can easily be half what they are in the UK. And salaries in the UK are generally significantly less than those in the US. OTOH, the cost of living here is different, regardless of the direct comparisons some people make between the cost of specific goods. You pay much more for gasoline, for example, but if you live and work in the Paris area, your employer pays half your monthly transit pass and public transport is heavily subsidized so costs much less than in the US. So net-net you won't make the same monetary amount you would in the US, but you can live comfortably (though differently) on a starting salary.
Cheers,
Bev

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Old 9th February 2011, 10:56 PM
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Psychology students are the one with the highest unemployment rate !

A few year ago they were more registered psychology students in France than in all others countries of europe added. So their job market is very unbalanced.

To quote the survey the university of Rennes did with their former master students
"
Le salaire mensuel net médian pour la mention Psycho est
de 1400 €.
· Ceux travaillant en Ile de France, ont un salaire net
mensuel médian de 1680 €.
· Ceux travaillant en Bretagne ont un salaire net
mensuel médian de 1479 €.
· Ceux travaillant dans la région du « Grand Ouest »,
ont un salaire net mensuel médian de 1470 €"

So according to this, the average salary is between 1400-1700 euro depending on the region (and the associated cost of living). Of course, that for those who have a job. On their survey 46 graduates got a full time job out of 92.
So your initial estimates were very optimistics !

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Old 10th February 2011, 06:09 AM
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All french salaries are around 1/2 what they would be in the UK.

This might be one reason why some 300,000 French people have decided to live in London.

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Old 10th February 2011, 09:41 PM
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Before comparing anything, it might be necessary to check if it's possible to do so.
You have to know if you compare gross salary or net salary. Gross salary is at least 25% more than net salary. Those 25% allows you to benefit of very low medical costs (social security), unemployment coverage fund etc. This is the famous "social system" that costs a bunch but that most people (including non French) are not willing to let go easily when used to it.
And then you have the net net salary after you paid your taxes (something like 20-30% of your net salary on the average).
The cost of living (rent in particular) doesn't strike me to be that cheap in London... so it's would be a very unwise move to go if the salary would not cover this. The major medical care (scanner, surgery...) is almost out of reach if you can't afford personal insurance.

I have checked this discrepancy myself 2 years ago when offered a position in London and the numbers were not in favor of this move, even with a 50% raise of my net salary at the time... I checked it again last December when offered a position in New Zealand, and same story: much more loss than gain (from a financial point of view). On a much closer scale, it would be the same if I had to move from Lyon to Paris... everything is so expensive there compared to here... but at least the social protection system is similar.

Concerning psycho, very few work in companies even large ones. Most of them are "libéral" which is not a very good thing as taxes are really heavy, and you need time to build your "clientèle". The other way is to try to get one of the protected government jobs which from difficult has gone to impossible.
Psycho is considered a very easy education here. Many students that can't enter the second or third year at the University, whatever their field, relocate to Psycho to a least get a diploma before leaving the U. Doesn't mean they do, as in fact the content of the cursus is quite heavy.
Marianne

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