San Francisco is One of Top 3 Cities That Pay Higher Than the Norm

On average, an expatriate employee or assignee earns $99,903 a year which, depending on the region of employment, can come with some other perks like corporate housing with the best amenities as well as the heady promise of an Ivy-League-like education for their children.

Three cities actually more than double that rate, making them magnets for highly qualified global talents who are looking for prestigious posts as well as a ladder for advancement. As reported by Bloomberg, a recent study released by HSBC Bank International Ltd. names Mumbai, San Francisco, and Zurich as the cities where assignees are paid significantly higher than the standard rates.

All three award annual salaries to their expatriate cream of the crop at an average rate of $200,000. The last six cities that compose the top ten are, in ranking order, Shanghai, Geneva, New York City, Los Angeles, Jakarta, Hong Kong, and Paris.

This HSBC Expat Explorer Survey was conducted among more than 27,000 participants from 159 nations and regions.

Mumbai assignees earn an average annual salary of $217,165. In a separate report that examines the HSBC Expat Explorer Survey, BBC says that one reason why the Indian city landed the top spot is that a majority of its assignees are older and more seasoned executives who have been relocated from other countries.

India is perceived to be a “hardship” post, and top talents have to be drawn in by a higher-than-industry package. Other perks that can sweeten the pot are posh accommodations that can cost $15,000 to $18,000 a month; a luxury vehicle helmed by a driver; exclusive country club memberships; and education for the assignee’s kids in international schools that fetch up to $30,000 a year.

San Francisco, the #2 city in the survey as far as expat salaries are concerned, pays its experienced foreign talents an annual average of $207,227. Digging further into the reasons that have landed it in this position, The HR Director opines that the “fantastic job opportunities”  in the area, especially in the field of technology, are enough of a motivation for top global talents to try their fortune in it.

The average annual compensation also has enriched them with a more than comfortable lifestyle, perhaps even a bit more luxurious than the one they enjoyed in their previous posts.

Of the top five high-paying cities named in the survey, San Francisco records the most number of assignees with improved lifestyles: 50 percent of them have moved in to better accommodations, while another 43 percent are not one to shy away from purchasing a Tesla.

Zurich trails slightly behind San Francisco with an average annual salary of $206,900. Complementing this are the low personal tax rates which leave expats in the area with considerable disposable income, despite Zurich’s high cost of living.

Other magnets that make it appealing to assignees are a very stable economy, increasing levels of salaries, and an environment that successfully balances solid, efficient infrastructure with nature-friendly features. The level of security that operates in the country has widely been regarded as among the world’s best, allowing the assignees to enjoy a sense of peace and security relatively unthreatened by present-day disasters like freak storms and terrorist attacks.

Given the results of the survey, global mobility managers, who have been tasked to search for talents and relocate them into this areas, might find it smart to start building their pipeline now.