Senior Product Manager Salary to Cost of Living worldwide comparison

Timur Mishin
Oct 14, 2019 · 4 min read

Funny thing, I could spend days and hours performing statistical data analysis between different countries and cities in order to find “promised land”. This report is something I would like to share with you. As soon as I originally Russian and work in Moscow, it is a starting point of comparison. If you find mistake or want to stay in touch, write me in any convenient way using my website timurmishin.com

Allegory: Wealthy homeless Sifon and Boroda

Foreword

I used to work for international cyber-security company and managed distributed team from 5 continents. Some of subordinates had salary higher than mine. So I started thinking about salary to cost of living comparison.

Since, last 4 years I am focused on Software Product Management, I decided to compare conditions for Senior Product Manager in 12 chosen cities worldwide.

If you have another lovely cities that are not in the list, just clone Google Sheet in conclusion and add it using same method

Executive summary

More columns and data available for learning and experiments by Google Sheet link in Conclusion chapter.

Comparison summary (Updated 23.10.2019)

How to read results: If you move from Moscow with average gross salary of 42K Euro to Berlin with average gross salary of 75K Euro, you are going to have same basic live level (by doing local purchases and pay rent during to Numbeo grocery set).

Update 18.10.2019 During to progressive taxation in many countries, I fixed mistake in calculations with actual tax rate. Taxes could really correct final results, so it’s critically important to know your real income tax rate for specific salary.

Update 23.10.2019 Fixed Cost of living ratio calculation. Now, ratio compared with average monthly salary of Sr. PM in Moscow (251K Rub Gross or 218K Rub Net).

Austin won this chart with 159% improvement to Moscow with salary 135K USD gross. I specially added Austin because one of my colleagues found it perfect place to live. I recommend to search less publicized cities like Austin in every interesting country.

Singapore won 2st place. I always considered Singapore as very expensive city to live, but it has balanced high salaries and low income tax. Amazing city.

Seattle won 3rd place. My cousin with her husband used to work in Seattle and then moved to San-Francisco. They agree with comparison result.

I am not a big fan of Moscow, but net salary to cost of living ratio is higher then in many other cities. Major drawback is small absolute salary value, only 37K Euro net. It makes more expensive to buy international products, cars and travels.

Check taxes carefully and don’t forget to take into consideration loan rates, education, medical insurance and thing that important for you in addition to cost of living. As agent Mulder told: — The truth is out there.

Methodology

There are 3 sources for calculations:

  1. First is average salaries from GlassDoor.com — they could be less or more depending on specific skills and companies.
  2. Second is Cost of Living comparison from Numbeo.com — it is crowd-sourcing platform and may contain unverified data.
  3. Third is actual income tax rate for each country and salary from neuvoo.com

After data collection, I calculated cost of living ratio and salary ratio to Moscow. It is very important to use Net salary ratio, because cost of living provided after taxes. Gross salary ratio comparison would be incorrect.

Final metric in is salary ratio divided by cost of living ratio.

Starting point of comparison is Moscow, Russia with average salary for Senior Product Manager of 251 000 RUB per month Gross (42K Euro annually).

Every method has some inaccuracy, especially for such complicated and subjective task.

For instance, full Cost of Living comparison is a challenge. Despite Numbeo’s average expense for family, people should also compare important metrics like cost of money (loans interest rate), car prices, medical costs, education costs, political and economical risks and so on. For example, interest rate for home loans in Moscow about 10%, while in Berlin about 4%. In 20 years it would cost you extra 260K euro for 200K flat in Moscow or only 90K euro in Berlin for same 200K flat. As the result, final cost of living rating should be scored individually, depending on plans and priorities. Anyway, this is a good starting comparison.

Another thing to keep in mind is that Numbeo compares local grocery set. It means you buy food, pay rent and going to cinema locally. If you are going to travel or buy internationally, than you should consider absolute Net salary value in Euro/USD too. For example, you have more money for traveling and buying international products, living in Singapore than in Moscow or Berlin.

Conclusion

Here is a link to Google Table with all columns, collected metrics and links in order you could clone it and experiment by your own:

Update 23.10.2019 I added calculation of desired salary. For instance, if you want to know desired salary in other cities, when increase salary in Moscow. For instance, if you are pretending for Net monthly salary of 300K Rub in Moscow, you should ask for 100k Euro annual gross salary in Berlin or 230K USD annual gross salary in San-Francisco.

If you find comparison interesting or looking for other cities or professions — please, share it in comments. Probably, such aggregation analytical service might be useful and I could create more functional calculator.

Timur Mishin

Written by

Product manager and owner of timurmishin.com. Create and develop B2B analytical services SaaS with Business Intelligenc, Big Data, AI (ML) techs and approaches.

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