Top 15 Best Countries in the World for Working and Making Money
A move abroad is often motivated by potential financial advantages. Photo: Youtube

For many of us, a move abroad is often motivated by potential financial advantages. We want to make more money working abroad than we can back home. Sure, nice weather and living in a fantastic location are great incentives, but money is often the real driving factor. With hard work and effort, people are often able to change their own financial status dramatically as well as the wealth of their families and loved ones.

If you invest 5 years of wealth-motivated hard work as a person knowing it can change the lives of your family for the next 20 years, why wouldn’t you want to do that?

Let KnowInsider introduce you to top 11 of the best countries to work and make money from around the world!

1. Denmark

With just 39.7 hours per week (vs. 44.3 h globally), expats working full time in Denmark have the shortest working week out of the top 10 countries with a great work-life balance. Maybe it’s that benefit which attracts highly educated expats: close to half the respondents in Denmark (47%) have a master’s degree or similar. Additionally, twelve percent hold a PhD (vs. 6% globally), which is — together with Sweden — the highest share out of the featured top 10. “I like the work-life balance, which I do not get anywhere else”, an expat from Indonesia states, while one from Portugal points out the “balance between work and private life” as a positive aspect of life in Denmark. In fact, more than three-quarters of expats working in Denmark rate their work-life balance positively (76%), compared to three in five globally (60%). Despite that, their overall job satisfaction (62%) is just below the global average (64%).

2. United Kingdom

Top 15 Best Countries in the World for Working and Making Money
The UK is one of the best countries to work in. Photo: Work Permit

It’s unclear where the country will stand after Brexit, but currently, the UK is in the top 10 highest-paying countries and is one of the best to work in. So if material gains are your primary reason to look for a career abroad, the UK should definitely be high on your priority list.

The UK is one of the most powerful world centers in terms of finance, IT, digital and science innovations, and AI. That’s why it’s a global magnet for those who have knowledge in these spheres and ambitions to use their knowledge to the best advantage.

Unemployment in the UK is incredibly low, while the skill shortage is pretty drastic. Industries in need of highly skilled professionals are seeking them from all over the world offering good financial incentives to come and work in the UK.

3. Norway

Expats in Norway are highly satisfied with their work-life balance (72%) and their working hours (77%). In fact, they only spend an average of 42.9 hours per week at work, which is 1.4 hours less than expats in full-time jobs worldwide (44.3 h). “Work-life balance is very important here and jobs are generally very family-friendly”, says a British expat. In addition to that, twelve percent of expats in Norway have a gross yearly household income of more than 150,000 USD — among the featured top 10 countries only the share of those in New Zealand is higher (14%). Therefore, it is not very surprising that 72 percent of expats believe that they make more in Norway than they would in a similar job back home. This isn’t only far above the global average (51%), but also the highest share out of the top 10 countries with a great work-life balance. However, it seems like it’s still not enough: with 71 percent of expats rating the cost of living in Norway negatively (vs. 35% globally), it’s clear to see why 21 percent state that their disposable household income doesn’t cover everything they need in daily life.

4. The Czech Republic

Expats in the Czech Republic work the longest hours out of the top 10 featured countries (44.9 h), which is even slightly above the global average (44.3 h). Despite that, they’re still generally satisfied with their working hours (76% vs. 61% globally) as well as their work-life balance (73% vs. 60% globally). “My working conditions are excellent here. My employer offers me a lot of benefits, including more vacation days and good healthcare”, says an expat from Australia. Moreover, it seems like they couldn’t be more satisfied with their career prospects (65% vs. 53% globally) and their job security (74% vs. 57% globally) — both shares are the highest among the top 10 countries with a great work-life balance. “I like everything that is connected with my job”, an expat from Russia sums up, and three-quarters of expats (75%) agree by rating their overall job satisfaction positively.

5. New Zealand

Top 15 Best Countries in the World for Working and Making Money
Photo: Youtube

With most expats moving to New Zealand for a better quality of life (26%) and only six percent citing work-related reasons, it’s clear that work isn’t their priority there: only 73 percent of expats in the country work full time, which is the smallest share among the top 10 destinations and ten percentage points less than the global average (83%). Moreover, those who do work full-time spend exactly two hours less in the office than the global average (42.3 h vs. 44.3 h).

Maybe that’s one of the reasons why exactly three-quarters of expats working in New Zealand are generally satisfied with both their work-life balance and their working hours. A British expat definitely appreciates the “generally laid-back and friendly lifestyle”. Despite expats in New Zealand not being overworked, the share with a gross yearly household income of more than 150,000 USD per year is still the highest out of the top 10 featured countries. This might contribute to the fact that 89 percent are generally satisfied with their life abroad, which makes them the happiest expats worldwide.

6. Sweden

Expats in Sweden seem to enjoy a good working life as they report above-average satisfaction with several factors: close to seven in ten (69%) are happy with their work-life balance, and more than three-quarters (77%) are satisfied with their working hours. Like in New Zealand, they only work 42.3 hours per week in a full-time position, compared to an average of 44.3 hours globally. Moreover, 56 percent are happy with their career prospects, compared to 53 percent globally, and an even higher share is happy with their job security (65% vs. 57% globally). “There are lots of job opportunities and a good work-life balance”, states an expat from Germany. Interestingly, however, only three in five (60%) are satisfied with their job overall, which is slightly below the global average (64%).

7. Costa Rica

Expats working in Costa Rica spend 44.3 hours per week at their jobs, which is exactly the same time as the average expat worldwide. However, while globally only 60 percent are satisfied with their work-life balance, 68 percent of expats in Costa Rica are happy with this factor. Unfortunately, it seems like the long hours don’t pay off: only 44 percent of expats in Costa Rica find that their disposable household income is more than what they need to cover all daily expenses (vs. 48% globally). “It is very expensive to live here, and you’re not paid well”, says an expat from the USA. More than two in five expats in Costa Rica (42%) believe that their current income is lower than what they would make in a similar job back home, compared to only 29 percent of expats thinking this worldwide.

8. The Netherlands

Top 15 Best Countries in the World for Working and Making Money
Photo: Broke-Ass Stuart

Before moving abroad, three in five expats (60%) saw the Netherlands’ economy and labor market as a potential benefit, compared to 45 percent globally. Maybe it’s the great state of the economy that allows expats to work 2.3 hours less per week than the global average for full-time position (42 h vs. 44.3 h). “Life is hassle-free and very relaxed,” an expat from Canada thinks, while a French expat appreciates the “great working conditions”.

In fact, around three-quarters are happy with their work-life balance (75%) and their working hours (76%) in the Netherlands. Maybe that’s one factor attracting highly educated expats: more than half the expats in the Netherlands hold a master’s degree or similar (51%), which isn’t only 11 percentage points more than the global average, but also the highest share among the destinations on this list. Also, the main sectors or industries are somewhat different from the global average: 17 percent work in IT (9% globally), followed by finance (12% vs. 8%), and manufacturing & engineering (11% vs. 8%).

9. Malta

Similar to New Zealand, the most frequently cited reason for moving to Malta is a better quality of life (27%), while only 15 percent mention work-related reasons. Moreover, around three-quarters of expats in Malta work full time (77%), the second-smallest share out of the ten countries featured here, after New Zealand. However, in contrast to New Zealand, those who do work full-time spend 43.9 hours per week at work, which is only slightly below the global average (44.3 h). Nonetheless, expats in Malta report above-average happiness with their working hours (67%) and work-life balance (72%).

A Croatian expat likes the “opportunity to work and earn well”, which seems to be the case for the majority of those living in Malta. More than half (52%) state that their disposable household income is more than enough to cover everything they need for daily life, which is slightly above the global average (48%). With another 66 percent rating their job security positively (vs. 57% globally), it might not come as a surprise that three-quarters of expats in Malta (75%) are overall satisfied with their job — this is the highest share out of the featured countries, together with the Czech Republic and New Zealand. Only the career prospects seem to spoil the mood as only 43 percent rate this factor positively, compared to 53 percent globally.

10. Australia

Top 15 Best Countries in the World for Working and Making Money
Photo: foryouandyourcustomers

Among gap year travelers, Australia is one of the best places to work abroad for short-term work opportunities. Most find jobs in the service or hospitality industry or seek work through agencies placing them in short-term jobs in Australia. If you have some background in the service industry, you can work as a tour guide, bartender, housekeeper, or restaurant staff. Seasonal agricultural work is also very popular among temporary job seekers. While it won’t be easy work, many agricultural job placements include room and board.

11. USA

With a country as large and diverse as the States, there are ample opportunities for part-time or seasonal jobs. More than 15 percent of the U.S. labor market is comprised of international workers. Most of those jobs fall at either end of the job spectrum—high skilled and technical, or physically demanding. The more fluent you're in English and the higher your education level, the better your chance of working abroad in the U.S. in a higher-paying position.

Moving to a new country for financial gain can work for both you and the country that gets your skills.

Many countries are very aware that expats arrive for financial reasons and are happy for expats to exchange their valuable skills for financial reward. In fact, they go out of their way to make sure they are regarded as the best countries to work in, tempting people like you with in-demand skills to choose their country.

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