Before 1989 starting salaries for university graduates were - to put it frankly - the same. A graduate received a starting salary of about 1,600 Sk gross monthly. If a graduate had extremely good marks , they got 50 to 100 Sk more. A lot has changed since then, as graduates can now expect a starting salary of between 8,000 to 12,000 Sk gross monthly.
The current job market certainly bodes well for graduates in Finance, Sales, Human Resources, Marketing, Plant Management, and Information Technology. Managers in each of these fields will have salaries close to their counterparts in the west in a couple of years.
Other determining factors concerning salaries are the different regions in Slovakia. Bratislava salaries are in general the highest since there is a huge demand for skilled employees - to be sure it is an employees market. The problem with working in Bratislava is the unrealistic housing market , which can eat up to 50 percent of an average salary.
Inside and outside the capital
A skilled secretary (speaking English) will make about 12,000 to 18,000 Sk in Bratislava, but only 6,000 to 10,000 Sk outside the capital. International companies also tend to pay more than Slovak companies, and are generally located in Bratislava.
Many job candidates forget that international companies have higher expectations of their employees and demand more quality output from their people than do Slovak companies. A bookkeeper at a Slovak company, for example, takes home between 6,000 and 10,000 Sk gross monthly. This person would probably work in a big department with many colleagues and be specialized in one aspect of finance: salary, accounting, cash etc. He or she would work an 8 hour day and nothing more.
This same person could make 18,000 to 30,000 Sk working for an international company but would suddenly be asked to do everything on their own, and to work 10 hours a day.
National Sale Managers at traditional Slovak companies average from 15,000 to 25,000 Sk gross monthly. Their colleagues at international companies make from 60,000 to over 100,000 Sk monthly ( including bonuses). So an international company will pay more but also demand much more, giving the employee many responsibilities.
Language is a big factor in the level of a salary. The bookkeeper, secretary, IT expert etc. with good knowledge of a foreign languages (preferably English and German) makes normally 50 to 100 percent more than his colleagues who are able to speak only Slovak.
Closer look at professions
The differences in salaries and skills among Human Resource s(HR) Managers is enormous. A traditional Slovak HR manager with only a local education and not knowing English has a salary of around 20,000 Sk. A HR manager speaking English but still having to learn everything about the profession and working for an international company can make between 60,000 to 130,000 Sk gross monthly. The reason for these big salaries is that the number of highly skilled and talented HR managers is extremely small, and the demand much higher than the labor market can supply.
Concerning Financial Managers, auditors, controllers, tax advisers etc. it is not much different. A skilled financial manager, speaking English, aware of the differences between the Slovak accounting systems and methods as well as western conditions, makes between 40,000 to 90,000 Sk gross monthly.
Plant Managers from Slovak companies traditionally make about 20,000 Sk gross monthly. Slovak Plant managers who have adapted themselves to the needs of foreign production companies (by speaking English, taking many courses) can make from 40,000 to 80,000 Sk including benefits such as a company car.
20. Nov 1997 at 0:00 | Gerard Koolen