Nursing salary

Hi All,
I know this is a very private question. But I need some advise and guidance.I recently applied for a position as a RN with an agency to work in Saudi. The salary they quoted was less than what I make in the States. Im just wondering if I should go to another agency or if nurses arent being paid well at this time. Please advise
Thank you

Hi Michelle, welcome to Expat-blog! :)

Hope members will advice you on nursing salary very soon.

Good luck.

Hi Christine : )
Yes me too. Thank you. Your in Jeddah right?

Nursing salaries can differ based on the nationalities of the nurses hired and also by the size, quality, and integrity if the medical institution hiring them.

At the top of the rung I believe that RN's recruited from first world nations would draw the highest and in my estimation it would amount to approximately US$ 4,000 per month plus housing, transportation , medical, annual free air fare to and from the home nation,

Hi Musicman,
Thank you for responding. I was offered a bit more than that: ) but still feel its very low. Do you know of any american nurses? Rumor has it they are making 200k a year. But I wasn't offered even close to that.
Thank you : )

Its possible that there are nurses at very senior supervisory levels with extensive exprience who are making 200K per annum plus all amenities.

Anythings possible in the desert. Everything depends on the opportunity that comes your way at the right time and disposition.

My guesstimate on the 50K plus perks baseline is based on the people I have met in the industry who are working here over the past 30 years

Musicman, you are about right.  An average salary for a nurse from the West is about $50-65K tops for an Rn.  I am one and from Canada.  I could make more in Canada just like someone in the USA.  So, the only good thing I suppose is the "no tax".

Hi All,
Nurses are making much more than you think. I've posted a listing from an agency I work for. Ofcourse, Strikes come and go. But travel nursing in the states pays well, plus they pay for your housing, some agencies also offer medical and dental benefits. Ofcourse you have to pay taxes on your salary but I'm still making more money than if I were in Saudi and I have more freedom : ) I hope this info helps someone.

The pay for speciality is much higher than what is listed on the link I posted for those interested.
Cheers Michelle

I'm really just wondering if there is such a difference between nurses from the so-called-1st world countries and specifically nurses fron South Africa. In my opinion there isn't because we have the state of the art hospitals that are iso9001 sertified that strive for excellence. We have quality education and are well experienced and above all hard workers. The UK, NZ and AUS accept us stat. I see no reason for us to be payed less than any other nurses in the world. I'd fight tooth and nail.

I agree, in an ideal world S.African nurses would be paid as say the US nurses are.  I don't know the different skill sets, but I'd imagine we're mostly similar.

I think contracting with other countries' citizens is relatively new, and in an effort to reduce cost - the enticement of 'tax free' is the selling point.  The fine print is: but you'll be paid basically what you were at home.  The benefits are another draw to this type of travel nursing.  I predict that when nurses from lower paying countries begin really taking a hold on this type of nursing, the competition with US nurses will become too scarce (if ones intention is earning a high salary), simply because our cost of living is too high - and other countrymen and women will be satisfied to take just a cut less than their US counterparts, for equal work.

So I don't think you're being paid less based on ability - just geography (for what it's worth).

Example: if a person in country A makes 10 per hour, while a nurse in country be gets 30 an hour, country B's nurse is not necessarily more advanced or qualified, she just lives in an area of high cost of living.  So, keeping the global shortage in mind, if Unit C needs both nurse A and nurse B, badly enough - she may look at their prior pay.  They may give nurse A a little more, but not necessarily what B gets.  This discrepancy won't last forever.  But it may, if the nursing shortage is real.  So some nurse from an African country may consider working in the US, just to have a history of higher pay - allowing more of a possibility for that rate to be matched in say, Saudi Arabia.

I think it is hard to tell.  I hear most agencies offering the lowest salary of $68,000 to Americans, but that tends to be with little experience.  I have experience and almost took an offer of that nature, but I have several friends including one of my own students living in Saudi and working as nurses.  They told me don't accept an offer if you are not paid what you would get in the US.  Then I found out my student with a mere 2 years of experience started out with a low offer but once in Saudi Arabia within some time was able to transfer to a city she liked better and got $80,000.  She is African American as well, so while there are reports of salaries being based on country of origin you never know what will happen. Most people can't talk to nurses already in the area to find out what salaries are like.  I wish I could get a better idea of nursing director salaries, but you hear very little and I don't know people in those areas.

hi michelle ,
i come from uk  , i was under the illusion that i would be paid  a "taxfree" salary same as uk but its not true the pay is a lot less and its more or less same i get paid in uk after paying my taxes and pension so its not worth it!! i am leaving end of year. try another agency and good luck

thanks michelle ,
i will look up the link later. i am returning to work similar as travel nursing . yes better at home not worth it here.

If you email me at my account... I will share with you my salary...

I make less per hour here because I was conned into thinking that my salary was based on a 36 hour week... but it turned out to be either 48 or even 60 hours a week!

Now with new contract it is 48 hours a week but they took it off my vacation... was 6 weeks and now is only 4 weeks.

I don't think you can come here for any money incentive... not like the folks from India and Philipines... they make many times their salaries at home...

I came for the travel opportunities... LOL... ya -until they take your passport and tell you that you cannot leave until after your three month probation period! And then it is mounds of paperwork and you can really only leave for your annual leave, and the two 4-day religious holidays... not even a weekend that you are off to go to say Bahrain...

So why am I STILL here you ask?

Love the Saudi people, the country is beautiful and crap! I met the love of my life here (a German fellow that I married) who works here...

Be very careful with the contracts and ask questions and get answers in writing... land of the bait and switch... way worse than at home and be prepared to work long long long hours... I am tired a lot...

Take care and good luck

More than $4000 us per month... negotiate before you get here... they don't pay hourly, no overtime pay, monthly salary and you work many many hours for it... be careful

Disagree completely... my coworkers won't be retiring in the US

COST OF LIVING is way higher and it just isn't right that they are making 3 and 4 x their home salary when I don't even make what a new grad nurse makes in the US per hour...

The inequality is on Westerners -not on folks from countries with low costs of living... these people will retire well... even with tax free money - I cannot save anything for retirement here...

Salaries are never discussed in saudi !!

Agreed ! i left never again

200k impossible in Saudi!!

Hi I'm new to this but really wanting to find some honest answers - I'm considering nursing in Saudi but as a home care nurse (I assume this is similar to District nursing in the Uk.) if anyone has advice on home care in Jeddah, salary, housing compound all the usual things I suppose! Any advice from fellow nurses would be greatly appreciated - I would be coming as a single 43 (!!! agh) woman, I've been to other countries in the UAE as a visitor and have read a lot around Saudi in fact my sister & her family already lives in Jeddah but I would like some advice from nurses already there (my sister would really like me to move out for obvious reason!!) lol  :D

Thank you x

Hey Miffy,

Did you ever make the move to Saudi?

I have been offered a job but waiting to get my offer in writing, along with my salary.
I'll be working in King Faisal Hospital if I accept.

I'm desperately hoping that my letter arrives soon so I can see my salary. I have no idea how much to expect.
I have almost 3 years experience in an acute medical assessment unit.

Any info anyone has will be of great use. Thanks guys

Around £2700 per month , no tax to pay on it. Basically close to your UK take home salary after tax  and NI.Longer working hours too!
Good luck

In general, nurses are seen as declasse in the Middle East.  However, as an externally hired American nurse, you should insist on a salary of at least SR15000 per month, plus a single apartment, furniture, health insurance, paid vacation at least 2 weeks per year, a bonus if you are told to work on the holidays, a round-trip home once a year for the vacation (four weeks), double pay if you work on a holiday, night shift differential, free transportation to and from work, transportation for shopping.  I don't know what the standard shift length is.  Ask for time and a half for evenings, double for nights.  You may be asked to share an apartment with another nurse.  I would argue, unless I knew someone I wanted to share with.

If you are placed in Jeddah or Riyadh, you will find almost everything you need.  If you are placed elsewhere, ask your employers for trips on your days off, to visit bigger cities.

The culture requires that women dress modestly.  Outside the home and hospital, you will probably wear an abaya, which is a long black cloak.  In Jeddah, you can wear abayas of other quiet colors, such as beige, brown, and grey.  I have mine custom-made and have deep pockets sewn in.  These are very, very, convenient.

Also, women cover their hair when out of the home or the workplace.  In Jeddah this is usual but people respect obvious foreigners as guests, and will not

Did I mention that women are not allowed to drive?  This is the main hassle of life in Saudi, in my opinion.  However, your employers and the compound in which you live should provide you with shopping trips and other transportation.. I take taxis in Jeddah, but only if I know the route.  Don't get into taxi with a young driver.  They may try to make friends.  If a driver doesn't seem to understand your directions, tell him to stop the car, and get in another one.

That's the bad news.  The good news is that Arabs, in general, are extremely hospitable, and very polite.   Guests are a gift from Allah (God).  As a foreigner, many people will see you as a guest and go out of their way to help

If men try to make friends with you, and you'd rather not, ignore them.  Don't let them hassle you.  If they persist, go into a shop or mall  and ask the security for help.  The guards LOVE to gallantly rescue ladies from harassment, and especially to throw young men out of the malls.  It's sort of a "make my day" attitude.

Almost forgot bargaining.  Probably because I'm really not good at it.  Chain stores usually have fixed prices, but if you're buying a lot, you might be able to get a discount.  Restaurants always do.

Many people buy gold jewelry.  It's good quality and light to take Home.  Always bargain.  The prices are good.

If you're in the Jeddah area, try the fried chicken at al-Baik, a fast food chain so good that people take it Home in their suitcases.  Honestly!

Some expats camp in the deserts or on the mountains, and do pretty much as they like while there.  Still, keep in mind that the use of alcohol or drugs for non-medical use is strictly forbidden, and they really, really mean it.

You MUST NOT try to get into Makkah or Madinah unless you are Muslim.  This is a serious matter.  It's a matter of respect of people's religion.  Violators are booted out of the country.

Make friends, explore, and enjoy the experience.   Meet you at the Serafi Mall in Jeddah!

What do you mean salary are not discussed !!!!!! Weird

you are not equally PAID !! so don't discuss it

Hello everyone,

   I just recently applied to work in King Faisal Hospital in Jeddah and I am scheduled for an interview next week. I just have a few questions, if anybody has been recruited by Ben Khan and Associates I am looking for any reviews about this agency. I am just curious if they are a good agency or not, I am an RN coming  from Canada and looking to work in Jeddah, I initially inquired in Hziegler Associates but their initial offer was actually lower than I expected so I kept looking for the other agency and I found Ben Khan and their offer base salary for nurses is 20K USD more compare to Hziegler. So when I phoned them again to re-clarified about the salary, they're now telling me a diiferent story that it'l always be base on the experiences which I am aware of already about that initially because a base salary means 2 years of experiences as an RN which is the minimum to work in Saudi. So it appeared to me that Hziegler associates accurately told me about the base salary excluding all the benefits and Ben Khan told me the base salary that includes some of the benefits so that it might appear to be better. Thank you very much guys and I hope you can help me with this mater.

Is it the Hospital itself that makes the offer and not the agency? So it doesn't natter which agency should I take? Thank you.

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