Salary range for Senior Programmers


I'm assessing a potential offer from an employer in Ghent. I am currently based in the UK as a Senior Developer/Technical Lead with 11 years of experience in Java programming. Would anyone be able to provide the salary range offered to Senior Developers in this area? And how much monthly net would suffice to meet the expenses for a single person?

I have checked online but the ranges provided vary a lot. The prospective employer has told me that the cost of living is much cheaper in Belgium compared to the UK. But based on the research I've done, Belgium seems at par with respect to living expenses and the taxes are higher than those in the UK.

Thanks for any help you can offer!


For living expenses: I think you're right. In my experience there isn't much difference to the UK. I don't know about average rent in the Portsmouth area, but in Belgium, there is a potential to pay less for the approximate equivalent 'gaff' as in the UK. It may balance out against other things though, like weekly shopping which seems a little higher here. (Ofcourse, the euro is stronger than usual against the pound - so it's something to be cautious of before drawing hard and fast conclusions, but my advice is to treat living costs as the same.....ish).

For the salary: as an employee, I don't think you should expect south of 3.7k (gross per month) + car + mobile + food vouchers + pension. The company car is more prevalent in belgium than the uk I think, even at a more junior level (which you are not, anyway) so don't be surprised if that's in the package by default whether you wanted it or not. Very roughly speaking, 3k generally implies 1750 net. It's subjective to say, but that sort of net should mean you can easily save several 100 each month, so if you expect more than that, then you won't have any difficulties.

If you are thinking about moving to belgium anyway, then you might be slightly better off taking a freelance role (because the tax on employee salaries is high anyway) and there are specialist/team lead/senior contracts-a-plenty in java.

Thanks [at]DrewTheBear for the detailed response and the insights!

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