Minimum Wage and Occupational Salaries in Romania

Minimum Wage and Occupational Salaries in Romania

Romania is a country located in southeastern Europe and is a member of the European Union. With a population of over 19 million, Romania is the seventh most populous member state of the EU. The country has a mixed economy characterized by a large service sector, significant agricultural production and manufacturing industries. Romania’s labor market is relatively flexible, but the wages are considered lower compared to the rest of Europe.

Minimum Wage in Romania

What is the current minimum wage in Romania?

The current minimum gross wage in Romania is 2,300 Romanian lei (approximately 480 US dollars) per month, which was increased from 2,230 lei starting from May 2021, following negotiations between employee unions, employer groups, and the government.

Who is eligible for the minimum wage in Romania?

All employees working in Romania, whether they are Romanian nationals or foreign nationals, are entitled to receive the minimum wage, regardless of the nature of their employment (full-time or part-time). However, some categories of employees might be exempt from receiving the minimum wage, such as those employed in the defense, public order, national security sectors, or those who have an apprenticeship contract.

How often is the minimum wage in Romania updated?

The minimum wage in Romania is updated annually, following negotiations between employee unions, employer groups, and the government, usually in May or June. The negotiation process takes into account the economic situation of the country, the inflation rate, and the overall functioning of the labor market.

What is the impact of the minimum wage increase in Romania?

The minimum wage increase in Romania will impact both employees and employers. On the one hand, employees will benefit from slightly higher incomes, which can improve their standard of living and their ability to support their families. On the other hand, employers will face increased labor costs, which can potentially reduce their profits and competitiveness. In addition, the minimum wage increase could also lead to an increase in prices for goods and services, as businesses may pass on their increased labor costs to their customers.

Occupational Salaries in Romania

How does Romania’s occupational salary system work?

Romania’s occupational salary system is based on collective bargaining agreements negotiated between employee unions and employer groups in each industry or sector. These agreements set minimum salaries for each occupation, based on education, experience, responsibilities, and other criteria. The occupational salary system is mandatory for all employers in Romania and must be observed in all employment contracts.

What are the highest-paying occupations in Romania?

According to the National Institute of Statistics in Romania, the highest-paying occupations in 2020 were medical specialists, IT engineers, judges, lawyers, and managers in finance or insurance. The average monthly gross salary for these occupations ranged between 14,000 to 17,000 Romanian lei (approximately 2,900 to 3,500 US dollars).

What are the lowest-paying occupations in Romania?

The lowest-paying occupations in Romania are typically those in the service sectors, such as domestic workers, cleaners, or retail sales assistants. The average monthly gross salary for these occupations ranges between 1,500 to 2,000 Romanian lei (approximately 300 to 400 US dollars), which is close to the minimum wage.


Is the minimum wage enough to live on in Romania?

The minimum wage in Romania is relatively low compared to the rest of Europe, and it might not be enough to cover all the basic living expenses, especially in urban areas. However, the cost of living in Romania is generally lower than in other EU countries, such as France or Germany. Therefore, the minimum wage might be enough to live on, depending on the individual’s lifestyle and needs.

Can employers pay below the minimum wage in Romania?

No, employers are legally required to pay the minimum wage or higher, as set by the occupational salary system or collective bargaining agreements. If employers pay below the minimum wage, they risk facing penalties, fines, or legal action.

Can employees negotiate their salaries in Romania?

Yes, employees can negotiate their salaries with their employers, especially if they have marketable skills, experience, or education that are in high demand. However, the negotiation process might be more challenging for employees in low-skilled or unorganized sectors. Additionally, salaries in Romania are usually negotiated collectively through employee unions or industry-specific associations.

Are there any tax exemptions or benefits for low-wage earners in Romania?

Yes, low-wage earners in Romania are eligible for certain tax exemptions and benefits, such as a reduced income tax rate of 10% for those earning less than 2,000 lei per month. In addition, low-income families might be entitled to social welfare benefits, such as child allowances, housing subsidies, or health care.

What is the outlook for salaries and wages in Romania?

The outlook for salaries and wages in Romania is generally positive, as the country’s economy continues to grow and attract foreign investment. However, the pace of wage growth might depend on several factors, such as the development of certain industries, the extent of labor market regulations, and the availability of skilled workers. In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic has also had an impact on the labor market and might affect the wage growth in the short term.


In summary, Romania’s minimum wage and occupational salary system play a crucial role in establishing a fair and sustainable labor market. The minimum wage increase in May 2021 and the occupational salary agreements set by industry-specific associations provide a framework for employers and employees to negotiate wages and salaries that reflect their skills, experience, and productivity. Although Romania’s wages are still relatively low compared to the rest of Europe, the outlook for future growth is positive, thanks to the country’s economic potential and its integration into the EU’s labor market.