The average individual taking an overseas job adds $21,000 (£15,995.70) to their annual salary when they move, according to research commissioned by HSBC Expat.
The survey of 22,318 expatriates from 163 countries and territories, carried out by YouGov in March and April 2018, revealed that 45% of respondents were receiving more money for doing the same work abroad, while 28% had moved for a promotion.
Switzerland is at the top of the list for the biggest pay packets, with an average salary increase of $61,000 (£46,463.70) and the highest average annual expat salary at $202,865 (£154,394.47). The USA is second, with an annual average of $185,119 (£140,888.52), and Hong Kong third with $178,706 (£136,007.78).
China is in fourth place, with the average salary jumping from $134,093 (£102,054.16) in 2016 to $172,678 (£131,420.05) this year.
John Goddard, head of HSBC Expat, said: “While a move overseas can often mean a rise in disposable income, it also brings complexity. Seeking advice before you move to set up a bank account in your new destination, finding the best way to transfer money internationally and making the most of any additional savings can help you focus on your career and settle more quickly in your new home.”
The UK and USA were voted the best places to get ahead in your career. Those working an overseas job in the UK are also the most likely to pick up new skills, according to the survey. However, while workplaces in the US and UK were deemed by respondents to be the most likely to stretch expats intellectually, more than two-fifths found the fast-paced working environments stressful.
Thailand came top of the ranks for contentment, with 53% of expats in the country saying the working culture has made them happier. International workers in New Zealand and Bahrain are most likely to cite a shorter commuting journey than at home.
Goddard said: “A taste of life in a new location can be the key to unlocking your creative potential, finding the work-life balance you’ve been craving, or taking your career in a new direction. However, too many expats spend their first months abroad stressed because they didn’t get their finances in order before moving.”