Average regular monthly earnings1 were 668 thousand ISK in 2022. For full time employees, regular monthly earnings were 745 thousand ISK and the median 669 thousand ISK. More employees received regular monthly earnings below the amount of average earnings (63%), mainly because collective agreements set minimum wage rates but no maximum wages.
Mean total monthly earnings for full-time employees were 871 thousand ISK in 2022 and one fourth received total earnings below 636 thousand ISK. Half of all males had total monthly earnings over 826 thousand ISK but one-third of females. Full-time male employees received more paid hours on average than full-time female employees, as the paid hours for men were 180.2 per month on average in 2022 but 173 for women. More paid hours on average for males explains partly why males have higher total earnings than females. Additionally, there is a difference in which industries men and women are employed, approximately 18% of employed males work in the public sector while for employed women 44% of them work in the public sector.
Lowest earnings among occupations of child-care workers
Wage comparison between occupations2 shows that directors and chief executives had the highest earnings on average, just over 2.2 million ISK per month in 2022 which had decreases by a small amount since 2021. Medical doctors, judges, finance and sales associate professionals, ship and aircraft controllers and technicians, production and operations department managers in business services enterprises and senior government officials are some examples of occupations where total monthly earnings were more than 1.6 million ISK on average. Lowest monthly total earnings, on average, were in the occupations of child-care workers, about 512 thousand ISK, and among library, mail and related clerks, 522 thousand ISK.
Distribution of total earnings differ by occupations
In the year 2022, total monthly earnings by occupational group ranged from 623 thousand ISK for general, machine and specialized workers to 1,376 thousand ISK for managers. Distribution of total earnings in occupational groups was different, which can be explained by various occupations within each occupational group, as is the case with managers, which includes both chief executives and department managers.
Distribution of total full-time earnings shows that almost 70% of service workers had wages lower than 700 thousand ISK per month and 14% recieved total full-time earnings in the range of 450-500 thousand ISK. The distribution of total monthly earnings for clerks was more homogenous compared to other occupations as approximately 65% of full-time clerks received an average of total monthly earnings in the range of 500-750 thousand ISK. A higher distribution in total earnings was visible for specialists, managers and craft workers.
About the statistics
A set of comprehensive data series on earnings for the Icelandic labour market for the years 2014-2022 has now been published. Information contains earnings by occupational group, sectors and economic activities. In addition, information for more than 200 occupations are published.
Previously published results for the time series from 2014-2021 have also been revised and re-calculated. Therefore, changes are visible in the previously published figures for every year in the data. All figures are preliminary. Results are based on the Icelandic Survey on Wages, Earnings and Labour Costs and cover over 94 thousand employees. The survey is a stratified sample survey including legal units with 10 or more employees and data are weighted according to the survey design. The survey covers most of the Icelandic labour market even though certain economic activities are missing. More on the survey and methods can be found in metadata on Statistics Iceland‘s website.
During the year 2019 and 2020, new collective agreements were signed which stipulated, amongst other things, a flat rate wage increase and shortening the working hours. Furthermore, an opportunity to abolished coffee breaks was included. The shorter working hours came into action in the beginning of 2020 in the private sector and 2021 in the public sector. The shortening of the working hours does not affect monthly earnings, but it affects paid hours which are also published. From 2019 paid hours have decreased, both due to the shortening of the working hours and decreased overtime hours.
1Regular earnings for part-time employees are full-time equivalent.
2Occupations for full-time employees which are publised on Statistics Iceland‘s website.