The salary is considered one of the most important motivating factors for employees.

It is legally regulated and is strictly linked with the work contract. It is important to know that rights and duties included in the salary are effective only if the work contract is legally recognised. Usually the amount of the salary is specified in the work contract and indicates a periodic payment from an employer to an employee in return for work performed.

It is important to understand that the compensation included in the salary is not only provided in form of direct financial compensation (wages, salaries, commissions and bonuses), but also in terms of indirect financial compensation (pension, vacation, maternity leave, sick leave, etc...).

So the salary includes different elements beyond the money received by the employee and the amount may depend by different factors (the characteristics of the job, the position covered, the labour market needs, etc...).

In case of non correct salary conditions it is important for the employee/worker to know what is the correct salary for the specific sector and position to be covered and what are the rights and duties to be included.



If you are looking for a job, you will probably be making some considerations about the salary. 

Your task is, now, to understand the process of the composition of the salary considering the legal, economical and social aspects involved including:

- the elements included in a salary and how it is calculated

- the different types of salary

- the factors that may affect the salary amount

- useful information in determining the median wage and other benefits

It is useful to make clear that all the elements above can be different from country to country and the specific regulations of each country need to be considered.

At the end of the process you will be aware of all the components of the salary and will be able to evaluate the appropriateness of the salary for your new job.


When you have found a new job you should be aware of the elements included in your salary. The process described below will give you the possibility to understand these elements and the appropriateness of the salary based on the work and your competences.

- The first step is to recognise the existence of different types of salary. The most common types of salary in Europe are listed in the document “Type of Salary”.

- Your second step is to know the elements included in the salary. These can be part of the direct financial compensation or indirect financial compensation.

Due to the fact that the components of the salary are strictly related to the work contract and the national regulations, it is important, for this step, to be supported by a local trainer, expert in economics and labour laws. With the help of the trainer, you can follow the Lesson Components of a salary, in order to be aware of the components which make up a salary.

For an overview of all these elements, please have a look at the document “Components of a salary”.

- In order to align your expectations about your salary to the labour market it is important to know the dynamics affecting the amount of salary. The document “How much are you worth?” will allow you to reflect on some elements to negotiate your salary in a more effective way and have realistic expectations. Have a look at the video “Salary Negotiation: 6 Tips on How to Negotiate a Higher Salary” if you want some tips on how to negotiate your salary.

- Now you should put into practice the competences acquired. Analyse your first pay slip with the support of the document Understanding your pay slip and complete the Exercise The pay slip.



Now you should know all the elements included in the salary based on the sector and position covered.

You should be also able to evaluate the appropriateness of a salary based on the different factors affecting the financial and non financial compensation for the work done. Knowing these factors will give you the possibility to negotiate for a better salary or decide to improve your skills. 

Good luck!


  • The learner should be able to identify the different elements of a salary and ensure that it complies with the national regulations before accepting a job
  • The learner should be able to analyse a salary offered for a job and consider if it is convenient or not
  • For a full description of ECVET, Skills, Competence and Knowledge for this module see Methodology Handbook and Competence Matrix



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