What PhD salary in 2022 and 2023?

Good news! In 2023, the doctoral salary will increase! The PhD students who have chosen the thesis and bac+8 at the end of their master’s program will therefore see their remuneration increased from 1 January. Business Cool looks back at the PhD salary, but also at the different advantages of being a PhD student in France and in French-speaking countries (Switzerland, Canada, etc.).

What is a PhD?

A doctorate (or PhD program) is the highest level of degree awarded by the university. This is true research training. During his thesis years, the PhD student must complete a structuring research project. It is possible to have this work done in a research laboratory, in a graduate school, and even in a company. The latter can grant you funds so that you can carry out a research project on a crucial topic for the organisation.

It is important to note that doctorate is the name of the degree, while a PhD student is the person who enrolls in the thesis. The thesis, on the other hand, is the document that must be handed in and defended, thus making it possible to obtain the aforementioned diploma. We are also talking about Ph.D philosophiae physician. This is the term most commonly used in English-speaking countries.

There are several types of doctoral degrees. The classic doctorate, which is mostly completed in 3 to 6 years. You can also do it jointly, that is, do it within two universities, which opens the way to obtaining two diplomas. The co-supervised doctorate makes it possible to carry out this research project with two thesis supervisors. CIFRE (doctorate in business), when the funding comes mainly from a private company, is always linked to a public university. You can also complete a three-year European doctorate.

Also read: Master of Science (MSc): Definition, Management, Finance …

PhD pay

What is the salary for a PhD student? With PLF 2023, the Finance Act, the remuneration has been increased. From 1 January, the new doctoral salary will amount to 2,044 euros gross per month. Sylvie Retailleau, Minister of Higher Education and Research, clarifies that this new remuneration will be effective for all new contracts, but also for PhD students already in operation.

This increase is significant and its retroactive dimension is unprecedented. The PhD salary had actually already been increased on 1 September 2022, but the increase was different depending on the date of signing the research contract. On 1 September 2022, the remuneration for a PhD student was 1,866 euros gross for any contract signed before 1 September 2022 and 1,975 euros gross for those signed after that date.

The salary increase is therefore more significant for PhD students who signed their contract before 1 September 2022. They will receive a higher salary of almost 200 euros gross per month.

Also read: The average salary in France in 2022 by sector

Does a PhD student pay tax?

When you receive a research grant or salary for your work carried out as part of a doctorate, you are liable for tax. If you are under 26, you must declare and pay tax yourself when your annual income exceeds 4,600 euros gross, which is the case here. If, on the other hand, you are over 26, the question does not arise because you must declare all your income, even occasional.

A remuneration of 2,044 euros gross per month thus corresponds to a net monthly equivalent of 1,594 euros. With this salary, the tax rate for a PhD student is around 3%.

What is the salary of a PhD student in Canada?

Many PhD students are on their way to Canada. The country with the maple leaf also has PhD schools and is particularly known for all research into artificial intelligence. Many companies have also created a laboratory around this topic or a branch in Quebec, especially like Ubisoft.

In 2022, the doctoral salary in Canada is 60,000 euros on average per year. This is gross salary. If you go to Quebec, you will receive approximately €39,000 net per year or €3,250 net per month.

Also read: Salary: The 10 cities where interns are the best paid

Switzerland, with one of the highest average salaries and minimum wages in the world, inevitably attracts researchers and PhD students. Don’t worry, PhD schools also exist within the Swiss Confederation, so you can carry out a research project on the other side of the Alps. Be careful though, only 12 official universities are allowed to issue this title. You must also have your research project validated by a professor in order to sign your doctoral contract.

To complete a doctorate in Switzerland, it is generally sufficient to register after obtaining a diploma at master’s level (therefore bac+5). You will then be able to carry out your project for a period of 2 to 7 years, depending on the disciplinary area your thesis topic covers, as well as the company that hosts you.

The salary for a PhD student in Switzerland is between 2,000 Swiss francs and 6,000 Swiss francs per month. This corresponds to a gross monthly salary that can vary from approximately 2,030 euros to 6,100 euros.

Also read: The average salary in Switzerland and the Swiss minimum wage in 2022

The benefits of a PhD?

Before embarking on the adventure of a doctorate, it is important to realize that more and more doctors in certain disciplines are having difficulty finding a job. With a diploma at bac+8 level, several companies actually consider that the candidate is overqualified and that it will be difficult to match the remuneration level.

However, the idea of ​​writing a thesis should not be abandoned. This has many advantages. If you want to teach at the university and become an associate professor, the doctorate is the best way! In addition, this background is valued by other organizations, although it is avoided by some companies. Some may even provide you with funds to benefit from the results of your years of research. It is also possible to become a researcher in the private sector by directly gaining access to leading positions in many companies’ R&D centres.

Many professions are possible after a doctorate in all disciplines: archaeology, genetics, biology, medicine, energy, the automotive industry, humanities… During their thesis, some doctoral students sometimes even lay the foundations for a research work that enables them to become awarded on the national and international stage.

Also read: The Specialized Master (MS): Everything about this professional education

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