Average civil service monthly wage in 2018 was €2,433

The so-called ''super ministry'' buildings in central Tallinn.
The so-called ''super ministry'' buildings in central Tallinn. Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

The average monthly wage for civil servants in Estonia stood at €2,433 in 2018, a year-on-year (y-o-y) rise of close to 11 percent, ERR's Estonian online news reports. This covers all public sector employees across the country, in both central government and local government-related organizations, as well as other bodies.

Whereas ministry bureaucrats were paid an average of €1,754 per month this time last year, the figure rose, by 10.7 percent y-o-y, due to various factors including salary increases for those working in internal security.

The basic salary stood at €2,282, which, together with bonuses and other additional remuneration, took the figure to a reported €2,433.


The average monthly wage at state agencies and inspectorates was, however, significantly lower, at €1,557.

Conversely, state employees at the state chancellery and consitutional institutions enjoyed the highest monthly average, at €2,578, with staff at the prosecutor's office and the three levels of courts in the Estonian legal system bringing home a reported €2,053 per month. Monthly pay at the Academy of Internal Security averaged €1,994, it is reported.

So far as municipal government employees go, Tallinn City Government employees averaged €1,820 per month, with their counterparts in Tartu, Narva and Pärnu averaging €1,676, €1,636 and €1,289 respectively, it is reported, though wages rose the most during the past year in Tartu and Narva, between 13 and 14 percent.

Variable wages accounted for a little under six percent of total pay, both in state authorities and local government.

Employee figures

Over 132,000 people were employed in the public sector in Estonia in 2018, the bulk of them employed by the government, with local government employing around 9,000 more people than central government.

Over 53,000 work in central government bodies such as state agencies, the state chancellery and other state-founded or state-run institutions, companies and not-for-profits.

Close to 62,000 people were employed in local government, including foundations, companies and non-profits, with a further 1,000 people being employed in social security funds bodies, also a part of the central government sector.

The remaining 16,000 employees worked in other public sector companies and profit institutions, it is reported.

Whether salaries in the public sector will continue to rise in future remains to be seen, though incoming public administration minister Jaak Aab (Centre) has pledged to continue slashing bureaucratic red tape, particularly in the localities, and to centralize more functions.

Around 800 positions had already been cut in the last three years, he said.

Editor: Andrew Whyte

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