Salary of Contract Agents FGIV vs Administrators AD5: how big is the difference?

Salary of Contract Agents FGIV vs Administrators AD5: how big is the difference?

Most people join the EU institutions at the so-called ‘entry grades’. Two of the most common grades are Contract Agents in functional FG IV vs Administrators in the grade AD 5.

This article will compare the salary as well as the full benefits package for both grades – AD5 and FGIV – so that you can decide for which type of contract you should aim, and whether to even consider a Contract Agent position while you compete for vacancies of Administrators.

TL;DR
If you are an experienced professional with 17 or more years of work experience, as a Contract Agent FGIV in grade 16 financially you’ll be equal to a person in grade AD5, probably, with less work-related stress.

However, you’ll have less job security if you’re employed by the European Commission, as Contract Agents can stay in one position for only 6 years total; consider working for EU agencies as most agencies offer indefinite contracts to Contract Agents.

Salary comparison

Contract agents

Depending on the length of your work experience, as a Contract Agent in function group IV you can be placed in three grades, each with its own starting salary:

Grade and stepMinimum work experience in yearsBasic salary
FGIV grade 1617+5,768.89
FGIV grade 145-164,506.36
FGIV grade 130-43,982.82
* Contract Agents are not place in grade 15 initially, but can be reclasified (promoted) to this grade.
Source: Article 93 of Staff Regulations

If you are a Contract Agent in grade 14, your salary is similar to Assistants in grade AST3 step 2.

If you are a Contract Agent in grade 13, your salary is similar to Assistants in grade AST2 step 2.

Administrators

As an Administrator in grade AD 5, you are usually placed in step 1. Some institutions place Administrators in step 2 based on the length of their work experience. Everyone with work experience under 5 years is placed in step one while succesful candidates with 5+ years of work experience are placed in step 2.

Grade and stepMinimum work experience in yearsBasic salary
AD5 step 10-45,507.55
AD5 step 2Usually 5+5,738.98
* Contract Agents are not place in grade 15 initially, but can be reclasified (promoted) to this grade.
Source: Article 93 of Staff Regulations

Allowances

Unless you are competing for positions at the very level in EU institutions, the benefits and allowances package is more or less the same for all positions. This means that Contract Agents and Administrators will receive roughly the same additional sums on top of their basic salary.

The below table provides an overview of entitlements for Contract Agents and Administrators.

Allowance /
benefit
Contract AgentsAdministrators
Household allowanceXX
Dependent child allowanceXX
EU health insurance (JSIS) coverageXX
Entitlement to EU pension10+ years of service10+ years of service
Installation allowance & removal expenses compensationXX
Expatriation or Foreign Residence allowanceXX
Daily subsistence allowance when starting employmentXX
Travel cost compensation (on taking up duties and once annually)XX
Education allowance / access to EU school for childrenXX
Birth grantXX
Unemployment allowanceXX
Disability insurance / allowance
Coverage of funeral expensesXX

European Commission salary grid

European Commission Salary Grid
European Commission Salary Grid

Read the linked article, if you are interested in the complete EU institutions salary grid for all grades of Administrators, Assistants, Secretaries and Clerks, as well as Contract Agents.

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