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My job in Belgium: How much does an IT network engineer earn?

18:49 20/10/2019
We ask Laurens Thijs, 29, from Heist op den Berg, about his job and his salary

What is your job?

I take care of the installation and maintenance of IT network infrastructures for companies. For example, think of such infrastructures as firewalls, switches and VPN accesses. Either I work from my office, or I go to the customer to solve any problems on-site.

Do you like your job?

I love my job because I have the freedom to tackle things in my own way. There are of course some general things to consider, but I don’t need to follow any lengthy procedures. I can use my own insight and knowledge to find a solution for a particular problem. I also find a pleasant working atmosphere very important. I have very nice colleagues who support and help me time and time again. Having such a good relationship is partly due to the many staff activities that are organised. We all spent an evening bowling together once and we even went on a diving initiation course.

What do you think of your income?

I can live off my salary (€3,075 gross per month, €1,880 net plus car with fuel card, mobile phone subscription, luncheon vouchers, eco-cheques and hospitalisation insurance). I'm quite happy. I do not really know the wages in line with the market, but I do notice that my total package corresponds to that of others who have the same diploma. I find the many extra benefits a real added value.

How many hours a week do you work per week?

Officially I work 39 hours a week. Sometimes this includes an "on-call" service; then I have to be on stand-by to solve problems after office hours. That's why I have a lot of evening and weekend work because servers can crash at any time of the day. Fortunately, I can recuperate overtime (and compulsory on-call services) in the form of extra leave days.

Do you save?

I save around €500 a month, mainly for renovations to our house. I also save the maximum amount for my pension.

What is your biggest expense?

We have to pay the mortgage on our house for another 15 years. In addition, the unexpected things that go wrong during daily life sometimes cause unforeseen costs.

What can you definitely not spend money on?

There is nothing specific on which I could never spend more money, but I regularly consciously choose to buy second-hand items. Of course, there are also things from Ikea in our home and sometimes we buy more expensive items, but we don’t go overboard on these.

What do you gladly spend money on?

Everything that has to do with music. I am genuinely happy buying a concert ticket or a new album. In addition, I prefer to spend a little more money to make more environmentally conscious choices. If, for example, it concerns green energy or biodegradable items, then I look less at the price and more at the favourable impact on the environment.

What would you do it you won the lottery?

First, I would completely rennovate our house. Then I would like to see some of the world. Travelling to a distant country like New Zealand would be fun. I would also throw a big party for my family and friends. Any money that is left over, I would give to a good cause. Personally, I do not need so much money or luxury that I do not have to work anymore, because then I would go crazy.

Written by Noreen Donovan