The job paid more than 2,000 euros in Romania, but unpopular among young people. “You also have cigarette and coffee breaks, but don't abuse it”

Romanians are the poorest Europeans, according to Eurostat, and we are second to last in terms of salaries. There are good paying jobs though, but sometimes people don't flock because they don't want to do hard work.

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Romanians are the most exposed to the risk of poverty and social exclusion in the European Union, according to data published by Eurostat. Thus, according to the latest official data, among the EU member states, the highest share of people exposed to the risk of poverty and social exclusion was registered in 2022 in Romania (34.4%), Bulgaria (32.2%), Greece and Spain (both with 26%).

In addition, Romania is the absolute European champion in terms of inflation, which means that here the standard of living degrades the fastest and is therefore very low. But while many Romanians complain about their incomes, just as many turn down better-paying jobs simply because they dislike the idea of ​​doing certain jobs or because they fear they would work too much.

Spring has come with the first agricultural work, but farmers complain about the lack of labor. The most wanted are the tractor drivers, who are offered salaries that reach 15,000 lei, the equivalent of 3,000 euros. Last year, salaries reached 14,000 lei net, writes Even so, many farmers could not find an available tractor driver.

“Every year we have the same problem. We can't find people, although we offer them good wages. A tractor driver can earn 4,000-5,000 lei for 2-3 hours of work per day. Full-time, a tractor driver who works on a combine also reaches 15,000 net, but they are still nowhere to be found. In general, we give them about 10,000 lei net, that is 2,000 euros, but more recently it is an impossible mission to identify them. Many are via other countries, especially France, Italy, England, Germany and Spain”says Dan Câmpean, farmer.

Even higher wages for those who work overtime

He says tractor drivers can end up earning even more if they work overtime. “If they work 10-12 hours and come on Saturday or Sunday, they get even more money“, he adds.

There is one problem though. Many Romanians qualified in this job have gone abroad for many years. And even if the salaries ended up being the same in Romania, some settled there, and now hesitate to return. And this is not all.

Young people no longer go for this kind of job, agricultural high schools are not in demand at all. It's a shame for them to work like that, it's a shame to be tractor drivers. Everyone dreams of luxury cars and villas, but when working it's harder. And somehow some people think that if they work as tractor drivers they will be exploited. No, never mind. With me, if you're a tractor driver and not only that, you have meal, cigarette and coffee breaks, but don't abuse it. No one says not to light a cigarette, but work and be serious.” he says.