How Onsite Salary Is Calculated

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In today’s globalized world, many companies are expanding their operations internationally, and this has led to an increase in the number of employees working onsite. 

These employees get paid differently so, we come up with how onsite salary is calculated.

Onsite employees, often referred to as expatriates or assignees, are individuals who are required to work at a location away from their home country. 

Calculating onsite salaries can be a complex process, as various factors come into play. 

In this article, we will explore the methods and steps involved in how onsite salary is calculated, the significance of job roles and experience, the formula used for calculation, and the convenience of using online calculators. Let’s dive in!

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Methods for Calculating Onsite Salary

When it comes to determining the onsite salary, companies may use different methods, but the two most common approaches are:

Equalization Method

Under this method, the onsite employee’s salary is adjusted to match the cost of living and market rates of the host country. 

This ensures that the employee’s purchasing power remains similar to what it would be in their home country.

Balance Sheet Approach

In this approach, the company ensures that the employee’s standard of living remains the same as in their home country. 

The salary is structured to cover expenses such as housing, transportation, and taxes, among others.

Step-by-Step Process of Calculating Onsite Salary

Calculating onsite salary involves several steps that take into account various factors. Here is a step-by-step breakdown of onsite salary calculation:

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Evaluating Job Role and Responsibilities

The first step is to assess the job role and responsibilities of the employee. Different job positions may have varying salary levels and allowances.

Researching the Cost of Living in the Host Country

Understanding the cost of living in the host country is crucial in determining the appropriate salary. 

This includes accommodation, food, transportation, healthcare, and other essential expenses.

Factoring in Taxes and Social Security Contributions

Taxation policies differ from one country to another. Companies need to consider both the host country’s tax regulations and any tax equalization agreements with the employee’s home country.

Applying the Equalization or Balance Sheet Approach

Depending on the company’s policy, either the equalization or balance sheet approach is applied to ensure the employee’s financial well-being while working onsite.

Including Hardship Allowances and Incentives

In some cases, employees may face challenging conditions while working abroad. To address this, hardship allowances or incentives may be added to the salary package.

Reviewing Exchange Rates

Fluctuating exchange rates can significantly impact an onsite employee’s salary. Companies need to monitor and adjust for currency fluctuations when making payments.

Finalizing the Onsite Salary Package

After considering all the relevant factors, the company finalizes the onsite salary package, which includes the base salary, allowances, and benefits.

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One Example of Onsite Salary Calculation

Let’s consider an example to better understand how onsite salary is calculated:

Imagine an IT professional from the United States is assigned to work in India. 

The company follows the equalization method to determine the salary. The employee’s annual base salary in the U.S. is $80,000, and the cost of living in India is 40% lower than in the U.S.

  1. Salary Adjustment: The company adjusts the U.S. salary to match the cost of living in India, resulting in a calculated salary of $48,000 (80,000 – 40%).
  2. Housing Allowance: The company provides a housing allowance of $15,000 to cover accommodation expenses in India.
  3. Tax Equalization: The company ensures that the employee is not paying higher taxes than they would in their home country, covering any additional tax liabilities.
  4. Additional Incentives: To motivate the employee for an international assignment, the company adds a 10% incentive, amounting to $4,800.
  5. Final Onsite Salary: The total onsite salary for the employee is $67,800 ($48,000 + $15,000 + $4,800).

Importance of Job Role and Experience for Calculating Onsite Salary

The significance of job roles and experience in determining onsite salary cannot be overstated. 

Factors such as skills, qualifications, industry demand, and the complexity of the job play a crucial role in salary determination. 

Employees with specialized skills or extensive experience may command higher salaries, even in foreign locations.

Formula To Calculate Onsite Salary

While companies may use various methods, a general formula for calculating onsite salary is as follows:

Onsite Salary = (Home Country Salary) ± (Cost of Living Index) ± (Tax Adjustment) ± (Hardship Allowance) ± (Other Incentives)

It’s essential to note that the formula’s specifics may vary based on the company’s policies and the host country’s circumstances.

Using Online Calculators for Convenience

As the process of calculating onsite salaries can be intricate, there are online calculators available that can simplify the task for both companies and employees. 

These calculators take into account various factors, such as cost of living, taxes, and other allowances, to provide an estimated onsite salary.


How much is the onsite salary?

The onsite salary varies depending on the employee’s home country, host country, and company policies.

What is the salary of onsite employees in India?

Onsite salaries in India can range from moderate to high, depending on the job role and the company’s approach to compensation.

What is the salary of onsite employees in TCS?

Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) and other companies determine onsite salaries based on factors like job responsibilities, experience, and location.

What is Infosys’ onsite salary?

Infosys, like other companies, customizes onsite salaries based on multiple considerations, such as job level, skills, and location.

How much does Wipro pay for onsite?

Wipro’s onsite salaries are influenced by the employee’s role, qualifications, and country of assignment.

What is the average onsite salary in Cognizant?

Cognizant, along with other companies, considers multiple factors when determining onsite salaries, making it challenging to provide a single average figure.


Calculating onsite salaries involves a well-thought-out process that considers several factors, including the employee’s home country, host country, cost of living, taxes, and job responsibilities. 

Companies use various methods to ensure that employees working abroad are adequately compensated and maintain a standard of living comparable to their home country. 

Understanding the complexities of salary calculation for onsite employees is crucial for both companies and employees alike, ensuring a successful and rewarding international work experience.

The above-given guide on how onsite salary is calculated will help to easily determine the onsite employee salary.