These are the top 5 career destinations for expats

European countries Switzerland, Sweden and Germany are the top destinations for people thinking of relocating and developing their career abroad, a survey from HSBC has found.

The Expat Explorer survey – which was commissioned by HSBC Expat, the global bank's offshore financial services group – asked 21,950 respondents to an online questionnaire about which countries were best for their careers, in terms of criteria such as work/life balance, job security and earnings potential.

"Europe offers the best all-round careers experience, especially for aspects such as job satisfaction," explained Dean Blackburn, Head of HSBC Expat, in a press release accompanying the survey's publication.

"Ambitious expats looking to move up the ladder will take a keen interest in Asia, while the financial rewards generally on offer in the Middle East provide an enticing prospect."

A survey last year by HSBC Expat found that Middle East countries such as Qatar, Oman and Saudi Arabia offer the best financial rewards for people thinking of living and working abroad.

Here are the top five career destinations for expats:

Switzerland

The River Limmat in Zürich
Manfred Gottschalk | Lonely Planet Images | Getty Images
The River Limmat in Zürich

The home of global banking hubs Zurich and Geneva came top of the Expat survey, with 65 percent of expats in Switzerland saying the country offers higher salaries than at home. The country's working culture was praised by 53 percent and 43 percent said they enjoyed more job security.

Sweden

Stockholm, Sweden
Melanie Stetson Freeman | The Christian Science Monitor | Getty Images
Stockholm, Sweden

Expats living in Sweden enjoy the best work-life balance in the world, according to the survey: 72 percent of expats felt they had a better balance there than at home.

Germany

Frankfurt, Germany
Rainer Martini | LOOK | Getty Images
Frankfurt, Germany

Germany's work culture is highly rated by 56 percent of expats in the country. Also, pay is quite favourable in Germany, with expats across all industries earning an average of $90,400 a year.

Russia

RUSSIA WORLD'S EXPENSIVE CITIES
Alexander Zemlianichenko | AP

Russia is a popular destination for those looking to acquire new skills and for fulfilling work; each criteria was recommended by 62 percent of expats living there.

Singapore

178902320NL003_Construction
Nicky Loh | Getty Images

Singapore was the top overall Asian country in the rankings:62 percent of expats living in the country said their earnings prospects are better than at home and 59 percent said it is a good place to progress their careers.

Top 10 career destinations

1. Switzerland

2. Sweden

3. Germany

4. Russia

5. Singapore

6. United Arab Emirates

7. Bahrain

8. Hong Kong

9. Saudi Arabia

10. USA

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