Working in the SSE: what salaries to expect and for what positions?


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A job that makes sense, focused on the general interest and not just on the growth of a company's turnover. This is what many profiles seek by working in the social and solidarity economy. But with what wages at stake? Sustainable Orientation, a recruitment firm specializing in the SSE, and On Purpose, an association that supports career transitions in the SSE, released a barometer on this subject on June 15.

Result: the average annual salaries vary between 28,790 Pounds gross for a post of charge in employment and training to 75,429 Pounds for a position of general management in finance. “We observe that the salaries of the SSE at the start of a career are not necessarily so different from those practiced in the private sector. It is during the career that we see a sort of glass ceiling for the highest salaries.analyzes Jean-Philippe Teboul, associate director of the recruitment firm.

Salaries that vary according to the structures

Associations, cooperatives, professional federations, foundations… Remuneration varies significantly depending on the structure. It is in endowment funds that we find the highest average salaries (64,400 Pounds) among all sectors of the SSE, followed by mutuals (61,954 Pounds). Conversely, associations, adapted companies or NGOs have the lowest average salaries (between 42,500 and 44,100 Pounds).

How can such disparities be explained? Because of their economic model, according to Jean-Philippe Teboul. “Endowment funds often operate on investment income, mutuals have commercial income. It's not just that they have ‘more' money, it's also that both have more sustainable incomes.”, he explains. Unlike popular education actors, “who often have a role in the extracurricular and can find themselves in the need to limit the overall costs to be eligible for public calls for tenders from communities”.

Salaries also vary significantly depending on the size of the organization. The bigger it is, the more average wages increase.

Different remuneration depending on the sector

Some sectors are more profitable than others. Medico-social is the one with the highest average salaries (54,921 Pounds), when popular education and youth have the lowest salaries (38,804 Pounds).

It should be noted however: the wage gaps within the same structure are more limited than in the traditional private sector. This can be explained by “the virtuous standards of the ecosystem (whether certain collective agreements, the pay equity requirements of the Impact London Movement, or even the criteria for obtaining ESUS approval)”, which asks to limit the gap between the smallest and the largest salary, indicates the barometer.

Recruitment difficulties

The sector is facing a shortage of arms. Between June 2021 and June 2022, the recruitment firm saw a drop in the number of applications of up to 60% for certain positions. At the same time, the needs of SSE actors are increasing.

What to do to attract talent? Jean-Philippe Teboul admits that the structures do not have much leeway to play on wages. “However, they can work on their identity and their employer brand as well as on the flexibility of their working conditions”he says.

Methodology: This barometer is based on the collection, in February and March 2022, of 884 testimonials from professionals working in the social and solidarity economy (ESS).


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