Compared to other developed countries, salaries in the Netherlands are at average levels and probably a bit lower than US and the UK. Income taxes are on the high side unless you get the 30% ruling for expats, which means you only have to pay tax on 70% of your gross salary.
How much will I earn in the Netherlands?
Wages obviously vary significantly depending on employer, position and how much relevant experience you have. Employees in the Netherlands get at least 20 holiday days per year and a holiday bonus month (8% of annual salary) which is paid out in May.
According to the Dutch Central Plan Bureau (CPB), the median gross salary for 2020 in the Netherlands is €36,500. What this means is a take-home monthly net pay of around €2,150.
There is a national minimum wage in the Netherlands which is updated twice a year. As of January 2020 this is set as €1,653.60 gross monthly (€19,843.20 per year) for people aged 21 or over. There are lower minimum wage levels for those aged 15-21.
The median gross expat salary in Amsterdam (2020) as reported by PayScale Inc is €48,000. Note that the pool of salaries used to calculate the figures is made up of expats with better-than-average jobs.
To qualify for a visa as a highly skilled migrant, there are minimum gross salary requirements (2020) of €4,612 per month (€55,344 per year) for over 30s and €3,381 per month (€40,572 per year) for under 30s. International students who have graduated in the Netherlands in the last 3 years can qualify by earning €2,423 per month (€29,076 per year) during their orientation year period.
Gross Annual Salary – Net Monthly Pay in the Netherlands (2020)
The following table shows the approximate net monthly salary you would receive for a corresponding gross annual salary which excludes the holiday bonus. As a rough rule of thumb, an extra €5,000 in annual earnings is equivalent to an extra €200-250 net monthly in your pocket.
|€20,000 – €1,535||€25,000 – €1,810||€30,000 – €2,050||€35,000 – €2,285|
|€40,000 – €2,500||€45,000 – €2,700||€50,000 – €2,920||€55,000 – €3,135|
|€60,000 – €3,345||€65,000 – €3,560||€70,000 – €3,765||€75,000 – €3,950|
|€80,000 – €4,135||€85,000 – €4,320||€90,000 – €4,505||€95,000 – €4,690|
|€100,000 – €4,900||€125,000 – €5,955||€150,000 – €7,005||€200,000 – €9,110|
Median Gross Salary by Occupation in The Netherlands 2019
Elsevier-Berenschot publishes an annual Who Earns What (Wie Verdient Wat?) report in Dutch which gives median salaries in the Netherlands for over 250 job types. For reference, here are a selection of jobs and their gross annual median salaries from the 2019 report:
Chairman of Board Medium Size Company €502,300
Eredivisie (Dutch League) Football Player €291,000 (source: Voetbal International)
Boeing 747 Pilot €225,100
Commercial Director €190,300
Director of Hospital €199,900
Sales Director €161,500
Marketing Director €139,200
Marketing Manager €117,700
IT Director €112,900
Member of Dutch Parliament €109,100
IT Manager €100,400
Public Relations Manager €96,000
Data Manager €91,800
Regional Manager €87,900
Purchasing Manager €86,100
IT Project Leader €82,300
Service Manager €79,300
Logistics Manager €77,000
Account Manager €76,000
Data Analyst €71,700
Export Manager €68,900
University Lecturer €68,500
Product Manager €66,300
Senior Accountant €60,600
Journalist National Newspaper €60,200
Director Primary School €53,500
IT Helpdesk €52,000
Median Expat Salary Amsterdam €48,000
Customer Service Team Leader €47,700
Teacher Primary School €44,400
Office Manager €44,300
Marketing Assistant €42,400
Graphic Designer €40,700
Head Chef €39,300
Train Driver €37,400
Median Salary Netherlands €36,500
Lab Analyst €36,400
Bus Driver €36,400
Taxi Driver €31,200
Photographer National Newspaper €29,500
Waste Collector €28,100
Salary and Cost of Living in Amsterdam
According to comparative cost of living surveys for cities worldwide, Amsterdam has average level prices although private accommodation rental costs in the city have soared in recent years.
How far your Dutch pay packet will take you depends on your housing cost and spending patterns. There can be a huge differences in outgoings between expats. For example:
• the single expat with a good corporate job who rents a nice apartment in the centre of Amsterdam and likes to live the high life.
• the expat couple who have a large mortgage on a house, have 2 kids attending an international school and run 2 cars.
• the international student who rents a room in a house, works part-time and enjoys going out.
• expats on lower incomes who have to learn to live the frugal Dutch way – cycling and using public transport, getting value from shopping, utilities and leisure activities.
• the international who comes to the Netherlands for a Dutch partner, who perhaps live together in (rent-controlled) social housing which reduces outgoings considerably and can leave more disposable income.
Whether you are lucky enough to have a secure, high paid job or have to hustle to make ends meet, we hope your living experience in Amsterdam will be a good one!