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 2018 in the Netherlands is €37,000. This figure includes the holiday bonus and corresponds to a gross monthly income of €2,850. 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 2019 this is set as €1,615.80 gross monthly (€19,389.60 per year) for people aged 22 or over. There are lower minimum wage levels for those aged 15-21.
The median gross expat salary in Amsterdam (2019) as reported by PayScale Inc is €47,926, which is split by gender as €51,188 for males and €40,922 for females. 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 of €4,500 per month (€54,000 per year) for over 30s and €3,299 per month (€39,588 per year) for under 30s. International students who have graduated in the Netherlands in the last 3 years can qualify by earning €2,364 per month (€28,368 per year) during their orientation year period.
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.
Gross Annual Salary – Net Monthly Pay in the Netherlands (2019)
€20,000 – €1,525 | €25,000 – €1,785
€30,000 – €2,020 | €35,000 – €2,250
€40,000 – €2,465 | €45,000 – €2,675
€50,000 – €2,885 | €55,000 – €3,100
€60,000 – €3,310 | €65,000 – €3,520
€70,000 – €3,720 | €75,000 – €3,900
€80,000 – €4,075 | €85,000 – €4,250
€90,000 – €4,425 | €95,000 – €4,625
€100,000 – €4,825 | €125,000 – €5,830
€150,000 – €6,835 | €200,000 – €8,845
€250,000 – €10,855
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 2018 report:
Median Gross Salaries by Occupation in The Netherlands 2018
Chairman of Board Medium Size Company €490,000
Eredivisie (Dutch League) Football Player €281,000 (source: Voetbal International)
Boeing 747 Pilot €218,500
Commercial Director €186,500
Director of Hospital €173,000
Sales Director €158,000
Marketing Director €136,200
Marketing Manager €115,500
Member of Dutch Parliament €109,100
IT Director €108,600
IT Manager €98,300
Public Relations Manager €94,300
Data Manager €89,800
Regional Manager €85,900
Purchasing Manager €84,600
IT Project Leader €80,900
Service Manager €77,700
Logistics Manager €75,600
Account Manager €74,300
Data Analyst €70,800
Export Manager €67,400
University Lecturer €67,150
Product Manager €65,100
Journalist National Newspaper €59,300
Director Primary School €51,500
IT Helpdesk €51,700
Median Expat Salary Amsterdam €48,018
Customer Service Team Leader €46,900
Office Manager €43,400
Marketing Assistant €41,800
Teacher Primary School €40,850
Graphic Designer €40,300
Head Chef €38,500
Median Salary Netherlands €37,000
Train Driver €36,000
Lab Analyst €35,300
Bus Driver €34,900
Taxi Driver €30,300
Photographer National Newspaper €29,100
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!