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 July 2020 this is set as €1,680 gross monthly (€20,160 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.
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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 (2020)
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 2020 report:
Chairman of Board Medium Size Company €516,300
Eredivisie (Dutch League) Football Player €250,000*
Senior Pilot (long-haul) €227,400
Commercial Director €194,900
Director of Hospital €205,400
Sales Director €165,700
Marketing Director €142,800
Marketing Manager €120,300
IT Director €114,800
Member of Dutch Parliament €114,500
IT Manager €102,100
Public Relations Manager €98,100
Data Manager €93,400
Regional Manager €90,200
Purchasing Manager €88,000
IT Project Leader €83,700
Service Manager €81,200
Logistics Manager €78,700
Account Manager €77,900
Data Analyst €72,900
Export Manager €70,700
University Lecturer €70,300
Product Manager €67,700
Senior Accountant €62,000
Journalist National Newspaper €62,000
Director Primary School €53,500
Customer Service Team Leader €48,500
Median Expat Salary Amsterdam €48,000
Office Manager €45,300
Teacher Primary School €44,650
Marketing Assistant €43,200
Graphic Designer €41,700
Head Chef €40,200
Train Driver €38,800
Lab Analyst €37,400
Median Salary Netherlands €36,500
Bus Driver €33,600
Taxi Driver €31,800
Photographer National Newspaper €30,400
Waste Collector €29,000
*Eredivisie footballer salary estimated, the 2019 figure was €291,000 from Voetbal International, however in 2020 players took a 20% pay cut across the board.
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.
In addition the ‘coronavirus’ measures are having a significant economic impact particularly in the events, hospitality and travel sectors.
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!
This article was originally published in 2010. Last updated 1 December 2020.