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 Centraal Planbureau (CPB), the median gross annual salary for 2018-2021 in the Netherlands was €37,000. For the period 2022-2025 it is projected to be €41,000.
There is a national minimum wage in the Netherlands which is updated twice a year. As of July 2022 this is set as €1,756.20 gross monthly (€21,074 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 (2022) as reported by PayScale Inc is €51,000. Likewise, Numbeo lists an average net salary (2022) in Amsterdam of €3,620 per month (equivalent of €64,000 per year). Note that the pool of salaries used to calculate both these figures is made up of expats with better-paid-than-average corporate jobs.
To qualify for a visa as a highly skilled migrant, there are minimum gross salary requirements (2022) of €4,840 per month (€58,080 per year) for over 30s and €3,549 per month (€42,588 per year) for under 30s. International students who have graduated in the Netherlands in the last 3 years can qualify for the reduced salary criterion by earning €2,543 per month (€30,516 per year) during their orientation year period.
Looking to open a Dutch bank account?
Mobile bank bunq can be opened in 5 minutes with just ID and a European address (no ‘BSN’ tax number needed). It offers a free 30 day trial and a raft of features including multiple IBANs and sub-accounts, instant notifications and no forex fees on payments.
Gross Annual Salary – Net Monthly Pay in the Netherlands (2022)
The following table shows the approximate net monthly salary (nettoloon) you would receive for a corresponding gross annual salary (bruto salaris) 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 – €1,560||€25,000 – €1,865||€30,000 – €2,110||€35,000 – €2,360|
|€40,000 – €2,585||€45,000 – €2,795||€50,000 – €3,010||€55,000 – €3,220|
|€60,000 – €3,435||€65,000 – €3,645||€70,000 – €3,855||€75,000 – €4,045|
|€80,000 – €4,230||€85,000 – €4,415||€90,000 – €4,600||€95,000 – €4,785|
|€100,000 – €4,900||€125,000 – €5,980||€150,000 – €7,030||€200,000 – €9,135|
Median Gross Salary by Occupation in The Netherlands
Elsevier-Berenschot publishes an annual Who Earns What (Wie Verdient Wat?) report in Dutch which gives a salary range in the Netherlands for over 250 job types. For reference, here are a selection of jobs and their gross annual median salaries from the June 2022 report:
Ajax Squad Football Player €1,235,600*
Chairman of Board Medium Size Company €537,200
Eredivisie (Dutch League) Football Player €256,000*
Director of Hospital €209,000
Commercial Director €205,400
Sales Director €173,700
Marketing Director €148,600
IT Director €123,000
Marketing Manager €120,000
Member of Dutch Parliament €117,700
IT Manager €107,200
Operations Manager €104,200
Public Relations Manager €103,000
Regional Manager €94,800
Purchasing Manager €92,800
IT Project Leader €87,300
Service Manager €85,200
Logistics Manager €82,400
Account Manager €81,500
Data Analyst €76,000
Export Manager €74,100
University Lecturer €73,500
Product Manager €71,000
Senior Buyer €67,500
Senior Accountant €65,900
Journalist National Newspaper €63,700
Director Primary School €59,500
SEO Specialist €58,500
Median Expat Salary Amsterdam €51,000
Customer Service Team Leader €50,600
Teacher Primary School €47,700
Office Manager €47,300
Marketing Assistant €44,800
Graphic Designer €43,200
Head Chef €41,800
Median Salary Netherlands €41,000
Train Driver €40,300
Lab Analyst €39,300
Bus Driver €36,200
Taxi Driver €32,900
Photographer National Newspaper €31,100
Waste Collector €30,800
*Eredivisie footballer salary for 2021-22 season is calculated using data from Capology. Note that an Ajax squad member earns an average of €1,235,600. If Ajax is excluded the average Eredivisie salary is €199,000.
Salary and Cost of Living in Amsterdam
According to comparative cost of living surveys for cities worldwide, Amsterdam has high level prices. In particular, private accommodation rental costs in the city have soared in recent years.
In addition, general prices in the Netherlands (like elsewhere) have also been rising significantly due to geopolitical inflationary policies.
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 25 August 2022.