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 January 2022 this is set as €1,725 gross monthly (€20,700 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 €50,000. Likewise, Numbeo lists an average net salary (2022) in Amsterdam of €3,390 per month (equivalent of €59,000 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.
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 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 2021 report:
Ajax Squad Football Player €1,235,600*
Chairman of Board Medium Size Company €530,800
Eredivisie (Dutch League) Football Player €256,000*
Director of Hospital €211,000
Commercial Director €200,400
Sales Director €170,300
Marketing Director €146,800
Marketing Manager €123,700
Member of Dutch Parliament €117,700
IT Director €117,100
IT Manager €104,100
Operations Manager €101,700
Public Relations Manager €100,700
Regional Manager €92,700
Purchasing Manager €90,500
IT Project Leader €85,400
Service Manager €83,300
Logistics Manager €80,900
Account Manager €79,900
Data Analyst €74,400
Export Manager €72,700
University Lecturer €72,300
Product Manager €69,600
Senior Accountant €63,000
Journalist National Newspaper €62,600
Director Primary School €56,700
Median Expat Salary Amsterdam €50,000
Customer Service Team Leader €49,900
Teacher Primary School €47,400
Office Manager €46,600
Marketing Assistant €44,400
Graphic Designer €42,100
Head Chef €41,600
Median Salary Netherlands €41,000
Train Driver €39,700
Lab Analyst €38,400
Bus Driver €38,300
Taxi Driver €32,400
Photographer National Newspaper €30,700
Waste Collector €30,100
*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 the ongoing lockdown measures are having a significant economic impact in the events, hospitality, cultural 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 5 April 2022.