The Netherlands has a wage system that equalizes the wages of all workers in the country, regardless of where they work. Salaries in Amsterdam are therefore equal to those in the rest of the Netherlands, albeit slightly higher to compensate for the high rents and other costs of living in the capital.

The minimum wage in Amsterdam for young people aged 22 and over is 2,000 euros gross per month. Depending on the job, you get paid more, but not less. The highest paying jobs are: dentist, pilot, psychiatrist, director, doctor, etc. The salary is about 4000-5000 euro gross, per month.

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Your salary depends on many things: This depends on the number of years you have been in the same job or profession, the type of work you do, whether you work full or part time, etc. If you want to move to Amsterdam or study in the Netherlands and are curious about how the salary works and what you can expect. This article will help you understand net and gross wages, vacation pay and benefits, the minimum wage system and much more!

How much do I get paid in Amsterdam?

The only way to know how much you will be paid is to ask during the interview how much they will pay you. As a minister in the Dutch government you can count on a salary of around 10,000 euros a month, while as a self-employed person you will only receive the minimum wage. In Amsterdam you can find jobs in all fields, from bartender to teacher to driver to receptionist.

If you don’t speak Dutch, you will be able to apply to fewer jobs than if you do, but you will be paid EXACTLY. So you don’t have to worry. The most common and easiest for expatriates are : Waiter, bartender, nanny, cook, language teacher, administrator, shopkeeper, salesman, cleaner, but you can try anything. Even as a student, you can work while you are in the Netherlands, as most jobs have flexible working hours and can be done full time or part time.

So here is a list of things you need to know to understand how much you get paid for a job in the Netherlands:

  • Salaries: Examples
  • Age-dependent wage system and minimum wage
  • Tax system : Difference between net and gross salary
  • Resolution: Paid leave
  • BSN number – Health insurance
  • State aid

Most common earnings and jobs

If you’re reading this, it’s because you’re curious about how much you’ll earn when you start working in Amsterdam. Again, it’s hard to say, because in addition to the minimum wage (see below), the company has the right to determine your salary and other details. However, if you want to get an idea of how much you will be paid, here are some examples:

Reception: You can count on the minimum wage or a little more, which is about 2000-2500 euro gross per month. A job as a receptionist or tourist is one of the lowest paid jobs, but very convenient if you want to speak other languages than Dutch, live and work in Amsterdam and make the most of the city, get a part-time job or just want an easy job when you arrive in Amsterdam. Jobs in agriculture, trade and other low-skilled jobs also fall within this range.

Trade, chemicals, transport, etc: For these jobs, which can be more specialized and likely require a bachelor’s and/or master’s degree, you’ll earn a gross salary of about 3,000-3,500 per month. In this category, we can also place the support of clients, teachers or professors, etc.

Legal work, metallurgy, pharmacy or telecommunications: average 4,000-4,500 euros per month, also gross. Then there are the aforementioned jobs that can pay between 6,000 and 10,000 euros per month, reserved exclusively for certain types of doctors, ministers, dentists, etc.

Minimum wage: Ageing equipment

In 2020, the minimum wage for an average full-time worker will be EUR 1 959 gross per month.

However, in the Netherlands there is a very special system where you are not only paid for your work, but also for your age. You can start working 8 hours a week from the age of 16. Then you get paid the minimum, and the older you get, the more you get paid. The same thing happens when you work longer in the same position in a company. The longer you work there, the more experience you have, the more you get paid.

The Dutch government has a clear message for young people: The future for them is not to study for life, but to study as long as possible until they get a higher education. As a result, with the incentive to work only a few hours a week and the lowest wages in the hierarchy, young people never reach their full potential.

Here is a table showing the minimum wage per age paid to each worker in the Netherlands. It’s easy to understand, the minimum wage is set every year and you get a certain percentage of it depending on your age, according to the Dutch government:

Age Percentage of minimum wage
15 30%
16 34,5%
17 39,5%
18 47,5%
19 55%
20 70%
21 85%
22 years or older 100%

It’s easy to see that there are clear age restrictions, and there’s nothing you can do about it. Other interesting facts about the minimum wage:

  • Changes: The minimum wage changes every year. In 2020, it will be 9.33 euros per hour.
  • This is the standard salary: It is not your salary, it is the MINIMUM salary and the LOWEST salary you can be offered for the position. From then on, it’s always up, but never down.
  • Fixed hours : Minimum wage also means that you cannot work more than the number of hours set by the government, regardless of your age. Like we said, it’s eight hours a week for a 15-year-old. 18 and over, no more than 40 hours a week.
  • Reference: The minimum wage should always be paid to an employee through a bank account, so that the government always knows what you get from your employers and for assistance or tax checks at any time.

Tax system: Net VS Gross

In most countries, the difference between net and gross income is your income received and your gross salary. This is a small detail to consider when looking at salary and before signing a contract, as the difference between one and the other is significant.

The part you receive in your bank account each month is your net pay, while your employer always calls your salary gross pay. The net amount is the amount remaining after taxes, insurance and social security contributions. It’s money that you can get back when you file your tax return, or that comes back in the form of government assistance to you or others who need it, and so on.

The percentage that the government withholds each month in Amsterdam is about 9% of your salary. This means that if you earn €2,000, you will have €1,820 NET in your account. This money is also used for your benefits or holiday pay, which you can read more about below.

As for taxes, you can decide each year whether to declare them or not. If you earn more than 10,000 euros per year, you must pay before 1 January. Pay your taxes by May of the following year. Every case is different, and you can do it on your laptop alone or pay someone to help you. It depends on whether you have children, own property or have a job. Anyway, you can read about it on the government’s official website.

You should keep in mind that, for tax purposes, you work differently as a contractor than you do in a normal job. This means you need to do some research, because every case is different from the salary! Here’s a video to help you out.

Resolution: Leave with full pay

As mentioned above, your gross salary is equal to the pre-tax deduction and you receive the net salary in your account. The money deducted from gross salary is for taxes and social benefits. Of the 9% assumed, 8% is your vacation money or pocket money, which you can receive in two different ways.

I learned firsthand that in the Netherlands, when you are hired, you are asked what you want to do with your pocket money. Does this mean you want to keep your vacation money for the actual holiday or do you want it back each month?

It’s a decision you can make year after year, meaning you can get your 8% every month, or you can get 8% of your annual salary in May, which is all the money you received from June last year to May this year. As it is made available to you until the summer months, it counts as a holiday fund.

Social security number – health insurance

To find a job in the Netherlands, you need a BSN number, which is the same as your social security number. This number represents you and is how the government identifies you, literally for everything. A common misconception is that you are insured if you have a BSN number. This is not true, all health insurances in the Netherlands are private.

Some companies offer paid insurance to their employees as an added bonus. In most cases, however, it is up to the employee to find out which insurance he or she must take out, when he or she must do so, and that it is actually REQUIRED from the first day of the contract if you want to work in the Netherlands.

If you do not pay your insurance, you will receive a fine and be asked to pick it up as soon as possible. Moreover, the cheapest insurance costs about 100 to 150 euros per month, which may seem a bit high considering what is deducted from your salary. To learn more about insurance and how it works, read my article here. The more comprehensive your insurance, the more you pay. You can consider deducting this amount from your salary every month or, if your salary is low, you can always get help from the government.

State aid

In the Netherlands there is literally government assistance and benefits for EVERYTHING. This means that if your salary is too low to pay your fixed expenses or your apartment, or to live in an expensive city like Amsterdam, you should contact the government and ask them to check your details to make sure you qualify. Generally speaking, as an ordinary employee, you can at least make a request:

  1. Rent Control: This is a government subsidy that you can apply for if your rent is too high. That depends on many factors, starting with where you live, but it’s something to think about in an expensive city like Amsterdam. For more information, click here.
  2. Care allowance: This is the helpline you use to pay for your health insurance. If your income is too low, because you have too many expenses or because you work part-time, the government will cover most of your health care costs. This is the normal monthly benefit that you will receive unless for some reason you have to undergo medical treatment or something more expensive, which could end up giving you more money, even on tax returns. More information here.

frequently asked questions

What is a good salary in Amsterdam?

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What is the minimum wage in Amsterdam?

Salaries in Amsterdam…

Is 4,000 euros a good salary in Amsterdam?

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