The Netherlands has a payment system that unifies the salary for all the workers all over the country, no matter where they work. Therefore, salaries in Amsterdam are the same as salaries in the rest of the Netherlands, if so a little higher, to also compensate the high rents and other expenses of living in the capital.
The minimum wage in Amsterdam for 22-years-old workers or older is 2000 euros bruto per month. Depending on your job you get paid more, but never less. The highest paid jobs are dentist, pilot, psychiatrist, director, doctor and so on. The salaries are about 4000-5000 euros gross, per month.
Your salary depends on a lot of things: it depends on how many years you have been working in the same place or the same career, also what type of job you do, if it is full-time or part-time and so on. If you are interested in moving to Amsterdam or studying in the Netherlands and you will like to know how salaries work and what you can expect. This article will help you understand the netto and bruto salaries, the holiday payment and allowances, the minimum wage system and more!
How Much Do I Get Paid in Amsterdam?
The only way you can really know how much you will be paid is by asking at the job interview how much they will pay you. If you are a Minister for the Dutch Government you can expect to be paid around 10,000 euros per month, whereas if you are self-employed nothing but the minimum wage is guaranteed. In Amsterdam, you can find jobs of everything, from bartender to teacher, from driver to receptionist.
If you don’t speak Dutch, the number of jobs you will be able to apply are more reduced than if you do, but you will be paid EXACTLY THE SAME. So you don’t have to worry about that. Most common and easiest to get jobs for Expats are: waiter, bartender, nanny, chef or cook, language teacher, receptionist, shopkeeper, sales assistant, housekeeper but you can try doing anything else. Even if you are a student you can work while in the Netherlands because most jobs have flexible timing and can be full or part-time jobs.
Therefore, here there is a list of things you need to know to understand how much you are going to be paid for working in the Netherlands:
- Salaries: Examples
- Age salary system and Minimum wage
- Tax System: Difference between Netto and Bruto salary
- Allowance: Holiday Money
- BSN Number – Health Insurance
- Government Help
Most Common Salaries and Jobs
If you are reading this is because you are curious to know exactly how much you will earn if you start working in Amsterdam. Well, once again, that is hard to know because besides de Minimum Wage (explained down below) the company has the right to decide your salary and other particulars. However, if you want to have a rough idea of how much you will get paid, here there are some examples:
Receptionist: you can expect to be paid the minimum wage or a little more, around 2000-2500 euros bruto per month. Receptionist and administrative or touristic jobs are one of the worst-paid jobs but a very easy job to get if you are interested in speaking other languages that are not Dutch, living and working in Amsterdam and making the most out of the city, getting a part-time job or just getting an easy job upon arrival. Agriculture, sales and other less-qualified jobs are also in this salary wage range.
Commerce, Chemical Industry, Transportation and so: for these jobs that may be more specialised and you most likely will have to be in possession of a bachelor and/or MA degree, you get paid around 3000-3500 bruto per month. In this category, we can also include customer support, teachers or professors and so on.
Legal Jobs, Metallurgic, Pharmaceutical or Telecommunications: there are on top of the list with an average of 4000-4500 euros per month, also gross. From here we go to the above-mentioned jobs that can be paid around 6000-10,000 euros gross per month, which are exclusive to certain types of doctors, ministers, dentists and so on.
Minimum Wage: Age-salary System
In 2020 the Minimum Wage for an average full-time worker is 1,959 euros bruto per month.
However, the Netherlands has a very specific system where you get paid not only by the job you have but also by your age. You can start working for 8 hours per week at the age of 16. You get then paid a minimum and the older you are the more you get paid. The same happens if you work for longer at 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 studying, not for life but for as long as possible until they have a higher education. This is why the incentive for hours allowed to be worked per week and the lowest salaries of the hierarchy make young people never quite studying.
Here you have a table with all the minimum wage by age every worker is paid in the Netherlands. It is easy to understand, the minimum wage is settled every year and according to your age you get a percentage of it according to the Dutch Government:
|Age||Percentage of Minimum Wage|
|22 or older||100%|
It is easy to see that there are clear limitations by age and there is nothing you can do about it. Other interesting facts about the minimum wage are:
- Changes: the Minimum Wage changes every year. In the year 2020, it is of 9,33 euros per hour.
- It is a Standard: this wage is not your salary but the MINIMUM and LOWEST salary you can be offered to do a job. From there it always goes up but never goes down.
- Set Hours: the Minimum Wage also indicated that you cannot work more hours than those established by the Government for each age. As we said, for 15 years old is 8 hours per week. From 18 onwards, no more than 40 hours per week.
- Bank Transference: the minimum wage has to be paid to the employee always by bank account to make sure the Government knows at all given times that you are being paid the established by your employers and also for social help or tax control at all times.
Tax System: Netto VS Bruto
Most countries make the difference between Netto and Bruto: the income you perceive and the gross of the salary. This is a little detail you have to consider when talking about your salary and before signing a contract because of the difference between one and the other is considerable.
The part that you will receive every month in your bank account is the Netto salary, whereas your employer will always talk about your salary as the Bruto salary (or gross salary). The Netto is the amount left after paying taxes, security and social payments. This is money that may come back to you when you do your taxes or that will come back as Government help for you or other people who may need it, among other things.
The percentage that is taken by the Government every month in Amsterdam corresponds more or less to 9% of your salary. This means that if you earn 2000, you will see on your account is 1820 euros NETTO. That money also will be taken for your allowances or holiday money, something you can read about down below.
When it comes to taxes, you can decide whether you want or not to declare them every year. It is compulsory to do your taxes before the 1st of May of the next year if you have earnt over 10,000 euros per year. Every case is different and you can do it alone on your laptop or pay someone to help you out. It depends on whether you have kids, you own a property or what type of employment you have. In any case, you can read more about it in the Government’s official website.
You will have to consider if you are an entrepreneur taxes work in a different way than regular jobs. This means that you will have to do your research, because as salaries, every case is different! Here a video to help you out.
Allowance: Holiday Money
As I was saying, your Gross Salary corresponds to the amount previous to the tax reduction and you get in your account the Netto Salary. That money that has been taken from the gross salary corresponds to taxes and allowances. Out of the 9% taken, 8% is your holiday money or allowance that you can get in two different ways.
I have experienced that in the Netherlands when you are employed by someone, you are asked what you want to do with your allowance money. This means, do you want to keep your holiday money for an actual holiday or do you want to get it back every month?
This is a decision you can make year after year and this means that you can get your 8% every month or that you will get the 8% of the whole year of salary in the month of May, all the money you have collected from June of the past year until May of the same year. Since it is given to you before the summer months, it is considered to be your holiday money.
BSN Number – Health Insurance
In order to have a job in the Netherlands, you need a BSN number, which corresponds to your social security number. This number represents you and it is the way the Government identifies you, literally for everything. One of the common mistakes is to think that by having a BSN number you are insured. Well, this is not the case, every single health insurance in the Netherlands is private.
Some companies may offer their employees as an extra bonus a paid insurance. However, in most cases, is the employee himself who has to figure out what insurance to get, when to start it and that it is actually COMPULSORY if you want to work in the Netherlands, since the first day of your contract.
If you don’t pay for your insurance, you will get a fine for it and you will be asked to get one as soon as possible. Moreover, the cheapest insurance is around 100-150 euros per months, which considering what is taken from your salary and what the salary is, may seem a little bit much. You can read more about insurance and how this works in my post here. The more complete your insurance is, the more you pay. This is something to consider discounting from your salary every month, or if your salary is low, you can always get Government help.
In the Netherlands, there is literally Government Help and money allowances for EVERYTHING. This means that if your salary is too low for your general expenses, for your housing or accommodation in a city as expensive as Amsterdam, you will have to contact the Government and let them check your information and see if you are eligible for it. In general, as a regular worker you can at least ask for:
- Huurtoeslag: this is Government help you can ask for in the case your rent is too expensive. This requires a lot of factors for you to be eligible, starting from where you live, but it is something worth thinking about in a city as expensive as Amsterdam. Read more about it here.
- Zorgtoeslag: this is the correspondent to the help you ask to pay your health insurance. If your income is too low, either because you have too many expenses or because you work part-time, the Government will pay a big chunk of your health expenses. This is a regular monthly allowance you will get unless for whatever reason you have to follow a treatment or something more expensive, which means you may be eligible to get more money eventually, also during TAX declaration. Read more about here.