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What Is a Good Salary in Brussels, Belgium?

A girl smiling with words, "What is a good salary in Brussels, Belgium?

Curious about the ideal earnings in Brussels, Belgium? Wondering about a good salary in Brussels that goes beyond just the average? Navigating through figures like the minimum wage and average salaries can be perplexing. Understanding the local job landscape is key to considering a move or aiming for a better paycheck. From annual salary insights to evaluating the cost of living, we’ve got you covered.

In this article, we will explore what is a good salary in Brussels, how to find out the salary range for different jobs, how to earn a higher salary, and how to manage your money wisely.

What Is Considered a Good Salary in Brussels, Belgium?

woman holding a good salary in Brussels

A good salary in Brussels, Belgium, is a salary that allows you to live comfortably and meet your personal and financial goals. A net monthly salary of 3,000 € (EUR) is considered good in Belgium, translating to an annual wage of 36,000 € (EUR).

This is higher than the average net salary in Brussels, and it can provide you with a decent standard of living in the city. With this salary, you can pay for your housing, transportation, food, utility, health care, education, and other expenses. You can also save money for your plans, such as buying a house, traveling, or retiring.

What is Gross Salary?

Person holding her gross salary

Your gross salary, often referred to as the “average gross salary,” is the total amount you earn before any deductions, such as taxes and other contributions.

It’s the baseline figure that reflects your earnings without accounting for factors like income taxes. In some cases, minimum wage-based gross salaries set standards for entry-level positions. Understanding this concept is crucial, as it forms the basis for various financial aspects.

Whether aiming for a good salary or simply gauging the average salaries in your field, the gross monthly salary is a fundamental indicator of your earning potential.

What Is A Good Salary in Belgium? [2023]

What is Net Salary?

Man holding his net salary

Your net salary, encompassing the “average net salary,” reflects the amount you take home after deductions like income tax and other contributions. This figure offers a tangible picture of your actual earnings.

In Brussels or elsewhere, understanding your net income is vital for gauging financial health. It factors in variables like cost of living, enabling you to assess whether your earnings align with a good salary standard

Whether you’re in the city center or considering a minimum salary, comprehending net salary aids in making informed decisions regarding disposable income, savings, and sustaining a balanced lifestyle.

Example of a Good Salary in Brussels, Belgium

An example of a good salary in Brussels is the average net salary of €3,700 per month. However, it’s important to note that not all jobs guarantee this amount. Salaries in Brussels can vary significantly based on different factors.

The average gross salary is often higher than the net salary due to the income tax. While some positions might offer a lower minimum salary, others can earn even more. The cost of living, especially in the city center with housing costs, impacts disposable income.

It’s crucial to consider the average salary in Brussels across various sectors. Ultimately, a good salary ensures a comfortable lifestyle, but individual circumstances and job roles significantly determine one’s net income.

Common Jobs in Brussels and Their Salary Ranges

To give you an idea about the average salary in Brussels, Belgium, here are the in-demand jobs in the city with their gross salary, according to Brusselsmorning.com

  • Petrochemical Industry: The petrochemical industry offers an average salary of €5,282.
  • Management Consultancy: The management consultancy industry offers an average salary of €4,485.
  • Computer Programming: If you work in the computer programming industry, you can earn an average salary or minimum wage of €4,485.
  • Financial Services: The finance industry offers high pay to its employees. If you work in insurance and pension funding, you can expect an average salary of €4,455.
  • Pharmaceutical Industry: If you work in chemical manufacturing, you can earn a salary of €4,343.
  • Air Transportation: The air transportation industry offers an average salary of €4,327.

Overall, the average salary in Brussels is higher than in nearby cities in Belgium. Here are some of the average salaries in Brussels and nearby cities:

  • Sint-Pieters-Leeuw: The average salary in Sint-Pieters-Leeuw is €56,000 EUR per year.
  • Mechelen: The average salary in Mechelen is €57,000 EUR per year.
  • Charleroi: The average salary in Charleroi is €45,000 EUR per year.
  • Antwerp: The average salary in Antwerp is €65,000 EUR per year.
  • Gent: The average salary in Gent is €60,000 EUR per year.

Regarding the cost of food, the prices in Brussels are generally higher than in nearby cities. However, the prices may vary depending on the location and type of food.

What Jobs Are In-Demand in Belgium? [2022-2023 Guide]

Taxes in Belgium

a pen, paper clip and calculator.

Belgium has a unique tax system that impacts various aspects of residents’ lives, particularly in terms of salary, income, and overall cost of living. It is known for having one of the highest tax wedges on labor among OECD countries.

According to Taxfoundation.org, a single worker earning an average salary faces a tax burden of 52.6 percent. Generally, this high tax burden is particularly noticeable in Belgian cities like Brussels, where the cost of living is relatively high compared to neighbouring countries.

Income Tax Rates for Foreigners

The income tax rate for foreigners working in Belgium varies based on their earnings throughout the year. Based on the report by Greenbacktaxservices.com, the income tax rate for foreigners ranges from 25% to 50%. This range is determined by the total income earned during the tax year, from January 1 to December 31. Ultimately, these general guidelines apply to both residents and non-residents, impacting their monthly salaries significantly.

Impact on Net Monthly Salaries

The impact of Belgian taxes on net monthly salaries can be substantial. The tax rates, especially for higher incomes, can lead to a considerable reduction in take-home pay. As a result, employees might have a lower net monthly salary than expected based solely on their gross wages.

Comparison with Neighbouring Cities

Belgium’s tax system and its impact on salaries and income differ from those of its neighbouring cities and countries. This disparity in taxes and wages might influence job seekers to explore opportunities in neighbouring countries with more favourable tax regimes and potentially higher net salaries.

How Much Do You Need to Live Comfortably in Brussels?

Person inside his home

Living comfortably in Brussels, Belgium, requires careful consideration of the cost of living. The range of expenses estimated for the cost of living in this vibrant city is between $1,555 – $6,012 (€1,388 – €4,794) per month. With its cosmopolitan lifestyle and diverse cultural offerings, Brussels comes at a price. Let’s delve into the details.

Cost of Living Overview

The cost of living in Brussels is notably higher than in many other cities. It ranks more expensive than 61% of cities in Western Europe and 62% of cities worldwide. This places Brussels in the upper tiers of global living costs, reflecting its status as a prominent international city. To give you an idea, here is the breakdown of expenditures for living in Brussels, Belgium.

Rent and Utilities

a couple holding the first key to their new home.

If you’re considering how much you need to live comfortably in Brussels, Belgium, it’s important to take into account several factors, such as the type of accommodation, utility expenses, and your monthly salary. Its status as the de facto EU capital and Western European location makes Brussels known for its expense.

For instance, the average monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the city center is €1,050, while outside the city center, it is €800. This cost can vary depending on the specific neighborhood and the quality of the apartment.

On the other hand, a three-bedroom apartment in the city center would cost around €2,100 per month, while outside the city center, the average rent for such an apartment would be €1,500. These rental prices reflect the premium associated with living closer to the city’s amenities and attractions.

In addition to housing costs, factor in utility bills for a comprehensive understanding of your expenses. These include electricity, water, heating, and internet services. Utility expenses can accumulate significantly, contributing to your overall monthly expenditure.

Here is a list of utilities and their estimated costs in Brussels, Belgium:

• Electricity: In Brussels, the monthly cost of electricity for an 85-square-meter apartment is approximately €240 (US$260).

• Water: The cost of water is typically included in the overall utility bill and is estimated to be within the range of €150 – €300 (US$162-345) per month.

• Heating: Monthly heating and other utilities cost for a 2-person 85-square-meter flat is estimated to be around €333.

• Internet: Brussels’ internet connection costs approximately €49.95 per month for a connection of 60 Mbps or more.

• Garbage: This is typically included in the overall utility bill and is estimated to be around €175 per month for an 85-square-meter apartment in Belgium, but closer to €197 if you live in Brussels.

• Other utilities: Bills may include additional services, such as gas, depending on the accommodation and consumption patterns.

How Much Does A House Cost in Belgium?


a couple buying food in a grocery store.

Based on the search results, here is a list of food prices in Brussels, Belgium, and a comparison to nearby cities:

  • Eggs (regular) (2.40): €0.71
  • Local Cheese (0.10 kg): €1.39
  • Chicken Fillets (0.15 kg): €1.54
  • Beef Round (0.15 kg) (or Equivalent Back Leg Red Meat): €2.48.
  • A typical fast food meal costs €9.70 (US$11.30) for a McMeal at McDonald’s or Burger King (or a similar combo meal) and €2.90 (US$3.40) for a Coke/Pepsi (12 oz small bottle).
  • A single person’s estimated monthly costs for food in Brussels are €267.50 (US$311.50).
  • A meal for two people at a mid-range restaurant costs around €75.00 (US$87.40).
  • A tourist menu costs between €20.00 (US$23.30) and €25.00 (US$29.10.
  • A beer costs a minimum of €4.00 (US$4.70.
  • A sandwich made in a sandwich shop costs €4.50 (US$5.30).
  • A chocolate bar costs €2.00 (US$2.30).
  • A one-liter milk carton costs €1.15 (US$1.34).
  • A bottle of beer (16 ounces) costs €1.50-2.00 (US$1.75-2.35).
  • A bottle of red wine costs €7.00 (US$8.15).

Brussels is more expensive than Sint-Pieters-Leeuw, Mechelen, and Charleroi, compared to nearby cities, but less expensive than Antwerp and Gent. This is partly due to the city’s status as the administrative center of the European Union, which attracts a diverse population with varying levels of income.

As a result, prices in Brussels can sometimes reflect a higher cost of living, especially for certain imported or special food items.


two trains in the railway.

Like many other developed cities, Brussels offers a well-established public transportation system that caters to various needs.

Meanwhile, commuters in Brussels can rely on an extensive network of buses, trams, and metro lines that connect different neighborhoods, business districts, and key attractions. The affordability and convenience of public transportation make it a popular choice for many residents.

Unlike in some countries where owning a car is almost necessary, the accessibility of public transport in Brussels often allows individuals to forgo car ownership, which can be cost-effective and environmentally friendly.

Here is a list of expenses related to transportation in Brussels, according to Globalprices.info:

  • Public transport ticket fare: €2.40 (US$2.60) for a one-way journey ticket.
  • Travel by metro and bus with 10 tickets: €15.1 (US$16.5).
  • Travel ticket for 24 hours: €8.1 (US$8.9).
  • Taxi prices in Brussels: €3.6 (US$3.9) for the initial charge, €2 (US$2.2) per kilometer, and €0.54 (US$0.6) per minute of waiting in traffic.
  • The monthly cost of utilities, including electricity and water, for a 2-person 85-square-meter flat is approximately €160 to €268 (US$139 to US$293).
  • The monthly cost of heating and other utilities for a 2-person 85-square-meter flat is estimated to be around €333 (US$365).
  • The cost of gasoline in Brussels is around €1.5 to €1.6 (US$1.6 to US$1.8) per liter.
  • The cost of parking in Brussels varies depending on the location and duration. On-street parking costs €0.5 to €3.5 (US$0.6 to US$3.8) per hour, while off-street parking costs €1.5 to €3.5 (US$1.6 to US$3.8) per hour.

Health insurance in Belgium

a laptop, planner and scabble words that says, "health insurance."

Health insurance in Belgium is crucial to ensuring that individuals have access to necessary medical care and treatments. Unlike in some countries where healthcare coverage might be tied to specific employers, Belgium follows a social security system offering a more comprehensive healthcare approach for most employees.

Regardless of the nature of one’s job or revenue generation capacity, most employees in Belgium are required to contribute to the social security system. This system helps fund various social benefits, including health insurance. It ensures that individuals can access medical services and treatments when needed without being burdened by exorbitant costs.

For expats in Belgium, we recommend private health insurance from international provider Cigna Global. Their coverage is comprehensive and inexpensive compared to many public insurances.

Final Thoughts About The Good Salary in Brussels

In conclusion, determining a good salary in Brussels, Belgium involves considering various factors such as the cost of living, job sector, and individual circumstances. An average net monthly salary of around €3,000 to €3,700 is generally considered a good wage, allowing for a comfortable lifestyle in this vibrant city. However, salaries vary significantly based on industries, job roles, and experience levels.

For informed salary decisions, grasp gross, net, local taxes, and their impact on take-home pay. Additionally, factoring in the cost of living, including housing, utilities, food, transportation, and health insurance, is essential for managing your finances wisely.

Explore the provided links for more insights into specific job sectors, average salaries, and other financial considerations in Brussels. Navigate Brussels’ financial landscape with these resources for success in your career and financial goals.

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