When you apply for or accept a job in Copenhagen, Denmark, what salary should you expect? Copenhagen is one of the most expensive in the world, with high-income earners paying up to 57% in taxes, making a good salary an absolute prerequisite when working there.
A good salary to cover basic living costs, including rent and food, is around 43,000 DKK a month (approximately $6,700). But with the high cost of living in Copenhagen, many expats prefer salaries between 55,000 DKK and 70,000 DKK a month ($8,400 – $10,600) depending on job role and experience.
Copenhagen is known for its high quality of life, so a higher salary can mean more opportunities for leisure activities and other outgoings, such as holidays. This article provides some insight into the salary ranges you should expect when looking for a job in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Also read: What is a good salary in Denmark?
What is considered a good salary in Copenhagen?
Danish cities, including Copenhagen, are ranked among the happiest cities in the world. However, the cost of living in this city is notoriously high. So you will need to have a substantial amount of savings or income to afford living there.
A monthly salary in Copenhagen can range from 11,000 to 194,000 DKK. If you earn more than 46,900 DKK on average per month in Copenhagen, it’s considered a good salary.
The average income of half the population is below 46,900 DKK, while that of the other half is above that amount. If you make that much money in Copenhagen, you can live comfortably in a one-bedroom apartment, spend weekends away, and eat out.
Considering Copenhagen’s high living costs, you need about 35,000 DKK per month before taxes to live comfortably. So if you wish to live comfortably in this city, be prepared to pay high living expenses.
However, the cost of living can be lower in other cities, such as Randers, Horsens, and Vejle, if you have a low income. For instance, if you earn 18,000 DKK at the national minimum wage and live in a less expensive part of Denmark, you can afford the following:
- 2,500 DKK for food
- Rent for a shared apartment – 2,500 DKK
- 600 DKK for utilities
- Transport costs – 500 DKK
- Personal expenditures and leisure – 3,400 DKK
- 2,500 DKK in savings
Therefore, earning a minimum wage in Denmark won’t allow you to live in a separate apartment.
A single person pays approximately 7,791 DKK in expenses without rent per month. However, the cost of living for a family of four amounts to 28,012 DKK when not paying rent.
Despite its expensive cost of living, you can access top-notch public services like free healthcare in Copenhagen. In addition, half of Copenhagen’s population rides their bikes to work or school each morning, which makes your commute enjoyable.
Salaries in Copenhagen, Denmark
Denmark’s salaries differ according to the sector in which you are employed. For example, if you work for the government or municipality, your salary will be determined by your contract with them.
On the other hand, the salary you receive as a public servant depends on your contract with the government.
A private employer or a union decides your wages according to your agreement with them. Yet, public employees earn less than their private sector counterparts.
According to statistics, an average Danish employee earns 45,481 DKK monthly gross wage, which equals around 27,605 DKK after tax. The amount includes pension. This monthly salary is calculated using hourly wages.
The salary range for a fresh graduate or intern in Copenhagen is between 33,900 DKK and 37,200 DKK per month before taxes. Salaries for interns are lower.
Here are some common jobs and their salaries in Copenhagen, Denmark:
|Job||Average annual salary|
|Mobile Developer||731,215 DKK|
|IT Manager||618,883 DKK|
|Finance Manager||594,274 DKK|
|Project Manager||572,142 DKK|
|Office Manager||546,561 DKK|
|Product Manager||508,984 DKK|
|Administrative Assistant||499,744 DKK|
|Data Scientist||442,273 DKK|
|Software Engineer||434,879 DKK|
|Financial Analyst||419,203 DKK|
|Human Resource Manager||373,897 DKK|
The following jobs have the highest average annual salary:
- Legal and paralegal fields – 902,034 DKK
- Finance sector – 847,585 DKK
- Finance control – 677,997 DKK
- Environment and Energy sector – 867,991 DKK
- Senior Management – 793,340 DKK
- Project and Program Management – 684,777 DKK
Doctorate holders earn 398,312 DKK on average annually. However, the average annual salary for a Master’s degree holder is 364,189 DKK.
What’s a good salary in Copenhagen?
Approximately 21,438 DKK net per month is a reasonable salary for a single person in Copenhagen. Alternatively, a family of four could live comfortably on a net salary of 40,000 DKK per month.
What will your life be like as a couple in Copenhagen, if you earn a reasonable monthly income?
Rent: You can pay between 8,395 DKK and 17,490 DKK
Food: This can range between 2,098 DKK and 4,197 DKK. Food can make up the biggest portion of your total cost, especially if you like to eat out often.
Utility bills: You can pay between 1,259 DKK and 1,539 DKK
Monthly disposable income: 1,000 DKK – With this income, you can afford to eat out, go on holidays, and do other fun activities.
Healthcare: Free healthcare is available as soon as you register and obtain your CPR number.
Denmark’s average health insurance cost: Danish healthcare costs approximately 130 DKK per month or 1,560 DKK a year for adults. Yet, your insurance costs may rise as you age, and some insurers stop offering services to people over 65.
Average salary in Copenhagen in 2022
Danish citizens earn an average of 534,156 DKK annually before taxes. In total, this amounts to 331,261 DKK in net income.
Men and women earn different salaries in Denmark. For instance, the average salary for men is around 372,720 DKK per year, while that for women is 309,725 DKK.
Danish legal and paralegal employees earn, on average, 902,034 DKK annually, making them the most highly paid. The lowest-paid jobs in Copenhagen are those in real estate, architecture, and design, as the professionals earn 265,552 DKK annually.
Salary averages in Copenhagen for some common professions are as follows:
|Mobile Developer||747,449 DKK|
|Project Manager||584,844 DKK|
|Office Manager||558,695 DKK|
|Administrative Assistant||510,838 DKK|
Some employers in Denmark who offer competitive salaries include:
- Nykredit Asset Manager: They pay an average salary of 1,243,638 DKK.
- Orsted: This company pays an average of 1,215,847 DKK.
- Mediq: It pays an average of 937,939 DKK.
- Saxo Bank: Its average salary is 889,305 DKK.
- DONG Energy: This firm pays an average of 708,665 DKK.
- PwC: This company follows closely with an average salary of 779,932 DKK.
In Denmark, salaries are based on skills and education level. The national average salary is 488,211 DKK (or $69,862).
You can get a better feel for your salary by looking at average salaries by the level of education and experience.
For example, with more than 20 years of work experience, you can earn an average salary of 488,211 DKK. On the other hand, you can earn an average of 449,495 DKK if you have 15-20 years of working experience.
Highest paying jobs in Copenhagen
Copenhagen’s job market is booming. However, not all jobs pay the same. Some of the highest-paying jobs in Copenhagen include:
- Surgeons/Doctors: This profession’s salary ranges from 74,400 DKK to 257,000 DKK. This career is high paying as it involves high risk, in-depth knowledge, and lengthy learning periods.
- Judges: Their salaries range from 62,500 DKK to 216,000 DKK. A great deal of difficulty is involved in making decisions about people’s fates, which is why wages are so high.
- Lawyers: A lawyer’s salary is between 50,600 DKK and 175,000 DKK. Their clients view them as trustworthy experts who can save or earn them tons of money and even spare them from harsh judgments.
- Bank Managers: These professionals earn an average salary range from 47,600 DKK to 165,000 DKK.
- Chief Executive Officers – Their salaries range from 44,600 DKK to 154,000 DKK.
- Chief Financial Officers – Salary Range: from 41,700 DKK to 144,000 DKK.
- Orthodontists – Salaries range from 40k DKK to 139k DKK per year, depending on your experience and qualifications as an orthodontist.
- College Professors – These professionals earn between 35,700 DKK to 123,000 DKK.
- Pilots (Aviator) – The average salary ranges from 29,800 DKK to 103,000 DKK.
- Marketing Directors (SEO) – These professionals earn between 26,800 DKK and 92,600 DKK on average.
How much money do you need to live comfortably in Copenhagen?
You need a gross monthly salary of about 35,000 DKK to live comfortably in Copenhagen, as the city’s living standards are high.
Here are some facts about living in Copenhagen:
In Denmark, you can expect to pay between 5,578 DKK and 6,694 DKK monthly for your living expenses.
Monthly costs in Copenhagen can be as high as 8,925 DKK, which is higher than that of smaller cities. If you shift to a smaller town, you can cut your monthly costs to around 4,834 DKK.
Rent and utilities
Normally, Denmark’s rent includes utilities. The final amount you’ll pay will depend on your consumption if the utilities aren’t included. The cost of housing and utilities in Copenhagen ranges from 2,231 DKK to 3,719 DKK per month.
However, prices can rise to 5,950 DKK. An early search can lead to finding houses outside the city for as low as 1,487 DKK monthly.
According to statistics, 2022 saw a 5.5% increase in the cost of food in Denmark. Yet, processed foods are cheaper than fresh options.
The cost of food varies from 1,487 DKK to 2,008 DKK based on your spending habits. Food can be very affordable at supermarkets like Aldi, Fakta, Lidl, and Netto.
Here are some prices for essential foods:
|Sausages, 1kg||129 DKK|
|Fish, 1kg||100 DKK|
|Yellow cheese, 1 kg||81 DKK|
|One dozen eggs||23 DKK|
|Milk, 1 liter||9.90 DKK|
|Noodles, 1 packet||8 DKK|
|A loaf of bread||4 DKK|
Most people in Denmark rely heavily on bicycles for transport. This is because transport costs are quite high in the city.
For instance, over half of the students ride their bicycles to school, while the other third use public transportation. You can get a monthly pass for public transportation for 371.91 DKK.