Denmark is home to some of the happiest nations on the planet. In addition, the high demand for science, agriculture, technology, tourism, and transport workers attracts expats from all over the world.
Besides, this Nordic country has good business opportunities for national and multinational companies. So you have a job offer in Denmark, how much salary should you expect?
A good salary for a single person in Denmark is around 18,400 DKK ($2,633) net per month. This translates to about 336,000 DKK in annual income before tax. For a family of four, an annual net salary of 420,000 DKK is a good income.
Denmark’s high living standards make it an ideal destination for people who want to live and work in Europe. However, the cost of living is high. That’s why you need to earn a good salary to enjoy all that the country offers.
What jobs are in high demand in Denmark? Read in our guide.
What is considered a good salary in Denmark?
Denmark provides a high quality of life and vast job opportunities, along with high compensation for its workers. However, the income tax is high. Therefore, you’ll need to earn a good amount after tax.
Before working in Denmark, how much will you need to live decently in the country?
A monthly net salary between 17,000 DKK and 20,000 DKK is considered a good salary in Denmark. With this amount, you can afford a decent lifestyle as a single, go on a vacation, and save a good amount for future investment.
For graduates, 44,000 DKK before tax is a very good monthly salary in Aarhus and Copenhagen.
While this is a good income for a single person, a family of four will need double the amount to live decently in Denmark.
With a gross salary level of 28,000 DKK per month or 18,156 DKK after tax, this is how you will live in Denmark:
|Housing||10,000 DKK for a one-bedroom apartment.|
|Food and groceries||2,000 DKK|
|Health expenses||500 DKK|
|Utilities||800 DKK – 1,000 DKK|
|Transportation||520 DKK for a monthly ticket|
|Disposable Income||1,500 DKK for clothing, shoes, hobbies, and eating out.|
|Savings||You will be able to save about 2,000 DKK every month.|
|You can travel out of the city for weekend getaways.|
|You can eat out once in a while|
|Total||Approximately 17,690 DKK|
If you’re earning 40,000 DKK per month gross or 25,058 DKK after tax, this is how you will live:
|Housing||A two-bedroom apartment for 15,000 DKK in the city center.|
|Food and groceries||2,500 DKK|
|Utilities||1,000 DKK – 1200 DKK|
|Transportation||520 DKK for a monthly ticket|
|Disposable Income||2,000 DKK for weekends, gym membership, dining out, drinks, and personal spending.|
|Savings||You will be able to save about 2,000 DKK every month.|
|You can afford a holiday vacation once a year.|
|You can enjoy three-course meals in high-end restaurants anytime you want.|
|You can buy nicer clothes, shoes, and perfumes.|
|You can save up about 2,000 DKK every month to buy a car or house.|
|Total||Approximately 23,690 DKK|
Example of a good salary in Denmark
- Annual gross salary: 540,000 DKK
- Annual net salary: 334,559 DKK
- Monthly net salary: 27,883 DKK
It’s the average salary of tax advisors and IT experts in Denmark. With this amount, this is what your life will look like in Copenhagen:
- Housing: 16,000 DKK for a fully furnished two-bedroom apartment in Copenhagen.
- Groceries and food: 2,500 DKK to buy groceries if you rarely eat out.
- Health insurance: If you’re a resident, you can access public health for free. For health expenses, you need about 500 DKK per month.
- Monthly disposable income: 2,500 DKK for clothes, shoes, personal care, and internet.
- Savings: 3,000 DKK
- You can live in a nice apartment centrally located in all major cities.
- You can afford to eat out frequently.
- You will travel for vacations twice yearly and enjoy weekends in different cities.
Before you seek a job in Denmark, read this article on reasons why you shouldn’t move there.
What is a good salary in Aarhus, Denmark?
The cost of living for a single person in Aarhus is 15,693 DKK per month. For a family of four, it’s about 31,319 DKK monthly.
To live comfortably in Aarhus, you must earn about 20,000 DKK per month after tax as a single person. For a big family, you’ll need double the amount.
With 20,000 DKK per month or a salary of about 380,000 DKK per year (before tax), your life in Aarhus will be as follows:
|Housing||With 8,000 DKK, you can rent a one-bedroom apartment in the city center.|
|Food and groceries||2,000 DKK|
|Medical expenses||500 DKK|
|Utilities||800 DKK for utilities and 200 DKK for the internet.|
|Clothing and footwear||2,000 DKK|
|Disposable Income||1,000 DKK|
|Savings||Up to 1,000 DKK monthly.|
|You can eat out once in a while.|
|You can travel out of the city for vacations yearly.|
What is a good salary in Copenhagen, Denmark?
To live a good life in Copenhagen, you need to earn about 40,000 DKK every month, about 25,058 DKK of your take-home income. With this amount, you can afford the following:
|Rent||13,600 DKK for a two-bedroom apartment.|
|Food and groceries||2,700 DKK – 3,000 DKK|
|Health expenses||500 DKK – 600 DKK|
|Utilities||1,450 DKK for water, electricity, garbage, and internet.|
|Clothing and shoes||3,000 DKK|
|Disposable Income||2,000 DKK|
|Savings||Up to 3,000 DKK every month.|
|You can go on vacation twice a year.|
|You can save to buy a home and a car.|
|You can eat out in high-end restaurants.|
|You can buy clothes and shoes from designer shops.|
Income taxes in Denmark
Net salary is the take-home amount that an employee receives after all deductions are made. Denmark is known for very high tax rates for its residents; you will pay about 37% – 50% of your salary in taxes and social contributions.
As a result, an employee with a monthly salary of 40,000 DKK gets credited into their bank account only about 25,058 DKK.
In Denmark, the tax system on income is progressive, and there’s no fixed rate. Taxes depend on personal circumstances, as discussed with the employer. For this reason, some employees pay higher taxes while others are taxed less.
An employee can get the gross compensation without paying tax but must pay the required amount later. Employers must obtain tax office information on employee tax rates. Report tax rate complaints to the tax office.
Bonuses, holiday pay, and remuneration packages
All Denmark’s employees who’ve worked 12 months in the preceding year are entitled to 25 paid vacation days. Every employee gets 5 weeks of holiday, regardless of how many days they’ve earned.
They also receive a holiday allowance every May, 1% of their annual gross salary.
In case of sickness or accidents, an employee receives a full salary. If eligible for sickness benefits, the municipality reimburses the employer after 30 days of sick leave.
Women receive 50% of their salary during maternity leave. Men are given two weeks of paternity leave, and they get paid during this period by the municipality.
Health insurance for expats in Denmark
Expats need a health insurance solution when moving to Denmark. We recommend Cigna Global for international coverage. As Cigna is an international insurance provider, your coverage is valid not just in Denmark but also worldwide.
In the long run, you can save a significant amount of money with private insurance. Copenhagen deducts public health insurance premiums from monthly salaries, totaling 1,135.80 DKK per year. The employer deducts an additional amount from gross compensation.
With 74,000 employees, 200 years of experience, and more than 100 million customers globally, Cigna is one of the largest international insurance providers.
With that insurance, you can enjoy instant and easy access to healthcare facilities and professionals around the globe.
Salaries in Denmark
According to statistics, an average employee in Denmark receives a gross salary of 44,513 DKK monthly, about 29,061 DKK after tax. This amount is inclusive of pension. It’s calculated hourly and then converted to a monthly salary.
As a fresh graduate or an intern, you earn between 33,900 DKK and 37,200 DKK per month before tax in Copenhagen. Interns get paid a lower salary.
Salaries in Denmark differ depending on the sector you’re working for. Contracts with governments and municipalities influence public sector salaries.
The wages of private-sector employees are based on agreements between the worker or a trade union and the employer. Employees in the private sector earn a better salary than their public counterparts.
The minimum wage in Denmark in 2023
The most common average minimum wage is 110 DKK per hour or 18,000 DKK per month before tax, and it hasn’t been reviewed since 2015.
However, no law controls the minimum wage in Denmark. Trade unions and employers negotiate to determine wages.
Minimum salary for the residence and work permit
The government has set the minimum wage for foreigners working in the country under Denmark’s Pay-limit scheme. Since 1 March 2022, only foreign workers with a 448,000 DKK yearly job offer can get a work and residence permit.
Average salary in Denmark
The average annual salary in Denmark is 534,156 DKK before tax. This translates to a yearly net of 331,261 DKK.
The average salaries in Denmark vary between men and women. While men earn an average salary of about 372,720 DKK per year, women receive 309,725 DKK.
The highest-earning employees in Denmark are those in the Legal and paralegal field, with an average of 902,034 DKK per year.
|Mobile developer||666,522 DKK|
|Project Manager||521,453 DKK|
|Office Manager||498,132 DKK|
|Administrative Assistant||455,463 DKK|
The highest-paying employers in Denmark are:
- Nykredit Asset Manager– 1,518,636.20 DKK
- Orsted- 1,477,958.45 DKK
- Mediq- 1,139,148.21 DKK
- Saxo Bank- 1,084,903.06 DKK
- DONG Energy– 868,098.84 DKK
- PwC- 779,932.55 DKK
The highest annual average salary by jobs is as follows:
- Legal and Paralegal: 902,034 DKK
- Energy and Environment: 867,991 DKK
- Financial Services: 847,585 DKK
- Executive Management: 793,340 DKK
- Program and Project Management: 684,777 DKK
- Finance Control: 677,997 DKK
When it comes to education level, employees with Doctorate Degrees earn an average of 398,312 DKK per year. Those with a Master’s Degree receive 364,189 DKK on average annually.
Salaries in Denmark vary with work experience. Employees with work experience of more than 20 years earn 488,211 DKK on average per year. Those with 15-20 working experiences receive an average salary of 449,495 DKK annually.
Average expenses with the average salary in Denmark
- Annual average after-tax: 331,261 DKK
- Average net salary per month: 27,605 DKK
Monthly expenses with a net salary of 27,605 DKK:
- Rent: 9,400 DKK
- Utilities (water, electricity, and garbage collection): 678 DKK
- Food and groceries: 2,000 DKK
- Household articles: 400 DKK
- Health expenses: 500 DKK
- Telecommunications and Internet: 300 DKK
- Transportation: 520 DKK
- Entertainment and Recreation: 600 DKK
- Shoes and clothing: 700 DKK
Monthly costs depend on your lifestyle and the city you live in in Denmark. You need about 15,000 DKK per month to sustain yourself.
Denmark’s Consumer Price Index (CPI) increased by 2.99 points between January and February 2022. This means the cost of living is higher than in the previous year.
Therefore, bigger families with kids need more money for their monthly expenses. For a couple with two kids, 36,540 DKK will be enough for monthly expenses.
The average monthly expenses for a single living in Copenhagen are 21,438 DKK, and a family of four will need about 38,737 DKK per month.
Denmark’s cost of living is high compared to other European countries; Germany’s is 20% cheaper. Besides:
|Consumer prices in Germany are 18.92% lower than in Denmark|
|Rent prices in Germany are 6.29% lower|
|Restaurant prices in Germany are 38.25% lower than in Denmark|
|Groceries in Germany are 18.18% lower than in Denmark|
|And most importantly, local purchasing power in Germany is 3.50% higher than in Denmark|
The average rent per month for an 85-square-meter house in some major cities in Denmark is as follows:
- Copenhagen – 16,600 DKK
- Aarhus – 11,800 DKK
- Odense – 10,000 DKK
- Aalborg – 8,500 DKK
Utilities comprising water, electricity, and garbage collection cost about 880 DKK. A monthly internet connection goes for 186 DKK.
If you buy food to cook at home but eat out occasionally, you will spend about 2,700 DKK every month. This applies to a single person living in Denmark. However, if you’re a family of four, you’ll need about 6,500 DKK per month.
A sandwich in a regular restaurant costs around 80 DKK. A three-course meal costs about 1,000 DKK in a high-end restaurant. For traditional cuisines, expect to spend about 556 DKK.
With a monthly card, you’ll need 462 DKK to cater for public transportation for 30 days. A single trip costs 22 DKK.
Through Rejsekort, you can access electronic ticketing options, discounts on fares, and commuter passes.
Public healthcare is free by the government in Denmark, so you don’t need to spend money on medical care. However, you’ll need to pay for medication.
Common painkillers cost about 56 DKK, while antibiotics go for 78 DKK. Seeking medication from a private hospital will cost you 1,700 DKK and above.
For expats, we recommend private health insurance from international provider Cigna Global. Their coverage is comprehensive and inexpensive compared to many public insurances.
Highest-paying jobs in Denmark
- Surgeons and Doctors
- Bank Managers
- Chief Executive Officers
- Chief Financial Officers
- Marketing Directors
- College Professors
How much money do you need to live comfortably in Denmark?
To live comfortably in cities like Copenhagen, Aarhus, and Aalborg, where the cost of living is higher, you must earn about 35,000 DKK per month before tax.
To have a nice lifestyle in Denmark, you need to cover its high living costs. Here are some facts about the cost of living in Denmark:
- The cost of living in Denmark is 15.52% higher than in the US. Copenhagen is the most expensive place to live in Denmark. Southern Zealand and Falster are some of the cheapest regions in the country.
- The cost of living in Denmark is 1.92 times the worldwide average.
- Compared to 76% of all countries in Western Europe, Denmark’s cost of living is the most expensive.
- The cost of living in Denmark is higher compared to 83% of countries worldwide.
Low-income Danes can live happily in cheaper cities. A person earning the national minimum wage of 18,000 DKK, or 12,000 DKK a month, in a cheaper part of Denmark, can afford:
- Rent: 2,500 DKK – shared apartment
- Utilities: 600 DKK
- Food: 2,500 DKK
- Transport: 500 DKK
- Disposable income: 3,400 DKK for personal spending and free time
- Savings: 2,500 DKK
Consequently, you probably won’t be able to afford to live in a separate apartment while earning a minimum wage in Denmark.
Rent in Denmark is the 10th highest when compared to countries in Europe. Although rent prices vary with region, they are as follows:
|Two bedroom house||10,000 DKK and above|
|A detached two-bedroom house||Above 11,200 DKK|
|A terraced two-bedroom house||Above 15,000 DKK|
|A furnished two-bedroom flat||6,000 DKK – 26,000 DKK|
|A furnished three-bedroom flat||9,000 DKK – 33,000 DKK|
|One-bedroom flat||4,000 DKK – 7,500 DKK|
Rents in Denmark normally include utilities. If not included, it will depend on your consumption habits. For a single person living in a 45 square meter studio apartment, the utility bills will cost about 1,190 DKK per month.
For a big family of three living in an 85-square-meter apartment, the utility bills will be about 2,758 DKK monthly.
Utilities are expensive because the local people limit the consumption of energy to protect the environment. For the internet, the costs range from 150 DKK to 200 DKK.
The cost of food in Denmark increased by 5.5% in 2022 and is continuing to rise in 2023. Food prices are high, with the cheaper options being processed ones. Some essential food items cost as follows:
|1 liter of milk||9.90 DKK|
|1 kg of yellow cheese||81 DKK|
|1 kg of sausages||129 DKK|
|A dozen eggs||23 DKK|
|Loaf of bread||4 DKK|
|A packet of noodles||8 DKK|
|1 kg fish||100 DKK|
Eating out in Denmark is expensive, but there are plenty of restaurants where expats can enjoy international cuisines. You will spend about 50 DKK for a low-cost meal. For a three-course meal, you’ll pay above 175 DKK.
Dinner for two at an Italian restaurant will cost about 680 DKK. A fast-food meal costs about 75 DKK, while cappuccino and espresso coffees are 37 DKK and 26 DKK, respectively.
Copenhagen ranks as the most expensive in transport worldwide. For this reason, most Danish residents prefer using bicycles in the capital to save on transport costs. If you own a car, you’ll spend between 10,50 DKK and 12 DKK for a liter of fuel.
For public transport:
- A one-way ticket: 20 to 27 DKK
- One ticket covering all zones per city: 108 DKK
- One daylong ticket: 130 DKK
- A monthly ticket: 613 DKK
Check out jobs with the best chances for foreigners in Denmark.