What Is a Good Salary in Denmark? [2022]

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 on hand, how much salary should you expect?

A good salary for a single person in Denmark is around 16,400 DKK net per month. This translates to about 300,000 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 has to offer. 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 taking a job in Denmark, how much will you need to live decently in the country?

A monthly net salary of between 16,000 DKK and 18,000 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 both 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:

Housing10,000 DKK for a one-bedroom apartment.
Food and groceries2,000 DKK
Health expenses500 DKK
Utilities800 DKK – 1,000 DKK
Internet 170 DKK
Transportation520 DKK for a monthly ticket
Disposable Income1,500 DKK for clothing, shoes, hobbies, and eating out.
SavingsYou 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
TotalApproximately 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:

HousingA two-bedroom apartment for 15,000 DKK in the city center.
Food and groceries2,500 DKK
Health500 DKK
Utilities1,000 DKK – 1200 DKK
Internet 170 DKK
Transportation520 DKK for a monthly ticket
Disposable Income2,000 DKK for weekends, gym membership, dining out, drinks, and personal spending.
SavingsYou 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 above 2,000 DKK every month to buy a car or house.
TotalApproximately 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 every year 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:

HousingWith 8,000 DKK, you can rent a one-bedroom apartment in the city center.
Food and groceries2,000 DKK 
Medical expenses500 DKK
Utilities800 DKK for utilities and 200 DKK for the internet.
Transport500 DKK
Clothing and footwear2,000 DKK
Disposable Income1,000 DKK
SavingsUp 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 which is your take-home income. With this amount, you can afford the following:

Rent13,600 DKK for a two-bedroom apartment.
Food and groceries2,700 DKK – 3,000 DKK
Health expenses500 DKK – 600 DKK
Utilities1,450 DKK for water, electricity, garbage, and internet.
Transport600 DKK
Clothing and shoes 3,000 DKK
Disposable Income2,000 DKK
SavingsUp 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 is allowed to receive the entire gross salary without paying tax, but he/she will pay the stated amount in the future. Employers need to get information about each employee’s tax rate from the tax office. Any complaints on tax rates are directed 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. It doesn’t matter how many days of paid vacation an employee has accrued throughout the year; everyone is entitled to 5 weeks of holiday each year.

They also receive a holiday allowance every May, which is 1% of their annual gross salary.

In case of sickness or accidents, an employee receives a full salary. After 30 days of sick leave, the municipality repays the employer, provided the employee is eligible for sickness benefits. 

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. Because Cigna insurance is international, you can use your policy not only in Denmark but almost anywhere in the world.

In the long run, you can save a significant amount of money with private insurance. In Denmark, the premium of public health insurance will be deducted from your monthly salary and contributes to about 1,135.80 DKK per year plus the employer deducts an additional amount from your gross salary.

With 74,000 employees, 200 years of experience, and more than 100 million customers globally, Cigna is one of the largest international insurance providers out there.

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, which is about 27,605 DKK after tax. This amount is inclusive of pension. It’s calculated on an hourly basis and then converted to a monthly salary. 

If you are 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. If you’re working for the public sector, your salary is determined by agreements between you and the government or municipalities you work for.

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 more salary than their public counterparts.

The minimum wage in Denmark in 2022

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 2022. However, as of 1st March 2022, only foreign workers with a job offer of 448,000 DKK and above annually are eligible for 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. 

Average salaries in Copenhagen for some typical professions:

Mobile developer666,522 DKK
Accountant530,231 DKK
Project Manager521,453 DKK
Office Manager498,132 DKK
Administrative Assistant455,463 DKK
Attorney440,264 DKK
Source: Wise.com

The highest-paying employers in Denmark are:

  1. Nykredit Asset Manager– 1,518,636.20 DKK
  2. Orsted- 1,477,958.45 DKK
  3. Mediq- 1,139,148.21 DKK
  4. Saxo Bank- 1,084,903.06 DKK
  5. DONG Energy– 868,098.84 DKK
  6. PwC- 779,932.55 DKK

The highest annual average salary by jobs are 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 a work experience of above 20 years earn 488,211 DKK on average per year. Those with 15-20 working experiences receive an average salary of 449,495 DKK per year.

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 that the cost of living is higher than it was in the previous year.

Therefore, bigger families with kids need more money for their monthly expenses. For a couple with two kids, a total of 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.

The cost of living in Denmark is relatively high compared to other European countries; for example, in Germany, living expenses are about 20% lower on average. 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
Source: numbeo.com

Housing

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.

Food

If you buy food to cook at home but eat out once in a while, 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 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.

Public transport

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.

Healthcare

Public healthcare is provided 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
  • Judges
  • Lawyers
  • Bank Managers
  • Chief Executive Officers
  • Chief Financial Officers
  • Orthodontists
  • Marketing Directors
  • College Professors
  • Pilots

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 need to 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.
  • When 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.

You can live comfortably with a low income in a less expensive city in Denmark. A person earning a national minimum salary of 18,000 DKK, which is equivalent to a net monthly wage of 12,000 DKK, and living in a less expensive area 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 spendings and free time
  • Savings: 2,500 DKK

Consequently, you most probably won’t be able to afford to live in a separate apartment while earning a minimum wage in Denmark.

Rent

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 house10,000 DKK and above
A detached two-bedroom houseAbove 11,200 DKK
A terraced two-bedroom houseAbove 15,000 DKK
A furnished two-bedroom flat6,000 DKK – 26,000 DKK
A furnished three-bedroom flat9,000 DKK – 33,000 DKK
One-bedroom flat4,000 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.

Food

The cost of food in Denmark increased by 5.5% in 2022. Food prices are high, with the cheaper options being processed ones. Some essential food items cost as follows:

1 liter of milk9.90 DKK
1 kg of yellow cheese81 DKK
1 kg of sausages129 DKK
A dozen eggs23 DKK
Loaf of bread4 DKK
A packet of noodles8 DKK
1 kg fish100 DKK

Eating out

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.

Transport

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.

Anna

Anna is an experienced expat and writer. She has been living abroad for over 6 years.

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