Average Earnings in Denmark

Introduction

Denmark has become a popular destination for Polish workers seeking employment due to its high average salary, which is among the highest in Europe. Despite the high cost of living in Scandinavia, Danish wages are sufficient to cover expenses and provide a comfortable standard of living. Skilled workers are in high demand in Denmark, and they can expect above-average pay and good working conditions, as well as the same rights and benefits as Danish citizens.


This guide provides information on the average salary in Denmark, how it compares to other European countries, the best-paid professions in Denmark, the cost of living in Denmark, and the professions that are likely to offer high salaries. Enjoy reading and finding out more!


Average salary in Denmark

Denmark is known for its liberal economic policies towards member states of the EU and EEA, which creates opportunities for economic migrants. The average salary in Denmark ranges from DKK 20,000 to 40,000 per month, depending on the profession, knowledge of Danish language, age, and competence. The lowest national salary is not lower than DKK 11,000 per month, which is higher than the minimum wage in Poland.


Compared to the Danish salary, the cost of living is not high, and the state has a strong pro-social policy that provides workers with many benefits, such as accommodation, food, and transportation to work. Additionally, many services, like phone and internet subscriptions, are relatively affordable.


Denmark does not have a top-down minimum wage except for production workers and drivers engaged in combined transport and cabotage. The Trade Union Federation and the Danish Employers' Conference determine all working conditions, including wages, hours, and vacation time, through negotiations.


The average Danish salary vs. salary levels using selected professions as an example

As a Scandinavian country, Denmark is one of the wealthiest countries in Europe and has been recognized as the most financially comfortable place to live in Europe. Denmark is also known for its good social policies, high salaries, and equal rights for all citizens.


The Danish salary depends on various factors, such as qualifications, profession, age, and language skills, and there is no top-down minimum wage per hour, except for a few exceptions. Thanks to family-friendly policies, the weekly working hours are shorter than in Poland, with an average of 6-6.5 hours per day and a maximum of 37 hours per week.


The average salary in Denmark is between DKK 20,000 and 40,000 per month, or approximately PLN 12,000 to 25,000. The minimum Danish salary for workers without language skills or relevant qualifications is around DKK 13,000 per month, or about PLN 10,000 gross per month. In Copenhagen, the lowest salary is around DKK 15,000 per month, and the average is around DKK 20,000 per month.


How much can you earn on average, working in Denmark?

  1. Farm worker: from 75 DKK per hour
  2. Greenhouse worker: from 80 DKK per hour; greenhouse worker (other category): 130-140 DKK per hour
  3. Cleaning: 110-130 DKK per hour; in Copenhagen, around 15,000 DKK per month
  4. Production worker: from 127 DKK per hour (top-down minimum wage effective March 1, 2022)
  5. Glazier: approximately 150 DKK per hour
  6. Construction worker: 150-160 DKK per hour
  7. Warehouse worker: 150-170 DKK per hour
  8. Locksmith: approximately 160 DKK per hour
  9. Car mechanic and CNC operator: 160-170 DKK per hour
  10. Driver performing combined and cabotage transport: 163 DKK per hour (minimum wage set top-down)
  11. Welder: 170-220 DKK per hour
  12. Assembler: 170-190 DKK per hour
  13. Roofer: 175-180 DKK per hour
  14. Electrician and plumber: 180-190 DKK per hour
  15. Cashier: approximately DKK 14,000 per month
  16. Manager: approximately DKK 14,700 per month
  17. Secretary: 26,000-27,500 DKK per month
  18. Medical staff: approximately DKK 18,500 per month
  19. IT specialist: DKK 25,000-40,000 per month
  20. Doctors and lawyers: from 38,000 DKK up to 70,000 DKK per month.

Danish residents are entitled to the following social benefits:

  • Unemployment benefit: up to DKK 650 per day
  • Family allowance: from 966 to 4,653 DKK per quarter, depending on the age of the child
  • Maternity benefit: up to DKK 3,113 per week.

State-funded internships in Denmark are popular and available at research centers, farms, museums, energy corporations, institutes related to art, architecture, science, archaeology, and oil companies. These internships are open to individuals between the ages of 18 and 35 who have obtained a diploma at least a year and a half before starting the internship and have knowledge of one of the foreign languages, such as Danish, English, German, Swedish or Norwegian.


Average salary in Denmark vs. cost of living

In Denmark, labor laws are not regulated through a top-down system, meaning that employment factors such as salary, retirement age, vacation, termination conditions, length of the working day, overtime, and working hours are determined through individual contracts between employers and the Federation of Trade Unions.


The average Danish salary reflects these individual arrangements, and when compared to the cost of living, it enables citizens to live comfortably.


Below are examples of prices for selected products and services:

  1. Rent for a one-bedroom apartment outside Copenhagen: from 5,000 DKK per month (prices are higher in the Danish capital)
  2. Rent for a two-room apartment outside the capital: 7,000 to 11,000 DKK per month (a deposit of at least three months' rent is typically required)
  3. Rent for a three-room apartment: approximately 12,000 to 16,000 DKK per month
  4. Rent for student apartments: 4,000 to 5,000 DKK per month
  5. Telephone subscription: about 43 DKK per month
  6. Internet: approximately 200 DKK per month
  7. Taxi: about 50 DKK for starting the meter, and around 15 DKK per km for regular fares
  8. Bicycle rental: 300 to 600 DKK per day
  9. Public transportation ticket: approximately 1,300 DKK per month
  10. Ticket for all metro routes in Copenhagen: about 36 DKK
  11. Gasoline: 12 to 14 DKK per liter
  12. Food prices (approximate): tomatoes: 10 DKK per kilo; bananas: 3 DKK each; milk: 8 to 12 DKK per carton; water: 3 to 10 DKK per half-liter bottle; potatoes: 10 to 20 DKK per kilogram; bread: 16 to 18 DKK per loaf; eggs: 20 to 39 DKK for a dozen; frozen rolls: 7 to 8 DKK each; chicken breast: about 60 DKK per kilogram; ham: 10 to 12 DKK for a couple of slices
  13. Restaurant prices (approximate): pizza slice: 50 DKK (90-100 DKK for a whole large pizza); fast food burger: about 15 DKK; cup of drink from a vending machine: about 7 DKK; inexpensive restaurant dish: about 125 DKK; whole dinner at a more expensive restaurant: around 300 DKK; monthly gym pass: about 150 to 350 DKK; cinema ticket: about 90 to 140 DKK; tennis court rental: about 100 to 250 DKK.


There are several grocery and non-grocery stores that are commonly found in Denmark, such as Aldi, Rema 1000, Lidl, and Fakta.


As demonstrated by the information above, the average salary in Denmark is sufficient for a high standard of living, even without knowledge of a foreign language. This is why an increasing number of Poles are choosing to emigrate to Denmark for work; according to statistics, more than 30,000 Polish citizens are currently living and working in Denmark.


Summary

Denmark is a country that values free market and competition, treating both domestic and foreign citizens equally. Polish workers who choose to work in Denmark can expect to earn significantly higher wages than in Poland, especially if they possess the necessary qualifications and knowledge of a foreign language like English or German. Even with the lowest national salary, Danish workers can enjoy a comfortable lifestyle and maintain a financial cushion. Additionally, all Danish workers are entitled to benefits and privileges offered to EU and EEA members by the Danish government.


FAQ

1. What is the average salary in Denmark?

The average salary in Denmark ranges from 20 to 40 thousand DKK gross per month, which is 4-5 times higher than the average monthly salary in Poland.


2. Is there a top-down minimum wage per hour in Denmark?

No, except for production workers and drivers engaged in combined transport and cabotage. The lowest national wage in Denmark is typically DKK 110 gross per hour without knowledge of a foreign language.


3. What factors determine salary in Denmark?

Salary in Denmark is influenced by factors such as foreign language skills, age, and qualifications. Highly specialized professionals such as doctors, nurses, dentists, programmers, lawyers, engineers, and auditors can expect much higher wages than other workers. Entry-level salaries are around DKK 14,800 and can go up to DKK 18,500 for those with academic success.


4. Can I get a well-paid job in Denmark without knowledge of the Danish language?

Yes, as Danes also communicate in English and German, you have a chance of getting a well-paid job in Denmark even without knowledge of the Danish language.


5. Who determines labor law in Denmark?

All aspects of labor law in Denmark, including vacations, wages, hours worked, and overtime, have been determined by an agreement between the Federation of Trade Unions and the Danish Employers’ Conference, and thus, these conditions are determined individually for each employee.


6. How long is the working day in Denmark?

In Denmark, the working day typically lasts between 6 and 6.5 hours, or up to 37 hours per week. If overtime is worked, the employer is required to add 50 percent of the wage for the first three overtime hours, and 100 percent for each additional hour. In the case of work on Sundays and holidays, the employee will receive an additional 100 percent.


7. How much can you save while working in Denmark?

Despite the high cost of living in Denmark, it's possible to save 3 to 5 thousand zlotys every month with an average salary of 20-40 thousand DKK.


8. How should income from Poland and Denmark be accounted for?

Income from Poland and Denmark should be settled on PIT-36, attaching PIT/ZG.


9. When working in Denmark, do I need to settle in Poland?

When working in Denmark, you must settle with the tax office in Poland once a year. You will calculate the amount of income tax to be paid to the Polish tax office by deducting the income tax paid to the Danish tax office from the Polish tax.


10. How to calculate Danish net salary?

To calculate the net salary in Denmark, you can use online calculators - salaries of 15-30 thousand DKK gross should be multiplied by rates of 30-35 percent.


11. After how many years of work is a pension due in Denmark?

In Denmark, up to 2.5% of the pension is due for each year worked, so when reaching retirement age and having worked for 5 years, you are entitled to 12.5% of the benefit. The basic Danish pension is DKK 54,204 per year for those who have lived in Denmark for 40 years, and reduced by 1/40 for each year lived for those who lived for less time.


12. How to find a job in Denmark?

You can find a job in Denmark by calling a special hotline +45 7222 3399, using the European EURES job database or the websites where the Public Employment Service job offers are posted, such as wokindenmark.dk jobnet.dk. You can find offers for seasonal work at www.seasonalwork.dk. Remember to apply to SIRI (Danish Agency for International Recruitment and Integration) to obtain a Registreringsbevis, or residence registration certificate if you plan to stay in Denmark for more than 3 months.


13. What documents do I need to work in Denmark?

If you plan to work in Denmark, you must have a passport, ID card, or temporary passport. Citizens of EU, EEA countries, or Switzerland can apply for a residence registration certificate from SIRI as soon as they start working, but only after three months of working can they register their residence in Denmark. Scandinavian citizens are allowed to live and work in Denmark without permission.


14. How can I find affordable accommodation in Denmark?

You can search for rental accommodation from private landlords on websites such as polonia.dk, wirtualnakopenhaga.pl, or federacja-polonia.dk. You can also sign up for a Danish housing cooperative, but the wait time is long, and having a "yellow card" is a requirement. In cooperative housing, rental costs are not incurred, so you can save DKK 2,000 to 3,000 per month by only paying utilities and rent.


15. What taxes do I have to pay while working in Denmark?

If you live and work in Denmark, you have unlimited tax liability, which means you must file a tax return with the Danish tax authorities every year. The tax amount is based on your annual income and is payable to SKAT by both employees and employers. Income tax includes a flat municipal tax and a progressive tax to the state. The tax-free rate is 10.10% on gross wages, and the percentage rates range from 8% to 56.5%, depending on the income amount. Additionally, a voluntary church tax of 0.92% is applicable.



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