Things you've always wanted to know about salaries in the Netherlands

Things you've always wanted to know about salaries in the Netherlands

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Projob is a recruitment and career coaching agency with a focus on expats. Projob works with local and international companies, professionals and freelancers.

When it comes to your salary, things might work differently here in the Netherlands than what you are used to. What should you be aware of?


The location of a company can make a difference when it comes to the salary expectations of job seekers. The municipalities with the highest average salaries are located in North Holland, South Holland and Utrecht. Regions like Groningen and Drenthe pay lower salaries.

What is a modal income?

The government often uses the term “modal income”, meaning the most common individual income. This is not the same as a median income. The most common individual income is 35.500 gross per year.

Minimum wage

In the Netherlands, employers must pay their employees a minimum wage. If you are paid less than that, your employer is not following the rules and can, therefore, get fined. The minimum wage applies to both permanent and temporary jobs.

Sometimes employers make net wage agreements. However, when calculating net to gross, the amount may turn out to be less than the obliged minimum wage. So, always make gross wage agreements when it comes to your salary to avoid problems and getting underpaid.

The statutory minimum wage rate is updated every six months, on January 1 and July 1 of any given year. This means that every employer must adjust their wages on these dates.

Minimum wage as of January 1, 2018

The amounts given in the table below are gross amounts. The net amount received by the employee will depend on the taxes and social insurance contributions deducted from their wage. No net wages are therefore prescribed by law.

Age Euros per month Euros per hour (40hrs per week)
22 and over 1578.00 9.11
21 1341.30 7.74
20 1104.60 6.38
19 867.90 5.01
18 749.55 4.33
17 623.30 3.60
16 544.40 3.15
15 473.40 2.74

Full minimum wage for employees who are subject to a work permit

If you have a work permit, your employer must pay you at least the full minimum wage applicable to employees aged 23 and older, even if you are younger than 23 or working part-time.

When can you expect a salary raise?

If you work for a company which has a CAO, your salary will increase per the CAO rules. This CAO states when and how much your salary will go up each year. If the company you work for does not have a CAO, you will often find that the company does have rules concerning salary increases.

Els Brouwer is the Executive Director of Projob Company Onboarding. She has been working with expats and international companies for over 20 years. See what Projob can do for you

Els Brouwer


Els Brouwer

Els has been working for more than twenty years in the recruitment sector and now at Projob, an agency that offers not only recruitment but also careercoaching. She is responsible...

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