Denmark has become a popular destination for Polish emigrants seeking work due to its high average salary, which is one of the highest in Europe. Although the cost of living in Scandinavia is high, the Danish wage is sufficient to make it worthwhile. Skilled workers are in high demand in the Danish labor market and can expect above-average pay and good working conditions, as well as the same rights and privileges as Danish citizens.
If you're interested in learning more, the guide below can answer questions about the average salary in Denmark, how Danish salaries compare to the rest of Europe, which professions are the best paid in Denmark, how the average Danish salary compares to the cost of living, and which professions are likely to earn high salaries in Denmark. Happy reading!
Average salary in Denmark
Denmark is known for its liberal economic policies, which offer numerous opportunities for economic migrants from the European Economic Area and the European Union. The average salary in Denmark varies between DKK 20,000 and 40,000 per month, depending on the profession, level of Danish language proficiency, age and competence of the employee. The lowest national salary in Denmark is much higher than the minimum salary in Poland, and the cost of living in Denmark is not high compared to the Danish salary. The state has a well-developed pro-social policy, which provides workers with numerous privileges and concessions, including accommodation, food, and transportation. Additionally, the cost of services such as telephone and internet subscriptions is relatively low in Denmark.
Denmark has no top-down minimum wage, except for production workers or drivers engaged in combined transport and cabotage, and working conditions are determined by agreements between the Trade Union Federation and the Danish Employers’ Conference.
The average Danish salary vs. salary levels using selected professions as an example
Denmark is one of the wealthiest European countries and was recognized as the most financially comfortable place to live in Europe in 2016. The country is renowned for its good social policies, high salaries, and equal rights for all citizens. The Danish salary is influenced by various factors, including the employee's qualifications, profession, age, and language skills, while the average salary ranges from DKK 20,000 to 40,000 per month, or between PLN 12,000 and 25,000. Denmark does not have a top-down minimum hourly wage, except for some exceptions, and the weekly working hours are shorter than in Poland, averaging around 37 hours per week with a daily average of 6-6.5 hours.
The minimum Danish salary for workers without foreign language skills or relevant qualifications is approximately DKK 13,000 per month, or about PLN 10,000 per month. In Copenhagen, the lowest salary is approximately DKK 15,000 per month, while the average is around DKK 20,000 per month.
How much can you earn on average, working in Denmark?
- Farm worker: From 75 DKK per hour
- Greenhouse worker: From 80 DKK per hour; DKK 130-140 per hour in some cases
- Cleaning: 110-130 DKK per hour; in Copenhagen, about 15,000 DKK per month
- Production worker: From 127 DKK per hour (top-down minimum wage, effective March 1, 2022)
- Glazier: Approx. 150 DKK per hour
- Construction worker: 150-160 DKK per hour
- Warehouse worker: 150-170 DKK per hour
- Locksmith: Approx. 160 DKK per hour
- Car mechanic and CNC operator: 160-170 DKK per hour
- Driver performing combined and cabotage transport: 163 DKK per hour (minimum wage set top-down)
- Welder: 170-220 DKK per hour
- Assembler: 170-190 DKK per hour
- Roofer: 175-180 DKK per hour
- Electrician and plumber: 180-190 DKK per hour
- Cashier: Approx. DKK 14,000 per month
- Manager: Approx. DKK 14,700 per month
- Secretary: 26,000-27,500 DKK per month
- Medical staff: Approx. 18,500 DKK per month
- IT specialist: DKK 25,000-40,000 per month
- Doctors and lawyers: From 38,000 DKK up to 70,000 DKK per month.
In addition, Danish residents can count on social benefits of:
- 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.
Denmark provides state-funded internships at various institutions such as research centers, farms, museums, energy corporations, art institutes, architecture, science, archaeology, and oil companies. The program is designed for individuals between the ages of 18 and 35 who hold a diploma and have knowledge of at least one foreign language, including Danish, English, German, Swedish, or Norwegian. These internships provide valuable opportunities for professional development and work experience.
Average salary in Denmark vs. cost of living
Denmark does not have a central top-down regulation that covers labor laws. As such, factors such as salary, retirement age, vacation, termination conditions, length of the working day, overtime, and working hours are determined on an individual basis through contracts between employers and the Federation of Trade Unions.
The average Danish salary is a reflection of these contractual arrangements, which provide workers with good wages and benefits. Compared to the cost of living, the average Danish salary enables citizens to maintain a high standard of living.
The following are some examples of prices for various products and services in Denmark:
- Renting a one-bedroom apartment outside of Copenhagen: From 5,000 DKK per month (prices are higher in the capital).
- Renting a two-room apartment outside of the capital: From 7,000 to 11,000 DKK per month (a deposit of at least three months’ rent should be added to the cost of accommodation).
- Renting a three-room apartment: About 12,000 to 16,000 DKK per month.
- Rent for student apartments: From 4,000 to 5,000 DKK per month.
- Telephone subscription: About 43 DKK per month.
- Internet: About 200 DKK per month.
- Taxi: About 50 DKK to start, and about 15 DKK per km at the regular fare.
- Bicycle rental: From 300 to 600 DKK per day.
- Public transportation ticket: Approximately DKK 1,300 per month.
- Ticket for all metro routes in Copenhagen: About 36 DKK.
- Gasoline: About 12-14 DKK per liter.
- Food prices: 10 DKK for a kilo of tomatoes, 3 DKK for one banana, 8-12 DKK for a carton of milk, 3-10 DKK for a half-liter bottle of water, 10-20 DKK for a kilogram of potatoes, 16-18 DKK for a loaf of bread, 20-30 DKK for 12 eggs, 7-8 DKK for frozen rolls, 39 DKK for 20 eggs, 60 DKK for a kilogram of chicken breast, and 10-12 DKK for a couple of slices of ham.
- Pizza in a restaurant: About 50 DKK for a slice (90-100 DKK for a whole large pizza).
- Fast food burger: About 15 DKK.
- Dish at an inexpensive restaurant: About 125 DKK.
- Whole dinner at a more expensive restaurant: About 300 DKK.
- Monthly pass to the gym: About 150-350 DKK.
- Ticket to the cinema: About 90-140 DKK.
- Tennis court rental: About 100-250 DKK.
In summary, Denmark is a country that follows the principles of free market and competition, treating both domestic and foreign citizens equally. Poles who decide to work in Denmark can expect to earn much higher wages than they would in Poland, particularly if they have the necessary qualifications and know one of the languages spoken in Denmark, such as English or German. Even with the lowest national salary, a Danish worker can still enjoy a comfortable life and maintain a financial cushion. Additionally, Danish workers are entitled to the concessions and privileges offered to EU and EEA members by the Danish government.
- The average salary in Denmark ranges from 20,000 to 40,000 DKK per month, which is four to five times higher than the average salary in Poland.
- Denmark does not have a top-down minimum wage per hour, except for production workers and drivers engaged in combined transport and cabotage. The lowest national wage is usually 110 DKK gross per hour without foreign language skills.
- The salary for working in Denmark depends on factors such as foreign language skills, age, and competence. Highly specialized professionals, such as doctors, lawyers, and engineers, can expect higher wages than others.
- Without knowledge of the Danish language, one can still find a well-paid job in Denmark, especially since Danes also communicate in German and English.
- All aspects of labor law in Denmark have been determined by an agreement between the Federation of Trade Unions and the Danish Employers’ Conference, so conditions are determined individually.
- The working day in Denmark is typically 6 to 6.5 hours, up to 37 hours per week, with overtime pay at 50% for the first 3 hours and 100% for each additional hour.
- Despite Denmark's high cost of living, with an average salary of 20,000 to 40,000 DKK, workers can still save 3,000 to 5,000 PLN per month.
- To account for income from Poland and Denmark, one should settle it on PIT-36 and attach PIT/ZG.
- If one works in Denmark, they must settle with the tax office in Poland once a year, and the amount of income tax paid to the Danish tax office will be deducted from the Polish tax.
- To calculate the Danish net salary, one can use online calculators, and salaries of 15-30 thousand DKK gross should be multiplied by rates of 30-35 percent.
- In Denmark, a pension is due after working for up to 5 years, and the basic Danish pension is DKK 54,204 per year for those who have lived in Denmark for 40 years.
- To find a job in Denmark, one can call a special hotline or use job databases such as EURES, wokindenmark.dk, and jobnet.dk. It's required to apply for a Registreringsbevis if planning to stay in Denmark for more than 3 months.
- Citizens of EU or EEA countries are entitled to apply for a residence registration certificate from SIRI after starting work, while citizens of Scandinavian countries can work and live in Denmark without permission.
- To find cheap accommodation in Denmark, one can look for rental accommodation from private landlords on sites such as polonia.dk, wirtualnakopenhaga.pl, and federacja-polonia.dk.
- Another way to find accommodation in Denmark is to sign up for a housing cooperative, which has a waiting time of six months to one and a half years, and requires having a "yellow card." Cooperative housing does not have rental costs, and residents only need to pay utilities and rent, which allows them to save DKK 2,000 to 3,000 per month.
- If you work and live in Denmark, you have unlimited tax liability, which means you must file a tax return with the Danish tax authorities every year by May 1 (or July 1) through the online government portal www.skat.dk, using the pre-ordered 8-digit code Tast Selv. Limited tax liability applies if you work in Denmark but live outside the country or have employment with a Danish company under a fixed-term employment contract.
- Income tax in Denmark consists of a flat municipal tax and a progressive tax to the state, payable by both Danish employers and employees, and the amount depends on the annual income.
- The tax-free rate in Denmark is 10.10% on gross wages, and the income tax percentage rates are 8% for income below DKK 50,217, 39.2% for income between DKK 50,217 and DKK 558,043, and 56.5% for income above DKK 558,043.
- There is also a voluntary church tax, which averages 0.92 percent.