Moving to Denmark

Published 2023-01-06 14:44:52
A dock with colorful houses in Copenhagen - Source: Photo by Meg Jerrard on Unsplash

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Here’s what you can expect if you move to Denmark.

Located in Scandinavia in Northern Europe, Denmark is a country that tops the list of many expats' dream destinations, thanks to its thriving economy and open-minded culture.

With a high standard of living, excellent state-provided services, and above-average wages, it's no surprise that so many people want to move to Denmark.

In fact, Denmark is regularly voted one of the happiest countries in the world. This positive mood across the population is attributed to a stable economy, shorter working days (especially compared to countries like the US), and a focus on creating cozy interiors.

Expats wanting to move to Denmark can expect a population that on the whole speaks excellent English, as well as job opportunities with high wages. Denmark’s weather is not for the faint-hearted, however, with cold winters and extremely short days at some parts of the year.

Working in Denmark

What are the best job opportunities for expats in Denmark? Thanks to the ubiquity of English in Denmark, it’s relatively easy to find an English-speaking job without needing to be fluent in Danish.

Generally, English speakers have great job prospects in industries that require knowledge of the English language, such as tourism and education.

However, it is definitely worth learning at least some Danish before moving to Denmark because it's likely to be useful in a personal and professional capacity and can lead to better-paid work.

One of the best ways to find a job in Denmark is to analyze professions that are in demand and see if any of them fit your skillset. Here are some professions currently seeking skilled workers, with extensive experience, a university degree, and other qualifications:

  • Administrative and commercial managers
  • Managers in the social field
  • Hospitality, retail and other services managers
  • Natural Science and engineering
  • Healthcare
  • Teaching and educational work.

Aside from teachers, the Danish labor market is currently experiencing shortages in the following educational roles:

  • Adult education center teachers
  • Teachers at independent boarding schools for lower secondary school students
  • Child care workers
  • Social education workers
  • Assistant pre-school teachers.

Currently, Denmark requires 6000 new teachers per year, and the demand for workers in teaching roles is set to increase by 12% by 2038, making education a good place to start looking for roles.

Salary in Denmark

On average, the salary in Denmark is higher than in other countries. You can also expect to pay more tax than other countries, but this high taxation is reflected in excellent public services, such as healthcare and education.

What is a Good Salary?

The average salary in Denmark is around 47,000 DKK per month, which equates to around $7000. The highest average salary can be found in Copenhagen, for 53,000 DKK ($7850) per month, with the lowest being 45,800 DKK ($6,800) in North Jutland - but this is still considered high by global standards.

With taxation reaching up to 50% in some cases, workers take home only a percentage of their gross pay.

Minimum Salary

Unlike many other EU countries, there's no fixed minimum wage in Denmark. Instead, a minimum workplace salary tends to be negotiated between unions and employers. Most salaries in Denmark don't tend to drop below 110 DKK ($16) per hour, which equates to approximately $2,500 per month.

What is an average salary?

The average salary depends on which type of profession you opt for, but here are some examples of the average annual salary for common professions.

  • Accountant: 250,000 DKK ($37,300)
  • Marketing manager: 427,000 DKK ($63,800)
  • Nurse: 330,000 DKK ($49,300)
  • Web developer: 339,000 DKK ($50,600)
  • Teacher 300,000 DKK (44,800).

Before accepting a job in Denmark, make sure you can live comfortably on your salary, taking into account the heavy taxation.

Renting in Denmark

Finding housing in Denmark can be a challenge because properties are in high demand and the prices are equally high. This is especially true in cities such as Copenhagen or Aarhus, where immigrants make up a larger portion of the population.

There are both furnished and unfurnished apartments on the market, and you can search for rental properties at Most unfurnished accommodation still comes with a semi-furnished kitchen, with a stove, oven and fridge. Some places even include a freezer and washing machine. 

What documents are required for renting in Denmark?

Requirements vary depending on which country you come from, but most landlords typically want proof of income and proof that you're living legally in Denmark. Most often, this proof will be in the form of a Visa or job contract.

The only thing you should have to sign before moving into a rental property in Denmark is a rental contract.

You can also fill in reports known as the indflytningsrapport and the fraflytningsrapportm which contain a list of flaws or damages in the apartment. That way, you can keep track of damages that were already there, making it easier to get your deposit back from your landlord.

Utilities and bills the renter is responsible for

In general, renters in Denmark will be responsible for their own electric, gas, and WiFi bills. Occasionally, however, the landlord will include the cost of the bills in the monthly rental price.

The utilities you do and don’t pay for should be listed in your rental contract, so consult that in the first instance.

Cost of living in Denmark

The cost of living in Denmark is higher than many other European countries - but it is mostly cancelled out by the equally generous wages. If you live and work in Denmark, you can expect to enjoy a great quality of life despite high costs.

Here are some of the costs an average family or individual can expect to incur:

  • Family of four estimated monthly costs are approximately 26,143.37 DKK without rent.
  • A single person’s estimated monthly costs are 7,272.11 DKK without rent.

Approximate cost of utilities per month

The average cost for basic utilities such as electricity and heating in an 85m2 apartment is 1,370.73 DKK per month.

The average cost for internet is 243.26 DKK per month.

Approximate cost of renting per month

A room for a single person in a shared flat costs between 4,000 and 6,000DKK.

Small studios or 1-2 bedroom apartments are highly in demand. They tend to be rented by a single person or a couple without children for between 8,000 and 10,000 DKK per month.

Larger apartments with 2-3 bedrooms cost between 13,000 and 15,000 DKK. Larger apartments with 4-6 bedrooms usually start at 16,000 DKK, and are perfect for sharing [Source: Numbeo cost of living].

The process of becoming an expat in any country has its challenges, but thanks to Denmark’s friendly culture, proficiency in English, and high standard of living, there are few places more welcoming to newcomers.

You can also read more information about expatriation to Denmark in our Expat Guide to Copenhagen.

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