Working in Amsterdam



As one of the richest cities in the world, Amsterdam is home to major international corporations, but the best industries for jobs in the city are the creative industry (modern design, media, arts), I.T., and life and health sciences.  

Amsterdam lies in one of Europe's smallest countries, the Netherlands, but it is, no doubt, one of the richest countries in the continent. Its domestic market is heavily dependent on trade, its main industries being food processing, gas and oil, retail, property, transport, communications and financial services. These are the fields where companies are actively recruiting, although shortages are now observed in the areas of engineering, technical and financial services. The city is more welcoming of foreign workers than other major cities in the EU. Looking for a job as a foreigner is not impossible, although it would be better if you find a job before moving to Amsterdam as it could be very difficult to find a job on a tourist visa.  

Working Permits 

Citizens of EU countries may take up employment in Amsterdam without a work permit, but a residence permit must be obtained if they stay beyond six months. For non-EU citizens, a work permit may be applied for by the employer, but the job candidate must first obtain a residence permit from the Royal Netherlands Embassy in his home country. All work permits in the country are specific to a single employer, which means an expat cannot work in a company other than the one that applied for his permit. Should he take another job, another work permit must be secured by the new employer.  

Business Etiquette 

Punctuality is essential for the Dutch, who pride themselves on the value they put on time. The official business language is English, although not everyone in the workplace may be fluent in it. Suits are worn for formal business occasions while smart casual attire is preferred for less formal gatherings. It is customary for the Dutch to offer a bouquet of flowers when being invited to dinner by a business associate. Frequent casual conversations among Dutch executives are centred on politics, flight and accommodations as well as expats' home countries.

Working Hours 

Employees in Amsterdam may work as much as 9 hours a day and 45 hours a week. But with a 2080-working hour limit for each, one can only work an average of 40 hours per business week, which starts Mondays and ends on Fridays, depending on the type of work. Also, there is a minimum legal requirement of one day's rest a week, normally a Sunday. Normal work hours begin at 9 am and end at 6 pm with two 15-minute breaks and lunch breaks of an hour-and-a-half. It is common to find Dutch workers not leaving their desks at lunch and having their meal right there so as to be able to leave an hour earlier at the end of the workday.  


In Amsterdam, the average weekly wage is about 1,509 NLG (925 USD) per week or 78,505.74 NLG (48,100 USD) annually. A worker from the private sector earns 928 USD per week or roughly 48,256USD in a year. Local government employees are earning 822 USD a week that gives them an annual income of 42,744 USD. Federal Government wages are 812 USD a week or 42,224 USD in a year. Professional and Business Services careers in the city earn workers 81,328 USD a year while Education and Health Services jobs allow one to make an annual income 40,300 USD. These are the tempting figures for expats who get to enjoy doing business or having regular jobs aside from the fun and excitement they enjoy in a rich city like Amsterdam.



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Working in The Netherlands

Expat Services in Amsterdam