What Is A Good Salary in Rotterdam, Netherlands?

So you have finally decided to move to the Netherlands and make Rotterdam your new home. You hope to find a good job, but then you wonder, what is a good salary in Rotterdam? The Dutch are known for being thrifty, but that doesn’t mean that they do not know how to live well.

In fact, the cost of living in the Netherlands is relatively high, especially in big cities like Rotterdam. Prices for basic necessities such as food and transportation are high, and rent can also be expensive.

A monthly net salary of between 3,000 EUR and 4,000 EUR is a good salary for Rotterdam. This translates to an annual gross salary of 54,000 EUR. In Rotterdam, Netherlands, anyone earning above 4,000 EUR gross salary is in a good place.

Rotterdam remains Europe’s largest seaport, making it highly cosmopolitan, with over 180 nationals. Being a busy seaport city makes it multicultural, attracting expats from across the region. Read on to learn the cost of living in Rotterdam, Netherlands, so you can make an informed decision as you relocate. You can also learn about salaries in the Netherlands in the dedicated article.

What is considered a decent salary in Rotterdam?

Before you put pen to paper accepting that contract for a job in Rotterdam, you need to evaluate whether what you are being offered will afford you a good life. Since  Rotterdam is a major seaport city, it’s home to most multinationals and offers many opportunities. 

In Rotterdam, a net salary of 3,000 EUR puts you above the median wage and can afford you a good life. You can afford a one-bedroom apartment, decent meals, two-weekend getaways, and even save some cash.

To make that amount, however, you will have to earn an annual gross pay of 45,000 EUR.

If you are an expert in your field, strive and negotiate for an annual gross pay of 54,000 EUR to live a great life in Rotterdam. It will afford you a comfortable lifestyle, and you can even afford to be a little extravagant.

The average pay in Rotterdam ranges around 2,300 EUR, allowing the residents to get by; for this reason, you should negotiate a monthly net salary of not less than 3,000 EUR. At that range, your resolution to relocate will be worthwhile.

Your responsibilities will influence in a big way the amount you will be willing to work for. For a single person, a 3,000 EUR salary is acceptable, but with a family, relying on a single revenue will have you straining, and you will be forced to supplement this income.

Read our guide on the cost of living for a family in the Netherlands.

The revenue burden could worsen if you have school-going kids; a salary of 3,000 EUR will have you on your toes.

Moreover, when kids are in the picture, you’ll need better housing with extra space, the cost of meals is also higher, and utilities will be much higher.

It’s, therefore, critical to evaluate your situation on the kind of life the offer can accord you. Ideally, a family of four in Rotterdam relying on a single income should aim for nothing less than 50,000 EUR annually. At that rate, you can live comfortably, but nothing out of the ordinary. 

Example of a good salary in Rotterdam

Assuming you settle for a job offering you a monthly net salary of 3,000 EUR in Rotterdam, which is considered a good income. How can you distribute that income?

  • Housing – rent and utilities could sum up to 1,700 EUR
  • Transportation – 100 EUR (assuming you live in the city center within proximity to where you work)
  • Food and groceries – 300 EUR
  • Discretionary – 100 EUR
  • Saving – 300 EUR

From this analysis, you still have some EUR left for your weekend getaways and maybe go on holiday twice a year.

The breakdown assumes that you are a single person without responsibilities. 

If you wish to save more on your salary, utilize the reliable transport system in Rotterdam. You have several options where you could use public transport, train, bicycles and even water transport is available. 

The distribution will change if you have a family with kids. For instance, if you are a family of four, most probably the least you can have for housing is a two-bedroom apartment, and the minimum monthly rent and utilities for that would be 2,000 EUR, which leaves you with 1,000 EUR to survive on.

Average salary in Rotterdam in 2023

Rotterdam being a seaport city, offers numerous opportunities for expats and other areas such as hospitality due to the ever-vibrant tourist industry.

According to Payscale, the highest-paid occupations in Rotterdam are in the engineering and technology sector, while others, such as project managers, also attract good perks. 

Here’s a breakdown of salaries to expect for different professions:

OccupationAverage Annual Earnings (EUR)
Software Developer42,000
Software Engineer44,000
Project Managers50,000
Account Manager35,000
Engineer35,000
Software Engineer60,000
Waiter28,000
Dentist63,000
Lecturer46,000
Pharmacist50,000
Finance Manager45,000
Sales Manager40,000

Rotterdam remains a vibrant city with many opportunities for expatriate-level and low-level jobs in startups and smaller firms. It remains highly rated regarding work-life balance, and the growth potential is high.

If you are from the EU region, you won’t have to acquire a work permit for Rotterdam, but if you get to stay for more than three months, you’ll have to acquire a resident permit.

If you aren’t from the EU region, the rules change, as you will need to acquire a work permit, and your potential employer will also have to apply for one.

Your salary in Rotterdam will be subjected to national taxes and municipal taxes. The national taxes include the income tax, which your employer will remit.

The rate of tax you’ll be charged depends on your salary scale. You’ll be expected to pay taxes at a flat rate if you have savings.

Transport is an item of tax across the Netherlands. If you have a car, you’ll have to remit motor vehicle tax. You’ll still pay taxes for a lease agreement where you don’t own the car but drive it to work, and the figure charged depends on the car’s value.

How much do you need to make to live comfortably in Rotterdam?

To a large extent, how comfortably you live in an area depends on the cost of living in that locality. According to statistics, the average cost of living for a single in Rotterdam is 2,038 EUR, and families should budget about 4,000 EUR a month.

The Netherlands has a healthy economy, ranking 17th in the world and 7th within the European Union block. Hence, you will earn enough to cover living expenses as well as to save some money.

The cost of living in the Netherlands is comparable and slightly lower than in some countries in the EU. For instance, living anywhere in the Netherlands is 7% cheaper than living in the UK.

Rotterdam, a major seaport city, compares well to other cities such as New York and Sydney.

Source: numbeo.com

Some of the essential aspects you need to evaluate to get a clear picture of the cost of living include:

  • Housing
  • Consumer prices
  • Groceries
  • Health
  • Transport
  • Utilities
  • Taxes
  • Leisure
  • Education if you have kids
  • Vacation

Evaluate the cost of these aspects compared to your current status to help you make an informed decision and guide you in negotiating a favorable package.

In Rotterdam as a single person, you can live comfortably with a net pay of 3,000 EUR. A family of two adults with a single income should aim for 3,500 EUR and above.

Two adults with two kids in school have to negotiate for 4,000 EUR and above, the reasons being:

  • You’ll need extra room space for the kids.
  • Although school is mostly free in Rotterdam, you could occasionally be asked to chip in for some school utilities.
  • You will need an extra amount for your expenses, including vacation, transport, groceries, and utilities.

Read our guide on the cost of living for a family in the Netherlands.

Here’s how Rotterdam compares to regular expenses:

Rent

Housing in Rotterdam will take off a big chunk of your income. Comparing the rent in Rotterdam to other cities in the Netherlands, such as Amsterdam and Hague, Rotterdam is cheaper

You should budget from 1,000 EUR to 1,400 EUR for a one-bedroom apartment and from 1,200 EUR to 2,000 EUR for a three-bedroom place. Rentals often come unfurnished.

Rent within the city is usually higher than in the outskirts. When deciding whether to reside in the city or the outskirts, consider the cost of transport to and from your workplace.

If the difference surpasses what you would pay for when living in the city and walking to work, you are better off living within the city center.

Food

The cost of food remains a critical aspect when evaluating the cost of living in an area. Rotterdam, for instance, offers a variety of choices especially being a port city and a multicultural center, and food comes in abundance.

Moreover, the staple food in the Netherlands is relatively affordable compared to some EU members, where food is overly priced. For groceries, you should budget at least 300 EUR as a single and 500 EUR as a family.

Food prices keep fluctuating depending on seasonality and other aspects such as logistics; however, in a nutshell, food in Rotterdam can be termed affordable.

Eating out

When eating out, most restaurants average close to 20 EUR per person, which is relatively affordable given the food quality.

An average meal in a restaurant costs 14 EUR, a beer – 4,5 EUR; a coffee goes for around 3 EUR – pretty much average European prices.

Gastronomy is vibrant in Rotterdam, and you can be ready to try out different cuisines, given the multicultural diversity of the city.

Transportation 

Like other cities in the Netherlands, owning a car is expensive in Rotterdam. As a foreigner, you are better off using systematic public transport as it’s well organized. Take advantage of travel cards that are cheaper compared to individual tickets.

A monthly ticket for public transport in Rotterdam costs 83 EUR.

Cycling is big in Rotterdam, well as anywhere in the Netherlands. There is an excellent infrastructure available; besides the one-off cost of acquiring the bicycle, cycling only costs your peddling energy. 

Anna

Anna is an enthusiastic expatriate with experience of living in Germany, Austria and Greece. She shares her passion for living abroad on this website.

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