English speaking jobs in the Netherlands - The requirements

Finding an English speaking job in the Netherlands takes more than just translating your CV and packing your bags for the big move. To work in the Netherlands you need to know about the requirements for international workers, the current job market and of course, where to find a job. This guide covers all the basics in order to find an English speaking job in the Netherlands.

What is the Dutch job market like?

First things first. When you’re looking for an English speaking job in the Netherlands, you should know what the Dutch job market looks like. Luckily for you there are lots of opportunities for expats looking to work in the Netherlands. This little country is home to a wide range of international and multinational companies. There’s also plenty of recruitment agencies like Undutchables with lots of experience of placing foreign talent in English speaking jobs in the Netherlands.

And foreign talent is needed! Highly-skilled and multilingual talents are in great demand for many different fields. Including: engineering, IT specialists, those working in finance as well as people with experience in sales, marketing and customer service. There are also a number of rapidly growing and thriving job sectors such as agriculture, food, creative industries, energy and life sciences.

Especially for people who know 1 or more foreign languages, there are lots of opportunities to be found. Here are some excellent career ideas for people who know foreign languages.

Dutch working culture and salaries

You have made the decision! It’s time to move to the Netherlands in search of a job. But what will your working life be like once you land that dream job? The Dutch usually work a 36 to 40 hour week, sometimes spread over just four days. In general, work is very well-structured with days starting at 9am and ending around 5. For a lot of Dutchies the work to life balance is very important. Therefore working overtime is not typically expected and there is a high value on building team spirit as well as personal development.

The average monthly net salary in the Netherlands is expected to be just over €2.800 a month in 2024. This income may vary depending on your working field and expertise. In terms of average salaries, the Netherlands scores quite high compared to other European countries. The minimum wage in the Netherlands is dependent on age, with the current hourly minimum wage for full-time workers who are 21 and over being €13,27, which equals a monthly salary of approximately €2.300 for a 40 hour work week (as of January 2024).

The requirements to work an English speaking job in the Netherlands

There are a few requirements that you need to keep in mind when looking to start working in the Netherlands.

Work visas:

If you’re from the European Union, European Economic Area (Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway) or from Switzerland, you are free to live and work in the Netherlands. No work or residence permit needed. However, keep in mind you will need to register with the Dutch authorities. If you’re from anywhere else you will typically need a work permit as well as a residence permit.

Most people looking for an English speaking job in the Netherlands will qualify for the ‘single work and residence permit’. However, if you are an international student in the Netherlands or a seasonal worker you might still need to apply for separate work and residence permits. Others, such as holders of the EU Blue Card or highly-skilled workers won’t need to apply for a work permit. They only need a residence permit.

Do I have to speak Dutch?:

Although it would be nice to know a few words such as dank je wel (thank you) or goedemorgen (good morning). You don’t have to speak Dutch to be able to work in the Netherlands. In fact, English is the main business language in many companies. However, if you want to work for a smaller company it could increase your chances of landing that job if you speak a bit of Dutch. Luckily a lot of locals are fluent in English and love to teach you a few words here and there so you’ll pick up on it in no time!

The right qualifications:

In many cases your chance of finding an English speaking job in the Netherlands is greater if you hold at least a Bachelor’s degree. If you get an interview for a job, you’ll need to provide testimonials or references from your former employers as well as your CV. So make sure to bring your diplomas, degree certificates and any other documents that might help you in your job search when you move to the Netherlands.

You will also need a Citizen Service Number (BSN or burgerservicenummer) before you are allowed to start working in the Netherlands. It’s a social security number which you will receive when you register at the city hall of the city you live in.

That should give you a nice starting point to begin your hunt for an English speaking job in the Netherlands. Need a bit more help, don’t worry! You can check out our vacancies here and register. We will be happy to help you find your dream job.

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