10 Highest-Paying Jobs in the Netherlands

The Netherlands is known for its generous salaries — but which jobs earn the highest paycheques?

Reviewed by Chris Leitch

Highest-Paying Jobs in the Netherlands

Do you live in a small town with few employment opportunities, or perhaps in a big city where you feel dissatisfied in a job you once enjoyed? Maybe you’re looking to start anew somewhere else?

If so, it might be time to start thinking about moving abroad — perhaps to the Netherlands, a country known for more than just its beautiful scenery. The European nation has one of the highest average salaries in the world and plenty of career opportunities for those considering relocating there for work.

But what are some of the most lucrative jobs available in the country?

We looked into the 10 highest-paying jobs in the Netherlands, and here’s what we found based on data compiled from the Nationale Beroepengids (Dutch only).

10. Addiction psychiatrist

Average annual salary: €76,560 ($87,620 / £65,400)

Despite its drug policies, the Netherlands’ drug addiction is minimal, with low consumption rates nationwide. But the government has installed harm-reduction programmes and spends tens of millions of euros each year on facilities for addicts.

This is why an addiction psychiatrist is an in-demand position in the country, a field that concentrates on treating patients’ dependences through a mix of psychological therapy and medication. As the nation further liberalises its drug policies, critics warn of a jump in consumers and addicts, requiring the professional knowledge and recommendations from an addiction psychiatrist, who can expect to make anywhere between €4,640 ($5,310 / £3,970) and €8,120 ($9,290 / £6,930) a month.

9. Lawyer

Average annual salary: €78,600 ($89,950 / £67,150)

While there are plenty of attorneys in the Netherlands, there are some qualifications you must attain before you can officially become a lawyer and start practising. In addition to completing law school with a Dutch postsecondary institution, you also need to complete a three-year Professional Education Programme for the legal profession.

After that, you can choose from the wide variety of legal fields and earn a monthly minimum of €4,890 ($5,600 / £4,180) up to €8,200 ($9,390 / £7,000).

8. Mayor

Average annual salary: €81,960 ($93,810 / £70,030)

Can anyone become a mayor in the Netherlands? The country’s political system has highlighted that it’s open to a broad array of ideologies, and voters have shown its acceptance of many different political parties. So, do you think becoming a mayor is the right thing for you?

Whatever happens, you should never dismiss the possibility, and it certainly is quite the income generator: between €3,340 ($3,820 / £2,850) and €10,330 ($11,830 / £8,830) a month.

7. Accountant

Average annual salary: €94,560 ($108,250 / £80,820)

Believe it or not, there’s a shortage of qualified accountants in the Netherlands, particularly in major cities such as Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Eindhoven.

While you need to be registered with the Netherlands Association of Registered Controllers, the requirements of becoming an accountant are worth it, considering your appealing earning potential. The average monthly wage ranges between €2,250 ($2,580 / £1,920) and €13,500 ($15,450 / £11,540).

6. Company lawyer

Average annual salary: €99,240 ($113,620 / £84,830)

Corporate lawyers are in demand everywhere around the world, particularly as the global economy intensifies. The Netherlands has always attracted and facilitated private enterprise, from corporations to small businesses. Therefore, corporate attorneys are always needed, which explains the average monthly wage of €6,460 ($7,400 / £5,520) up to €10,000 ($11,450 / £8,550).

5. Dermatologist

Average annual salary: €99,960 ($114,430 / £85,440)

Are you a professional dermatologist? If so, you’ll quickly learn how serious the Netherlands takes the industry, requiring many years in school before going into the field. In fact, the nation maintains a five-year dermatology programme that is offered by eight university hospitals, as well as an average training period of one to two years.

Considering the average monthly wage ranges between €5,830 ($6,670 / £4,980) and €10,830 ($12,400 / £9,260), it’s understandable!

4. Neurosurgeon

Average annual salary: €99,960 ($114,430 / £85,440)

The Netherlands enjoys one of the greatest healthcare systems on the planet. But its medical care system is only as good as the people who deliver it to patients. Be it working in a non-academic hospital or teaching students at a medical school, neurosurgeons are one of the top jobs in the European nation.

They’re well-compensated too, earning between €5,830 ($6,670 / £4,980) and €10,833 ($12,400 / £9,260) a month. Surprisingly, the earning power among neurosurgeons is tied with dermatologists.

3. Commercial director

Average annual salary: €127,920 ($146,420 / £109,330)

Commercial directors play key roles in the success of businesses — both large and small — by planning, developing and instituting commercial plans that are compiled based on the company’s overall objectives and goals.

And, yes, they’re provided with a top salary in the Netherlands: between €5,300 ($6,070 / £4,530) and €16,030 ($18,350 / £13,700) a month.

2. Pilot

Average annual salary: €155,280 ($177,720 / £132,710)

In the post-coronavirus economy, the world is going through a pilot shortage, and industry forecasts suggest that the international gap could escalate in the coming years. Suffice it to say, if you’re a pilot or on your way to becoming a pilot, you’re in high demand.

It shows, too, when it comes to how much a pilot could be making, particularly in the Netherlands: between €9,380 ($10,740 / £8,020) and €16,500 ($18,880 / £14,100) a month. 

1. Researcher (Clinical chemistry)

Average annual salary: €210,000 ($240,310 / £179,440)

Rounding out the top 10 is an area of expertise that is shockingly the most lucrative field to work in is — believe it or not — a researcher in clinical chemistry.

This position is essentially a component of clinical pathology that manufactures and completes clinical analysis by measuring the dynamics of healthy and diseased individuals. It’s a riveting career choice for anyone who studies this field of expertise, and it pays well too: between €15,000 ($17,160 / £12,820) and €20,000 ($22,890 / £17,090) a month.

Final thoughts

The Netherlands might seem like a laissez-faire society where anything goes. However, there’s a lot to know about the country before relocating for work, whether it’s learning Dutch or arranging visas and work permits.

Are you surprised to see any of the jobs on this list or that some are missing? Let us know in the comments section below!

This article is an update of an earlier version published in February 2015.