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Hello - Here to help

Discussion forum for expats moving to or living in Denmark.

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Hello - Here to help

Post Posted: Mon Jul 14, 2008 7:18 pm

I'm pretty new to the forum, but I have been living and working in Denmark for over 3 years now (Near Århus).
I'm from England originally, but I've also lived in the USA and worked in Sweden.
I am currently taking a break from work to study the Danish language, and I meet a lot of people new to Denmark who have all kinds of integration challenges - I enjoy using my experiences and contacts to help people feel better settled and more active members of society.
So, if you have any questions about Denmark feel free to ask:)



Re: Hello - Here to help

Post Posted: Fri Jul 18, 2008 3:44 am


Noticed your post. It was well timed!

We're planning visit Århus next week (to be confirmed) to discuss
a potential job offer for my husband, and to have a good look round.
Have no idea of salary offered yet, but it should be the equivalent
of an 'above average' UK salary.

Most pressing questions are about accommodation and cost of living.
(Cost of living over here is rocketing as you may know).
Perhaps you could give some indication of what constitutes a 'good'
salary would be over there?

Have seen some Århus flats in on a website, but we have 2 dogs.
Do most flats allow animals? I believe that the Danes love animals and
ours are part of the family, but we can't afford to rent a house at those prices!

We have lived in South Africa and the Netherlands, as well as
down south in Southampton. Currently living in the Scottish Highlands
(I'm originally from Scotland).

Thanks for any info you can supply.


Re: Hello - Here to help

Post Posted: Fri Jul 18, 2008 2:13 pm

Hi Val,

Firstly, lets deal with the dogs - It's usually no problem to have pets in an apartment, but I have heard of a housing complex that only allows one pet per flat. I will check out how common this is for you today. I don't think it would be too difficult to get around it, but I'd like to investigate it anyway.

I can see you've already noticed that living in and around Århus can be expensive - Accomodation is in such great demand there that they are developing building plans to eventually make it about 30% bigger - A huge project.
My suggestion would be to consider looking in the surrounding areas for accomodation and commute - Many people do the same thing.
If you let me know the general location of the job, I can help with finding a suitable area with good transport links if you wish.
Public transport is generally excellent, and cycle paths are built in to all major routes. In fact, it seems as if many people have 2 cycles - One that they leave by their home train/bus stop and another they leave by the city/work train/bus stop. It's not unusual to see huge numbers of cycles left around transport hubs or even a bus stop.
Even where I live (Skanderborg), about 12 miles SW of Århus, there is a bus every 15 minutes, or a train every 30 minutes to Århus during work hours.
A 2-bedroom apartment here (around 80m2), can be rented from around £500/month including electric, water, heating, cable TV etc. They come fully equipped with cooker, fridge, central heating, shower room/toilet (be aware, they don't usually have a bath tub), balcony or patio etc..You just have to buy food.

Bear in mind that you may have to wait anything from 2 weeks up to 3 months to get into a flat (just be glad you didn't pick København (Copenhagen), they have waiting lists of 10 years for the right apartments! (so I have heard).

In terms of a good salary I suppose it's all relative, but to give you an indication:

Minimum wage is around 106dk/h (£11 or $20us)
Semi-Skilled basic wage is around 120-160dk/h (£13-16)
Skilled/1-2 years college trained is roughly 160-200dk/h (£16-£20)

After that, it all depends on the industry - I know "driver's mates" who get £20/h and make around £1,800 per month after tax.

I would imagine that your husband is considering a rather more senior position, but the principles are the same.

It might reassure you to know that the Danes rigorously enforce fair wage policies for all: Same job = Same wage. It is extremely unlikely that you won't get the going rate. However, if it is a permanent position it is ESSENTIAL to be in an associated union as soon as possible to ensure that you continue to get treated in a fair manner.
Unions in Denmark are very different to most of the UK unions - They have much more influence.

Standard working week is 37 hours
Usual holiday entitlement is 6 weeks (plus 10 or so paid public holidays)
The catch is that you have to spend the first holiday year (May to April) accruing your holiday pay for the subsequent year (You get around 10% of your salary each pay period towards holiday pay).
Income Tax starts at around 40% and increases as you reach certain thresholds - It can be a very complex calculation because you can claim for certain rebates.

If the job is a short term fixed contract, then the tax will be considerably less if he is not a permanent resident.

Supermarket (Fakta) Prices:

1Ltr Milk 50p
Bread £1.30
Beer (carlsberg 4.6% 330ml) 23p
1lb pasta £1
1lb rice £1
250g butter £1
1kg Onions 50p
1.5kg Potatoes 70p
500g frozen peas/mixed veg £1

Be aware, there is a huge tax on sugary products - Chocolate etc..Items cost at least double UK prices (Mars, Twix etc)

Oh, btw there is a guy ( who drives over from England every month with a refridgerated van who will get anything foodwise or otherwise that you are missing from the UK. You just order what you want and pay on collection - He has meeting points.
We get tea bags, bisto, salad cream, mint sauce, custard powder etc)
Generally, it costs double the UK price, but you simply can't by that stuff here.

Anyway, hope some of that helps - You can always ask again for anything more specific:)



The secret of getting things done is to act.

Dante Alighieri


Re: Hello - Here to help

Post Posted: Sun Nov 22, 2009 10:55 pm

Hello Paul,

I wonder if you might shed some light on salaries. What type of income would be needed in Denmark to equal circa GBP 100K in the UK?


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