Expert Info

Posted by Andrea83
on 12 Jun 2017

Hello, first time here and with lots of question.
We are an Italian couple currently living in the UK and we are considering to move to the Netherlands.
We both work for pharmaceutical laboratories and we are quite settled in UK, we both have fairly paid permanent positions but we are still renting, the plan was to buy but with the brexit it has been postponed.

The idea to move to the Netherlands came during my PhD during which I had experience in working with Dutch people and I visited the country several times. In addition, we love to travel by car and go camping, particularly in southern Europe, something that from UK is not easy due to the ferry and the long journey.

How is the cost of life in the Netherlands compare to UK?
Will be a problem if we don't speak Dutch for the first period?
Is anyone working in pharmaceutical industries?
What would be ab acceptable salary in the Netherlands? Tax included?

Thanks for your attention

Brett Martindale on 13 Jun 2017 - 15:21

Hi Andrea,

Thanks for the questions. Where in the Netherlands are you thinking of settling down?


I'll answer your question about the language first. Like most places where people speak a foreign tongue, knowing the language would really help you bed in quicker. Although the Dutch are reasonably multilingual, don't expect it always to be the case. French or German may even be their second language instead of English.

I recommend, if you are really considering the move and working in the Netherlands, you should start attending lessons or taking online courses before you go. If you get to grip with the basics, locals are inclined to be friendlier. Knowing the language also means you don't miss important information.

Salary aggregates are around average in the Netherlands when compared to Western Europe. They are lower than countries such as the UK and Germany but higher than Italy and countries on the Iberian Peninsula.

According to PayScale and other salary sites, the renumeration afforded researchers and scientists in the pharmaceutical sector is fairly high. Salary Explorer indicates an individual in your industry earns around 3,200 EUR. If you are looking for high-paying positions in pharmaceuticals, countries I could mention are Switzerland, Germany, the USA and Canada. Although the last two may hinder your emigration plans.

While I cannot comment on what you believe to be a comfortable income, I suggest you visit a site like Numbeo that will give you updated tables for cost of living. You can gauge a rough idea of your expenditure from that and also whether you feel like your salary will be appropriate and to your liking.



Anonymous (not verified) on 20 Jun 2017 - 07:14
Hi Brett, Thanks for the reply and sorry if for the late answer. We are still deciding where to move. The Netherlands is a relative small country so we are not that picky about the location. I visited Delft couple of time and I really like it. Thanks for the advice on Numbeo, did not know that website. We are not looking for huge salary but rather for a place where you can get enough to enjoy your life. We had a look at house around Delft and they are quite cheap and generally bigger and better than the houses we can find in the south of England. Canada and US along with Australia were places we already considered but they are quite far. Germany would be great for location but we do not speak German and finding a job might be really tricky. Switzerland for what we hear is not the place for us their life/work balance is quite poor.

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