Jobs in the Netherlands

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The Netherlands, also known as the “gateway to Europe.” It is part of northwestern Europe. Germany borders it in the east, Belgium in the south, and the North Sea in the north-west. The landscape of The Netherlands low lying and flat with a large number of lakes, rivers and canals, tulip fields, windmills, and cycling routes. As per the Global Innovation Index (2018), the country ranks as the second most innovative nation in the world. So in this blog we will be discussing about the areas where one can search for jobs in the Netherlands and the residency process. So let’s start without any further delays.

Tulips Garden in the Netherlands
Tulips Garden in the Netherlands

Job Scenarios in the Netherlands

A few things that one should keep in mind while searching for jobs in the country. These are – economy, job market, and the language of the country, along with the job searching skills and the strong resume.
The Netherlands has a developed economy. Moreover, the Netherlands ranks as the seventh-largest economy in Europe and the fifth-largest in the euro zone. Further, with a good number of qualified local work forces and an unemployment rate at 3.9%, the job market in the Netherlands is very fierce.

From a language perspective, it is not necessary to know the Dutch language as English is understood and spoken throughout the country. However, proper knowledge of the local language can increase the chances of securing an excellent job opportunity and will make a living in the country much more accessible.

Now let’s have a look at a few sectors where one can look for job opportunities.

Information Technology

The Netherlands is a center for leading information technology companies in Europe. 60% of all IT companies mentioned in Forbes (2000) are present in the Netherlands. Some of these companies are Microsoft, Cisco, Infosys, Huawei, Oracle, Intel, IBM, Verizon, and Google. It has the most extensive security cluster and is one of the most advanced markets of data centers in Europe. With world-class R&D facilities and logistics infrastructure, the Netherlands has been able to establish itself as a lucrative destination for IT business.

The Food and Beverages

It is one of the crucial sectors of the Dutch economy. There are more than 5,300 companies in the food industry. It is the qualified workforce and location that the Netherlands has attracted several global food companies in the country. Such as Coca-Cola, Cargill, Kraft Heinz, and Nutricia Research. The Netherlands ranks as the second-largest exporter of food overall the world.


It is the most significant contributor to the economy. The Netherlands is one of the leading chemical exporting countries in the world. As a result, 19 out of 25 leading chemical companies, have found their home in the Netherlands. Some of the multi-national companies established in the country are BASF, AkzoNobel, Dow Chemical, SABIC, and Shell.


It is one of the flourishing industries in the country. The first-class logistics infrastructure, strategic location, and highly qualified professionals have given the country an ideal environment for aerospace operations. This includes maintenance and repairs, manufacturing, training facilities, logistics, etc. Some of the companies established here are Boeing, Bombardier, Lockheed Martin, GE Aviation, Mitsubishi Aircraft, and CAE.


The Netherlands is a leading country in food processing machinery. It exports about two-thirds of its production. Of which 60% of Dutch machinery is transported to European countries. 


It is a leader in offshore, renewable, and smart energy. So to strengthen its strong position in the global energy industry, the Netherlands offers world-class R&D facilities. Besides this, it also offers excellent incentive programs that support and motivate energy innovation. 


The Rijks Museum, Amsterdam
The Rijks Museum, Amsterdam

The sector is rapidly becoming an essential part of the Dutch economy. Its government is now aiming to boost this sector and attract more tourists in the country. As a result this will generate more and more income and jobs in the country.


As the tourism sector of the country expanded, the hospitality sector also witnessed a boom. So to fulfill the demands created due to tourism in the country, the hospitality sector grew, as a result, creating several new job opportunities.

Medical Devices

The Netherlands is the most important center for the European medical device industry. The medical device manufacturing industry in the country is relatively small but is very advanced. The Netherlands ranks fourth, worldwide for its medical technology patent applications.


The Netherlands is renowned worldwide for its universal and excellent standard of healthcare. With an aging population, there is an increasing demand for healthcare. The country is facing a shortage of professionals in this field. So, one with the required skills and suitable qualifications can look for job opportunities in this sector.

Life sciences and Pharmaceuticals

There are more than 360 modern life sciences companies, along with the research organsations. As a result, major companies have established themselves in the Netherlands. Some of these major multinational companies are Johnson & Johnson, GlaxoSmithKline, Janssen, Merck (MSD), Amgen, Genmab, Astellas, and Medtronic. Further, the arrival of European Medical Agencies (EMA) in the country has given a boost to the pharmaceutical sector. 


It is one of the key players contributing to the economy of the country. Due to its location along with the modern legislation for financial oversight and highly qualified professionals, makes the Netherlands a favored place for the financial institutions. Amsterdam is the economic and business capital of the Netherlands. The Amsterdam Stock Exchange (AEX) is the world’s oldest stock exchange. Some of the well-known biggest companies in the country are Deutsche Bank, Royal Bank of Scotland, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, and Citibanks


The Netherlands has a well-built and efficient retail sector. Most of the retail activity in the country revolves around food. Some of the famous companies established in retail areas are Albert Heijn (Ahold) is the most crucial supermarket banner Jumbo, Lidl, and Aldi. Apart from these, the non-food companies in the Netherlands are Blokker Group and Ikea. 


Due to the presence of world-class seaports, centrally located airports and a new extensive network of roads and highways, the Netherlands has become a hub for foreign-owned logistics and distribution operations. Some of the significant multinationals like Coca-Cola, IBM, Huawei, and Tommy Hilfiger have chosen the Netherlands as their logistics and distribution gateway to Europe. They supervise their supply chain or to grow their e-commerce business.

Sales and Marketing

Due to its strategic location and access to the entire consumer market, several companies have established there marketing and sales operations in the country. Some of the major multinational companies in the country are IBM, Verizon, and UL.


Though English is spoken and known throughout the Netherlands, yet there are plenty of opportunities for foreigners in the Netherlands. One can teach in the international schools in the Netherlands. For securing a teaching job at any private institution, one should have at least a college or university degree, along with a TEFL certificate. Beside this one can also look for opportunities in the language schools and universities

Where to look for vacancies

One can look for the job opportunities in the country through the following:

  • Internet – sites like EURES, xpatjobs, unductubles, stepstones
  • Newspapers and Magazines- such as Saturday editions of Algemeen Dagblad, NRC Handelsblad, De Telegraaf, and De Volkskrant
  • Public and private employment agencies
  • Personal contacts

Working Conditions in the Netherlands

As per the Dutch law, employees are allowed to work a maximum of 9 hours a day and 45 hours a week (Monday to Friday). The working hours though in reality depends on the type of work. Besides this, the employees are entitled to a minimum of 20 days of annual leaves. They are often allowed five extra days, and employees receive regular pay during their holidays. Unfortunately, the national holidays are very few in the Netherlands. 

So once you get a job in the Netherlands, the next thing that one might think is how to proceed further. Let’s discuss this. 

In order to study, live, and work anywhere in the world, one needs to have a visa and the residence permit.  

Please note for visa-related queries, please visit:

Permanent Residency for the Netherlands

A continuous stay for five years in the country is the basic requirement for getting the Permanent Residence. There are different rules for people depending on their nationality. The citizens of EU/ EEA and Switzerland are eligible for European permanent residence, as well as the family members, regardless of their nationality. Whereas citizens of Non-EU/EEA/Switzerland are also suitable for permanent residency. It depends on the specific criteria that they will be given either long-term resident-EC status or ‘regular’ Dutch permanent residency. The PR is valid for five years and can be renewed.

Eligibility for PR

For EU/EEA/Swiss Citizens and family members

  • Five years stay in the country
  • Married to EU/EEA/ Swiss citizen
  • One who has retired should have worked for at least one year in the country before getting retired
  • Declared unfit for work but was working in the country for at least two years.
  • a cross border worker, who had stayed and worked in the country for at least three years before getting a job in any other EU state. He has a home in the country and returns home weekly.

For Non-EU/EEA/Swiss Citizens

  • Five years of continuous stay in the country
  • One has a valid residence permit
  • Nicely integrated into Dutch society

The applications are submitted to and verified by the Immigration and Naturalization Service (IND). As per the requirements set out in Directive 2003/109/EC, IND decides whether one qualifies for the EC Long Term resident or the regular Dutch PR.

Requirements (Non-EU/EEA and Swiss Citizens)

  • Must have a temporary residence permit for at least past five years
  • A residence permit for the non-temporary purpose
  • Means of subsistence 
  • No threat to society
  • Should be well-integrated into the Dutch society
  • Proficiency in the the Dutch language.

Documents Required

  • A valid passport
  • Proof of income
  • Character certificate
  • Civic Integration Diploma certificate

So to conclude, as per the World Happiness Report (2018), The Netherlands has been declared as the sixth happiest country in the world. Besides this, the Netherlands is the most liberal and tolerant nation.

Well, I hope this was informative enough. I hope it will help and guide you to carefully opt for the options where your skills and talent can flourish.

Wishing you lots of luck.

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