Working in Copenhagen?

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Working in Copenhagen

Expats who plan on working in Copenhagen can look forward to a high quality of life in a great central location in Northern Europe. In our Expat Guide, you can find information on a number of different aspects of working in Copenhagen, such as the job search, important sectors, and taxes.
The Øresund Bridge connects Copenhagen with Malmö in Sweden.
  • ICT, clean tech, and life sciences among others are the main sectors in Copenhagen in which expats can find work.
  • In order to get a work permit, your boss needs to prove that he couldn’t find a suitable Dane to fill the position.
  • Although many expats are initially shocked by the high tax rates in Copenhagen, try to look at the benefits — completely free education and healthcare of a very high standard.

There are a lot of factors in favor of working in Copenhagen: the abundance of opportunities, the flexible working environment, and the beneficial location within Northern Europe, to name but a few. The Danish capital has become an increasingly popular destination among expats in recent years, and each year many Danes decide on working in Copenhagen as well.

Language, Location and Life Balance: An Ideal Destination

Copenhagen is an attractive business location for both international companies and expats. First of all, the Øresund region is well known for providing an excellent economic infrastructure, with its airports, harbors, and its connection to road networks and railways. The Øresund Bridge, opened in 2000, added a new and convenient connection between Denmark and its neighbor Sweden.

Naturally, the fact that any destination within Northern Europe can easily be reached is not the only argument in favor of working in Copenhagen. The area benefits from a highly flexible labor force, dedicated to hard work and a healthy life-work balance. At the same time, the majority of Copenhagen’s population speaks English fluently, which also makes working in Copenhagen easier for expats unfamiliar with the Danish language.

The Job Market: Where to Look

Among the most important sectors for people working in Copenhagen are the life sciences, information and communication technologies, clean tech, as well as the creative and entertainment industry. Expats could try their chances of finding employment in one of these sectors.

Life Science and Clean Tech

With Medicon Valley, Denmark offers many opportunities to locals and expats working in Copenhagen’s life science sector. Medicon Valley is a bi-national center for life science, located partly on Zealand, centered in Copenhagen as well as Sweden’s Skåne Region. This is where international investors in the field of life science chiefly settle. After all, the area represents one of Europe’s strongest life science locations.

For expats who plan on working in Copenhagen’s life science sector, the Medicon Valley is just the right place. The collaboration between hospitals, universities, specialized services providers, and businesses is just one of the things that make for a high-class working environment. The therapeutic areas of neuroscience, cancer, metabolic diseases, allergy, and autoimmune diseases are also particularly strong here.

Many clean-tech companies, too, have decided to establish branch offices in Copenhagen. In terms of research and development in sustainability, Copenhagen is world class, and by 2025, it aspires to become the first CO2-neutral capital in the world.

The ICT Sector

Copenhagen is also among those leading the way in terms of information and communication technologies (ICT). The highly skilled workforce is one of many aspects that make Copenhagen’s ICT industry one of the most innovative in Europe. This sector in particular may offer many opportunities for expats. Copenhagen is an attractive location for international companies, and many of them might just be inclined to transfer some of their employees abroad.

Denmark’s largest IT cluster, unsurprisingly, is located in the Copenhagen area, and over 100,000 people are employed in ICT companies in Greater Copenhagen and the Øresund region. The cluster is in tight cooperation with Skåne and the Øresund IT Academy. Many international companies such as Microsoft, IBM, and Cisco have offices in the Danish capital, providing jobs for all the people working in Copenhagen-based affiliates of these companies.

Creative and Entertainment Industry

Copenhagen and the entire Øresund Region can look back on a long tradition of movie making. Carl Theodor Dreyer, Bille August, and Lars von Trier are among the directors who made the region popular. Today, the creative industries make up 7% of the Danish employment and revenue, and these production companies could be interesting for expats thinking about working in Copenhagen as well.

Another branch of this sector is the up-and-coming video game industry. More and more software developers settle in Copenhagen, representing a new branch of the entertainment industry. High technology and innovation certainly combine to make working in Copenhagen an attractive proposition.


We do our best to keep this article up to date. However, we cannot guarantee that the information provided is always current or complete.

Jürgen Hofmeister

"The various InterNations activities for expats in Copenhagen made me feel welcome immediately. "

Sarah Porter

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