Denmark at a Glance
Working in Denmark
A Strong Economy
The Danish economy is founded on government welfare and equitable distribution of income. As such, it is no surprise that people working in Denmark enjoy one of the highest living standards in the world.
Yet, the modern market economy also boasts a state-of-the-art industry and a high-tech agricultural sector. Expats intent on working in Denmark might just find an occupation at some of the world-leading pharmaceutical companies and maritime shipping firms in the country.
While Denmark’s economy did not escape a slight drop during the financial crisis, it is now back on track, with Denmark having one of the highest GDP per capita in the EU. Expats with plans on working in Denmark should know that the country has so far declined to join the European Economic and Monetary Union and has hence kept its own currency, the krone, rather than make the change to the euro.
The Fields in Which the Danish Work
Many people working in Denmark are self-employed and run their own company or restaurant, or have an agricultural business. In general terms, the 2.7 million people who make up Denmark’s labor force were employed in the following fields as of the first quarter of 2016:
- 32% of people working in Denmark do so in public administration, education, and health;
- 22% do so in trade and transport;
- 13% in manufacturing;
- 10% in other business services;
- 5% in building and construction;
- 5% in culture and leisure including the arts;
- 4% in information and communications;
- 3% in finance and insurance; and
- 2% in agriculture, forestry, and fishing.
- 1% in real estate
How to Best Find Work in Denmark
For expats who dream of working in Denmark, an intra-company transfer is the best way to reach their goal. Of course, this requires that you are currently working for a company with branch offices in Denmark. If you don’t, the job search is often the most arduous aspect of preparing for working in Denmark.
It would, for instance, not be a bad idea to brush up on your Danish before or while applying for jobs. It is not impossible to get by without the local language, but working in Denmark is a lot easier with at least a basic command.
There are many ways of finding work in Denmark. You can refer to job centers for help (website in Danish only), which especially makes sense if you have already been living or even working in Denmark for a while and are now searching for a new job. This is also where you have to register if you become unemployed. Additionally, you should make sure to take full advantage of the many services offered by Work in Denmark.
You can also search sites like Jobindex.dk and newspaper classifieds or contact private employment agencies. The latter of course come at a cost, but they will help you find exactly the kind of job you are looking for. For some, it may pay more dividends to rely on their existing expat network to learn about new job openings.
Know If You Need a Work Permit for Denmark
EU/EEA nationals, as well as Swiss and Nordic citizens (Finns, Icelanders, Norwegians, and Swedes) planning to live and work in Denmark, do not need a work or residence permit. However, there are some minor restrictions for EU/EEA nationals. You can learn more about this by contacting a Danish consulate or diplomatic mission abroad, or the Danish Immigration Services in Denmark. Permits for expats from other countries are usually only granted if no Danish professionals were available to fill your prospective position
However, a handful of different work permit schemes help make it easier for expats to start working in Denmark. For more information, please refer to our article on moving to Denmark or contact a Danish consulate or embassy in your home country.
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