A strong economy, a well-balanced work and family life and low unemployment are just some of the reasons why many are attracted to working in Denmark…
This Scandinavian nation is one of the richest countries in the world and has a powerful and thriving economy. The Danish people continue to enjoy one of the highest standards of living in the European Union (EU).
In recent years Denmark has welcomed foreign workers into a number of industries and in the coming years it is expected that there will be an increasing need for foreign labour.
Once you’re in the workplace you can expect good conditions as well as an open dialogue and easy collaboration between yourself and your bosses and managers.
Job market in Denmark
Known for its high quality of living, relatively low unemployment rate, and dedication to donating a significant amount of gross national income (GNI) to less developed nations, Denmark continues to make a slow recovery from the global economic crisis.
Denmark also benefits from an efficient welfare state. Free healthcare and education are offered from primary to university level. Childcare is subsidised by the state, and unemployment insurance is optional.
The majority of Danish jobs are in private services, followed by government, industry, construction, utilities and agriculture and fisheries. Despite this, production and exportation of machinery, parts, chemicals and agricultural products, among others, is a key contributor to the economy.
Increasing numbers of job roles for overseas workers are now available due to more citizens retiring than entering the labour market. This means there is significant demand for engineers, doctors, nurses, teachers, IT workers and pharmacists among others.
Search for jobs in Denmark at:
Work experience and internships in Denmark
Certain sectors of the Danish workforce are more competitive than others, so work experience could give you the edge when applying for a job.
Employers will not necessarily prioritise work experience gained in Denmark to elsewhere, but some experience in a Danish workplace and exposure to the language may help.
You can search for work experience opportunities at Arbejdsgivernes Elev-og Praktikpladsforum (AEP) (in Danish).
Internships and summer work placements for students can also be arranged by:
- AIESEC UK – for students and recent graduates;
- IAESTE UK – for science, engineering and applied arts students.
Volunteering in Denmark
By volunteering, you can demonstrate to prospective employers your dedication to learning new skills and working hard.
The Diaconal Year in Denmark is a scheme that offers accommodation, meals and spending money in return for a year of volunteering, participating in church-based, social or humanitarian work in the country.
The European Voluntary Service (EVS), funded by the European Commission, is a programme aimed at people aged 17 to 30 wishing to volunteer abroad. It offers young people the chance to volunteer for up to 12 months in a number of European and non-European countries.
Opportunities vary from placements concerned with sport and culture to others focused on social care and the environment. For successful applicants, accommodation, travel, food and insurance are all covered by a European grant and you even receive a personal allowance each month.
Make sure you thoroughly research all volunteering opportunities and always check the terms and conditions before committing yourself to a scheme.
Danish is the official language of Denmark, although the majority of Danes also have some knowledge of English – an obligatory subject in primary schools. Many Danes also speak German and one in ten speak French.
Due to the proficiency of natives, it is not always necessary for English speakers to have knowledge of Danish in order to get a job, although it won’t hurt your chances. However, this depends on the sector and company, so make sure you find out the language requirements of a specific role before applying.
Danish visas and immigration
EU citizens coming to Denmark and hoping to stay for longer than three months will require a registration certificate, obtained at the Regional State Administration. The permits are simply used to prove their rights as an EU citizen. For more information, visit Statsforvaltningerne – EU Residence.
According to the European Commission, EU citizens have the right to:
- move to another EU country to work without a work permit;
- enjoy equal treatment with nationals in access to employment, working conditions and all other social and tax advantages;
- stay in the country even after employment has finished.
For more information and to check what conditions and restrictions apply, see:
- European Commission – Free Movement EU Nationals
- Europa – Work-Related Rights
- Europa – Workers and Pensioners
EU nationals may also be able to transfer certain types of health and social security coverage to their host country. For more information, see European Commission – Your Rights Country by Country.
Citizens of certain non-EU countries will require a visa, as well as a residence permit.
To find out whether you need a visa, visit The Danish Immigration Service – Do I Need a Visa?
For more details about residence permits, see Study in Denmark – Residence Permits.
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