Salaries in Iceland are quite good and finding the job here is too easy. So if you plan to work in Iceland to save some money it could be perfect place for you. In this article I will review Icelandic salaries, taxes and useful information.
Are you eligible to work in Iceland?
Member countries of European Economic Area does not require any working permits or visa and residents of these countries are able to work in Iceland.
Member states of the European Economic Area:
Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Great Britain, Holland, Hungary, Ireland, Iceland, Italy, Cyprus, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Norway, Portugal, Poland, Romania, Spain, Slovakia, Slovenia and Sweden.
Citizens of countries outside the European Economic Area must obtain a limited work permit before arriving to work in Iceland. If an individual is already in Iceland when applying for the first time for a limited work permit, s/he is normally required to leave the country.
What do you need to start working in Iceland ?
The most important thing that you need is kennitala. Kennitala is a unique national identification number used by the Icelandic government to identify individuals and organisations in Iceland, administered by the Registers Iceland.
To get kennitala you need to have passport of your country and address in Iceland. How to find a place where to live in Iceland ? Check this article > How to find where to live in Iceland?
I would recommend 2 best ways to get kennitala :
- Find a job and ask company that you work for to apply for your kennitala. It will be free and you will get 3 months lasting kennitala. After working 3 months you can apply for life time kennitala in https://www.skra.is/ .
- If you can not find job without kennitala (some companies are very lazy applying for your kennitala by themselves and asks you if you already have kennitala or you won’t get this job) you can get it through Arion bank but it will cost you around 20 000 ISK.
How much can you earn in Iceland ?
Your Icelandic salary depends on many things :
- Language – if you speak good english you will be able to find better paid job or ir you speak icelandic you will have a fortune.
- Job sections – each section has minimum hourly rate which is controled by unions.
- Experience – if you have long experience in some working section you are able to ask higher salary or if you work longer in Iceland you will eventually get a raise.
- Age – Iceland working agreements allows to pay less for people from 14 to 20 years old.
- Your attitude – if you are able to show company which is hiring you that they can not find no one better than you ofcourse they will pay you good.
All unions have wage agreements in Iceland that makes you clear how much you can earn (remember that you always can negotiate for your salary to get it higher if you speak very well english and/or you are professional in your job).
This table shows how much per hour in 2017 you can earn working as a retailer in the store (ISK) :
|Retailers in stores|
|Day work||Overtime||Night work||Night overtime||Biggest|
|14 years olds||957,47||1,340,41||1,436,28||1,690,36||2,238.09|
|15 years olds||1,096.46||1,534.99||1,644.77||1,935.74||2,562.97|
|16 years olds||1,297.22||1,816.04||1,945.93||2,290.17||3,032.24|
|17 years olds||1,374.43||1,924.14||2,061.76||2,426.49||3,212.74|
|18 – 19 years olds||1,467.09||2,053.85||2,200,75||2,590.08||3,429.32|
|20 < years olds||1,544.31||2,161.95||2,316.58||2,726.39||3,609.82|
|After 6 months in business||1,579.08||2,210,63||2,368,75||2,787.79||3,691.10|
|After 1 year in business||1,588.05||2,223,19||2,382.20||2,803,62||3,712.07|
|After 2 years in business||1,637.88||2,292,95||2,456.95||2,891.59||3,828.54|
|After 5 years in business||1,664.94||2,330.83||2,497.54||2,939.36||3,891.79|
Different jobs have different wage agreements. This table shows how much you can earn when you just started to work and you are at least 18 years old, if you will work longer then 6 months these numbers will be higher (ISK) :
|Day work||Overtime||Night work||Night overtime||Biggest|
|Specially trained sales staff||1,574.46||2,204.17||2,361.82||2,779.64||3,680.31|
|General workers in restaurants and hotels||1.515,86||2.707,66||2.016,09||2.880,13|
There was only few examples about salaries in Iceland. If you need to know how much you can earn in specific job feel free to contact unions.
On May 1, 2017 there was a new agreement :
Minimum wage for full-time, full of 171.15 hours worked per month (39.5 hours per week), shall be as follows for those workers who after 18 years of age who have worked at least six months with the same company (subject to a minimum 900 hours): 280 000 ISK (before taxes).
Note : all information about salaries were taken from unions websites. If you need more information about salaries you can visit specific union website (you will find the list bellow). Just mention that almost all information in unions websites are in icelandic. You can try to use google translate. But even google translate doesn’t know all the icelandic words..
I am not an accountant so I am not able to explain where each krona goes from your taxes but the main things are that if you earn up to 834.707 ISK per month you will pay 36,94% taxes and if you earn more than 834.707 ISK per month you will pay 46,24% taxes.
If you need to know more you can check this salary calculator.
It depends what kind of work do you do, you are a part of one of the unions. And unions knows best about working rights. For all new workers in Iceland I reccomend to call or visit the union that you belong to. Just to get the information. That is the list of unions websites :
** If you have any questions or suggestions feel free to contact me.