Denmark's healthy work-life balance and emphasis on collaboration make it a popular place for those looking to pursue their career abroad
In return for paying the country's infamously high taxes and living costs, you'll benefit from top-notch public services including free healthcare. Your commute will be enjoyable too as half of people in the capital city, Copenhagen, cycle to work every day.
Its relaxed and informal working culture is part of the reason why Denmark is the happiest country on Earth, according to the UN World Happiness Report 2016. It's also the only place to go if you're seeking 'hygge', that uniquely Danish concept of cosiness and togetherness.
Meanwhile, the generous holiday entitlements mean that you'll have plenty of time to explore tourist attractions such as Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen, the original LEGOLAND and Bakken, the oldest operating fairground in the world - among many others.
Jobs in Denmark
The Danish economy is strong and has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the European Union (EU). In fact, Denmark's central bank said in September 2016 that the country would need to expand its workforce - including through immigration - in order to meet the demand for labour. Another study, by Ugebrevet A4, found that more than half of the new vacancies created in Denmark between 2013 and 2015 were filled by foreign workers.
Therefore, it is possible to find employment across all job sectors. Pharmaceuticals, maritime shipping, high-tech agriculture and renewable energy are among the most important industries.
However, there is a particular lack of skills in certain areas, such as engineering, construction, healthcare, teaching and IT. The government maintains a Positive List of shortage occupations and if you have qualifications in any of these fields you should find it relatively easy to secure a job.
You can search for jobs in Denmark at:
How to get a job in Denmark
Applying for a job in Denmark usually involves sending the company your CV and cover letter along with evidence of your academic qualifications. If you are shortlisted you will then be called for an interview. Larger employers may sometimes use psychometric tests or assessment centres to filter candidates.
Social media tools such as LinkedIn are used extensively for recruitment in Denmark, so ensuring that your profile is up to date and building a network of relevant professionals are good ways to improve your chances of getting a job. Learn more about job hunting and social media.
In most cases it is advisable to apply initially from your home country and then move to Denmark once you have secured a job.
There are opportunities for seasonal employment in Denmark's tourism sector, for example in the hotels, restaurants and pubs of Copenhagen and other cities - although these roles will require some knowledge of the Danish language. Temporary agricultural jobs such as fruit picking are also widely available in the summer months, while another alternative (if you are between 18 and 29 years old) is to work as an au pair.
Volunteering in Denmark is popular, with more than a third of Danes getting involved in some kind of voluntary scheme. If you want to take part, the European Voluntary Service (EVS), funded by the European Commission, is a programme aimed at people aged 17 to 30 that offers young people the chance to volunteer for up to 12 months in a number of European and non-European countries.
You can also find voluntary and paid placements through:
- AIESEC UK - for students and recent graduates;
- IAESTE UK - for science, engineering and applied arts students.
Make sure you thoroughly research all volunteering opportunities and always check the terms and conditions before committing yourself to a scheme.
If you have gained teaching qualifications outside of Denmark, you will need to have them assessed and recognised by the Danish Agency for Higher Education before looking for work. This is because teaching in primary and secondary schools is a regulated profession. You can find full details of what is required at the Danish Ministry of Higher Education and Science.
Danes are taught English from an early age, and as such there are limited openings for teaching English as a foreign language. You may find opportunities to teach business English at adult learning colleges or higher education institutions.
The majority of Danish internships are based in Copenhagen, which is home to many large companies. You can search for paid internships in Denmark at:
If you are a non-EU citizen who requires a visa to enter Denmark, it is possible to obtain a residence and work permit in order to take up an internship of up to 18 months, subject to certain conditions and depending on the job sector you are interested in. Learn more at New to Denmark - interns.
Citizens of the EU, European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland do not need a visa to live and work in Denmark. However, within three months of arrival you will need to obtain an EU residence document known as a registration certificate. This will enable you to get your civil registration number (CPR), health insurance card and tax number in order to access public services and get paid.
If you're from one of the Nordic countries (Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden) you can live and work freely in Denmark without a residence or work permit. You'll still require a CPR number, health insurance card and tax number.
Citizens of other countries will need to obtain a residence and work permit before moving to Denmark. Apply through the Danish embassy or consulate in your home country.
Anyone moving to Denmark can find out more at:
This visa information is still valid following the UK's decision to leave the EU and will be updated if changes occur.
Most Danish people speak English fluently and larger firms often use it as their corporate language. Many people also speak German or French. Therefore, it is possible to work in Denmark without being able to speak the language.
However, learning Danish is essential for some roles and will make it much easier for you to interact with other people, build relationships and demonstrate your commitment to employers.
Free courses are available once you have moved to Denmark, starting with 'Danish for the Labour Market'. This consists of 250 hours of tuition. It can be studied as a day or evening class and completed within a year-and-a-half, and you can then move on to more advanced study. Contact your local citizen service centre in Denmark to find out more.
How to explain your qualifications to employers
UK qualifications are directly comparable to those in Denmark, so employers should have no problems recognising them. If you encounter issues, you can have your qualifications assessed by the Danish Agency for Higher Education to make them easier for employers to understand.
Some professions are regulated and you will need authorisation from a public authority to confirm your qualifications. Find out more and see a full list of regulation professions at the Danish Ministry of Higher Education and Science.
What it's like to work in Denmark
The standard working week in Denmark is 37 hours Monday to Friday, although many employers are flexible with this. You will receive a minimum of five weeks' annual leave.
Danish workplaces typically have a flat hierarchy in which everybody is encouraged to contribute and take part in decisions. Explore what it's like to work in Denmark at Work in Denmark - working culture in Denmark.
Salaries are generally high, but bear in mind that income is heavily taxed in order to pay for free public services such as health and education. Living costs are also high as accommodation, food and other goods are expensive.
Find out more
- Discover what it's like to study in Denmark.