Iceland is a distant country that does not attract much attention of economic migrants. Although the demand for workers in Iceland is not decreasing! Check earnings in Iceland, and you will probably convince yourself of a labor trip to this country.

Praca i życie na Islandii - wywiad

At the beginning, it is worth emphasizing that Iceland is not a member of the European Union. Despite this, EU citizens can go to Iceland without any additional formal burdens (Iceland is in the Schengen zone). Regardless of whether it is a trip for tourism or for earning money.

Where to look for a job in Iceland?

Here are the most popular industries in Iceland:

  1. Gastronomy / Hospitality
  2. Fishing
  3. Agriculture
  4. Construction
  5. Physical work

Most job offers can be found in the capital of the country – Reykjavik. As for the language, it is recommended that you learn Icelandic for a longer stay. It is comforting that the vast majority of Icelandic citizens know English, so there should be no problems with communicating.

You can find job offers from Iceland on the europa.jobs portal, but we also recommend that you check:

Remember! Recruitment in Iceland begins well in advance. If the employer plans to hire a person from May / June, the job offer will be published in January / February.

Earnings in Iceland – How much is earned in Iceland?

The minimum wage in Iceland is ISK 368 000 (2 466 EUR) gross. Although, as in many other European countries, this amount may vary depending on the decisions of local trade unions.

Average earnings in Iceland are estimated at the level of approx. ISK 410 000 – 470 000 gross (2 746 – 3 147 EUR). Interestingly, in Reykjavik, the average earnings will be several times higher and are approx. to ISK 700 000 gross (4 688 EUR).

Below you can check average earnings in Iceland by industry. We emphasize that most earnings come from job offers published on the europa.jobs portal. It is also worth being aware of that, these are only examples of earnings. The rates depend, among others, on from:

  • place of employment
  • working time
  • employee’s experience
  • employer’s opportunities
Occupation / Industry Sample gross monthly earnings
Plumber ISK 630 000 (4 219 EUR)
PaverISK 460 000 (3 081 EUR)
Mechanic ISK 732 000 (4 903 EUR)
Builder ISK 600 000 (4 018 EUR)
Work in gastronomy / hotel industry ISK 472 000 (3 161 EUR)
Agriculture ISK 578 000 (3 871 EUR)
Fishing ISK 490 000 (3 281 EUR)

The average hourly rate in Iceland is approximately ISK 3 960 gross (26,52 EUR). Below are examples of hourly rates in other industries.

Position / Industry Gross hourly rate 
Work in production ISK 2500 (16,74  EUR)
C + E category driver ISK 3000 (20,09 EUR)
Guardian / Babysitter ISK 2300 (15,40 EUR)
Nurse ISK 3910 (26,19 EUR)
Waiter / Waitress ISK 2100 (14,06 EUR)

Costs of living in Iceland

Iceland is considered as one of the most expensive countries in Europe, but earnings are also among the highest. The rental of a studio apartment starts from 181 232 ISK (1 214 EUR). The most expensive will be in the capital of the country, and the smaller are the cities, the cheaper we will pay for rent.

The cost of a single ticket for public transport is approximately 432,93 ISK (2.90 EUR) For a monthly ticket we will pay about 11 644 ISK (78 EUR). Sample prices in Iceland for food:

Product Sample price 
Bread 428,45 ISK (2,87 EUR)
Eggs 12 pcs 607,59 ISK (4,07 EUR)
Tomatoes 1kg 547,88 ISK (3,67 EUR)
Chicken breast 1kg 2318,41 ISK (15,53 EUR)
Rice 1kg 432,93 ISK (2,90 EUR)
Milk 194,07 ISK (1,30 EUR)

Stay and work in Iceland – advantages and disadvantages

High earnings – are undoubtedly the main advantage of working in Iceland. In addition, there is a lot of demand for foreign workers. The advantages also include:

  • no additional formalities in case of employment in Iceland, 
  • high standard of living,
  • Iceland is considered as one of the happiest countries in the world (according to the latest World Happiness report, Iceland ranks 4th).

Unfortunately, the disadvantages of staying in Iceland cannot be ignored. First of all, the high cost of living and the distance. Living in Iceland, the rest of Europe is no longer within reach and we have to use air connections. Moreover, Iceland has a harsh climate that does not suit everyone. In summer, the temperature rises to an average of +12 ° C. In addition, there are polar nights (in winter, the sun comes out for a maximum of 4 hours).

Staying in Iceland – useful links

If you are planning to live in Iceland, check out:

Are you thinking about going to Iceland?

Related entries:

Costs of living in France

Earnings and costs of living in Europe

The minimum wage in Europe

Work for couples – advantages and disadvantages