Living and Working in Belgium

Belgium, a country rich with history and home to the EU headquarters, is known for its multicultural working environments, making it a great option for those looking to work abroad. Add into consideration its world-renowned chocolate, beer, and fries- and this country is pretty hard to beat! The country speaks three primary languages: Dutch-speaking Flanders in the north, French-speaking Wallonia in the south, German-speaking in eastern Wallonia, and bilingual in the capital, Brussels.It borders the Netherlands in the north, France in the south and west, and Germany and Luxembourg in the east. With the distinction of the three regions and the variety of languages spoken, it comes as no surprise that Belgium is a very diverse country- the perfect place for expats to live and work!

Living in Belgium

Living Costs in Belgium

Belgium ranks as one of the top ten countries with the highest standard of living, according to OECD. With a higher standard of living sometimes comes higher costs- however, the amount you will be spending depends entirely on where exactly you live. Brussels and Bruges, for example, will be more expensive than Antwerp or Ghent.

Rent in Belgium will largely vary depending on the location. In Brussels, you can expect to pay an average of €900 for a one-bedroom apartment (45-50 m2), or €700 for a one-bedroom outside the city center. Outside of Belgium’s major cities, you can expect rent to be significantly lower than this.

It is good to note that Belgium’s healthcare system ranks ninth in the world, according to the 2021 Health Care Index, with some of the lowest private healthcare costs in the European Union. The healthcare system is also easy for expats to navigate, due to there also being many multilingual doctors available.

Daily Life and Culture

There are plenty of events and sites to explore across Belgium. It is known for its impressive museums, beautiful architecture, history, theatre scene, and festivals. It is also one of the countries with the most castles in the world!

And, of course, Belgium’s food and drink deserves an honourable mention. Belgium is famous for its beer, chocolate, and Belgian fries- all of which are absolutely delicious. You’ll find trendy restaurants and bars no matter where you are, each with lots of great food and drink to try, so you’ll never run out of options! There are plenty of affordable options for eating out, but if one day you’re looking to splurge- did you know that Belgium has over 800 restaurants in the Michelin Guide?

If you’re a sports fanatic, you’re in luck! Sports are really popular in Belgium, with many Belgians being enthusiastic about football, tennis, and cycling. There is always an opportunity to watch games with a group of friends.

Working in Belgium

As mentioned before, Belgians value quality of life over everything, representing a great example of work-life balance. So, you can look forward to summer holidays being at least four weeks.

The average annual salary is €62,079, and minimum wage is €9.87 per hour for those working full-time. The minimum wage is similar to its neighboring countries; it is higher than France and Germany, and lower than the Netherlands.

There are many global companies based in Belgium, making it an incredibly attractive destination for international job seekers. A lot of people working in Belgium are able to speak more than one language, so job vacancies will commonly require candidates who are multilingual.

With Brussels being the location for the European Union’s headquarters, you will find that a vast number of Belgium residents are working either within the EU administration or for an associated business. Other popular sectors in Belgium include legal, financial, media, tourism, and services.

How to find a job in Belgium

With Brussels being the location for the European Union’s headquarters, you will find that a vast number of Belgium residents are working either within the EU administration or for an associated business. Other popular sectors in Belgium include legal, financial, media, tourism, and services.

Some examples of popular job boards in Belgium for expats include Brussels jobs, Jobat, Jobs in Brussels, and Linkedin

And of course, the Next Station team is always updating our vacancies in Belgium. Don’t hesitate to get in touch and check out our available positions.

Can you see yourself living and working in Belgium? Our team is here to give any advice you need when it comes to applying to jobs in Belgium. We are always adding new jobs to our list, so don’t forget to create a job alert so that you can be properly notified and be the first to apply! Here are our current open positions in Belgium 👇