Working and Living in Finland

By | October 17, 2021

Labor market – vacancies, jobs

As a citizen of the EU or a Schengen area state, you do not need a work permit and – if the employment relationship lasts for a maximum of 3 months – you do not need a residence permit. If you work for more than 3 months, you need to apply for a residence permit. To do this, you must provide the registration authority with proof of your place of residence and employment.

A command of the Finnish language is decisive for the chances of success in the job market. At least basic knowledge should be available. Test here for free how well you speak and understand Finnish (takes about 3 minutes).

It is also advisable to start looking for a job in your home country. To do this, you can contact the German Employment Agency or search the Internet yourself. Pages like and give good information.

If you can only start looking for a job locally, regional employment offices offer their help with the search. Since many positions are not advertised publicly, but are awarded “under the control”, it doesn’t hurt to ask around on site.

The main economic focus is the forest industry. Highly qualified specialists are also particularly sought after in construction and industry (e.g. in communication technology). Less qualified people find work in the service sector and in care professions.

According to countryvv, most of the jobs are in the Helsinki metropolitan area. Overall, gross wages are lower than in Germany. Because of the lower taxation, however, the net wages are at a similar level. If you have a good business idea, you’ve come to the right place. Small businesses are supported, financially and with advice and action. Business partners pay here on time and reliably.

Right of permanent residence

As an EU citizen, you have the right to permanent or permanent residence in Finland if you have lived in Finland continuously for 5 years after registration. The following does not affect the continuity of residence:

  • Temporary absences of less than 6 months during a year
  • Long absence due to completion of military service
  • An absence of no more than twelve consecutive months due to an important reason such as pregnancy and childbirth, a serious illness, university or professional studies or a posting to another EU member state or a third country

Permanent residence card for family members

Anyone who has lived legally in Finland with an EU citizen for five consecutive years can apply for a permanent residence card or a new temporary residence card. You can apply for this at the following link:

Health insurance – safe, inexpensive, flexible

Finland offers a public health system for the population. This means that if you can prove that you are permanently resident there, you have the option of being covered by state health insurance. The health insurance card is requested from the respective social security agency. Even if you have been employed for at least 4 months and do not have a place of residence in Finland, you are still entitled to insurance cover.

Cost of living

Life in Finland is on average a quarter more expensive than in Germany. Drinks and meat products in particular are very expensive.

You would need around € 4,168.23 in Helsinki to maintain the same standard of living that you could have in Berlin with € 3,700.00 (assuming you rent in the cities).

  • Consumer prices in Helsinki are 13.35% higher than in Berlin (excluding rent)
  • Consumer prices including rent in Helsinki are 12.65% higher than in Berlin
  • Rental prices in Helsinki are 11.14% higher than in Berlin
  • Restaurant prices in Helsinki are 41.79% higher than in Berlin
  • Food prices in Helsinki are 20.21% higher than in Berlin
  • The local purchasing power in Helsinki is 12.16% lower than in Berlin

Average cost of living in Helsinki (from 08/2020 – 07/2021)

Restaurant Ø € Price € Price from / to
Food, price w. restaurant 13.00 10.00-20.00
Middle class, 3 courses for 2 people. 80.00 50.00-120.00
Local beer, 0.5 l 6.00 3.00 – 8.00
Imported beer, 0.33 l 7.00 5.00 – 9.00
cappuccino 3.98 3.00 – 5.00
Coca / Pepsi (0.33 l) 2.61 2.00-4.00
Water (0.33 l) 1.82 1.00-3.00
Food Ø € Price € Price from / to
Milk (1 L) 0.98 0.79 – 1.50
White bread (500g) 2.12 1.00-3.99
Rice (white), (1kg) 2.21 1.00-3.25
Eggs (12) 2.36 1.44-3.60
Local cheese (1kg) 7.13 5.00 – 17.00
Chicken breast fillet (1kg) 11.08 6.00-13.00
Beef (1kg) 14.71 8.00-20.00
Apples (1kg) 2.37 1.30-3.00
Bananas (1kg) 1.61 1.20-2.00
Oranges (1kg) 2.21 1.00-4.00
Tomatoes (1kg) 2.99 1.79-5.00
Potatoes (1kg) 1.03 0.70-2.00
Onions (1kg) 1.35 0.80-2.00
Lettuce (1 head) 1.66 1.00 – 2.50
Water (1.5 l) 1.52 0.80-3.00
Bottle of wine (middle class) 12.00 8.00-15.00
Local beer (0.5 l) 2.53 1.44-3.50
Imported beer (0.33 l) 3.21 2.00-4.00

Average costs for local transport, utilities, clothing, leisure, education of Helsinki (from 08/2020 – 07/2021)

Mode of Transport Ø € Price € Price from / to
One-time ticket 2.80 2.80-3.20
Monthly pass 59.70 55.00 – 69.00
Taxi base amount 5.90 3.90-9.00
Taxi 1 km 1.00 0.99-2.00
Ancillary housing costs Ø € Price € Price from / to
for 85 sqm apartment (electricity, water, garbage, etc. 87.39 50.00-170.00
1 minute prepaid mobile tariff 0.07 0.06-0.08
Internet (60 Mbps or more, unlimited data, cable / ADSL) 22.66 15.00 – 33.00
Clothes, shoes Ø € Price € Price from / to
Jeans (Levis 501 or similar) 85.54 50.00-110.00
Summer dress (Zara, H&M,… 37.20 20.00 – 50.00
Nike sports shoes, middle class 83.54 50.00-120.00
Leather business shoes 121.84 80.00-170.00
leisure time Ø € Price € Price from / to
Fitness center, month / adult 41.23 25.00 – 60.00
Tennis, 1 hour on weekends 26.72 20.00 – 35.00
a movie ticket 15.00 12.00-18.00
training Ø € Price € Price from / to
Preschool / Kindergarten, private, whole day, monthly per child 325.05 220.00 – 600.00
International primary school per year and child 5,200.00 1,400.00 – 14,000.00

Average rental prices / purchase and salaries of Helsinki (from 08/2020 – 07/2021)

Monthly rental price Ø € Price € Price from / to
Apartment (1 bedroom) in the city center 1,007.57 800.00 – 1,400.00
Apartment (1 bedroom) outside the center 795.33 650.00 – 1,000.00
Apartment (3 bedrooms) in the city center 1,984.62 1,500.00 – 2,800.00
Apartment (3 bedrooms) outside the center 1,380.00 1,100.00 – 1,700.00
Purchase price of apartments Ø € Price € Price from / to
Price per square meter for an apartment in the city – purchase 8,192.38 7,000.00 – 10,000.00
Price per square meter – apartment outside the center – purchase 4,756.67 3,500.00 – 7,416.00
wages Ø € Price € Price from / to
Average monthly salary (after taxes) 2,557.61

If you are not looking for a luxurious apartment in Helsinki, you can live a little cheaper here than, for example, in expensive cities in Germany, Austria or Switzerland. Heating costs are usually included in the rental price. Water and electricity are much cheaper. Other areas of life are more expensive here, so a direct comparison is not possible.

Emigration and Living Finland

Those who like the local climate as well as forests and nature can feel very comfortable in this country. For some, however, the long winter nights lead to depression. There are many job opportunities. You can live quite cheaply here. However, you should familiarize yourself with the Finnish language before you emigrate. Some advantages: good satisfaction of the immigrants, peaceful, quite safe with regard to natural disasters, a lot of forest, high quality of life, low population density.

Working and Living in Finland