how much do I earn as a student?

That depends on the sector in which you carry out your student job. In some sectors you are entitled to the same wage as permanent staff. In others there is a separate wage scale for students. Sometimes students under the age of 21 are entitled to a particular percentage of the normal wage. For example, a 20 year-old receives 94% of the minimum wage paid to a standard employee.

Your wage is determined by a collective labour agreement (CLA) in the company where you work and must be no less than the minimum wage determined in the CLAs related to the company’s particular sector.

Is there no such CLA? Then you are entitled to the guaranteed minimum wage, if you carry out a student job for a minimum of 1 month. That particular wage level depends on your age.

What is the difference between gross and net?

Your employment contract will display a gross wage. This is your wage, as agreed in your contract, but before the deduction of any social security contributions or tax. This gross wage differs to the net wage, being the amount that is transferred to your bank account.

The amount remaining in your net wage depends on whether you decide to work for more or less than 475 hours per year. If you go over this level, then you will be liable to pay social security contributions, and income tax will also be deducted from your wage.

Find out more?

About minimum wages per sector (FPS Employment, Labour and Social Dialogue)


how much tax and social security am I required to pay? 

working LESS than 475 hours per year?

Then you only pay a solidarity contribution, but this is much lower than the normal social security level for employees. This solidarity contribution amounts to 2.71% of your gross wage. Deduct this percentage from your gross wage and you will end up with your net wage.

working MORE than 475 hours per year?

Then you will be required to pay social security contributions (NSSO), and income tax will also be deducted from your wages.

Social security contributions (NSSO) are paid by employees to help support the Belgian social security system. For a normal student job this generally amounts to 13.07% of your gross wage.

In principle, income tax will also be deducted from your wage. This is tax deducted by the employer and transferred to the state. Afterwards the tax department checks whether you are still required to pay taxes, or whether some of this income tax will be returned to you. For example, in the case of temping work, you will pay a minimum of 18% income tax.

Was your net taxable income under 8,860 euros in 2019?

  • Yes? Then you will be required to pay the tax.
  • No? Then the tax department will return previously withheld income tax in the following year.
  • Important information: you are required to submit a tax declaration form. Not received one? Then you must ask the tax department for one.


Find out more?

About net basic income (via FPS Finance)

About tax declarations (FPS Finance)