Sweden is one of the most popular European destinations for expats. It has the 7th highest human development index, making it one of the best countries to live in. However, before moving to Sweden, it’s essential you know what to expect as a salary and what it can afford you.
Anyone earning approximately 4,486 EUR (47,000 SEK) before tax or 3,299 EUR (34,595 SEK) after tax is considered to have a good salary in Sweden. Hence, the good annual salary for the average Swedish employee totals approximately 53,832 EUR gross and 39,588 EUR net.
If you’re wondering what a reasonable salary is in Sweden, you’ve come to the right place. This article explains everything related to Swedish wages and what you can expect to get paid and spend.
Learn more about the cost of living in Sweden in our guide for families.
What is considered a good salary in Sweden?
A good salary in Sweden will depend on whether you’re single or a family – typically, families need a higher income to live comfortably. The benchmark salary you need to live a comfortable life in Sweden is about 4,000 EUR or 42,000 SEK before taxes per month.
This amount will leave you about 32,130 SEK (3,064 EUR) after tax in Stockholm.
With a gross salary of 50,000 SEK (4,769 EUR), you will belong to the Swedish upper-middle class. A top-tier salary starts at 60,000 SEK (5,722 EUR) per month. Yet, an employee will pay a significant amount in taxes on that income.
Generally, 47,000 SEK or 4,486 EUR per month gross will be enough for a single person to live comfortably in Stockholm, Sweden’s capital and the most expensive city in the Scandinavian country.
The salary you need to live comfortably is significantly lower if you reside in a more affordable town like Uppsala and Malmo.
On the other hand, if you’re a family, you’ll need a higher income to maintain a middle to middle-upper class lifestyle in Sweden.
According to various sources, here is the average cost of living for different Swede cities. Read about salaries in Stockholm.
The following table depicts the cost of living for a single person in Sweden’s 10 largest cities from cheapest to most expensive (exclusive of rent):
|City||Estimated living cost in EUR (rent not included)|
|Norrkoping||950 – 1,450|
|Jonkoping||950 – 1,500|
|Helsingborg||1,000 – 1,500|
|Orebro||1,000 – 1,550|
|Linkoping||1,050 – 1,600|
|Malmo||1,050 – 1,600|
|Uppsala||1,100 – 1,650|
|Vateras||1,100 – 1,650|
|Gothenburg||1,100 – 1,700|
|Stockholm||1,250 – 2,000|
Keep in mind that the living costs above are approximations and are subject to change. One of the biggest expenses anywhere in Sweden is housing costs.
Typically, a one-bedroom apartment near the Stockholm city center will set you back 1,430 EUR, a two-bedroom approximately 2,050 EUR, and a 3 bedroom over 3,000 EUR.
An extra bedroom typically adds about 1,000 EUR to the rent.
Fortunately, in many places, you’ll find that the cost of rent typically includes some other utilities like water, electricity, and heating. If you’re lucky, you may find that your apartment also bundles free Wi-Fi as part of the rent package.
In places like Uppsala, you can find a 2-bedroom apartment with electricity and internet for less than the cost of a 1-bedroom apartment in Stockholm.
With a salary of anywhere above 4,000 EUR (42,000 SEK), you can afford an apartment in the middle of the city and still have enough to save, eat out, and cover your basic needs.
Read our guide on rent prices.
Example of a good salary in Sweden
A good salary in Sweden depends on whether you’re a family or a single person. Similarly, it will depend on your occupation and where you live.
For instance, my research shows that teaching aides earn the least in the teaching profession at about 2,417 EUR a month. The highest earner in this profession, a special needs teacher, typically makes approximately 3,942 EUR and takes home 2,998 EUR (31,438 SEK) after-tax if being exact.
Remember, these salaries are before tax. So, given the high and low in the teaching profession, having a salary of 3,179 EUR and above would mean you have a good salary for a teacher in Sweden.
The table below shows the salary ranges for some of the highest-paying jobs in Sweden.
|Job||Min Salary (EUR)||Max Salary (EUR)|
For comparison, below is another table with salary ranges for the most popular professions in Sweden.
|Job||Min Salary (EUR)||Max Salary (EUR)|
|Child care worker||2,292||2,369|
|Warehouse & Terminal Worker||2,705||2,772|
Want to move to Sweden but don’t have a job offer yet? We explain how to do it.
Gross vs net salary
All the salaries listed above are before tax. However, to give you a clearer picture of what you would take home as net income, it’s essential that you understand the Swedish tax system.
Your net salary will differ significantly from your gross, depending on where you reside and your total pay. The Swedish tax system deducts a local levy on employees’ annual incomes.
However, the tax differs as each municipality has a different percentage. The average local tax in Sweden is 32.34%. The municipality with the least local tax deducts 28.98% of annual income, while the most you’ll pay is 35.15% in Dorotea.
If your salary exceeds a certain income threshold, you pay an additional 20% to the Swedish Tax Agency. However, the tax system has a sum that’s exempt from taxation, but it differs depending on whether you’re over or under 65.
Bonuses, holiday pay, and remuneration packages
Sweden is one of the best countries when it comes to holidays for its employees. According to Swedish labor laws, every employee is entitled to 25 vacation days each year.
During this period, you also get the following:
- Holiday pay
It’s what your employer pays you when you’re on holiday. Employees receive 25 paid vacation days per year. Typically, the allowance is equal to your regular salary, any bonuses or commissions, and an additional holiday bonus of 0.43% of your monthly salary.
Further, any extra pay an employee receives is subject to an additional 12% vacation pay.
- Holiday remuneration
It’s the compensation you receive from an employer if you leave your job but have pending vacation days.
Other than vacation days, employees in Sweden enjoy 13 public holidays each year.
Salaries in Sweden
Sweden might not have the highest salaries in Europe, but there’s a reason the country has one of the lowest poverty rates globally.
With an average salary of nearly 3,400 EUR (35,000 SEK), an employee takes home approximately 2,537 EUR if they live in a high-tax municipality. While this would be just enough to live on in a place like Stockholm, it’s a good income for many other cheaper cities in the country.
Minimum wage in Sweden in 2023
Sweden, like other Nordic countries, doesn’t have a minimum wage. Instead, the government relies on collective agreements to determine fair salaries for employees.
Typically enterprises in different sectors and industries set these minimum wages collectively depending on an employee’s age, experience, skill, or seniority.
However, the existence of trade unions that bargain on behalf of employees makes the system work better than many government-based minimum wages.
Sweden, in particular, has over 100 trade unions and organizations that negotiate hourly work, overtime, and salaries for the workforce. Like many other parts of the world, the Swedish workweek is limited to 40 hours. Anything above that is payable as overtime.
Minimum salary for the residence and work permit
Sweden is one of the best countries to live and work in. However, you need to meet certain requirements to be eligible for permanent residence or get a work permit.
You can only get a work permit in Sweden if you have an official employment offer from a Swedish employer. Additionally, the job must meet the following requirements:
- Pay a minimum monthly salary of 1,245 EUR before tax
- Have been advertised for a minimum of 10 days in the EU/EEA
- Must meet employment terms matching those set by the country or an occupation/industry’s customary collective agreements
On the other hand, if you’re not an EU citizen and want to be a permanent resident of Sweden, you must have been living in the country continuously for at least 5 years.
Additionally, you must prove that you had a full-time job during the whole 5-year duration and could comfortably support your family and yourself.
Average salary in Sweden
Swedes earn approximately 3,338 EUR (35,000 SEK) every month or 40,056 EUR (420,000 SEK) annually before tax.
However, average wages vary from 26,000 SEK and 35,000 SEK, where 32,000 SEK is the median salary. The gross salary of 30,000 SEK a month is quite common.
Assuming you live in Österåker, which has the least tax in Sweden, and you earn the average pay above, your average monthly net salary after tax would be 2,623 EUR (27,504 SEK).
Highest paying jobs in Sweden
Sweden is a haven for social welfare. Its high living standards, free education, generous vacation time, and extremely affordable healthcare makes it a big hit among immigrants looking to move and work abroad.
While the country has some of the highest taxes, the social benefits you get as a result are nothing to scoff at. However, the Swedish government compensates for the high taxes by offering some of the most lucrative career paths in Europe.
According to Statista, some of the highest paying jobs in Sweden in 2022 include:
Is 40,000 SEK a good salary in Sweden?
40,000 SEK is equivalent to 3,829 EUR, which is just shy of the country’s average. This puts you in a position to live a comfortable life in Sweden. If you have a family, you’ll afford an even better lifestyle if your partner makes approximately the same amount.
Assuming you live in Stockholm, your net pay will be approximately 2,932 EUR (30,747 SEK). Considering your living expenses may range between 1,723 EUR to 2,393 EUR depending on the size of your family, 40,000 SEK is just enough to live on and have a few hundred pounds to save.
Is 60,000 Swedish Krona a good salary in Sweden?
According to Statistics Swedes, the lowest salary for the highest-earning occupations in Sweden is 67,200 Swedish Krona. On the other hand, the highest compensation for the country’s lowest-paying occupations is 25,600 SEK.
Therefore, earning 60,000 Swedish Krona puts you in the lower end of the country’s highest earners and gets you 40,980 SEK or 3,908 EUR per month after taxes. Typically, getting a job with such a high salary means you’re most likely a manager.
As in many countries, being among the highest earners in a country will afford you an upper-middle class lifestyle.
How much money do you need to live comfortably in Sweden?
The amount of money you need to live comfortably in Sweden depends on multiple factors. Hence, what you need for a comfortable life as a single adult will differ vastly if you add a partner and children.
However, the average expenditure for a single person is approximately 862 EUR before factoring in rent. Your rent can vary widely depending on location. For a typical family of four, the average living cost without rent is 3,082 EUR, according to Numbeo.
Besides, a single person will need approximately 1,979 EUR (20,759 SEK) to live comfortably in Sweden (including renting an apartment). A family of four should budget at least 3,804 EUR (39,906 SEK) rent included.
Also read our article about living as an American in Sweden, so you know what to expect when moving here.
Rents are generally costlier in major cities such as Stockholm. For instance, a one-bedroom apartment in the Swedish capital costs at least 1,400 EUR. Each additional bedroom will bump up the price by about 1,000 EUR.
On the other hand, the further you venture outside major cities, the more affordable the rents.
Uppsala is a good example, where you’ll find a 3-bedroom apartment for less than what you pay for a two-bed flat in Stockholm.
Luckily, most Swedish landlords offer some utilities such as water, electricity, heating, or Wi-Fi as part of the package.
According to research by the EU, Sweden is the second most expensive European country when it comes to food and non-alcoholic drinks. Data also shows that the average household spends up to 31% of total expenditure on food.
In Sweden, this means that, on average, a family of two adults and two children spends over 1,000 EUR on food each month. Below is a tabular representation of what you can expect to pay for different food products in Sweden.
Sweden is famous for its outgoing people. It has plenty of destinations to explore too. As an immigrant, traveling throughout the country might be among the things you intend to do.
Still, even if you prefer to stay home, once in a while, you’ll want to eat out, go on a date, or meet friends at a local cafe. The table below is an ideal indication of typical expenses you might incur if you visit a restaurant:
Sweden has one of the most robust transportation networks in Europe. In Sweden, you can even use public transport to get you to most national parks and regions further from the cities.
With a mix of highly-efficient buses, trains, and even ferries for channel crossings, you may not even need a private vehicle to get around. Below is data showing how you can get around in Sweden and how much it will cost you.
For expats in Sweden, we recommend private health insurance from international provider Cigna Global. Their coverage is comprehensive and inexpensive compared to many public insurances.
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