Expat’s Guide: Sweden Jobs In Demand for 2024

Expat's Guide: Sweden Jobs In Demand for 2024

Are you looking for Sweden jobs in demand for 2024? If so, you are not alone. Sweden is a popular destination for expats who want to enjoy a high quality of life, a strong welfare system, and a diverse and innovative economy. But what are the best jobs in Sweden for foreigners? And how can you find them?

The current high demand jobs in Sweden are the following:

  • Doctor

  • IT specialist

  • English teacher

  • Financial advisors

  • Construction workers/Real estate

According to the Swedish Public Employment Service, the unemployment rate in Sweden was 7.8% in 2022, slightly higher than the EU average of 7.3%. However, the employment rate was 77.4%, well above the EU average of 67.4%. This means that there are plenty of opportunities for qualified and skilled workers in Sweden, especially in sectors such as healthcare, education, IT, engineering, and construction.

As an expat, I can tell you from my own experience that finding the highest paying jobs in Sweden is not easy, but it is possible. You need to have a good command of English, and preferably some Swedish, as well as a relevant education and work experience.

In this blog post, we will give you an overview of the Swedish job market, the highest paying jobs, and the most high demand English speaking jobs. We will also share some tips and resources for job seekers who want to work in Sweden.

Can You Get a Job in Sweden Without Speaking Swedish? Read here

Most in-demand jobs in Sweden in 2023

Sweden’s employment rate is always on the rise. However, the labour market took a significant blow with the COVID-19 pandemic. According to Statista Research Department, employment was lowest in 2010 at 65.4% because of the financial crisis that hit the nation between 2008 – 2009.

Past the crisis, the employment rate rose monthly, and the peak was in 2018 & 2019, hitting 68.3%. By November 2021, it was at 68%, translating to over five million employees of the entire population of 10.4 million people.

How can you move to Sweden without a job? Learn in our guide.

Men have a higher employment rate than women in Sweden, which was more prevalent after the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Typically, expected working hours in Sweden are up to 40 hours. However, there was a rapid fluctuation throughout 2010 – 2020 between 29.2 and 30.9 hours. The worst hit was the youngest working population, 15 – 24 years, who worked an average of 24.6 hours/week. 

The age bracket 25 – 54-year reported the highest weekly hours of 30.1 hours. This means many jobs are available to expats in any Swedish migration agency. To give you more idea, below is a list of the jobs in demand in Sweden and their salaries.

What salary is considered decent for Sweden?

1. Doctor

Young doctor talking to her patient

In 2023, doctors were among the most in-demand jobs in Sweden. Several factors drove this demand. Firstly, a survey showed that 6 out of 10 doctors in Sweden were considering leaving their workplace, reducing their working hours, or leaving the profession altogether. This situation created a significant shortage of doctors. Secondly, the Swedish government implemented policies to improve the availability of services, including efforts to strengthen primary care and concentrate specialist care.

The average annual salary for doctors in Sweden in 2023 was 787,230 SEK. Despite the high demand for doctors, Sweden also offered numerous English speaking jobs and job opportunities in other sectors like healthcare, education, IT, engineering, and construction.

Sweden’s healthcare system is predominantly financed by taxes and aims to provide good health and care on equal terms3. It is considered one of the most affordable healthcare systems in the world, making the medical profession attractive in the country.

What salary is considered decent for Sweden?

2. IT Specialist

IT specialists working in office

There are multiple reasons why IT Specialists are one of in demand jobs in Sweden in 2023. The Swedish government has been proactive in promoting digital innovation, leading to a surge in the number of IT-related jobs in Sweden. The average annual salary for an IT Specialist in 2023 is approximately SEK 473,131, making it an attractive profession.

Sweden tends to be a hub for tech startups, and many Swedish citizens are choosing to start their own business in the IT sector. This entrepreneurial trend is supported by government policies that make it easier to apply for a work permit for IT jobs.

Moreover, the rise of digital marketing has created a demand for IT Specialists with skills in this area. As businesses increasingly move online, the need for professionals who can navigate the digital landscape continues to grow. Therefore, IT Specialists are among the most in-demand jobs in Sweden in 2023.

Can you move to Sweden without a job? Find out here!

3. English Teacher

English teacher near a whilte in class

According to the National Agency for Education, English teacher is the third most in-demand job in Sweden in 2023. The main reasons for this high demand are the following:

  • The education sector in Sweden is facing a major teacher shortage, especially in subjects like English, math, and science. By 2033, a total of 188,500 teachers and preschool teachers will need to qualify in order to meet the forecasted demand1.

  • The Swedish workforce is becoming more diverse and multicultural as the country welcomes more immigrants and refugees from different parts of the world. This creates a need for English teachers who can help newcomers learn the language and integrate into the society.

  • The Swedish company sector is also expanding its global reach and competitiveness, as businesses in Sweden tend to be leaders in innovation and technology. This requires English teachers who can teach business English and prepare workers for international communication and collaboration.

The average annual salary for an English teacher in Sweden is around $28,000 USD, which is comparable to the average salary in the country However, the salary may vary depending on the qualifications, experience, and location of the teacher. English teachers who work in private schools or language institutes may earn more than those who work in public schools.

Teaching English in Sweden is not only a rewarding career, but also a great opportunity to experience the culture and lifestyle of this Scandinavian country. Sweden offers a high quality of life, a generous welfare system, and a beautiful natural environment.

Do you want to quit and find a new job? Check our article How To Write a Resignation Letter in Switzerland

4. Financial Advisor

Female financial advisor talking to a male accountant and his assistant

According to Swedish Immigration, there are many occupations that are in high demand in Sweden. The Migration Agency has issued a jobs shortage list with a list of all occupations that are currently in high demand with a short supply of workers. This job shortage list in Sweden is based on statistics from the Swedish Employment Agency, the Police, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The list includes jobs in various sectors such as healthcare, education, engineering, and more. Financial Advisor is one of the jobs that are in high demand in Sweden.

The average annual salary for a Financial Advisor in Sweden is SEK 450,000. The Swedish workforce is highly skilled and educated, making it an attractive location for companies to set up their businesses. The Swedish government has also made it easier for foreign workers to obtain a work permit in Sweden. These factors have contributed to the growth of the job market in Sweden. It is expected that the trend of high demand for jobs in Sweden will continue in the future.

Are you planning to start a business or move with your family to Sweden? Read this first: The Cost of Living for a Family In Sweden

5. Construction Workers/Real Estate

Construction workers on a scaffolding

There are many occupations that are in high demand in Sweden, including construction workers and real estate professionals. The European Labour Authority has also noted that there is a significant shortage of workers in the construction sector.

The demand for construction workers and real estate professionals can be attributed to several factors. Firstly, the Swedish government has been investing heavily in infrastructure projects, which has led to an increase in demand for construction workers. Secondly, the real estate market in Sweden has been growing steadily, which has led to an increase in demand for real estate professionals.

Additionally, the Swedish workforce is aging, which has led to a shortage of skilled workers in various sectors, including construction and real estate. Furthermore, the Swedish government has implemented policies to attract highly skilled workers from other countries, which has led to an increase in demand for workers who are proficient in multiple languages.

Construction workers and real estate professionals in Sweden earn an average annual salary of SEK 400,000 and SEK 450,000, respectively. Non-EU citizens who work in Sweden are required to have a work permit and pay taxes. However, they may be eligible for financial support from the Swedish government.

Other jobs that are in high demand in Sweden include civil engineers, production planning professionals, and software and system developers. These jobs require skills such as social skills, financial planning, and home country knowledge. Non-EU citizens who work in these sectors may be eligible for higher salaries.

Working Conditions and Culture in Sweden

woman working on her laptop

Sweden is a Nordic country with a high standard of living, a strong welfare system, and a reputation for innovation and social progress. Working in Sweden can offer many opportunities and benefits for professionals who are looking for a new challenge and a different lifestyle. However, before moving to Sweden for work, it is important to understand the work culture, employee rights, and benefits in Sweden, which may differ from other countries.

Work culture in Sweden

The work culture in Sweden is characterized by a high degree of collaboration, consensus, and equality. Swedish workers value autonomy, flexibility, and work-life balance, and expect their employers to respect their personal and professional needs.

Some of the features of the work culture in Sweden are the following:

Flat hierarchies

Swedish workplaces tend to have a low power distance, meaning that managers and employees communicate openly and directly, and share decision-making and responsibility. Employees are encouraged to voice their opinions, ask questions, and challenge the status quo. Titles and formalities are not very important, and most people address each other by their first names, regardless of their position or seniority.

Teamwork

You don’t have to speak Swedish to work properly. Swedish workers often work in cross-functional teams, where they cooperate and coordinate with colleagues from different departments and backgrounds. Teamwork is seen as a way to foster creativity, innovation, and efficiency, and to solve complex problems. Team members are expected to contribute equally, share information, and support each other.

Flexibility

Swedish workers enjoy a high degree of flexibility in their working hours and arrangements. Many employers offer the possibility of working remotely, part-time, or with flexible schedules, as long as the work is done and the goals are met. Employees are also entitled to take time off for personal reasons, such as parental leave, sick leave, or education leave, without losing their job security or benefits.

Work-life balance

Swedish workers value their personal time and interests, and try to maintain a healthy balance between their work and private lives. They usually work around 40 hours per week, and rarely work overtime or during weekends. They also make use of their generous vacation time, which is at least 25 days per year, and often more. Swedish workers also enjoy various social and cultural activities, such as sports, hobbies, volunteering, or traveling, and expect their employers to support their well-being and happiness.

Employee rights and benefits in Sweden

Sweden has a comprehensive and progressive labor law, which protects the rights and interests of employees and employers. The labor law is based on the principle of collective bargaining, meaning that the terms and conditions of employment are negotiated and agreed upon by the trade unions and the employers’ associations, and are then applied to all workers in the same sector or industry. The labor law also sets the minimum standards and regulations for various aspects of employment, such as wages, working hours, health and safety, discrimination, and termination.

Some of the employee rights and benefits in Sweden are the following:

Minimum wage

Sweden does not have a statutory minimum wage, but the minimum wage is determined by the collective agreements in each sector or industry. The average wage in Sweden is around 45,300 SEK per month before taxes, but it can vary depending on the occupation, education, experience, and location of the worker. For example, software engineers in Sweden earn an average salary of 51,000 SEK per month.

Taxes

Swedish workers pay taxes on their income, which are deducted from their salary by their employer. The tax rate depends on the income level and the municipality of residence of the worker, but it is generally around 30%. In addition, workers pay a social security contribution of 7% of their gross income, which funds the public welfare system. The employer also pays a social security contribution of 31.42% of the employee’s gross salary.

Health insurance

Sweden has a universal health care system, which provides free or subsidized health care services to all residents. The health care system is funded by the taxes and the social security contributions paid by the workers and the employers. Workers are entitled to free or low-cost medical consultations, treatments, prescriptions, and hospitalizations, as well as preventive and dental care. Workers are also entitled to sickness benefit, which is paid by the Swedish Social Insurance Agency from day 15 to 90 in the event of illness. It is 77.6% of the salary up to 10 price base amounts. The first day of illness is counted as a qualifying day; the employer pays sick pay between days 2 and 14.

Pension plans and retirement contributions

Sweden has a public pension system, which consists of three parts: the income pension, the premium pension, and the survivor’s pension. The income pension is based on the lifetime earnings of the worker, and 16% of the gross salary (up to 7.5 income base amounts) goes to this pension. The premium pension is based on the investment choices of the worker, and 2.5% of the gross salary goes to this pension. The survivor’s pension is paid to the spouse, partner, or children of the deceased worker. In addition, many employers offer supplementary pension plans, which are negotiated and agreed upon by the collective agreements. These plans provide an additional income to the workers upon retirement, and are usually funded by the employer’s contributions.

Maternity and paternity leave

Sweden has very generous conditions for parental leave. Female employees are entitled to 14 weeks of maternity leave, and male employees are entitled to 10 days of paternity leave, around the time of the birth or adoption of a child. Both parents are also entitled to share 480 days of parental leave, until the child turns 8 years old. During the parental leave, the parents receive a parental benefit, which is 80% of their salary for the first 390 days, and a flat rate for the remaining 90 days. The employer may also supplement the parental benefit, according to the collective agreement. Parents also have the right to reduce their working hours by up to 25%, until the child turns 8 years old.

Final Thoughts About The Sweden Jobs in Demand

In conclusion, exploring the Swedish job market as an expat requires a strategic approach. The highest paying and most in-demand jobs include roles in healthcare, IT, finance, engineering, education, tourism, and construction. Salaries vary across professions, with doctors earning between $14,500 to $19,900 per month, and IT specialists receiving an average of $3,121 monthly.

The Swedish work culture values collaboration, flexibility, and work-life balance, making it an attractive destination for skilled professionals. Expats should be prepared to meet specific requirements for certain professions, such as language proficiency and validation of qualifications. Understanding the comprehensive labor laws, minimum wage structures, and social benefits is crucial for a smooth transition to work and life in Sweden.

By leveraging these insights and exploring available resources, expats can enhance their chances of securing fulfilling employment in this innovative and vibrant Scandinavian nation.

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