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Sweden: Business Sectors and Expat Jobs

If you get the chance to start working in Sweden as an expat, don’t hesitate! The country rewards you with job experience in one of Europe’s most beautiful countries. Competition can be fierce, though. We give you all the essential info on working in Sweden, from taxes to the expat job market.
Sweden offers expats lots of opportunities. However, the local competition is fierce.

Main Business Sectors

While privately owned firms are responsible for the highest economic output in Sweden, the public sector is the largest employer in the country, employing around 25% of the population. Municipal and county councils represent a large portion of the overall labor market and they commonly offer positions in the healthcare as well as the educational sector.

The clean-tech sector and automotive industry form another big employer group. Big vehicle manufacturers, like Volvo and Scania, call Sweden their home. Saab, a Swedish automobile company which petitioned for bankruptcy in 2011, was bought by National Electric Vehicle Sweden and is back in production. Expats experienced in developing or manufacturing greener vehicles will feel right at home. After all, Sweden is one of the countries at the forefront of clean technologies and eco-friendly applications.

Other Sectors of Note in Sweden

Other important sectors in Sweden include the financial services sector as well as information and communications technology. Stockholm forms Sweden’s financial center with head offices of many multinational banks as well as hosting Scandinavia’s largest stock exchange. With companies like Sony Ericsson and Skype, Sweden also has a lot to offer in the field of information technology.

Sweden’s biotech sector is another major employer. The country is home to distinguished biotech clusters, six medical universities and other life science institutions. However, the fastest growing sector is the tourism industry as Sweden is among the most popular tourist destinations in the world. Once you have moved to Sweden, with its variety of cities and beautiful natural scenery to admire, you will understand why the tourism industry in the country is thriving.

Regulated Professions

Some professions require you to hold a special permit. This applies particularly to jobs within the healthcare sector but also to lawyers, electrical contractors and public school teachers. So before you go looking for a job as a nurse or dentist, make sure to contact the responsible authorities to receive approval of your license certification and professional status.

With this approval your future employer is assured that you received the necessary training and education to work in your field of occupation. In Sweden, approximately 40 professions, the majority of them within the healthcare sector, are regulated. The main requirements to gain approval are a sufficient educational background and prior work experience. The Swedish Council for Higher Education offers a list of all the regulated professions as well as the correct authority to contact for the necessary approval.

A Strong but Competitive Job Market

When you get ready for working in Sweden, you should know that, while the economy boasts many strong industrial sectors, the competition can be fierce. Some sectors are well staffed, and there are a high number of very well-educated Swedes who graduate each year and enter the job market.

Swedish employers generally look for qualifications and lots of experience in their prospective employees. You can improve your chances by gaining some more professional experience and by acquiring additional skills. Although English is widely spoken throughout Sweden, you will have a hard time finding a job if you are not proficient in Swedish.



We do our best to keep this article up to date. However, we cannot guarantee that the information provided is always current or complete. 

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"With InterNations I quickly connected with other Canadian members who became close friends over time."

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