Swedish salaries on the whole, are lower than other countries. In Sweden, salaries are more evenly spread between professions compared to the other countries, especially the US & UK, when there is a wide range in earnings between blue-collar to CEO/doctor levels.
Here’s a quick look at monthly salaries for most major professions. In Sweden, employees sign up for a monthly salary rather than yearly salary. These are based upon several years experience. Discount heavily if you are a new graduate in the field.
Occupation Monthly Salary in SEK (2010)
Civil economist 38,600
Computer Programmer 38,400
IT professionals 30,400
Secondary school teachers 27,300
Primary school teachers 25,700
HVAC technician 24,700
You can see that doctors and lawyers are not that much better off than an experienced programmer or pilot. There are no $200,000 incomes for doctors or lawyers in Sweden so if you expect that kind of money, don’t move here.
In addition, high unemployment amongst the youth population is persistent despite lower restrictions on hiring and terminations. Youth are those between 18-25 years of age. If you are college educated or have previous work experience, your chance of finding a job is far easier.
LO, Landsorganisationen i Sverige, the Swedish trade union confederation, ran a study regarding expectations of salaries and reality. The findings were markedly Swedish in that, respondents expected evenly distributed salaries amongst occupations.
Occupation Expected Monthly Income Real Monthly Income
Cashier 22,800 20,400
Assistant 25,200 21,600
Industry worker 25,700 24,100
Electrician 26,800 26,600
Teacher 27,700 26,000
Nurse 29,000 25,600
Engineer 32,600 39,100
Sales Boss 35,700 54,600
Doctor 39,000 52,800
Director of a large company 97,000 969,800
Numbers are in 2010 SEK (kronor) via DN and LO.
Of course, not everything is equal in Sweden, especially when you reach the director/executive level positions. There, you can expect American salaries and perks with your position.
The resources below should help you if you are negotiating salaries. Be aware of salary differences between cities, gender, and experience.
SCB – http://www.scb.se/Pages/ProductTables____7538.aspx
LO – http://www.lo.se/home/lo/home.nsf/unidView/98550AB94B710AD4C12574E80042F3F0
Lönestatistik – based on user submission; hit or miss for many occupations – http://www.lonestatistik.se/loner.asp