Swedish salaries – how and how much?
A question we often get at Swedworks is about salaries; how much does different Swedish healthcare professionals make? In this post we will try to give you a sense of what salary you can expect when working in Sweden, and some points on how to conduct a discussion about your salary or about a raise with a Swedish employer. What is to be expected and what do you need to keep in mind?
What is the salary based on?
The main components, when discussing and setting the salary for a new employee, is educational background and work experience. In the case of licensed occupations, it is mandatory to have the basic education, but you may also benefit from extra academic or non-academic studies that give you an edge in your professional field.
Pay-raise negotiations are usually held once a year, and they will focus more on performance, personal improvement, and if you have taken on any new responsibilities. You will be expected to argue for the increase in your salary, so make a habit of noting workplace education or extra responsibilities you get at work.
Discussing salaries and pay-raises in Sweden is almost impossible without mentioning the unions. Sweden has a strong union presence and if you are publicly employed you are almost guaranteed to be covered by an agreement between the union and the employer. As a baseline, you could say that the agreement between employer and union will guarantee you a certain salary at the start, but it may also hamper your salary increase in following years.
It is also important to note that a public employer will be restricted by a budget set by the national or local government, while a private company is restricted by how successful it is. A public employer usually provides more job security and a secure steady raise, while a private company can offer you both a lower or higher starting salary, but usually also a higher ceiling when it comes to the salary increases.
What salary is common for healthcare practitioners in Sweden?
Since salary is set on an individual basis, for the most part, and differs a lot depending on the employer, we have decided to look at the national salary statistics. What we present is the statistics for the lowest paid ten percent and the slightly higher paid. You can think of it as a newly employed professional, without any working experience, in comparison to someone who has been working a couple of years or who has some other attractive prior experiences.
The statistics are from Statistics Sweden, which is a state governmental body which is assigned to gather accurate statistics in many different fields. Check out the table below for your profession and see what you can expect as a starting salary if you are newly educated, and if you have some prior work experience. All figures are updated this spring and are based on last year’s statistics (2019).
|Total salary in SEK||Total salary in SEK|
|(little or no prior experience)||(some prior experience)|
|Audiologist||28 500||30 000|
|Biomedical analyst||26 600||29 000|
|Dental hygienist||26 800||29 200|
|Dental practitioner||34 500||38 900|
|Dietitian||27 600||29 900|
|Doctor, non-specialized||30 500||34 000|
|Doctor, specialized||60 500||70 800|
|Healthcare counselor||30 700||32 800|
|Medical physicist||35 200||38 200|
|Nurse, general care||29 400||31 800|
|Midwife||34 900||36 900|
|Occupational therapist||28 500||30 500|
|Optician||38 700||38 700|
|Orthopedic engineer||26 000||30 500|
|Pharmacist||32 900||35 500|
|Physiotherapist||27 100||29 500|
|Prescriptionist||32 100||34 100|
|Psychologist||34 800||38 000|
|Psychotherapists||38 200||39 300|
|Radiographer||60 500||70 800|
|Speech and language pathologist||33 800||37 000|
* No available salary statistics for these occupations.
The Swedish currency is called SEK “Swedish Crown”. Exchange rates as of 2020-08-18 are 1 000 SEK = $ 115,7or € 96,9.
Please let us know if there is another subject connected with moving to and working in Sweden as a healthcare professional that you would be interested to read about?