Step 1 - Prepare your documents
- A certificate that your education is in line with the requirements of EU directive 2005/36/EC. These are issued by the authorities in your country of education.
- A Certificate of Good Standing or a Certificate of Current Professional Status. Alternatively an extract of your country’s criminal register.
- A copy of your Diploma and a transcript of your grades in the original language and translated.
Step 2 - Learn the language
Learning the Swedish language at advanced level of C1 is a mandatory step to obtain a Swedish license to practice. You need a certificate showing a C1 (CEFR) proficiency in the Swedish language.
Step 3 - Submit your application for a license to practice
Once you have passed the language course and reached the C1-level you may apply for your license to practice with the Swedish authorities.
Step 1 - Have your education assessed
You need to have your education assessed by the Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare (Socialstyrelsen).
(As part of our service we currently provide this service to apply on your behalf with no extra charge. You may apply here)
You need to provide:
- A valid passport.
- A copy of your Diploma in the original language and translated to English or Swedish.
- A copy of a list of courses you took and how long the program lasted in the original language and translated.
Step 2 - Learn the language
Learning the Swedish language is a mandatory step to obtain a Swedish license to practice. You need a certificate showing a C1 (CEFR) proficiency in the Swedish language.
(This is exactly what we offer, a one-year long tailor made intensive language program for medical professionals. The course is held in Sweden and we will also arrange for your residence permit for study for one year in Sweden. You may apply here)
Step 3 - Take a proficiency exam and enroll in a course in Swedish Laws and Regulations
The proficiency exam consists of one theoretical and one practical part and will prove your skills within your medical field. The test is in Swedish and hence the requirement of learning the Swedish language. However, you can participate in the testing without having a language certificate. But once you have passed the proficiency test you will need a language certificate (at C1 level) in order to apply for your license to practice.
The test is held at a Swedish university and the location depends on your field of practice.
The course in Swedish Laws and Regulations is arranged by Umeå University on request of the National Board of Health and Welfare and is free of charge.
Step 4 - Undergo clinical training
Just like the other students educated in Sweden you need to undergo clinical training. The clinical training lasts between 3 to 6 months depending on your profession.
Step 5 - Finalize your application for a license to practice
Once you have passed all the steps and can provide proven documents you can apply for the license to practise. At this stage you must provide a language certificate at C1 level. The processing time at the Swedish Board of Health and Welfare is 2 - 4 weeks.
A licence is proof that a practitioner has the skills and qualifications that a profession requires. A total of 22 different healthcare professions demand licences in Sweden. Those particular professions are regulated by law and the titles are protected. In other words, for example, you may refer to yourself as a doctor of medicine only if you have a licence.
2. Biomedical scientist
4. Dental Hygienist
5. Dental practitioner
7. Doctor of medicine
8. Healthcare counselor
9. Medical Physicist
12. Nurse responsible for general care
13. Occupational therapist
15. Orthopedic engineer
22. Speech and language pathologist
(23.) Specialized doctors may follow a slightly different route but are also considered a licensed occupation.
If you are holding another medical title, feel free to contact us for further guidance.
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).
|Profession||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?