Situated in northern Europe, Sweden is among the prosperous Scandinavian countries. It is the largest country in the northern part of Europe with a land area of about 17,380 square miles. Sweden is one of the richest European nations, because of its developed export-oriented economy. Its primary industries include forestry, pharmaceuticals, iron, steel, precision equipment, chemical goods, industrial machines, and home goods and appliances. With its hard-working culture, trustworthy society, ample natural resources, excellent transport and harbours, and fair economic policy, Sweden continues to flourish.
What is the Sweden minimum wage? Sweden does not have any legal minimum wage. Rather, minimum wages are defined by industries through collective bargaining, and they tend to hover around 60% to 70% of the average Sweden wage. Almost all Swedish workers are members of a trade union and employers’ organization that negotiate wages for hourly work, overtime duties and salaries.
The law in Sweden limits working hours per week to 40 hours. But, it also mandates that all workers have a right to 25 days of paid vacation and 16 extra public holidays every year. If you are thinking of moving to Sweden for work or to settle down, you may have questions. What is the Sweden minimum wage? What is the average salary in Sweden? What is the cost of living in Sweden? Here, I will answer such questions.
What Is The Sweden Minimum Wage?
Similar to the other Nordic countries, Sweden does not have a national law dealing with minimum wages. Instead, minimum wage rates are decided through collective agreements. In sectors where collective bargaining does not apply, salaries are negotiated between employers and employees.
Earnings are set taking into consideration the duties and level of hardness of the tasks at work and how the employee does these tasks. Work that places a higher demand on an employee’s education, skills, duty and competence comes with a higher salary in comparison to less demanding work. The work surroundings and conditions for performing the job are also taken into account. Market trends have an impact on salary evaluations too.
A proportionate increase in salary is enforced when job requirements increase via more experience, duties with more demand, higher authority, more responsibility and greater knowledge.
Wage rates for younger workers who are below 18 years of age are different than for older workers. Wages are distinguished on the grounds of placement in four separate groups. The earnings go higher with an uninterrupted increase in service duration within the company.
Workers are placed into one of the following wage groups depending on the type of work they do:
1. Group 1: The work performed involves minimal effort in working conditions that are good to slightly hard, and the duties are carried out in accordance with the provided instructions and routine.
2. Group 2: Work involves moderate effort or it is carried out in difficult working conditions. It also includes work that requires some level of special training and practical experience.
3. Group 3: Qualified work that needs technical training, practical experience, judgement and initiative. This group also covers work that requires heavy effort and is carried out in difficult working conditions
4. Group 4: Highly qualified work requiring high technical training, practical experience, great deal of judgement and initiative. Any work that requires technical or heavy effort and is conducted in challenging workplace conditions also falls in Group 4.
What Is The Average Salary In Sweden?
Sweden is an attractive country to work in, because of its high salaries, considerate parental leave and communal work setting.
Similar to other prosperous European nations with a high quality of life and cushy wages, the job market in Sweden is competitive.
Numerous jobs require applicants to be fluent in Swedish. Jobs without such a language requirement are usually huge international corporations situated in Stockholm city. But, even open positions, which are advertised as “English only” often give preference to applicants who have some knowledge of Swedish.
Sweden is well-known for its steadfast gender and class equality, as well as promoting a healthy work-life balance. Normal work hours start at 8:30 a.m. and end at 5:00 p.m. Overtime work isn’t common in the local culture, and it’s not viewed favourably.
The average salary in Sweden is relatively high at SEK 1,400,000 ($139,167.00) per year, SEK 117,000 ($11,637.59) per month or SEK 670 ($66.64) per hour. But, the high salaries take into account the high cost of living in the country.
Here are some of the popular jobs in Sweden and their average annual salaries:
- Accountant: SEK 1,000,000 ($99,466.62)
- Bookkeeper: SEK 765,000 ($76,051.30)
- Corporate Treasurer: SEK 2,550,000 ($253,504.32)
- Financial Analyst: SEK 1,440,000 ($143,155.38)
- Receptionist: SEK801,000 ($79,630.18)
- Administrative Assistant: SEK 731,000 ($72,689.13)
- Graphic Designer: SEK 1,030,000 ($102,421.08)
- Pilot: SEK 1,660,000 ($165,066.98)
- Flight Attendant: SEK 1,270,000 ($126,438.29)
- Architect: SEK 1,330,000 ($132,401.38)
- Mechanic: SEK 779,000 ($77,549.38)
- Bank Branch Manager: SEK 2,140,000 ($213,076.31)
- Teacher: SEK 1,050,000 ($104,546.80)
- Business Analyst: SEK 1,760,000 ($175,240.35)
- Project Manager: SEK 1,730,000 ($172,253.30)
- Nanny: SEK 918,000 ($91,342.19)
- Engineer: SEK 1,290,000 ($128,356.63)
- Chief Executive Officer: SEK 3,340,000 ($332,334.21)
- Chef: SEK 1,120,000 ($111,441.41)
- Hotel Manager: SEK 2,110,000 ($209,791.65)
- Waiter/Waitress: SEK 867,000 ($86,203.49)
- Dentist: SEK 3,300,000 ($328,110.16)
- Nurse: SEK 1,170,000 ($116,329.96)
- Human Resources Manager: SEK 2,000,000 ($198,706.62)
- Programmer: SEK 1,260,000 ($125,185.18)
- Attorney: SEK 2,000,000 ($198,706.62)
- Pharmacist: SEK 1,600,000 ($158,906.40)
What is the Cost of Living in Sweden?
Sweden’s cost of living is high. Paying for accommodation tends to take up a large chunk of one’s overall spending in the country, particularly in Stockholm and Gothenburg. In those cities, hotel prices are expensive and the shortage of accommodation is a common issue. Even with financial resources, getting an apartment to rent for the long-term may be hard. However, properties located in rural Sweden are typically easy to rent and have excellent value.
A one-bedroom flat in the city centre goes for SEK 9,000-12,000 ($894.63-$1,190.77) per month while a similar flat in the suburbs is SEK 7,000-10,000 ($694.62-$992.31) monthly.
Buying a one-bedroom apartment in the city centre is approximately SEK 2,500,000-4,000,000 ($248.077.30-$396,923.68) while in the suburbs the cost is SEK 1,500,000-2,500,000 ($148,655.49-$248.077.30).
An apartment with three bedrooms in the city centre costs about SEK 13,902 ($1,377.44) per month while in the suburbs the price is SEK 10,022.97 ($993.06) a month. The price per square meter to purchase an apartment is roughly SEK 58,901.88 ($5,835.92) in the city centre or SEK 37,353.10 ($3,700.89) in the outskirts of the city.
For those who choose to cook for themselves and buy the bulk of their groceries at supermarkets, the cost of eating in Sweden is shockingly affordable. A person, who prepares all their meals at home, apart from weekday lunches, can spend SEK 16,110 ($1,596.56) per month on average.
1 litre of regular milk is about SEK 11.59 ($1.15), a 500g loaf of white bread is SEK 22.76 ($2.26), 1kg of white rice is SEK 25 ($2.48), 12 eggs are worth SEK 28.35 ($2.81) and 1kg of beef round is SEK 148.96 ($14.77).
Generous pay for restaurant workers and high taxation on alcohol make eating out in the Nordic country considerable pricier. A meal at an inexpensive restaurant is about SEK 100 ($9.92), and a three-course meal at a mid-range restaurant is SEK 690 ($68.42). A 0.5 litre bottle of domestic beer goes for SEK 67 ($6.64), and a 0.33 litre bottle of imported beer costs SEK 65 ($6.45).
Sweden’s public transportation is of good value. Even lengthy journeys that span hundreds of kilometres can be cheaper than commuting to the workplace in other European nations, like the U.K. Renting a vehicle in Sweden can become costly very fast with high daily expenses and high taxation on fuel. A litre of petrol costs SEK 13-15 ($1.29-$1.49) while renting a car for one day is SEK 400-600 ($39.67-59.51).
Rates for long-distance buses are affordable as well as city transport. A one-way ticket for a Stockholm bus is just SEK 37 ($3.67), and a 30-day pass is SEK 930 ($92.18). In Gothenburg, a one-way ticket costs SEK 30 ($2.97) and the price stays the same in Malmo.
Domestic flights and taxis can be very pricey. A domestic flight from Stockholm to Gothenburg comes at a price of SEK 500-2,500 ($49.56-$247.80) while a domestic flight from Stockholm to Kiruna is SEK 700-3,500 ($69.35-$346.77). A 15-minute taxi ride through central Stockholm goes for SEK 290-390 ($28.73-$38.64)
When it comes to entertainment in Sweden, going out can be expensive, because of high ticket prices for shows, movie screenings and concerts. Nightclubs can be costly as well, and that is even if a person monitors their alcohol intake closely.
An admission fee of at least SEK 150 ($14.86) is relatively standard, and an additional charge of about SEK 20 ($1.98) may apply for hanging up a coat.
The monthly cost of household utilities (electricity, water, gas, etc.) is around SEK 730.84 ($72.35). For mortgage buyers, the interest rate on a 20-year fixed plan is about 2.99%.
Mobile phone contracts offer the best call and text deals, but an excellent short-term solution is to buy a sim-card.
One minute of prepaid mobile tariff without a discount or plan is SEK 1.19 ($0.12). Moreover, internet of at least 60 mbps costs SEK 298.42 ($29.57).
For those who like to maintain an active lifestyle, gym membership is approximately SEK 350.13 ($34.66) per month, and a basic haircut is SEK 250 ($24.75).
About the author: Marta Kovachek is the author of this article. She graduated from the University of Chicago with a master’s degree in Economics. Marta enjoys writing about the current economic situation and loves helping our readers to find their next "destination". From places to live to complex social and economic topics, we always enjoy Marta's work. Please contact us in case of any questions.