Work in Sweden
You have probably heard of the work-life balance in Sweden as well as in other Scandinavian countries. The work environment in Sweden is a major reason for the increased productivity and the pleasant stay for employees during and after work. Equality and good relationships are at the core. Of course, workwear varies from sphere to sphere, however, it is usually not strictly formal, but rather emphasizes “comfort”. Another factor is the opportunity which Swedes have to talk directly to the Big Boss, without worrying about the fact that they may occupy the lowest position in the company. Your opinion is important and you will almost always be actively involved in the decision making. This is typical of the flat hierarchy, which is very common in almost every company in Scandinavia.
Salary and vacation
There is no regulated minimum wage in Sweden. The unions are constantly negotiating with employers on this topic, along with all other working conditions. Of course, for unskilled labor you can expect something in the range of 120 Swedish kronor per hour (12 euros). But again, this amount can vary from type of job to specific employer.
The regulated annual vacation is 25 days, with a 40-hour working week, which is the standard in Sweden. If you work less, then your annual vacation will be recalculated to meet your working days during the year. There are exactly 13 national holidays in Sweden.
According to the Swedish Statistical Institute, the average salary in Sweden in 2020 is 38 247 Swedish kronor or about 3 590 euros. The tax system in Sweden (like other Scandinavian countries) is directly proportional, which means that above a certain income, you will start paying a higher percentage in taxes. This threshold, of course, is not low at all and it is quite difficult to exceed it if you do a normal job like most Swedes. The lowest tax in Sweden is 32%, which would set you at an average salary of 3590 euros – 2630, after taxes. Remember that thanks to these higher taxes, in Sweden you have access to free education and healthcare, various types of benefits that you can take advantage of if (when) you are in need. We hope that you do not imagine that the clinics and the hospitals are institutions that you will never use. The peace of mind of knowing that at any time when you need medical help, everything will be free for you is priceless.
Work for students in Sweden
Any student in Sweden who has already received their Swedish documents can start working legally in the country. Swedish employers are fair and thanks to the unions constantly negotiating for even better working conditions, abuses of any kind are kept to a minimum. It is quite possible for every student in Sweden to support themselves completely on their own, as long as they manage to find a student job for about ten hours a week.
Our main advice here, not only to the students in Sweden, but also to every foreigner, is to invest in Swedish language lessons in advance. The local language is the key that will very quickly open your doors to the much desired student work, saving you a lot of time and effort during the search. Like the students in Denmark, those that we consult for their higher education in Sweden enroll in least one level of Swedish in their country before leaving. For the last year, more than 50% of the admitted students were quite happy that they were able to read their accommodation contracts on their own, entirely in Swedish (as well as any other official document). You probably guess what the first question of every employer in Sweden will be – “Do you speak Swedish?” The answer you will give is the secret key to getting the job right there.
The best news for any student in Sweden is the unique opportunity to receive a scholarship. Thanks to it, your student years in Sweden will take on a totally different look, as you will be able to fully cover both your accommodation and food and everything else in Sweden without the need for financial support from your parents.
The high standard of living in Sweden should not bother you. Prices are high because salaries are one of the highest in Europe. However, in order to get highly educated specialists in every sphere, the Swedes subsidize each young person who wants to study for the entire period of their education (a bachelor’s + master’s degree in Sweden takes 5 years)!
Not only is education completely free for every student in the European Union, but they also have the unique opportunity to work very little and be completely financially independent. Do not think that the Swedes have not thought about every detail so that their children get the best possible start to become true professionals in the spheres they have chosen. Every Scandinavian country enjoys such a system, and it is no coincidence that the quality of life in these countries is at the forefront not only in Europe but in the whole world.
You can see more about the scholarship in our special article about it.
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