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These are the most future-proof jobs in Sweden

A lot can change in the job market in five years, but those working in the welfare or education sector in Sweden are some of the most likely to have job security over the next five years.

These are the most future-proof jobs in Sweden
IT and data specialists are among the careers expected to be less competitive in five years' time. Photo: Pontus Lundahl/TT

A new report from the Swedish Confederation of Professional Associations (Saco), which represents university graduates on the job market, has revealed the most 'future-proof' jobs in Sweden.

Jobs where the labour market was expected to be favourable in 2022, with the least competition for jobs, included physiotherapists, dental hygienists, pharmacists, animal nurses, and specialist teachers.

Saco's report looked into 66 professions with graduate workers, and found that it should be easy to find a job in 25 of them in five years' time.

“There are lots of students who aren't aware of the outlook for the possibilities for work in different professions,” Pälle Kamali, who is responsible for the report, told TT. “But this is important so that they aren't surprised after their degree, and discover that it's hard to get a certain job, or that the salary is worse than expected.”

In primary schools, an increasing number of children are expected to enroll over the next five years, while many working teachers will retire during the same period. A further aggravating factor is that the government has promised to improve the ratio of teachers to students in early years education.

In high schools, the level of competition for teaching jobs depends a lot on the subject.

While competition is currently high and expected to increase for jobs teaching history and social sciences, teachers of natural sciences, maths, technology, and certain languages can expect to have choices when it comes to the job hunt, both for newly qualified and experienced teachers.

Another area where there are likely to be more jobs than qualified workers in five years' time was the Swedish Church, with priests and deacons both featuring on the list. The employment rate for priests is currently below 0.3 percent, and there's a high number of vacant positions.

READ ALSO: These are the employers young Swedes like the most

“It's worrying. For priests, the shortage is so great that 25 percent of positions are vacant in certain dioceses,” Vikebe Hammarström from the Kyrkans akademikerförbund, a union which represents graduates in the Swedish Church, told the TT newswire.

“I think the Swedish Church needs to think about how it presents itself, you have to show that you're starting to take work environment seriously and that you're an attractive employer, so that young people choose the career.”

At the other end of the scale, the labour market is likely to be tough for biologists and those working in communications and culture in 2022. According to Kamali, these professions have been on the list for a long time, due to the fact that many people qualify in these areas but there are few available jobs.

Saco's report comes shortly after a global report on the labour market showed that the situation in Sweden was tougher than in any other country, despite unemployment reaching a record low this month. 

One of the main reasons, according to global recruitment agency Hays, was a talent mismatch, meaning that companies in certain industries were struggling to find the right candidates so there are vacancies in highly-skilled industries. This means that wages in these areas are edging up in order to attract more candidates.

Here is the full list of jobs where Saco predicts low competition in the next five years:

  • Pharmacist
  • Environmental engineer
  • Occupational therapist
  • Audiologist (hearing specialist)
  • Biomedical analyst
  • Deacon
  • Animal nurse
  • Physiotherapist
  • Interior designer
  • IT or data specialist
  • Chemist
  • Mathematician/statistician
  • Officer
  • Urban planner
  • Optician
  • Prescriptionist
  • Priest
  • Headteacher
  • Social worker
  • Remedial teacher
  • Careers advisor
  • Dental hygienist
  • Teachers in high school and grades 4-9

READ ALSO: Swedish teens still plan careers according to gender, study shows

For members


Reader question: When am I eligible for a Swedish pension?

A reader got in touch to ask how long he had to work in Sweden before he was eligible for a pension. Here are Sweden's pension rules, and how you can get your pension when the time comes.

Reader question: When am I eligible for a Swedish pension?

The Swedish pension is part of the country’s social insurance system, and it can seem like a confusing beast at times. The good news is that if you’re living and working here, you’ll almost certainly be earning towards a pension, and you’ll be able to get that money even if you move elsewhere before retirement.

You will start earning your Swedish general pension, or allmän pension, once you’ve earned over 20,431 kronor in a single year, and – for almost all kinds of pension in Sweden – there is no time limit on how long you must have lived in Sweden before you are eligible.

The exception is the minimum guarantee pension, or garantipension, which you can receive whether you’ve worked or not. To be eligible at all for this, you need to have lived in Sweden for a period of at least three years before you are 65 years old. 

“There’s a limit, but it’s a money limit,” Johan Andersson, press secretary at the Swedish Pension Agency told The Local about the general pension. “When you reach the point that you start paying tax, you start paying into your pension.”

“But you have to apply for your pension, make sure you get in touch with us when you want to start receiving it,” he said.

Here’s our in-depth guide on how you can maximise your Swedish pension, even if you’re only planning on staying in Sweden short-term.

Those who spend only a few years working in Sweden will earn a much smaller pension than people who work here for their whole lives, but they are still entitled to something – people who have worked in Sweden will keep their income pension, premium pension, supplementary pension and occupational pension that they have earned in Sweden, even if they move to another country. The pension is paid no matter where in the world you live, but must be applied for – it is not automatically paid out at retirement age.

If you retire in the EU/EEA, or another country with which Sweden has a pension agreement, you just need to apply to the pension authority in your country of residence in order to start drawing your Swedish pension. If you live in a different country, you should contact the Swedish Pensions Agency for advice on accessing your pension, which is done by filling out a form (look for the form called Ansök om allmän pension – om du är bosatt utanför Sverige).

The agency recommends beginning the application process at least three months before you plan to take the pension, and ideally six months beforehand if you live abroad. It’s possible to have the pension paid into either a Swedish bank account or an account outside Sweden.

A guarantee pension – for those who live on a low income or no income while in Sweden – can be paid to those living in Sweden, an EU/EEA country, Switzerland or, in some cases, Canada. This is the only Swedish pension which is affected by how long you’ve lived in Sweden – you can only receive it if you’ve lived in the country for at least three years before the age of 65.

“The guarantee pension is residence based,” Andersson said. “But it’s lower if you haven’t lived in Sweden for at least 40 years. You are eligible for it after living in Sweden for only three years, but it won’t be that much.”