Swedish Language Blog

Labor Shortages in Sweden – How to Find a Job Posted by on May 23, 2012 in Uncategorized

A few months ago, we wrote about finding a job in Sweden. It wasn’t easy to find a job then and it is not easy to find a job now, but the post included several tips to try to make things just a little bit easier. Or at least guide your job search.

Recently though, something popped up in the Swedish language news that I just couldn’t ignore. Sahlgrenska University Hospital in Göteborg (check out our Facebook page by the way for some beautiful photos of Göteborg!) is offering a 5000 SEK bonus to any staff member who can recruit a nurse that is hired by the hospital. The hospital is at a loss for nurses and the shortage is becoming so problematic that they have turned to financial incentives to try to expand their recruiting efforts. Of course, you could argue (and plenty of people are), that this is just a short-term solution to a long-term problem and that the low wages for nurses in the country is resulting in fewer people studying nursing.

So why did I include the link to finding a job in Sweden above? Simple. Job shortages mean job opportunities for people with the right educational background or career experience. Certain occupations in Sweden are more sought after than others. In fact, there is a list that is published with these occupations and specific jobs at workinginsweden.se. Having the necessary skills to fulfill one of those jobs and then applying for it increases your chances of getting hired. Maybe most important to some people is that if your job is listed, youc an actually stay in Sweden while applying for your work visa. Normally, you have to leave the country and return to your home country while applying for a work visa. If you happen to have the experience necessary to fill a job on the labor shortage list, you can stay in Sweden.

Not surprisingly, especially considering Sahlgrenska’s recruiting bonus, several nursing positions are on the list:
Nurses – operating room (Operationssjuksköterskor)
Nurses – pediatric (Barnsjuksköterskor)
Nurses – psychiatric care (Sjuksköterskor, psykiatrisk vård)
Nurses – public health (Distriktssjuksköterskor)
Nurses – x-ray (Röntgensjuksköterskor)

If you are considering moving to Sweden for work, first, learn Swedish. Seriously. Learning Swedish will make your life so much easier when looking for employment. Second, check out the labor shortage list. You can even work on your vocab while you’re searching for work (the site lists the positions in English and then in Swedish, just as you see above).

As always, good luck!

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About the Author: Marcus Cederström

Marcus Cederström has been writing for the Transparent Swedish Blog since 2009. He has a Bachelor's Degree in Scandinavian Studies from the University of Oregon, a Master's Degree in Scandinavian Studies from the University of Wisconsin–Madison, and a PhD in Scandinavian Studies and Folklore from the University of Wisconsin–Madison. He has taught Swedish for several years and still spells things wrong. So, if you see something, say something.


  1. Ejona:

    Hi! My name is Ejona. I am from Albania. I finish school for nurse. I search a job in Sweden.

  2. Marcus Cederström:

    There is a shortage of nurses in Sweden right now http://work.sweden.se/working-in-sweden/labour-shortage-list/#healthcare-and-medical-sciences

    Good luck!