Working as a teacher in Sweden there are a few things you need to bear in mind. For instance, it’s always a good idea to learn the Swedish language, as this is a prerequisite for a Swedish teacher certification.
With a Swedish teacher certificate, you should be offered a permanent teaching position and a considerably higher salary.
Swedish teacher certification
In Sweden teachers require teacher certification (lärarlegitimation). This certification shows in which types of school, what years and what subjects you are qualified to teach. The aim of the certification system is to raise standards in Swedish schools, improve the status of the profession and clarify the qualifications of teachers and preschool teachers.
Since 1 July 2015, only certified teachers or preschool teachers may take professional pedagogical responsibility for teaching and setting grades, no matter when they were employed.
You can top up your certification with additional credits for any experience you have from the year 2000 up until 1 July 2015. If you wish to apply for teacher certification, have any queries, you should contact the National Agency for education (Skolverket) directly.
On this website you can see which types of teaching positions require certification and find information about new work environment regulations and the rules issued by the Swedish National Agency for Education (Skolverket).
Many benefits of learning Swedish
Teachers from outside Sweden who want to work or are perhaps already working as a teacher in this country should learn Swedish, even if this is not required in your current teaching. There are numerous benefits to mastering the local language.
The language is the key that will enable you to access valuable knowledge about your rights in Sweden. Almost all union negotiations take place in Swedish and your collective agreement is negotiated in Swedish. An English version of a collective agreement is thus usually just a translation. Many authorities have information in English on their websites, but these are usually short versions of the Swedish text and information.
Professional development and demand
People with a mastery of languages other than Swedish are in demand on the labour market, where language skills are seen as an asset. There is, for example, a considerable shortage of teachers in Swedish as a second language (SvA) – a subject that aims to enable students who do not have Swedish as their mother tongue to develop their knowledge of the Swedish language through education. Read more about SvA on the Stockholm University website (in Swedish).
There is also great demand for mother-tongue teachers in Sweden. As a qualified teacher with skills in languages other than Swedish, you are therefore in demand on the Swedish labour market. Read more on the Skolverket website (in Swedish), about what it means to be a mother-tongue teacher.