Working in Finland



There’s time for work, rest and play in Finland – the 2.7 million employed population head to their cabins in the woods during the weekends to cosy in front of the fire. No wonder expats have been unable to resist the lure of this wonderland. Not only does it have lush greenery, but it's also abundant in employment opportunities. 

The Republic of Finland is indeed one of the most popular expat destinations in Northern Europe. Aside from its impressive reputation of providing a high standard of living and maintaining an excellent social security system, this country is also known for its unparalleled support to its nationals and expats. Finland boasts a highly industrialised economy with a GDP of USD 230 billion as of 2016 which is as high as that of other European powerhouses such as Belgium, Sweden and the Netherlands. Expats who will work in this beautiful Nordic nation will have the chance to participate in the eighth most competitive economy in Europe

How to Find a Job 

A world of information lies at your fingertips as job postings in Finland are found on the Internet. You can visit the website of Finland's Ministry of Labour for current listings as well as helpful information regarding employment in the country. Advertisements in newspapers like Helsinki's Helsingin Sanomat are also valuable sources of job listings. 

There are also 200 outlets managed by the Employment and Economic Development Offices, which not only offer assistance in finding a job, but also extend help to those who are already employed and need further information on Finnish labour policies, and even the unemployed and those needing temporary financial aid. Various employment offices are also spread out all over Finland, and immigrants who wish to secure employment may want to register with one upon arriving. 

Top Finnish Industries 

Trade is one of the strongest driving forces behind the strong Finnish economy whereas export is accountable for more than one-third of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product. Forestry, which is a vital part of the booming export industry, is responsible for providing secondary occupation to the rural population. Agriculture also plays a vital part in the local economy, but because of the country’s cold climate, this sector is quite limited to maintaining self-sufficiency in terms of producing essential products. 

Historically speaking, Finland is a major role player in manufacturing primarily in the electronics, engineering, metal, wood and telecommunications industries. Expats can find employment opportunities in the manufacturing industry considering that Finland currently excels in the export of technology for mobile phones. Another top job provider in this country is the service sector which includes transportation, restaurant and hotel services, health and social services, commerce and education. Other industries with current demand for workers are: 

  • Administrative and Support Services
  • Accommodation and Catering
  • Hospitality
  • Technical Sales

Salary and Work Hours 

The average monthly salary in Finland as of is EUR 3,680. However, this country doesn’t implement a minimal/minimum national wage, but there is a collective bargaining between employers’ and trade union confederations. The collective agreement in the majority of employment branches determines the salary and other minimum employment terms whereas it is possible to agree on benefits such as housing, food or transportation on top of the monthly wage. 

Salaries in collective agreements are usually determined based on several vital factors which include the employee’s experience, professional skills and physical location of the workplace. Though there is no national minimum wage in Finland, most workers are covered by collective agreements that specify the minimum pay rates for different sectors. Employers are strictly prohibited from offering salaries that are lower than what is stipulated in the collective agreement. These so called legally binding minimum pay rates must be applied to both Finnish and expat workers. 

The regular working hours in Finland are typically eight hours per day or 40 hours per week. It is possible for expats to change their work schedule as long as there is an agreement between them and their employers and the total hours per week still do not exceed 40 hours. 

Work Environment 

A bit of good news for expats aiming to work in this land of lakes is the Finnish Integration Act, which ensures that immigrants can function in society like any Finnish citizen. This also translates to easier access to employment opportunities and a smoother transition to life in Finland. Through this labour policy, municipalities prepare an integration plan for immigrants registered in their area and assistance exists for three to five years, or until the immigrant finds employment. 

Learning the local language also helps open more doors. Lessons are offered at adult education centres or universities in Finland. 

Even though your qualifications may seem outstanding, Finnish employers appreciate the further enhancement of skills. Expats are highly encouraged to seek higher education or go on on-the-job training to prove suitability to a prospective employer.


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