The Ministry for Foreign Affairs employs a total of around 2 580 people, including those working at Swedish missions abroad embassies, representations, delegations and consulates. There are four categories of personnel: managers, administrative officers, permanent administrative staff and locally employed staff.
Of the 2 580 employees at the Foreign Service as a whole, 750 work at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs in Stockholm. The remainder work at Swedish missions abroad, where about 530 are officials who have been posted abroad and some 1 300 are locally employed. Locally employed staff are appointed by the mission abroad and may be either foreign or Swedish citizens. Employment at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs normally requires Swedish citizenship.
What are their duties?
The duties of an administrative officer include compiling and analysing information to be used when determining political standpoints. This involves preparing and presenting background material for government decisions, Government Bills, replies to major parliamentary questions and questions at the Riksdag.
The work of administrative officers at missions abroad includes, for example, the presentation of regular reports on human rights and political and trade policy developments, and the promotion of Swedish economic intrests. Duties also include assisting Swedes in distress abroad and working with migration issues.
Permanent administrative staff, which includes assistants, etc, work with writing reports, archive registration and administration.
Working alternately in Stockholm and abroad
Many Ministry for Foreign Affairs employees alternate between service at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs in Stockholm and at different missions abroad. A posting abroad normally means working consecutively at two missions abroad for a total of seven to ten years. A four- to six-year period of service at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs is then expected. This means it is common for officials to change their duties and countries of service at regular intervals. This does not apply to locally employed staff.
Work in the Foreign Service affects both the employee and his/her family.Periodically changing environments places great demands on the entire family. Schools for children and work for the accompanying spouse/partner must be arranged, for example. For more information on issues relating to accompanying spouses/partners and family issues, see website spouses.nu on the link to the right. Here you will also find a link to the joint Nordic job database for accompanying spouses/partners.
Ministry for Foreign Affairs employees have individual salaries.When working abroad, employees receive a tax-free supplement for additional costs, in addition to their salaries which are taxed in Sweden. The size of this supplement varies from country to country. This depends partly on the cost of living in the country in question and partly on the family situation of the official. The costs of moving to and from the country posted to, housing, schools and health care are paid by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs.
Did you know that of Ministry for Foreign Affairs' employees:
10,9% are managers
66,4% are administrative officers
19,3% are permanent administrative staff
3,3% are specialists
59% are women and 41% are men
The average age at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs is 47.
Sixty-one per cent have been employed for more than ten years.
Statistical data from December 2008.