1. Ten most common occupational groups of employed persons and employed women and men in 2018 compared to 2013

According to the data of Statistics Finland's employment statistics, the most common occupations at the end of 2018 were shop sales assistants (104,000), health care assistants (75,500) and nurses (71,500). Over the past five years, two occupational groups, transport and storage labourers, as well as general secretaries have dropped from the list of the ten most common occupational groups. House builders and social work associate professionals have risen to the ten most common groups.

Figure 1. Ten most common occupational groups for employed persons in 2018

Figure 1. Ten most common occupational groups for employed persons in 2018

The most common occupational groups were examined on the 4-digit level of the Classification of Occupations 2010.  1)

In 2018, a total of 38,000 persons worked as transport and storage labourers and the occupational group held position 11, while five years ago, its position was still 10. Previously, 36,300 persons had worked as transport and storage labourers. Around 7,100 persons working as transport and storage labourers in 2013 were no longer employed or did not belong to the population in 2018.

In 2018, a total of 32,900 persons worked as general secretaries, and the occupational group held position 13. Five years earlier, general secretaries were in position 9. At the time, 40,500 persons worked as general secretaries. Around 9,300 of those working as general secretaries in 2013 were no longer employed or did not belong to the population in 2018.

In 2018, women worked most commonly as shop sales assistants (68,100), health care assistants (67,500) and nurses (65,900). Men's most common occupational groups were heavy truck and lorry drivers (40,100), house builders (38,000) and shop sales assistants (36,000).

Shop sales assistants were still the only occupational group among the ten most common occupational groups for both women and men in 2018. The situation has remained unchanged throughout the examined period 2013 to 2018. Around 65 per cent of shop sales assistants were women and about 35 per cent men. Compared to 2013, the shares had come closer to each other by around three percentage points (68 per cent of shop sales assistants were women and 32 per cent men in 2013).

1.1 Over the past five years, accounting associate professionals fell from the ten most common occupational groups of women and were replaced by primary school teachers in 2018

Compared to 2013, among employed women’s ten most common occupational groups, accounting associate professionals dropped to position 12 and were replaced by primary school teachers, rising to position 10 in 2018.

Table 1. Most common occupational groups for employed women in 2018

Occupational group (AML2010 4-digit level) Employed persons Women Of all employed women, % Share of women, % Share of men, %
5223 Shop sales assistants 104,034 68,102 5.8 65.5 34.5
5321 Health care assistants 75,513 67,475 5.7 89.4 10.6
3221 Nursing associate professionals 71,514 65,868 5.6 92.1 7.9
9112 Cleaners and helpers in offices, hotels and other establishments 69,116 56,969 4.8 82.4 17.6
5311 Child care workers 41,298 39,539 3.3 95.7 4.3
5322 Home-based personal care workers 36,915 32,909 2.8 89.1 10.9
3412 Social work associate professionals 38,872 30,569 2.6 78.6 21.4
4120 Secretaries (general) 32,945 28,683 2.4 87.1 12.9
5120 Cooks 42,792 28,339 2.4 66.2 33.8
2341 Primary school teachers 27,046 21,115 1.8 78.1 21.9
Employed persons among the ten most common occupational groups of women 540,045 439,568 37.2 81.4 18.6
Employed persons, total 2,373,668 1,182,292 100.0 49.8 50.2

In 2018, a total of 17,800 women worked as accounting associate professionals and the occupation group held position 12, while five years ago, its position was 10. In 2018, the number of women working as accounting associate professionals was 3,400 lower than in 2013 (21,200 persons in 2013). Around 4,300 of the women working as accounting associate professionals in 2013 were not employed or did no longer belong to the population in 2018.

In 2018, altogether 3,600 men worked as accounting associate professionals, which was 200 fewer than in 2013. The occupational group was the 87th most common for men in 2018.

The occupational group of primary school teachers rose to the ten most common occupational groups for women and replaced accounting associate professionals, in position 10. A total of 21,100 women worked as primary school teachers in 2018, which is 1,000 women more than in 2013. 

Around 6,000 men worked as primary school teachers in 2018 (nearly 100 fewer than in 2013) and the occupational group was the 50th most common for men.

1.2 During the past five years, carpenters and joiners dropped from men's ten most common occupational groups and were replaced by software developers

Compared with 2013, software developers emerged in the ten most common occupational groups of employed men in 2018, standing at seven (previously in position 17). Carpenters and joiners dropped from the list, from position 9 to 12.

A total of 23,400 men worked as software developers in 2018. The number of men as software developers grew around 1.6-fold from 2013. In 2013, there were 13,800 men working as software developers. Around 1,000 more women worked as software developers in 2018 than in 2013, altogether 5,100 and it was the 43rd most common occupational group for women (previously in position 57).

Table 2. Most common occupational groups for employed men in 2018

Occupational group (AML2010 4-digit level) Employed persons Men Of all employed men, % Share of men, % Share of women, %
8332 Heavy truck and lorry drivers 42,645 40,140 3.4 94.1 5.9
7111 House builders 40,232 37,994 3.2 94.4 5.6
5223 Shop sales assistants 104,034 35,932 3.0 34.5 65.5
9333 Freight handlers 37,986 30,692 2.6 80.8 19.2
3322 Commercial sales representatives 40,072 25,383 2.1 63.3 36.7
7231 Motor vehicle mechanics and repairers 24,507 23,448 2.0 95.7 4.3
2512 Software developers 27,629 22,508 1.9 81.5 18.5
5153 Building caretakers 25,650 21,895 1.8 85.4 14.6
7233 Agricultural and industrial machinery mechanics and repairers 19,288 18,773 1.6 97.3 2.7
3115 Mechanical engineering technicians 17,464 16,061 1.3 92.0 8.0
Employed persons among the ten most common occupational groups of men 379,507 272,826 22.9 71.9 28.1
Employed persons, total 2,373,668 1,191,376 100.0 50.2 49.8

In 2018, the number of men working as carpenters and joiners was 15,800, which was 200 lower than in 2013. Around 3,800 of men working as carpenters and joiners in 2013 were no longer employed in 2018 or did not belong to the population.

In 2018, altogether about 500 women worked as carpenters and joiners, which was good 100 more than in 2013. The occupational group was the 230th most common for women in 2018.


1) Numbers of cThe data on occupations remained unknown for 3.8 per cent of all employed persons, for some 3.6 per cent of all employed women and for 4.0 per cent of employed men in 2018.

Source: Employment Statistics, Statistics Finland

Inquiries: Juho Keva 029 551 3061, Elina Mikkelä 029 551 2973, info@stat.fi

Head of Department in charge: Hannele Orjala


Updated 16.10.2020

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Employment [e-publication].
ISSN=2323-6825. Industry, employer sector and jobs 2018, 1. Ten most common occupational groups of employed persons and employed women and men in 2018 compared to 2013 . Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 18.9.2021].
Access method: http://www.stat.fi/til/tyokay/2018/04/tyokay_2018_04_2020-11-09_kat_001_en.html