1. Ten most common occupational groups of employed persons, employed women and employed men in 2017 compared to 2012

According to the data of Statistics Finland's employment statistics, the most common occupations at the end of 2017 were shop sales assistants (103,400), health care assistants (75,400) and nurses (69,800). Over the past five years, 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 of employed persons in 2017

Figure 1. Ten most common occupational groups of employed persons in 2017

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

In 2017, a total of 32,900 persons worked as general secretaries and the occupational group held position 12, while five years ago, its position was still 6th. At the time, 42,800 persons worked as general secretaries. Around 10,500 of those working as general secretaries in 2012 were no longer employed in 2017 or did not belong to the population.

In 2017, a total of 36,300 persons worked as transport and storage labourers and the occupational group held position 11, while five years ago, its position was still 10th. At the time, 35,800 persons worked as transport and storage labourers. Around 7,600 persons working as transport and storage labourers in 2012 were no longer employed in 2017 or did not belong to the population.

In 2017, women worked most commonly as shop sales assistants (68,500), health care assistants (67,500) and nurses (64,400). Men's most common occupational groups were heavy truck and lorry drivers (39,900), house builders (36,000) and shop sales assistants (34,900).

Shop sales assistants was the only occupational group that was included in the ten most common occupational groups of both women and men in 2017, as in all years in the past five years. The shares of shop sales assistants did not have large-scale changes for women and men either in the period 2012 to 2017. Around 66 per cent of shop sales assistants were women and around 34 per cent men.

1.1 Social work associate professionals rose to the ten most common occupational groups for women

The ten most common occupational groups of women and men have not changed much from five years ago. Compared to 2012, among employed women’s ten most common occupational groups, accounting associate professionals dropped to position 12 and social work associate professionals rose to position 6 in 2017.

Table 1. Most common occupational groups in 2017 among employed women of aged 18 to 74

Occupational group (AML2010 4-digit level) Employed persons Women Of all employed women, % Share of women, % Share of men, %
5223 Shop sales assistants 103,407 68,538 5.9 66.3 33.7
5321 Health care assistants 75,435 67,516 5.8 89.5 10.5
3221 Nursing associate professionals 69,791 64,445 5.6 92.3 7.7
9112 Cleaners and helpers in offices, hotels and other establishments 68,676 56,671 4.9 82.5 17.5
5311 Child care workers 40,124 38,632 3.3 96.3 3.7
3412 Social work associate professionals 36,829 28,807 2.5 78.2 21.8
5322 Home-based personal care workers 31,752 28,734 2.5 90.5 9.5
4120 Secretaries (general) 32,924 28,723 2.5 87.2 12.8
5120 Cooks 41,904 27,979 2.4 66.8 33.2
2341 Primary school teachers 26,775 20,867 1.8 77.9 22.1
Employed persons among the ten most common occupational groups of women 527,617 430,912 37.1 81.7 18.3
Employed persons, total 2,327,730 1,159,932 100.0 49.8 50.2

In 2017, 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 still the 8th. In 2017, the number of women working as accounting associate professionals was 4,000 lower than in 2012 (21,800 persons in 2012). Around 4,600 of the women working as accounting associate professionals in 2012 were not employed or did no longer belong to the population in 2017.

The occupational group of social work associate professionals rose to the ten most common occupational groups for women and replaced accounting associate professionals, in position 8. A total of 28,600 women worked as social work associate professionals in 2017, which is 8,600 women more than in 2012. 2)

1.2 Number of software developers doubled in five years, and dropped metal working machine tool setters and operators from the ten most common occupational groups of men

In five years, metal working machine tool setters and operators have dropped from the ten most common occupational groups of men and software developers have taken their place, in position nine.

Table 2. Most common occupational groups in 2017 among employed men of aged 18 to 74

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 42,223 39,830 3.4 94.3 5.7
7111 House builders 38,085 36,048 3.1 94.7 5.3
5223 Shop sales assistants 103,407 34,869 3.0 33.7 66.3
9333 Freight handlers 36,321 29,430 2.5 81.0 19.0
3322 Commercial sales representatives 40,794 25,676 2.2 62.9 37.1
7231 Motor vehicle mechanics and repairers 24,207 23,151 2.0 95.6 4.4
5153 Building caretakers 25,136 21,230 1.8 84.5 15.5
2512 Software developers 24,450 19,800 1.7 81.0 19.0
7233 Agricultural and industrial machinery mechanics and repairers 18,882 18,414 1.6 97.5 2.5
7115 Carpenters and joiners 16,737 16,276 1.4 97.2 2.8
Employed persons among the ten most common occupational groups of men 370,242 264,724 22.7 71.5 28.5
Employed persons, total 2,327,730 1,167,798 100.0 50.2 49.8

A total of 19,800 men worked as software developers in 2017 Men's number as software developers has more than doubled compared with 2012. In 2017, the occupational group held position 8, while five years ago, it was the 26th. 3)

In 2017, the number of men working as mechanical engineers was 16,100, which was 400 men lower than in 2012. In 2017, the occupational group was in position 11, while five years ago, its position was the 10th. Around 2,700 of men working as mechanical engineers in 2012 were no longer employed in 2017 or did not belong to the population.


1) The data on occupations remained unknown for 3.9 per cent of all employed persons and for some 3.5 per cent of all employed women and 4.2 per cent of employed men in 2017.
2) The number of employed men as social work associate professionals has also grown from 2012 to 2017. In 2017, a total of 8,000 men worked as social work associate professionals, which was 1.5-fold compared with 2012. Measured by the number of employed men, the occupational group 3412 social work associate professionals was only the 34th most common for men.
3) The number of women (4,700 in 2017) has also almost tripled in five years. According to the number of employed women, the occupational group of software developers was only the 46th most common for women.

Source: Employment Statistics, Statistics Finland

Inquiries: Elina Mikkelä 029 551 2973, Juho Keva 029 551 3601, info@stat.fi

Director in charge: Jari Tarkoma


Updated 01.11.2019

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Employment [e-publication].
ISSN=2323-6825. Industry, employer sector and jobs 2017, 1. Ten most common occupational groups of employed persons, employed women and employed men in 2017 compared to 2012 . Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 6.12.2019].
Access method: http://www.stat.fi/til/tyokay/2017/04/tyokay_2017_04_2019-11-01_kat_001_en.html