The Swedish education system
Comprehensive school is compulsory in Sweden for nine years. After that it is voluntary to apply for upper secondary school. The age limit for beginning upper secondary school is 20, after that you may attend secondary adult education.
Upper secondary school has 18 national programs to choose from and they are divided between 6 higher education preparatory programs and 12 vocational programs.
The vocational programs provide students with full professional training in their specific areas so that it is possible to go straight into employment after graduating. For more information please visit Skolverket.
How to become a plumber
The education to qualify to become a certified plumber lasts five years after which a theoretical and practical examination is taken and a certificate issued when the examination is passed.
- The most common way to become a plumber in Sweden is to choose the HVAC and Property Maintenance Program (VVS- och fastighetsprogrammet), orientation HVP(VVS). After that you work as an apprentice at a company connected to the collective agreement. Full apprenticeship takes about 2 years after which an extensive examination is taken. Once the examination is passed a certificate is issued to the now certified plumber.
- Should you wish to retrain as a plumber after graduating from another secondary school program it is possible to apply to a secondary adult education to complement with the necessary vocational courses and then move on to two years of apprenticeship as described above. The approved secondary adult educations are listed here
- It is also possible to perform the entire education of five years as an apprentice. The company is then responsible to make sure that the necessary vocational courses are taken and passed at a qualified school and that the apprentice has passed the courses of the mandatory core subjects that the industry has stated.