Occupations in Belgium

Office work is the most common occupation in Belgium

Work & training
Office work is the most common occupation in Belgium

324,514 persons are general office clerks in 2022. This is the most common occupation for both men and women.

Typical female occupations include:

  • Early childhood educators
  • Secretaries (general)
  • Child care services managers

Typical male occupations include:

  • Bricklayers and related workers
  • Roofers
  • Zinc workers
  • Mechanics
  • Motor vehicle repairers
Women’s occupations and men’s occupations
Share of women compared to all employed people, in % of the total 2022 Share of men compared to all employed people, in % of the total 2022
Women - all occupations 47.1% Men - all occupations 52.9%
Midwifery professionals > 99% Civil engineering technicians > 99%
Beauticians and related workers > 99% Fire-fighters > 99%
Medical secretaries 97.4% Floor layers and tile setters > 99%
Hand launderers and pressers 95.7% Plasterers > 99%
Early childhood teachers 95.3% Electrical mechanics and fitters > 99%
Child care workers 94.8% Electronics mechanics and servicers > 99%
Secretaries (general) 94.8% Earthmoving and related plant operators > 99%
Home-based personal care workers 94.2% Bricklayers and related workers > 99%
Domestic cleaners and helpers 92.0% Roofers > 99%
Audiologists and speech therapists 91.7% Crane, hoist and related plant operators > 99%
Health care assistants 90.7% Electrical engineering technicians > 99%
Pharmaceutical technicians and assistants 89.1% Garbage and recycling collectors 99.0%
Teachers' aides 88.6% Machinery mechanics and repairers 98.9%
Primary school teachers 85.4% Sheet-metal workers 98.1%
Administrative and executive secretaries 85.0% Building and related electricians 97.9%
Psychologists 84.9% Plumbers and pipe fitters 97.9%
Nursing associate professionals 82.3% House builders 97.8%
Teaching professionals not elsewhere classified 81.9% Agricultural and industrial machinery mechanics and repairers 97.4%
Nursing professionals 81.4% Heavy truck and lorry drivers 97.4%
Legal and related associate professionals 80.9% Welders and flamecutters 97.2%

Labour Force Survey (LFS)

Purpose and brief description

The Labour Force Survey (LFS) is a socio-economic sample survey of households. Its main objective is to classify the working age population (15 and older) into three groups (employed, unemployed and inactive people) and to provide descriptive and explanatory data on every category. This survey is also carried out in the other EU Member States and is coordinated by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union. In Belgium, the LFS is organised by Statbel. The objective is to gather comparable information at European level, in particular as regards employment and unemployment rates as defined by the International Labour Office (ILO), but also to collect and disseminate data that are otherwise not available, for example about the mobility of workers, the reasons for working part-time, the various forms of temporary employment, the profession, the educational level of the working age population, etc.


Members of private households aged 15 or older.

Sample frame

Demographic data from the National Register

Data collection method and sample size

In the first interview data are collected face to face. Since 2017, there are three shorter follow-up surveys to which households respond online or by telephone.

Households with only inactive people older than 64 can also be interviewed by telephone.

Every year, about 47,000 households in Belgium receive a letter asking them to take part in this survey.

Response rate

The response rate is +75%.



Release calendar

Results available +/- 3 months after the reference period



Unemployed (ILO): According to the criteria of the International Labour Office, the unemployed include all people aged 15 years and over who: a) were without work during the reference week b) were available for work, i.e. were available for paid employment or self-employment within two weeks after the reference week c) were actively seeking work, i.e. had taken specific steps during the last four weeks including the reference week to seek paid employment or self-employment, or who had found a job to start within a maximum period of three months.

Employed population (ILO): The employed comprise all people aged 15 and over who during the reference week performed some work for at least one hour for wage or salary, or for profit, or who had a job but were temporarily absent. For example, one can be temporarily absent for holidays, illness, technical or economic reasons (temporary unemployment),....Family workers are also included in the category ‘employed’. The employed are divided into three groups according to their professional status:

Employees: Employees comprise all persons aged 15 and over who during the reference period performed some work (with or without a formal contract) for at least one hour for wage or salary, or who were temporarily not at work during the reference period (because of illness, maternity leave, holidays, social conflict, weather conditions or other reasons) and had a formal attachment to their job.

Non-employees: Non-employees comprise all persons who do not work for an employer and who during the reference week performed some work for at least one hour for profit or who were temporarily not at work during the reference period. This includes self-employed people (without employees) and employers (with employees) and unpaid workers.

Labour force: The labour force or economically active population (15 years and older) consists of people with an occupation (persons employed) and the unemployed.

Unemployment rate: The unemployment rate represents the share of unemployed people in the labour force (employed + unemployed) aged 15 to 64.

Employment rate: The employment rate represents the share of employed people in a specific age group (15-64 years old, 20-64 years old,...).

Economic activity rate: The economic activity rate represents the share of the labour force (employed and unemployed) in the population aged 15 to 64.

Education level (3 classes): Low-skilled people are people who have at most a diploma of lower secondary education. Medium-skilled people are people who obtained a diploma of upper secondary education but not of higher education. Highly-skilled people have a diploma of higher education.


Methodology of the surveys