Occupations in Belgium

Office clerks are the most common occupations

Work & training
Office clerks are the most common occupations

340,000 people work as office clerk in 2023. This job leads the ranking of most common occupations for both men and women.

Typical female occupations include:

  • Midwifery professionals
  • Early childhood teacher
  • Beauticians and related workers
  • Home based personal care workers

Typical male occupations include:

  • Floor layers and tile setters
  • Plumbers
  • Sheet-metal workers
  • Electrical mechanics and fitters
  • Electronics mechanics and servicers
  • Earthmoving and related plant operators
  • Crane, hoist and related plant operators
  • Bricklayers and related workers
  • Electrical engineering technicians

It is worth noting that all male occupations are rather technical, while female occupations are rather personal care jobs.

Women’s occupations and men’s occupations
Share of women compared to all employed people, in % of the total 2023 Share of men compared to all employed people, in % of the total 2023
Women - all occupations 47.2% Men - all occupations 52.8%
Midwifery professionals 98.9% Floor layers and tile setters > 99%
Early childhood teachers 97.9% Plumbers and pipe fitters > 99%
Beauticians and related workers 97.8% Sheet-metal workers > 99%
Home-based personal care workers 97.6% Electrical mechanics and fitters > 99%
Medical secretaries 95.7% Electronics mechanics and servicers > 99%
Child care workers 94.9% Earthmoving and related plant operators > 99%
Domestic, hotel and office cleaners and helpers 93.6% Crane, hoist and related plant operators > 99%
Audiologists and speech therapists 92.7% Bricklayers and related workers > 99%
Secretaries (general) 90.5% Electrical engineering technicians 99.0%
Psychologists 87.8% Civil engineering technicians 98.9%
Child care workers and teachers' aides 86.6% Motor vehicle mechanics and repairers 98.4%
Dental assistants and therapists 86.6% Concrete placers, concrete finishers and related workers 98.3%
Nursing associate professionals 86.4% Heavy truck and lorry drivers 98.3%
Health care assistants 85.6% Lifting truck operators 98.2%
Legal and related associate professionals 85.1% Building and related electricians 98.1%
Pharmaceutical technicians and assistants 84.9% Plasterers 97.9%
Health professionals not elsewhere classified 84.6% Carpenters and joiners 97.8%
Administrative and executive secretaries 84.2% Roofers 97.6%
Primary school teachers 82.7% Metal working machine tool setters and operators 97.3%
Nursing professionals 80.2% Locomotive engine drivers 97.2%

Labour force survey (LFS)

Purpose and short description

The Labour Force Survey (LFS) is a socio-economic household sample survey. Its main objective is to classify the working age population (15 and older) into three groups (employed, unemployed and inactive persons) 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 obtain 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 part-time employment, the occupation, the educational level of the working age population, ... .

Survey population

Members of private households aged 15 or older.

Sample frame

Demographic data from the National Register.

Data collection method and sample size

Data are collected through face-to-face interviews. Since 2017, there have been three (shorter) follow-up surveys to which households respond online or by telephone.

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

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

Response rate

The response rate is above 75%.



Release calendar

Results availability: around 3 months after the end of 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.


  • Employment, unemployment, labour market (NL-FR)
  • Labour force survey (LFS) (NL-FR)

Survey methodology


  • Royal Decree of 10 January 1999 on the organisation of a labour force sample survey (NL-FR)
  • Royal decree amending the royal decree of 10 January 1999 on the organisation of a labour force sample survey (NL-FR)