Working in Norway



In 2016, Norway ranked as the seventh richest country in the world with a total of USD 64,856 GDP (PPP) per capita. People of this Nordic country greatly benefit from its small yet robust economy as well as from companies that put a strong emphasis in the balance of the personal life and career of their employees. 

With the advent of economic downturn worldwide, it is impressive that around 45,800 immigrants have flocked to the Norwegian coast since 2006. Though Norway's booming economy helped maintain the unemployment rate at a low 4%, expats might still find it hard to land a job in this country. The main reason why most foreign nationals struggle to find a job is the country's excellent education system that helps produce well-trained and highly qualified employees. 

In addition to that, immigration of expats in Norway has only grown in the recent years whereas jobs are only concentrated to the locals. Norwegian companies are also quite hesitant in hiring foreign nationals because it hasn't always been a huge part of their work culture. 

Major Industries 

As one of the globe's top exporters of oil, gas and seafood, Norway is an ideal country for expats with expertise in such fields. For fishing, the opportunities also extend to ship builders, makers of fishing gear and equipment, fish feeds and packaging and research firms. Recent years had witnessed the growth of Norwegians with doctorate degrees. Expats with a similar accolade have an advantage in the job market. 

Jobs are also available in the fields of Information Technology, research, engineering and finance. Expats can also find employment opportunities in the growing tourism, transportation and communications technology sectors. 

Average Salary 

The average salary in Norway has increased to 43,400 Norwegian krone (€4829.26) in 2015 from 42,300 Norwegian Krone (€4706.86) in 2014. Employees in the public sector which covers government employees, health enterprises and municipalities earn around 42,700 Norwegian Krone per month while those employed in the private sector receive a monthly average wage of 43,400 Norwegian Krone. 

Working Hours 

Working hours in Norway are from 8am to 4pm from Mondays to Fridays. Expats might get a different working schedule, depending on what kind of job they have or sector they belong whereas some employees start their day either at 7am or 9am. Any rendered work beyond the standard 9 hours per day or maximum 37.5 to 40 hours per week is automatically considered as overtime. Overtime in Norway must be paid at a minimum of 40% of the employee’s standard hourly wage. 

Generally speaking, working at night is prohibited in Norway but the Norwegian Working Environment Act, provides an exception particularly to those employed in the transport sector, hotels, restaurants and health services. The average night working hours in this country is from 10pm to 6am. 

Income Tax 

It is the job of the employer to deduct the income tax from their employees even before they receive their salaries. The Norwegian tax system has two bases of income: the ordinary income base that has a tax rate of 27% and the personal income base that is shown on the table below: 

Taxable Income in Norwegian Krone

Tax Rate %

From NOK 159,800


From NOK 224,900


From NOK 565,400


Above NOK 909,500


Business Culture 

Norway is known across the world for its egalitarian society and power structures that keep management and employees from feeling estranged to one another. Norwegians’ leadership style is informal and is deeply based on the freedom and responsibility of the employees. The dress code is also more laid back, and employees are allowed to go to work or attend business meetings without the need to wear corporate attires. 

The main characteristic of a Norwegian work culture is the importance of work/life balance. Employees, particularly those with young children are allowed to leave work early to pick up their kids from school or to fulfil their parenting duties. 

Finding a Job 

A majority of vacancies in Norway are advertised in the internet. Though many companies have their website that contain job openings, expats can start looking for employment in either of the leading job database listed below: 

Expats can also hire the service of an agency. However, Norway prohibits any employment agency or recruiting services from charging expats for arranging for their employment. No portion of salary can be deducted for this purpose either. 


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