Regularly voted as one of the best places to live, this Scandinavian country benefits from a thriving economy and low unemployment rate. Discover more about working in Norway
There are a couple of things that you can do to increase your chances of finding work in Norway. The first is learning the Norwegian language. While English is widely spoken, Norwegian is used in many organisations. Getting to grips with the language will open a variety of opportunities and will also help you to settle into your new home.
The second is to network. Job opportunities are often advertised through word of mouth and gained by knowing the right people. Taking on summer, temporary or part-time work is great way to build contacts and expand your professional network.
Norway is a country of great natural beauty and outside of working hours you'll be free to explore the mountains, forests and fjords. You'll have the best of both worlds, with open contrysides and metropolitan cities.
Jobs in Norway
Foreign workers may find it difficult to secure a job in the country. Norwegian employers are often reluctant to hire international workers, preferring to give jobs to able nationals.
However, opportunities are available for skilled international workers, as long as they know where to look.
Popular graduate jobs
- Oil and gas
The services sector forms a large part of the Norwegian economy and major industries include:
- food processing
- paper products
- petroleum and gas
Large companies include:
- Aker Solutions
- Norsk Hydro
- Telenor Group
- Total E&P Norge
- Yara International.
Look for vacancies at:
Foreign workers may have more luck securing a job if their skills are in demand. Workers are need in the following sectors:
- building and construction
- healthcare and nursing
- retail and sales
How to get a job in Norway
As previously mentioned, employers tend to favour Norwegian workers - to ingratiate yourself into Norwegian society and to increase your chances of finding work you'll need to learn the language.
Networking and making use of contacts often yields positive results and speculative applications are welcomed.
The method of applying for jobs in Norway is similar to that in the UK. You'll submit a two-page CV and cover letter, to which you'll attach copies of your references and qualifications, before attending an interview. Each application should be tailored to the role and CVs and cover letters should be submitted in Norwegian, unless otherwise stated.
When it comes to interviews, make sure you're on time - Norwegians pride themselves on their punctuality.
Seasonal work and casual jobs are widely available for international employees in sectors including:
- agriculture and horticulture
- fish processing
You could also try cleaning, fruit picking, becoming an au pair, or working in a warehouse or factory.
Seasonal workers can be granted a special residence permit if they're going to do a job that can only be done at a certain time of year.
The European Voluntary Service (EVS), funded by the European Commission (EC), is a scheme aimed at people aged 18 to 30 wishing to volunteer abroad. It offers young people the chance to volunteer for up to 12 months in a number of countries. Opportunities vary from placements concerned with sport and culture to those focused on social care and the environment. Accommodation, travel, food and insurance are all covered by a European grant, and you’ll even receive a personal allowance each month.
You can also find summer jobs, seasonal work, gap year or volunteering opportunities at:
English is widely spoken throughout Norway so opportunities to teach English as a foreign language may be limited in cities such as Oslo and Bergen.
However, opportunities of this nature still exist. Public and private schools, international schools and language institutions are likely places of employment.
You don't need to be fluent in Norwegian but a working knowledge of the language will certainly help you gain a position. As will relevant experience, a TEFL qualification and in some cases a degree.
Internships and work placements can be an effective way for foreign workers to get their foot in the door of the Norwegian job market. Opportunities are available at a number of organisations in a variety of locations.
Internships and summer work placements for students can be arranged by:
While Norway isn't a member of the European Union (EU), it is a member of the European Economic Area (EEA).
All EU/EEA citizens are allowed to live and work in Norway without a visa for three months before having to register with the police. Jobseekers who fail to find employment after six months must leave the country, before starting the process again.
EU/EEA citizens are automatically eligible for permanent residence after five years.
Non-EEA nationals, however, must contact their Norwegian embassy to apply for a residence permit, and must apply for permanent residence after three years.
For more information, visit the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UDI).
Many well-educated Norwegians can speak English fluently, and some larger companies have English as their working language. However, most jobs require workers to have fluent knowledge of Norwegian. Regardless, learning it will greatly increase your options and potentially lead to better salaries. Norwegian language courses are available in the UK.
How to explain your qualifications to employers
UK qualifications are generally recognised and comparable to their Norwegian counterparts due to the Bologna process, but check with the employer before applying. Certain professions will require you to become authorised; see the Norwegian Agency for Quality Assurance in Education (NOKUT) or ENIC-NARIC for more information.
What it's like to work in Norway
Norwegian working conditions are good; satisfaction and salary levels are well above the European average, while employees usually receive 25 days of annual leave per year. Public holidays include:
- New Years' Day
- Maundy Thursday
- Good Friday
- Easter Sunday
- Easter Monday
- Labour Day
- Ascention Day
- Constitution Day
- Whit Sunday
- Whit Monday
- Christmas Day
- St Stephen's Day.
The working week is around 40 hours in length. Anything above this is legally defined as overtime, which is often paid at time and a half. Working hours are generally from 8am to 4pm, Monday to Friday.
The work culture is characterised by a flat structure in which employees are empowered to work autonomously, with decisions typically made democratically. The dress code is often informal.
Find out more
- Discover what it's like to study in Norway.