Finding a job and working in Norway

Updated on 30 April, 2020

As the most sought-after country among expats in Europe (and second most popular in the world), it may prove challenging to find work in Norway. There is a tendency for employers to favour Norwegians, mainly due to the fear that a foreigner is more likely to move on to another job faster. That said, if you're skilled, have a good command of the language and can convey a sense of long-term commitment (towards the specific job but also the country in general), you should be successful in your endeavours in Norway.  

Finding a job

When it comes to finding the right job in Norway, you have several tools in your arsenal ' most of which you can use even before you enter the country (which is something you should do anyway). The most important tool is, of course, the internet: the majority of vacancies in Norway are listed online. The safest place to start looking is probably NAV, the Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration's official website, which is constantly being updated as new jobs become available.

Good to know:

The database on NAV is only available in Norwegian, but you can search for job postings in English by simply entering the word "English" on the search bar.

Other websites to bookmark are Finn (Norway's biggest marketplace where you can find anything from furniture and clothes to apartments and jobs), Manpower and recruitment agency websites like Experis or Adecco. Don't forget the Yellow Pages.

Another method is to look at the more traditional media. Many Norwegian newspapers advertise job vacancies, chief among them being Aftenposten. Trade unions are also a good source of information: try the Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions (Lo), where you can get an overview of the various trade unions in the country ' there you can probably pinpoint the union that's relevant for your sector. Finally, you shouldn't discount the possibility of sending a general (i.e. open-ended) job application with a full CV, references, and diplomas to companies that are of interest to you. Who knows, a few employers might appreciate your proactivity and interest. Consider getting a free CV review at TopCV.

Setting up a business in Norway

If your dream job doesn't exist yet, perhaps you need to create it. It may come as no surprise that Norway enjoys a vibrant economy, with 35,000 new businesses being registered in the country every year. To get yours off the ground, pay a visit to Altinn: this new, comprehensive platform provides all the information you may need to start your business ' from planning and choosing a name, to company types and financing solutions, as well as the paperwork you may need in each case and your obligations towards your employees and taxation. As a general rule, the three most common company types in Norway are the Norwegian registered foreign company (if you were running a business in your home country), the sole proprietorship and the private limited liability company (AS).

Good to know:

The capital to start a private limited liability company is at least NOK 30,000, that can be shared between you and the other shareholders. Find more information on the Tax Administration website here.

Doing an internship in Norway

Internships are not at all uncommon in Norway, and in many cases, they are an excellent point of entrance in a company (as many employees like to promote from within). Although Norway is not part of the EU, it is still possible to land an internship via the Erasmus website ' you can see the openings for Norway here. Alternatively, the Karriere Start website has a comprehensive list of internships that you can browse by industry, city or area of expertise ' just be aware that the website is in Norwegian.

The labour market in Norway

One of the things that make Norway such an appealing destination is the great balance between work and leisure: Norwegians are entitled to at least 25 working days holiday each year (plus one extra week, if you're older than 60 years old). And although the working hours are flexible and there is no hard '8-hours a day, 5 days a week' rule as many people work shifts and weekends, there are still certain limits to how many hours of work you can put in. For example: you may work no more than 9 hours per 24 hours, or 40 hours per 7 days ' and if you're working shifts, nights or Sundays, then you're not allowed to work more than 38 or 36 hours a week (there is a possibility to make an agreement with your employer to put in more hours, but for a limited time period). This system prevents employees from burning out, while at the same time allows businesses to be flexible.

Salaries are also competitive ' although you have to take into consideration the very high cost of living as well. There is no blanket minimum wage for all professions, but many industries have made collective agreements and succeeded in introducing a minimum wage within their sector.

Useful links:

Browse for a job
Altinn platform: Start and run your business

We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.