For most classes of residence permit you will need a firm job offer, especially if you’re arriving from outside the EU. There’s no doubt about it, finding a job is the number one hurdle to overcome when wanting to move to Norway.
Norwegians value work-life balance and so long working weeks are not commonplace. A typical working week is no more than 37 hours, often with an early finish on a Friday. Hours are flexible although most workplaces will have set core hours. Read more here.
The biggest employer in Norway is the vast public sector, but fluent Norwegian is required to the majority of positions. Even expats who’ve been learning Norwegian for years can slip up here.
The biggest industry in Norway remains the energy industry, and demand remains high for all types of professional engineers. Other popular industries include marine, shipping, seafood and ICT.
Find a Job in Norway
Now for some bad news. It’s commonly accepted that around half of all jobs are not advertised. I’ll repeat that as it’s a critical point for all job-seekers to understand: around half of all vacancies are not advertised to the public.
Vacancies are most often filled internally or via referrals from existing colleagues. Only when these avenues are exhausted do jobs tend to be offered out.
The best thing you can do to improve your chances is to be physically in Norway, in the city in which you want to work, networking within your chosen industry.
In addition to our own jobs in Norway board, Finn.no and Nav.no are the best places to keep an eye on.
It’s worth registering your CV with the leading recruitment agencies, although expats haven’t reported much success with this method of late.
Banking & Finance
Despite recent exchange rate movements, Norway remains one of the world’s most expensive countries for expats. The premise of life in Norway is simple: salaries are relatively high, tax is high, and the cost of living is high.
Read our full guide to Banking & Finance in Norway for more information on the cost of living, opening a bank account, and mobile payments.
There is a widely-held assumption that Norwegian tax is sky high and you will be turning over half of your income to the Government. Unless you are extraordinarily wealthy, that is unlikely to be the case. Read our guide to tax in Norway.
Start a Business
Depending on your residence permit you may be able to start a business in Norway. Whether you’re a freelance web designer, translator or developer, or want to open a physical store or offer a service, self-employment is a popular option for expats in Norway. It’s also tough to get going and depending on how you set up, you could end up paying more tax for less welfare benefits.
It’s important to fully understand the business environment in Norway before committing to working for yourself, so we’ll be putting together a guide on this topic soon. For now, check out Business Forms in Norway and Business Ideas for Expats.