Work in Norway | Everything you need to know
Norway Krone (kr)
Norway is a country very balanced and well seen in the European community for its well being, economical stability and gender equality, considered one of the best places to live. But this depends on the lifestyle you’re looking for, Norwegians are in general not the party type, they love outdoor activities, but going out every Friday night is not that typical in their culture. If you rather prefer a laidback lifestyle, an arctic environment and vast coast, then Norway is perfect for you.
Basic Facts about Norway
Norway, also known as the kingdom of Norway or Norge has as capital the city of Oslo, it has a small population of 5.405.000 people, their official language is Norwegian and their currency is the Norwegian krone (pl. kroner; NOK). The climate in Norway varies, western Norway has a marine climate, with cool summers and mild winters, while eastern Norway has an inland climate with warm summers and cold winters
6 Curious Facts about Norway
- The Fjord Capital of the world: A Fjord is a long, deep, narrow body of water that reaches far inland, they were created thousands of years ago during the ice age and are most present in Norway with over 1.100 in its rugged coastline.
- It’s one of the world’s happiest countries: Their access to social services is free and equal to everyone, making Norway a very secure country, also their landscapes and lifestyle contribute to being one of the best in this ranking.
- Vikings’ Land: These formidable warriors were also Danes and Sweds, and they conquered lands around northern Europe and even as far as Russia. You can see preserved Vikings ships in Oslo.
- The Northern Lights: Norway is the best place to see the aurora borealis, if you go between November through March you will see this magnificent sky event, especially in the city of Tromsø.
- The deepest lake in Europe: Norway has about 400.000 lakes, crazy right? Between them, 1512ft deep, is Hornindalsvatnet, the deepest lake in Europe.
- They have Polar bears: Polar bears are part of the wilderness in Norway if you go far north to the Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard.
The folk culture in Norway
Norway has a well-preserved folk culture, with their legends about pixies, subterranean and supernatural beings. Actually, Norway has 3 Nobel prizes of literature for the work of the Norwegians Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson (1903), Knut Hamsun (1920), and Sigrid Undset (1928).
Regarding people in Norway and their culture, it depends on the weather, in summer they like to be outside and hike, fish and plan outdoor activities. While in winter, some like to hunt to see the aurora borealis. During important events, they still like to dress in their traditional clothes which is a clear sign of their civic engagement and their principal values are tolerance, respect and equality.
The food in Norway is centered on fish and seafood, although Norwegians also eat a lot of meat, potatoes, vegetables, milk and cheese. For breakfast, they have open-faced sandwiches which are quite popular. As a fun fact about Norway cuisine, they were the ones who introduced salmon sushi to the world, in their 10 years campaign called Project Japan, made by the Norwegian government, they incentivized the use of raw salmon to make sashimi and sushi, convincing the Japanese.
Between their most common dishes in Norway they have
- Dried Cod: It can be served smoked, marinated, fresh, salted or as lutefisk which is soaking the fish in a lye mixture
- Fårikål: these are small pieces of lamb on the bone accompanied by potatoes, cabbage, wheat flour and black pepper.
- Geitost: A well-known cheese in Norway.
- Rakfisk: This is very popular in the country, it’s a salty and fermenter preparation of trout.
Work in Norway
Norway is considered to be one of the best countries to work in Europe. In Norway, the work lifestyle tends to be slow, and the environment is supportive. People work 7.5 hours per day and working hours are flexible. If you need to go and pick up your kid from kindergarten or school, go ahead! Nobody will have anything against it. Norwegians appreciate the balance between work and private life. They also take the concept of working hours very seriously, nobody will expect you to answer an email in the evening, but don’t be surprised when nobody will write you back as well.
Many bigger companies have in common giving different perks for their employees like free gym access. As an expat, you will also enjoy around 5 weeks of holidays.
Talking about expats, as one of them you don’t have to worry about learning Norwegian as fast as possible. Of course, it will be great to know some basics to get around better, however on the market English skills are enough for the beginning.
Work in Oslo
If you would like to start your journey by working abroad in Oslo, you wouldn’t have any problem with finding environments full of internationals. The capital city of this economically stable country is open for hiring expats from all around the world. The average salary in Oslo is one of the highest among capital cities in Europe, however, you have to keep in mind that accommodation and living costs are also high. Similarly to other Scandinavian countries, there is no perceptible hierarchy, you can freely communicate with your colleague as well as with your boss. A good atmosphere at work is something well taken care of.
Major industries in Norway are gas and oil, food processing, shipping, shipbuilding, metal industry, chemicals and fishing.
Taxes in Norway
Once in Norway and you decide which city you’re going to live in, it’s important to register in the National Registry, there you will be assigned a Norwegian national identity number, with this you can go to any tax office and request your tax deduction card you can check HERE which documents you need. After this, you’re ready to start making contributions and your salary is registered to pay at the end of the fiscal year around 22% depending on your income.
Finding accommodation in Norway
Finding accommodation remotely might be a huge challenge, especially when you do it for the first time. Of course, you can move to the new city first, live in a hotel or AirBnB for a while, but it’s a big cost with a lot of effort. It’s always good to try to find a place to stay beforehand and if you are in doubt about how to do it, just keep reading. We will provide you with some useful tips for the beginning.
First, a general recommendation is to live near your job in order to lose less time and money on going to work and getting back home. Ok, but I have to know where to look for a flat, only then I can start to choose. Try to look on websites like: https://www.nestpick.com/oslo/.
The process of renting accommodation in Norway is straightforward, however, it might take a long time before you will be contacted with a positive response. Be patient, and be sure to start early enough.
If you don’t mind living with a third-parties, you can save some money and rent a room in a shared apartment, however, it’s not as common in Norway as in other European countries. Renting a one-bedroom apartment, especially in the city centre, might cost a lot. Accommodation costs aren’t low, but the standard often is really good and the neighbourhood is said to be very safe.
Living cost in Norway
The cost of living in Norway is high. It’s one of the most expensive countries to live in Europe, especially if you are heading to the capital city – Oslo. Fortunately, earnings are relevant enough, so with a bit of planning attitude, our introduction into basic costs and some time of practice, you will learn to live a good life in Norway.
Remember not to get crazy about prices, going out to a bar or the cinema from time to time is as important as working hard. In “compensation” you also get excellent healthcare or education. So wisely, but still enjoy your everyday life there!
Here you can take a look at some of the basic costs:
|Description||Cost in Euro|
|Accommodation* (one-bedroom apartment)||1000|
|Fitness club monthly pass||52|
|Mobile phone rate (per minute)||0.09|
|Pint of beer||9|
* Prices can vary depending on the neighbourhood, the number of people living in the apartment and facilities.
**Depends greatly on your diet and which shops you buy food and drinks.
Expats in Norway
Norway is great for those expats who want a well work-life balance, Regarding the language barrier, the vast majority of Norwegians speaks also English, so you won’t have a hard time making yourself understood. There are a lot of expats in the cities of Oslo and Bergen, this means you can check on social media for expats communities and take all that free time available from work to plan some adventure with them. Also, Norway counts with a very large transport system that makes all those adventure plans easier.
Even if English is enough to start your journey with working in the Norwegian market, it’s always good to know at least some basics of their mother tongue. Both to assimilate better to Norwegian society and to do better in the professional field in the future. Also, nationals will be more convenient in your presence when they will be able to have some small talk with you.
There are few ways to learn Norsk. First, for those who maybe want to start before moving, are courses online. You can find many useful websites on the Internet which offer such courses like e.g. this one: ntnu.edu When you know enough to have a simple conversation, you can also go to the språkkafé. It often takes place in the local library. It’s your time for some interesting conversations with other foreigners, of course in Norwegian!
If you stay in Norway for more than three months, you are entitled to take part in a language course sponsored by The Norwegian Government (The Norwegian Government Sponsored Language Scheme). For a paid course, it is a cost of around €350 for 3 weeks.
A country of fjords and vikings attracts expats with its booming economy, strong job market and extremely high standard of living. Since society speaks English on a daily basis it’s so easy to feel a little more like home there. The icing on the cake is the fact that the unemployment rate is low, so it shouldn’t be hard to find something appropriate for you. The biggest challenge you have to keep in mind will be for sure organizing your budget wisely. If you manage that, there is nothing more to do than explore your new home.
If you feel that the Norwegian lifestyle and stability is something for you and you would like to try to start your journey with working abroad exactly there, check our Job offer in Norway. You can also contact us by clicking HERE. You are always welcome to ask additional questions.