Norway has a thriving economy with an unemployment rate of 3.8%. The country prides itself on its natural resources ranging from oil and gas to minerals. With numerous job opportunities, it is no wonder that many foreign students try to join Norway’s job market during and after their studies.
As an international student, it may be challenging to get a foothold in the Norwegian market without knowing how it works. To better the chances of finding a job in Norway, one must consider learning the local language.
Taking on part-time jobs is also a good way of building contacts and getting one’s foot in the door. Also, it is vital to know how much tax one will have to pay in Norway and the cost of living to make informed decisions.
ARE FOREIGNERS ALLOWED TO WORK IN NORWAY?
Many foreigners work in Norway while studying. However, the student must have a study permit before doing so. The study permit allows international students to take on part-time jobs for up to 20 hours a week. Then, during the holidays, they can work full-time.
It is worth noting that there may be some limitations on the kind of job one can take and how long one can work. These details will be included in the student permit, and non-adherence holds dire consequences.
In Norway, the job market is wide for foreigners seeking a job. Foreign students can find jobs as waiters, receptionists, or clerks. There are also openings in many malls in the country. Aside from blue-collar jobs, graduated students can find white-collar jobs in Norway depending on their field of study.
Getting a job in Norway may seem easy due to the high employment rate. However, foreign students intending to find one may not see it as easy. The language barrier, tax office confusion and applying for permits are only some factors that make locating a job in Norway daunting.
NORWAY WORK VISA REQUIREMENTS FOR NON-EU STUDENTS
Whether or not one needs a work permit or employment Visa in Norway depends on where they are coming from and how long they plan to stay in the country. Nationals of EU/EEA countries can work part-time for three months without a work permit.
However, those from Non-EU countries cannot work in Norway without a work permit.
It is often referred to as a work visa. However, it is more accurately called a Norwegian Residence Permit For Work. It gives non-nationals the right to live and work in Norway.
Before getting a work permit in Norway, some requirements must first be presented to the authorities.
Below are some of the work visa requirements for non-EU students;
- Apply online at the UDI Website.
- After completing the online application form on the UDI website, print out the document.
- Attach two clear passports taken in a white background.
- Add proof of accommodation like a rental contract.
- The applicant should have an offer of employment filled out by the employer.
- Proof that the salary meets the income requirement. This should be stated in the offer of employment form by the employer.
- Proof of work experience. This can be issued by one’s former employer (If any).
- Proof that the holder resides in Norway legally.
HOW CAN A STUDENT GET A WORK PERMIT IN NORWAY
When applying for a work permit in Norway, it should be followed by a statement by the learning institution stating that the job will not affect the student’s study.
An offer of employment where the employer confirms that the student has been given employment must also be attached to the required documents.
Below is a step by step guide for getting a work permit in Norway
- Get all the required documents for the application.
- Go to the UDI website and complete the application.
- Give the completed application form to the police or the Service Center For Foreign workers.
- The police or other service will then forward the application to the UDl. The response may take a few days or weeks.
DOES NORWAY GIVE A WORK PERMIT AFTER STUDY?
Legally, foreign students will have their residence permit extended by one year after the study. This is a job-seeking period. During the one-year duration, UDI allows graduates to find a suitable job.
According to UDI, the job must fit the student’s degree and have a specific level of earnings. After landing such a job, the job contract can then be used to apply for an extension.
Part-time jobs are not considered graduate-level jobs by UDI. Hence, graduates cannot apply for an extension through part-time jobs. Most graduate-level jobs require students to write or speak Norwegian fluently;
this may not be feasible for many international students. In that case, a good idea will be to apply for a master’s degree before one year expires. With this move, one can extend their stay by applying as a student instead of a job-seeker.
CAN I STAY IN NORWAY AFTER COMPLETING MY STUDIES?
Foreign students can stay in Norway after one year of completing their studies to secure a job. The visa that allows students to work full-time or part-time after studying in a given country is called a post-study visa.
With a post-study visa Norway permit, international students may stay in Norway a year after studying to join the job market. To get a post-study visa, the student must apply for a residence permit before their current permit expires. This should be done within six months after graduation. And, the student must present proof of qualification.
If a student lands a job during one year, they will have to start applying for a work visa online at the UDI website. After that, they can hand in the completed application to the authorities or have the employer complete the process.
The processing time for a Norway work visa is usually about two months. During this time, the job seeker is not allowed to begin work till the application is approved.
The Norway work visa is valid for two years. When one secures the work visa, they are permitted to work and stay in Norway for two years, after which they have to renew the visa. After three years of residency in Norway, one can then apply for a permanent residence permit which will allow them to stay indefinitely.
To apply for permanent residency, one will need to present some documents as required by the UDI and then;
- Gather the documents.
- Complete the application online at the UDI website.
- Pay in the application fee.
- Hand the documents to the police.
HOW LONG CAN INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS STAY IN Norway AFTER GRADUATION?
After schooling, foreign students in Norway will be given a residence permit to find a job in 18 months. They can take up jobs as cleaners or helpers until they find a job suited for their skills. They can also use this time to learn German culture and the labor market.
To apply for a residence permit extension, the applicant must present a;
- University degree certificate to prove that the applicant completed their studies.
- Health Insurance document.
- Proof that the applicant can support themselves financially.
After graduation, foreign students in Norway can also become self-employed. They can work as freelancers or start up their own business as long as they acquire a visa for self-employment.
A foreign student who intends to get a visa for self-employment in Norway must pass the following requirements;
- There must be an economic need or demand for the product or service that the applicant intends to market.
- The applicant’s business proposal must have a foreseeable positive impact on the economy.
- Proof that the applicant can finance the business with their own money through a loan commitment.
- If the applicant is older than 45 years, they must prove old age pension provisions.
Anyone who intends to work as a freelancer in a liberal position must be able to provide any of the following requirements;
- Proof that the applicant is financially able to carry out their projects.
- Proof that the applicant has a license to work as a freelancer.
- Applicants older than 45 years must provide proof of old age pension provisions.
As soon as one finds a suitable job, they are expected to apply for a German residence permit or an EU blue card. If one applies for an EU blue card, they must have been offered a job that pays €53,000 or at least €41,808 a year.
To become a permanent resident, one can apply for a settlement permit after two years of receiving an EU blue card. They may also apply for a Norway residence permit instead.
HOW EASY IS IT FOR INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS TO GET A JOB IN NORWAY?
Getting a job in Norway may be a little daunting for foreigners. Since Norwegians speak good English, being a native English speaker will not raise one’s odds of getting a job. Hence, international students can only depend on their skills and experience to secure a job.
Many times, jobs in Norway are not openly published. Hence, it is essential to build a network early enough. Professional jobs in Norway include jobs in the engineering field, legal field, oil and gas industry, etc.
For part-time jobs, students can get jobs in bars, restaurants, supermarkets, or coffee shops. However, for many jobs, learning Norwegian is the key to getting the most out of positions.
Although it is not mandatory to know the local language, it will give one an edge over the other international students vying for the same position.
It may also be possible to get a job within the college during the study. Many colleges in Norway post vacancies like secretarial positions, assistant positions. They may also post internships or part-time jobs with some companies.
To make the search easier, one can also;
- Go to Norway’s job websites. The applicant should then search for jobs related to their field of study using as many filters as possible.
- Ask friends or lecturers for available job openings.
- Go to the University’s page and search for vacancies related to your field of study.
HOW MUCH CAN AN INTERNATIONAL STUDENT MAKE IN NORWAY
In Norway, the salary can afford one a decent standard of living. However, it is important to note that there are marked differences between a professional salary scheme and a non-professional salary. Since international students are limited in how they can work, many foreign students earn money from part-time jobs at first.
That said, how much an International student earns will vary depending on how long they work and the kind of job. Typically non-professional jobs will pay between 150-200 NOK per hour. Hence, in general, international students in Norway can expect to make about £850 per month working part-time.
CAN I GET A JOB IN NORWAY WITHOUT SPEAKING NORWEGIAN?
One can get a job in many sectors in Norway without speaking the language. Although writing and speaking Norwegian will be a plus as employers will want someone who can converse with the locals. However, having the skill and technical know-how makes the difference when landing a job in Norway.
A highly skilled person can quickly get a job in the health care, engineering, and education sector without learning the language. Plus, if one intends to get a job in tourism, they may not need to learn Norwegian.
Close to 95% of all tours in Norway are done in English. Hence, speaking fluent English may be an advantage in this sector.
For foreigners seeking a job in Norway, they should be able to create a Norwegian-style CV and cover letter. Doing this will increase the chances of getting a job. Other helpful tips include;
- The applicant should endeavor to tailor their resume/CV according to the position they are applying for.
- Include personal information such as name, e-mailed address, marital status, date of birth, number of children, and home address.
- Highlight qualifications on the top page.
- Write educational background and history in reverse chronological order.
- Include work history also in reverse chronological order.
- The applicant should include courses, certificates, or workshops that they have completed.
- Include any additional skills like language skills.
- The applicant may add experiences that they had while working and the role they played.
- Include hobbies and leisure activities.
- Ensure to limit the CV pages to a maximum of two.
CAN I WORK IN NORWAY WITH JUST ENGLISH?
Getting a job in Norway with just English is possible. Most Norwegians are fluent in English. Hence many job sectors will not require one to speak Norwegian. However, since most indigenes are good at English, employers will not hire anyone based on their native English skills.
However, it is possible to get jobs where fluency in English is an essential requirement. An excellent place to get such jobs is on Finn.no.
Although the site is in Norwegian, a simple search on the search bar will show numerous jobs in English. Recruitment agencies such as Randstad, Manpower, Adecco, and Kelly Services are also good ways to get job opportunities in English.
That said, it is possible to get skilled and unskilled work in English in the labor market. Applicants can find work in hotels, restaurants, and bars. One can also get a job as an engineer, off-shore caterer, or tour guide without speaking Norwegian.
While knowing the language is not necessary, it is essential as it will open the door to promotions and more opportunities. Learning Norwegian will help one relate to customers and colleagues better. Not to mention that the work experience will be more fulfilling and immersive if one can speak the local language.
WHAT IS THE MINIMUM WAGE FOR STUDENTS IN NORWAY?
Contrary to popular belief, Norway does not have a minimum wage written in the Norwegian constitution. However, most people who work in Norway can expect to earn a fair wage.
This is because most employers in the country belong to a trade union. These unions agree on a specific salary for employees in the labor market.
Due to this setup, international students and citizens can earn a fair wage without being taken advantage of by employers. The average part-time salary for most jobs in Norway is about NOK 7,545 per month.
However, it is worth noting that salary expectations vary by industry. For example, the minimum wage in the agricultural sector will differ from the minimum wage for construction workers
WHICH SKILLS ARE IN DEMAND IN NORWAY?
The total population of people in Norway is around 5.6 million. With a small population and pending projects, it is not surprising that Norwegian employers have many opportunities for skilled foreigners.
In major cities like Oslo, Trondheim, and Bergen, foreigners may find that their skills are highly sought after. According to research, around three-tenths of the Norwegian workforce are employed in the health and education sector. There is also a high demand for skills like tourism, nursing, engineering, oil and gas, medicine, IT, etc.
The health care sector is the number one sector in need of skilled workers in Norway. Enterprises state a lack of 2650 nurses and 2450 health care assistants. The lack of workers in the construction sector is around 4700. The engineering industry needs skilled workers such as mining and metallurgical technicians.
Other in-high-demand skills include carpentry skills, plumbing skills, and electrical skills. Teachers, cooks, drivers, and welders are also highly sought after in Norway.
WHICH JOBS ARE IN DEMAND IN NORWAY?
An excellent way to quickly and easily secure a job in Norway is by having skills that are in high demand. Some of the high-demand jobs in Norway presently include;
Building And Construction:
Construction and building skills are in high demand in Norway, with 10,000 positions opening every year. The sector is responsible for handling all building projects across the country ranging from the development of roads to building airports.
Because it is hard to find qualified workers within Norway, many employers resort to employing foreigners.
Therefore, anyone with experience and a health and safety qualification will easily land a job in this sector. Skills required in the building and construction sector include;
- Carpentry skills.
- Plumbing skills.
- Machine and crane operating skills.
- Electrical engineers.
- Foundation workers etc.
With Norway spending on new roads, bridges, tunnels, railways, etc., it is no wonder that the country needs more hands in the engineering sector. Skilled engineers are needed in the oil and gas and the hydropower and wind industry.
Since there are only a few qualified people in the small country, Norwegian employers actively seek out foreigners for the job. Skills required in the engineering sector include
- Petroleum engineers.
- Project engineers.
- Mechanical engineers.
- Process engineers etc
As technology expands, software developers are highly sought after in Norway and worldwide. In Norway, around 80,000 people work in ICT, and many more are needed.
Foreigners will be pleased to learn that it is relatively easy to get a job as a developer without any knowledge of Norwegian. However, one may be required to learn the language with time. Skills required in this sector include;
- Software engineer.
- Hardware developer.
- Software developer.
- ICT engineer.
- ICT technician.
The fjord mountains and Northern lights are a few reasons why millions of tourists troop to Norway every year. This presents opportunities for foreigners to put their foot in the door in the Norway labor market.
Although speaking Norwegian is not mandatory, it may give one an added advantage. Being fluent in German or Spanish and two other languages will greatly improve one’s chances in this sector. In the tourism industry, one can work as a;
- Tour guide.
- Room attendant.
- Ski instructor.
- Porter etc
The aging and ever-growing population in Norway is why there is a high demand for skilled healthcare workers. Though the service is in demand, it is not easy for a foreigner to become a health care worker in Norway.
One will need to present a series of documents and be authorized by the Directorate for Health and Social Affairs. Also, the applicant must speak and write Norwegian fluently to get the job.
Available job offers in this sector include;
- Care attendants.
BEST JOBS IN NORWAY FOR FOREIGNERS
The best jobs in Norway for foreigners are high-paying that are in high demand. Below are some of the best jobs in Norway;
- Doctors/Surgeons: Qualified doctors and surgeons are highly sought after in Norway. In Norway, surgeons top the list for the highest-paid due to the critical nature of the job and limited skilled personnel. Doctors/surgeons receive a yearly salary of about 1,050,000- 3,620,000 NOK.
- College Professor: Teachers and professors are also highly needed in Norway, making the job ideal for foreigners. In Norway, a college professor is one of the most prestigious and high-paying careers. A college professor in Norway earns 503,000- 1,740,000 per year.
- Pilots: Becoming a pilot in Norway will also give foreigners an advantage as the occupation is in demand. Due to the high risk and extensive knowledge required, pilots are highly paid. A pilot in Norway receives 419,000- 1,450,000 NOK each year.
WHAT IS THE TAX SYSTEM IN NORWAY
Norway operates a progressive tax system. Hence, the more one earns, the more they are expected to pay. The Norwegian tax system is based on a dual-based system.
This means that income taxes are paid twice from the same source of income. Norway’s tax system is divided into direct and indirect tax. Income and wealth taxes are direct taxes while Value Added Tax is a form of indirect tax.
All residents of Norway are mandated to pay tax on what they have earned throughout the year. Hence, expect to pay tax on salary, interest from shares, income from selling a property, and other income.
The tax rate is 22%. It is calculated from one’s general income after deductions have been made. The amount of tax a person will pay depends on how they earn.
Bracket Income is calculated on a person’s income. Hence, it is still part of income tax. It is calculated at 22% and is paid from one’s personal income like their salary. If the person receives welfare, bracket Income tax will be deducted from sickness benefit, disability benefit, and other allowance.
Bracket tax is calculated on a percentage share, and it changes depending on how much one earns. People who have low incomes will pay significantly less than those with high incomes
To find out one’s income tax, one must minus income from necessary deductions. Although this varies, everyone receives a standard deduction equal to 45% of the gross employment income. Those unfamiliar with the calculation will be pleased to learn that there are many online calculators for the job.
National Insurance Contributions
There is a public insurance scheme in Norway called ‘folketrygden‘ or ‘National Insurance Scheme.’ The scheme covers many benefits, including health and NAV services. To receive the benefits of this scheme, one must be a member of the Norwegian National Scheme In Norway. And members are mandated to pay insurance scheme contributions.
These contributions will be deducted from one’s income. There are calculated on a person’s gross income before deductions are made.
The amount of wealth tax one needs to pay in Norway depends on the size of their wealth. For instance, wealth may consist of cars, shares, bank deposits, etc. On the last day of each year, residents of Norway are obligated to pay wealth tax to their respective municipalities and state.
Wealth tax is calculated on one’s net wealth. The net wealth is what is left after deductions are made.
HOW MUCH TAX DO YOU PAY IN NORWAY?
For example, if a person earns 400,000kr yearly while working in Norway, the person’s average tax rate is 22.4%, while the marginal tax rate is 34.0%. The marginal tax rate means that any additional income will be taxed at 34.0%. For instance, a 100kr increase in one’s salary will incur a 34kr tax.
That said, a person who earns 400,000kr, for instance, will be taxed 89,598kr, leaving a net pay of 310,402kr..
HOW MUCH DO I BUDGET FOR RENT IN NORWAY?
The price for rent in Norway varies. Some factors will determine the rent one pays. The factors include; how close the apartment is to the city, if the apartment is shared or if it is a student apartment.
For students, expect to spend about 36% of the total living cost on accommodation. Hence, typically, students may spend between 3000-4000 NOK on rent per month.
If one lives in a one-bedroom apartment in a big city like Oslo, one may need to budget around 14,100 NOK ($1,550) for monthly rent. A one-bedroom apartment in other cities will not charge less than 9,811 NOK per month, while apartments outside the city may cost around 7,835 NOK.
WHAT IS THE COST OF LIVING IN NORWAY?
Norway is the second most expensive country in Western Europe. Hence, it is essential to know all the costs before settling in. As a way of consolation, however, the high salaries in Norway may make up for the high costs. Although, after considering taxes, it is always wise to plan costs well beforehand.
- Cost Of Food In Norway
Due to the high VAT on food items, foods are highly-priced. Except for fresh seafood, most other foods are imported, adding to their price. As a result, many Norwegians go past the border to Sweden to get food items at a lower cost. Though the cost of meals may vary depending on the type of food, one can expect to spend around 278kr per day on food.
- Cost Of Transportation In Norway
Most Norwegian cities are compact and can be navigated on foot. However, if one is at the city corner, they may need to budget around 700-1300kr on monthly tickets. Those outside the city may need to spend around 1800kr on tickets monthly. This depends on how often one needs to move around.
- Cost Of Electricity
If one lives alone in a new house with good insulation, they will spend around 1000kr in the winter for electricity bills. When it’s summer, the bills may drop to 600-700kr. If the house is an old building, bills may increase by 20-25%.
Top City In Norway With More Job Opportunities
Norway has one of the most powerful economies in the World, with an unemployment rate of less than 3.8℅. It is one of the leading countries in terms of industrial and technological developments.
Many companies like to base in major cities in Norway, thereby creating job opportunities for foreigners.
Below are some of the top cities offering the highest job opportunities in Norway
Oslo: Oslo is the capital of Norway and home to many big and reputable companies. The city boasts some of the highest earners in Norway. Employers also tend to provide incentives to encourage their employees.
Norway’s thriving economy is ideal for individuals looking to start a career in ICT, oil and gas, and shipping. The top employers in Oslo include Microsoft, Cisco Systems, Delloite, Accenture, Capgemini.
Bergen: Bergen is a region with international connections and international companies. Equinor, Cognizant, and Konica Minolta are only a few big companies situated in this city.
Bergen is a hotcake in the job market because of the many job opportunities and high salary rate. Other top employers in Bergen include Coach USA, Vizrt, and J Fletcher & Son Inc.
Stavanger: Stavanger is the third-largest city in Norway and the administrative hub in Rogaland. The Stavanger region is a key sector in the oil industry. There are also many opportunities in transportation, ICT, and engineering. Top employers in Stavanger include Equinor, Halliburton, Aker Solutions, and National Oilwell Varco.
Alesund: Alesund is a municipality in Romsdal County, Norway. The town of Alesund is a seaport and is noted for its concentration of Art Nouveau Architecture. Alesund is also one of the chief stations of the herring fishing stations which provides opportunities for foreigners.
Regardless of one’s field of study, they are sure to find something suitable working in Alesund. Top employers in Stuttgart include Delloite, Accenture, Capgemini, Microsoft.
Trondheim: Trondheim was Norway’s first capital and continues to be a thriving city. It is a world-leading centre in science and technology. The most vital sectors in the city include tourism, seaport, trade, education, and health. The top employers in Trondheim include MaXware, Enevo , and Boostcom.
Finding a job in Norway may seem like an attractive offer for many International students due to the high salaries and quality of life.
However, it is vital to consider all the factors. Many employers in Norway are reluctant to hire foreigners, and there is the language barrier. However, building relevant networks and honing a high-demand skill are sure ways to climb the Norway job market ladder.
Landing a part-time job or even a professional job in Norway depends on the skills one has acquired. However, with this guide, it becomes easy for foreign students to find their dream job.
Michael Larry is an instructor and an educationist, who like to bring out the best in other through his inspirational writeup.