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Norway has topped the UN Human Development Index for several years. That is one of the reasons why working in Norway is so tempting. Employees enjoy a high degree of gender equality and salary and a good work–life balance.

This page will explain why working in Norway is a great idea and why Norway a good place for international employees to move.  What kind of work is available on the market and many details you should know about when moving to Norway. We will discuss complicated topics and how to deal with them.

Norway is a safe, peaceful country with sound welfare systems and a constructive, well-regulated employer–employee relationship. A flat organizational structure with a high degree of transparency and good opportunities for employee participation is typical of Norwegian workplaces.

Norwegian scenery.

Benefits when working in Norway

If you live and pay, or have paid, taxes in Norway, you may be eligible for welfare benefits such as healthcare, free education, and child care. Here are the four main categories of welfare in Norway:

Health and medicine

The public healthcare system is vital in Norway; the state owns and funds most hospitals. All Norwegian citizens with a personal identification number are eligible for a general practitioner, which they choose from a public list.

Suppose you are going to the doctor in Norway. In that case, you will have to pay a fee for a consultation with a general practitioner and a specialized one. There might be a few extra costs for tests, but if you spend more than NOK 2921 a year, you can apply for a “free card,” in which anything you spend above this amount will be free of charge.

There are no charges for children under the age of 16. The same applies to pregnant and/or nursing women.

Pregnancy and child welfare

If you are expecting children, there are several benefits available to you. In Norway, mothers and fathers or birth partners have the right to paid leave for up to a year.

Once you are back at work, your child can attend nursery. The maximum price of nursery fees is NOK 3050 a month (as of 2022). There are also several other child benefits available. The size of the benefits depends on the age of the child.

Work, pension, and social help

What happens when you are ill or have lost your job? The Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration (NAV) comes to the rescue. There are several benefits available, such as sick pay, work clearance allowance, unemployment benefits, and pension schemes for when you reach retirement.

Schools and universities

As part of the Norwegian welfare system, all public schools in Norway are free. Children in Norway start school the year they turn 6 years old and finish the year they turn 19.

There are no university fees, except for a small amount of around NOK 1000 for printing services and miscellaneous to the student union each year.


Check out our five reasons to work in Norway

Norwegian Culture of Work

In Norway, we believe everyone is equal, irrespective of gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion, or political views. These liberties are also secured by the law by the government, and policies in the workplace.

Norwegian workplaces usually have a hierarchical structure; nevertheless, great emphasis is placed on the belief that all employees are entitled to express their opinion. This idea applies to all levels of the organization. For example, if an employee has an idea of how tasks may be carried out, he/she is encouraged to state this idea. The same principle applies if he/she disagrees with their coworker or manager. However, once a final decision has been made, employees are expected to support it.

Your Norwegian employer expects you to work independently and take the initiative. Don’t wait for orders from your manager; ask questions if you are uncertain about anything.

There is an informal tone among coworkers in Norway, and it is common to address each other using first names. This practice also applies to contact between managers and subordinates.

Punctuality when attending meetings and other appointments is important in Norway. If you are late, Norwegians regard it as impolite. People often think that being late means that you do not respect other people’s time.

Most companies have internal rules dealing with how you, as an employee, should behave in different situations. You must become familiar with these rules to succeed in the Norwegian working life.

Balancing work and free time

Norway is a country that encourages a work-life balance. Basic working hours are from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Companies often work a little longer, from Monday to Thursday, to get out of work early on Friday and enjoy the sunshine. Frankly speaking, the possible work schedule is so broad that everyone will find a good option for themselves. When you are working in Norway, you will earn both holiday and holiday pay (feriepenger). During a year, you will earn up to 25 working days of holiday per year.

Holiday pay comes instead of your regular salary and makes up at least 12 % of your gross salary. You’ll earn your pay the year before it’s paid (the holiday year). You’ll get paid when you have a holiday the following year or stop working in the company. If you are over 60 years old, the rate is 14,4 % of your gross salary. You are also entitled to one additional week of holiday.

Norway work permits and personal number

Norway has two kinds of identification numbers: national identity numbers and D numbers. Which identification number you receive as a foreign person depends on your residence permit and how long you’re planning to stay in Norway. You will find information about the numbers on the Norwegian Tax Administration website.

As an EU/EEA national, you can work in Norway, and you have the right to work in Norway. You can move to Norway and start working immediately. Still, you must register with the police no later than three months after arriving in Norway. Registration is free.

You need a residence permit if you come from a country outside the EU/EEA and wish to work in Norway. If you do not already have a residence permit, you must apply for a residence permit for work (previously work permit.)

You can find information on work permits on The Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UDI) website >>

Interested in other Nordic countries? Take a look.