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NEW FIGURES: What do Norway’s most in-demand professions pay?

Norway needs tens of thousands of workers, with some professions in high demand. So how much do these jobs pay? 

Pictured are office workers.
Why movers to Switzerland always ask about wages. Photo by Scott Graham on Unsplash)

Employers in Norway are still faced with a shortage of workers across a number of sectors, the latest survey carried out by the Labour and Welfare Administration (NAV) shows. 

In total, Norway lacks around 53,000 workers, according to a survey of firms in Norway. One in four businesses told NAV that they were experiencing recruitment problems. 

READ ALSO: Which professions are most in need in 2023?

NAV pointed to a number of occupations which were particularly in demand. Some of these, such as teachers and healthcare workers, have long suffered staffing shortages. Meanwhile, NAV’s latest figures also showed growing demand for other lines of work, such as cooks. 

The jobs range from ones which require excellent knowledge of the Norwegian language and a degree or qualifications obtained in Norway to careers in which you don’t need a university education or fluency in Norwegian. 

The biggest labour shortfall was for health and care services, with a shortage of around 13,000 workers. In addition, some roles in the healthcare sector are hard to secure for foreign nationals as they typically require very high Norwegian proficiency and to have your qualifications approved before you are cleared to work in Norway. 

Figures from the national data agency Statistics Norway show that nurses in Norway made an average monthly salary of 51,020 kroner a month in 2022. Specialist Nurses made around 10 per cent more, taking home 56,940 kroner per month. 

Primary school teachers, who have also been featured in previous NAV reports on labour shortfalls, take home an average of 47,350 kroner each month. 

NAV’s figures also found that there is a shortage of cooks in Norway. Generally, working as a cook in Norway will require either a previous work history in kitchens or qualifications or a combination. 

Many kitchens may use English as the primary working language due to the number of foreigners working in the Norwegian hospitality sector. Figures show that cooks make an average of 37,990 kroner per month. However, this doesn’t include tips, which are commonly shared among all restaurant staff in Norway but are taxed. 

 Those with a craft are also in demand in Norway. Tradesmen in Norway, on average, earned a wage of 43,930 kroner each month. However, the salary available to craftsmen varied depending on their job. Electricians were the highest-earning craftsmen, making around 47,060 kroner on average. Painters were the lowest-paid craftsmen, earning around 41,000 kroner per month. 

Typically to work as a tradesman in Norway, you will need to have obtained qualifications comparable to the Norwegian equivalent. Trades involved in construction usually require a strong grasp of English; some jobs will also require Norwegian. 

Shop and sales workers were another industry in demand, according to NAV. Sales professionals in Norway made an average of 39,140 kroner per month in 2022. Those who worked in stores and ticket booths made a similar amount of money per month, while those who worked in markets made an average of 54,450 kroner per month. As the job involves dealing with the public, conversational Norwegian is typically required. 

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For members


EXPLAINED: How to boost your career chances in Norway

High wages and an excellent work-life balance attract many to Norway for a job. Once you've settled into your new role, you'll want to keep your career moving forwards.

EXPLAINED: How to boost your career chances in Norway

Upgrade your language skills

Plenty of jobs and careers can be done in Norway without strong Norwegian language skills.

However, to advance your career, including with firms where the working language is English, you will want to invest in learning the language.

Generally, the B1 and B2 levels of the Common European Framework of Reference should be enough to help you navigate working life in Norway. However, taking things to the next level and moving up to the C level could boost your job prospects. A C-level certificate helps demonstrate your Norwegian language proficiency and that you have invested in Norwegian.

The better your language skills, the more options you will have open to you. Not just this, conversing with Norwegian colleagues in their native language will also help you gel with your team more, which will prove beneficial if you wish to progress your career within one company.

Get to grips with Norwegian working culture

Like most other countries, Norway has a hierarchical structure in workplaces. However, great emphasis is placed on the belief that all employees can express their opinion on the best way to tackle the task at hand. Transparency and honesty are valued.

Workers in Norway are also expected to be able to take the initiative and work independently when required. This means many should be confident in making their voice heard constructively and getting to work rather than waiting for direct instructions or orders.

Due to the more laidback and informal office culture, workers are expected to, to varying degrees, socialise outside of work, either in the form of after-work drinks or team-building activities.

While every office or department has its own politics, coworkers should be seen much more as collaborators than competitors.

Building a rapport with your colleagues will ultimately play into your hands if you wish to progress your career. Furthermore, while the dress code is more informal than in other places, punctuality is seen as a form of respect – so you mustn’t take a relaxed attitude to turning up for meetings on time.

Make sure your CV is suitable for Norwegian recruiters

Ensuring your CV is adapted for Norwegian recruiters will also help you make that leg-up.

Consider a design with not too much information squeezed in. Key qualifications are a management summary of your skills, experience, qualifications and soft (or interpersonal) skills. Some information, such as hobbies and interests, helps the recruiter relate to the person behind the CV.

One thing to consider is that unless applying for a job in a competitive environment, you should make achievements and accomplishments less about yourself and more about the team you were a part of.

Additionally, when it comes to a CV, you should only submit one in Norwegian if you are confident and comfortable enough writing one in Norwegian. If you have someone translate your English CV into Norwegian but aren’t comfortable with the language, employers may feel you are trying to deceive them.

READ ALSO: The dos and don’ts of writing a killer CV to impress Norwegian recruiters


Having a robust professional network can bolster your career opportunities. LinkedIn is a very big deal in Norway, so it’s worth ensuring your profile is fully up to date and you create or share the odd post to highlight to recruiters doing some background that you are invested in your career and networking.

There are also typically a decent amount of industry or networking events held in person. Staying on your colleague’s good side will also pay off when it comes to networking. Personal recommendations from recruiters can go a long way. Therefore an ex-work friend putting in a word with your prospective employer because you left them with a good impression can help you get a boost in your career.

Getting your qualifications officially recognised in Norway

There are around 160 or so regulated professions in Norway, which means you will need some qualifications, training or education to qualify for the role.
If you have obtained qualifications abroad, you must have these officially verified and recognised by the relevant Norwegian authority to perform certain roles.

There are multiple agencies responsible for checking and verifying whether qualifications and training obtained outside of Norway are of the required standard.

For example, healthcare workers must assess their written and verbal Norwegian language proficiency and may be sent on additional courses to learn about the country’s health system. Applicants must cover the cost of additional language training.

Getting your qualifications verified confirms to Norwegian employers that your training equates to the corresponding Norwegian qualification.