How To Find A Job In Oslo

How to get a job in Oslo: Everything you need to know

Knowing how to navigate Oslo’s job market can become a significant challenge if you’re not from another Scandinavian country. But fear not; we’re here to help. This article will tell you everything you need to know about working in Oslo. 

Oslo is one of Europe’s fastest-growing cities, and living standards are incredibly high. But it’s also notoriously expensive, and knowing how to get a job in Oslo is wise if you want to move to the Norwegian capital. 

Norway’s largest city has low crime rates, beautiful nature nearby, and a well-run airport that makes getting to other parts of the country — and Europe — a breeze. You will also enjoy a better work-life balance than in most countries. 

Understanding the job market in Oslo 

Oslo is Norway’s main cultural, political, and business hub. It has a pretty mixed economy, and several Norwegian companies have offices in the capital. You will also find numerous major international businesses with regional offices in Oslo, including Deloitte and IBM. 

The job market in Oslo focuses on several core industries. You won’t find the same tech startup scene as in Stockholm and Helsinki, but various IT roles exist. You will also find many companies focusing on the energy sector; this is unsurprising, as Norway is one of the world’s leaders in renewable energy.

Oslo, like the rest of Norway, has a close relationship with the sea. The maritime sector is still essential to the city’s economy, and you will find various businesses in this field. 

Education is another important sector in Oslo. The city has several institutions, including the University of Oslo and Oslo Met. As such, you will find several researchers and lecturers living in the city. 

How To Find A Job In Oslo

Business districts in Oslo 

Jobs in Oslo are scattered across the city, but many companies are concentrated within specific corners. Fornebu is the main base for Oslo’s IT companies, and you will find a large business park located in this part of the city. 

It’s around 20 minutes from the city center by bus, with regular connections available. 

Bjørvika is another key business district in Oslo, and you will find numerous offices side-by-side with residential apartments. The neighborhood is right behind the Oslo Opera House and close to Oslo Central Station. 

How can a foreigner get a job in Oslo? 

You can use several job portals to find a job in Oslo, such as FINN.no and The Local’s job openings section. LinkedIn is another helpful place to find openings; you can also end speculative emails and cover letters. 

Getting a job in Oslo probably doesn’t differ too much from where you live. You will typically have a couple of interviews before receiving a job offer if you’re deemed the right candidate. 

While being physically based in Oslo makes it much easier to find a job, you don’t have to be. Sometimes, companies will host calls remotely before deciding whether to offer you the role. 

When looking for jobs in Oslo, it’s important to remember that immigration rules differ depending on your citizenship. While Norway is not in the EU, it is a member of the EEA and adopts the same freedom of movement rules as EU member states. 

If you’re an EU or EEA citizen, you can live and work in Norway without needing a visa. However, you will need to register your residence with the local authorities after moving. 

Norway is also part of the Nordic Passport Union, which enables citizens of the Nordic countries to live in each other’s countries without needing a residence permit. 

Citizens of countries not mentioned above, including the UK, Canada, the US, and Australia, will have to deal with more bureaucracy. You will typically need a job offer before moving to Norway, with several categories available. 

Norway also offers a job-seeker visa, allowing you to move to Oslo and find employment. You can select this option if you’ve recently graduated from a Norwegian university, and it’s also possible to apply if you simply want to try your luck. 

If you’re in the latter category, you must have at least 23,224 Norwegian Kroner per month ($2,313.71) saved up. Moreover, your funds should be in a Norwegian bank account in most cases. 

You can find out more about job-related residence permits on the UDI website

How To Find A Job In Oslo

Is it easy to find a job in Oslo? 

Whether you find getting a job in Oslo easy or not will largely depend on your personal situation. If you have a skill that is in high demand, you will likely land a job offer at some point. 

Similarly, having qualifications from a Norwegian institution will significantly increase your chances of finding employment in the capital. 

Your language skills might also play a significant role in whether you find work in Oslo quickly or not. Almost all Norwegians speak excellent English, so — unless your role specifically requires you to be a native English speaker — you will not stand out in that respect. 

You will significantly increase your chances of landing a job if you can speak a high level of Norwegian. Having other languages will also help; if your mother tongue is something that isn’t Norwegian or English, you can try to use that to your advantage. 

Useful tips for finding a job in Oslo 

You can do several things to increase your chances of finding a job in Oslo. Our first tip is to finetune your application for the Norwegian market. 

If you’re from a country like the US, the Norwegian work culture might shock you. While bragging about your achievements might work back home, that is typically frowned upon in Scandinavia. Knowing how to write a cover letter that’s suitable for the market will help.

Another thing to remember is that Norwegian workplaces are pretty laid-back — even in Oslo. You probably won’t need a suit unless you’re going for a leadership position in a major corporation.

As is the case everywhere, building a network in Oslo will significantly increase your chances of getting a job. If you’re not physically present in the city, you can use social media networks and online forums to connect with interesting people. 

But again, you should focus on what you can do for them — and not how much you can take. 

It’s also worth remembering that the idea of a traditional career isn’t such a huge thing in Norway. Generally speaking, people work to live — and it’s not uncommon to see people in the same company for several years. Norwegian companies usually hire with the long term in mind. 

How To Find A Job In Oslo

What jobs are in high demand in Oslo? 

While Oslo has something for most people, certain jobs are in particularly high demand. If you’re a software engineer, you should have a decent level of luck finding a job in the Norwegian capital. 

Construction workers are also in high demand in Oslo, and you will also find several openings in other engineering fields. 

Generally speaking, you can also find work in the service industry. But in many instances, having a good understanding of Norwegian is essential. 

Can I work in Oslo as an English speaker? 

Yes — as long as you know how to find a job in Oslo, you can work in the city as an English speaker. As mentioned earlier in this article, you may have a trickier time obtaining a residence permit, depending on your nationality. But language is irrelevant in this process.

Stretching things wider, you shouldn’t have any issues getting around Oslo only speaking English. Many signs are signposted in both Norwegian and English, and the majority of residents are fluent in both languages. 

Do you need to learn the language to work in Oslo? 

You don’t necessarily need to learn Norwegian to work in Oslo. If you have an in-demand skill, you should be able to find English-speaking jobs in Oslo without learning the language. Moreover, many larger corporations will use English as their main office language. 

However, knowing Norwegian will give you a huge advantage over other foreigners looking for jobs in Oslo. Even if English is the official corporate language, you will probably be preferred if you speak Norwegian. 

Successfully integrating into Norwegian society is also impossible if you don’t know the language, and — if you later want citizenship — you’ll need to speak it to a good enough level. 

Finding a job in Oslo requires a lot of advance planning 

Knowing how to find a job in Oslo can be tricky, especially if you’ve never worked in Scandinavia before. The Norwegian workplace is dramatically different from what you’ll find in other countries, and the flat structure is tricky to navigate for foreigners. 

However, finding a job in Oslo is by no means impossible. If you finetune your CV, show a willingness to adapt, and focus on your strengths, you will — if you persist — get a lucky break eventually. 

If you plan to live in Oslo for the long run, why not read our article about learning Norwegian as a native English speaker?

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