Norway is one of the richest countries in the world. It also has a very low crime rate. So low in fact that it borders on hilarity. But, that makes it a great place to raise a family. Expats find living in the country a great experience. The people are warm and the summer nights are long and beautiful. Plus, Norway has a lot of Work Opportunities for Expats irregardless of one’s race and nationality.
Expats from all corners of the globe have always been a part of the Norwegian workforce. Work Opportunities for Expats in Norway include jobs for structural engineers, IT specialists, English Teachers, College Professors, Medical and Health Workers, oil rig personnel and so much more.
· EDUCATORS – There are a lot of work opportunities for highly skilled and highly qualified college and university professors. English teachers are also being hired in the country. Since Norway has an extensive educational system, an Expat can work as a teacher in primary, secondary and tertiary institutions.
· IT PROFESSIONALS – Norway is also in need of IT Professionals. These include those with knowledge in web design and computer software. A minimum of 2 years work experience is required before an applicant is to be considered.
· MEDICAL AND HEALTH PERSONNEL – Norway recently advertised their need for Foreign Nurses and Medical Personnel. Like most European and western countries, Norway presents a lot of work opportunities for medical and health personnel. Those hired will be sent to fill in gaps in the hospital workforce. Some of them will be assigned in care homes and senior centers.
· STRUCTURAL ENGINEERS – There has always been a need for structural engineers in Norway. Highly skilled engineers with the right work experience and skill in designing intricate steel structures are always welcomed in Norway.
· OTHERS – Norway is the world’s third largest supplier of oil. Next only to Saudi Arabia and Russia. That’ the reason why the country is eager to hire experienced oil rig personnel. Being a costal country it is also famous for their seafood. That means that Expats can find work as Fishermen or Fish Farmers.
Most expats who find their way to Norway get there via employment routes. A majority of them take their families with them. Wives or husbands who come with their spouses to Norway are also able to find great work opportunities in the country.
Expats will find that the country has a very well integrated and expanded educational system. This means that expats won’t have to worry about taking care of their young ones constantly. The children will often be in school most of the day. This also means that expats who used to be stay-at-home moms or dads now have the chance to look for other work opportunities to help their families. All they have to do is get a work permit.
How to Apply for Positions in Norway
If you are already in the country, all you need to do is to search for work opportunities through newspapers or local employment websites. Keep in mind that you need a valid work permit to be able to work legally. An expat applicant with a good grasp of the Norwegian language is also favored by employers.
Most professionals in Norway earn and average of 55,000 USD/year. Norwegian government employees often earn more than those in private firms. Successful self employed individuals find that they earn an average of 60,000 USD – depending on the exchange rate.
The Language Barrier
The main pitfall that an expat must face when deciding to look for work opportunities in Norway is the language barrier.
Learning the dialect can be easy and hard at the same time. All you need is the time and perseverance to do so. The country is peppered with schools and institutions that teach the language. If you have the chance to learn the dialect while you are still in your home country – go for it. Expats who do this may find that their accents differ. But, at least they have the basics down. Fine tuning the accent can be done once you get there.
What to Expect When You Get There
· WEATHER - Contrary to popular belief, Norway does not suffer from freezing temperatures and constant snow. In fact, Norwegian summers can be warmer than those in other Northern European countries. Sure, the Northern parts of the country may be a bit colder than others, but Oslo is has a very mild weather pattern.
Most Expats who move to Norway expecting freezing temperatures are pleasantly surprised when they are met with mildly warm winds. It all has to do with the sea currents and breezes the move through the country.
If you come from a tropical country like the Philippines were ‘cold’ can mean a rainy evening, then Norway will be freezing for you. That’s not a problem though. Just equip yourself with the right gear – warm coats, boots, gloves, etc. Sleep with the heater on and shower with warm water. The weather will grow on you and pretty soon you’ll be enjoying Norwegian sights, sounds and activities.
· PEOPLE – Norwegians are generally very warm and accommodating. But, it does take time to get to know them. Some expats have commented that the locals can come off as ‘cold and unwelcoming’. But that is just because they tend to keep to themselves. Once you get to know them you will see that they are friendly. If you do find socializing with the locals difficult, try finding Filipino Expat communities. Socializing with fellow countrymen can be very helpful in warding off homesickness.
Norway has a lot to offer Expats from every nation. The cost of living may be higher than usual. But, the pay is good and the government systems will take care of your medical and health needs. Just keep an open mind and enjoy Norway for what it is. Have fun skiing and snowboarding - There’s bound to be a lot of that.