Norway is an expensive country, but despite the fact that everything’s expensive, most people also make a decent salary to compensate for it. But what exactly is a normal wage in Norway, and what’s the average salary like?
The average median salary in Norway is 45,839 NOK ($4,600 USD) per month, which means that you get paid around 33,500 NOK ($3,300 USD) after income tax. This is equivalent to around 550 000 NOK ($55,000 USD) per year.
Keep in mind that the 45,839 NOK number is the median. This is a better representation than the arithmetic average since the latter number is more skewed by the few people that make an insane amount of money.
The arithmetic average income in Norway is 50 790 NOK per month or 610 000 NOK per year. This is the normal average, but it’s a bit higher than the “normal wage” due to the very rich on the list.
This average means that you would get paid out around 37,388 ($3,800 USD) after income tax every month if you have an income that is exactly the same as the arithmetic average.
PS. all the numbers that are calculated after income tax are rough estimations. There are hundreds of small things that affect how much you pay in income tax in Norway, so the exact sum you pay will vary from person to person.
Average income per hour in Norway
A regular Norwegian worker works around 1,700 hours every year, meaning that the average hourly income is 323,5 NOK per hour ($33 USD).
Most Norwegians have job contracts that give them a fixed income per month, but unskilled laborers often have a fixed income per hour.
People with hourly wages also have increased wages when working outside of normal business hours, on Sundays and on public holidays.
Norway has a high rate of educated people
You will need to get a job that requires either 3 or 5 years at university, or be in a skilled trade to be able to reach the average income in Norway. As with many other places around the world, people with little or no education can only dream of getting a salary close to the average.
For unskilled or uneducated workers, the average income is around 350 – 400 000 NOK per year. This is significantly lower than the average, so be prepared to get offered a pay in this range if you apply for an unskilled job.
People with a sought after education are on the other end of the spectrum. Programmers are one of the professions that are in huge demand in Norway, and people with only 3 years of programming education can expect to have a salary of around 700 – 900 000 NOK after a few years of experience.
Keep in mind that university education is almost completely free in Norway, so you don’t need to be rich to even be able to attend university.
Foreign workers can make a lot of money in Norway
Norway is a popular country for foreign season workers who come here to work during certain seasons. This allows some foreigners to make as much money as they would in a year in their own country, in only a few months in Norway. This is a great way for people to supplement their income by a few months of hard work.
It’s very common to have foreigners work at farming related jobs like picking strawberries, or at fishing related jobs that have a short season. These seasonal workers are very important to Norwegian industries, and several thousand workers from low-income countries come to spend their summers working in Norway.
There is no minimum wage in Norway
Despite the fact that Norway have pretty high wages, there is no such thing as a minimum wage in Norway. This means that any company can theoretically offer whatever salary they want. Luckily most people in Norway are unionized, which are a big part of stopping companies from offering very low wages.
Most unions also have a minimum wage for all their members, and these are different from each different profession. So get unionized if you need help getting the wage you deserve!
You will find that most serving jobs at places like coffee shops or fastfood restaurants operates with a minimum wage of around 150 – 200 NOK per hour. Again, this is not required by any law, but most franchises uses their own minimum wage for new employees.
Norway is expensive
While an average income of 550,000 NOK per year might seem like a huge amount to many people, living expenses in Norway are also matching the high income. Food, electricity, housing, heating of the house, fuel and most other things are also incredibly expensive in Norway, and you will find that most Norwegians are far from being what you would consider rich.
Most tourists who visit Norway are taken aback by the high cost of everything. You will want to read up on some of the best tips to make your visit to Norway cheaper if you are visiting. The cost of Norway combined with an income from a lower-income country will make visits to Norway feel very expensive.
Nicklas is the owner and editor of The Norway Guide, and is responsible for most of the content on the website.
He lives in Skien, Norway with his wife and two children. Nicklas is specialized in Norwegian ecology (including Norway’s geology, wildlife and flora) from his degree in Ecology And Nature Management at University of South-Eastern Norway, but has a particular interest in tourism and content creation.
His biggest hobbies are fishkeeping, going on hikes with his dog, and rooting for the local football team.