Software engineering is a popular occupation where workers can work from pretty much everywhere. Norway is often ranked as one of the most popular countries to move to in order to start a new life, but what is working as a software engineer in Norway like?
We are going to be looking closer at the software engineering job in Norway in this article, and answer questions about what type of education you need, how difficult it is to find a job, whether or not you can work as a software engineer in Norway without speaking Norway, and what the average salary for a software engineer in Norway is like.
So, let’s just get to it!
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What working as a software engineer in Norway is like
Norway is well-known for it’s great work-life balance, and this applies to software engineering jobs as well.
You can expect to work for 37.5 hours in a regular week. Some jobs might require a bit of overtime during crunch or at the final stretch of projects, but this will generally be paid very well, and you are not forced into working overtime or threatened to be fired if you are unable to work overtime.
Software engineering jobs tend to have a good work climate with opportunities to learn new work related skills and growth. You will have the legal system of the Norwegian labor laws backing you, and you are never going to be forced to do crazy things like working until 9 PM with unpaid overtime.
Instead, expect to work from either 08.00 or 09.00 until 16.00 or 17.00 (where you are working for 7.5 hours and have a 30 minute lunch break.
Most software engineer jobs will have a somewhat flexible work schedule. It’s not uncommon to have 2 or 3 days of working from home per week, and many employers offer flexible work hours that allows you to do things like work a few hours in the afternoon (from home) to be able to save up hours to take a day extra off work later.
Remote work from a Norwegian cabin on Fridays and Mondays are also generally very popular here in Norway, if you end up getting into the Norwegian cabin lifestyle.
But as with any industry, there will be amazing workplaces, and workplaces with pretty bad working climate.. You are not guaranteed to find a workplace with lots of flexibility or opportunities for remote work, but they are usually pretty common.
The average salary for a software engineer in Norway
Software engineers are traditionally paid very well around the world, and Norway is no exception, even though it’s not as far above average salary as it is in many countries.
The average salary for software engineers in Norway is 795,000 NOK per year as of 2022 (equivalent to $80,000). That is well above the average salary for all occupations in Norway, but lower than the average salary for software engineers in other countries such as Switzerland, the US or Denmark.
Norway comes on the 9th place for the best paid software engineers in Europe by country, and a software engineer in Norway makes about half of one in Switzerland, a country that has a comparable price level for goods and services to Norway.
A software engineer on average will earn 20 % above the national average, and you will be able to live a comfortable life on a software engineer salary in Norway, even though you won’t really be what most people consider to be rich.
It’s also important to remember that you will not get paid the exact average; some will earn less, and some will earn more. Your salary will depend on where you work, what type of skills you have, what type of position you have, your experience and your education level.
Are software engineers in-demand in Norway?
Software engineers are highly in-demand in Norway, and there are far more positions than available software engineers in Norway. I just gave it a search on Finn.no and found more than 400 positions looking for a software engineer.
This means that it should be fairly easy to get a job, or find job offers that has better conditions or better pay than your current job.
Most software engineering jobs are based in the big cities in Norway, primarily Oslo and Trondheim, but there are also a decent range of firms who hire software engineers in Bergen, as well as in semi-big cities like Drammen, Tønsberg, Stavanger and more.
You will also find jobs in pretty much any city in Norway, but you won’t have as many different options in smaller cities or in towns.
Can you work as a software engineer in Norway without speaking English?
Software engineering is one of those occupations in Norway where you don’t really need to speak Norwegian to be able to work. Most workplaces in this field has at least a few non-Norwegian speaking people, so it’s common to use English at meetings and gatherings.
This makes it possible to move to Norway to accept a job as a software engineer without knowing any Norwegian.
That said, I urge everyone who is moving to Norway to work to learn at least some Norwegian. Even though meetings will take place in English, you will definitely feel a bit of an outsider when your Norwegian colleagues talk among themselves in Norwegian in the breaks.
So better start practicing that Norwegian as soon as you move here if you want to successfully integrate into Norwegian society.
How to apply for software engineering jobs in Norway
You can apply for software engineering jobs in Norway in the same way as all other jobs. That means going to Finn.no and NAV Arbeidsplassen to look for companies that are looking for new employees.
We’ve already written a detailed guide on how to find job vacancies in Norway, so check that out for more info. That should show you everything you need to know before you apply for a position as a software engineer in Norway.
Some terms to use when searching for software engineering jobs are: “software engineer“, “utvikler“, “programmerer” or “programutvikler“.
In addition to using the common resources to look for a software engineering job, there are also an option that is unique to software engineering jobs: kode24.no. This is actually a software engineering online magazine, but they also have job listings there, so check it out! Here’s a direct link to their software engineering job listings.
Do you need a university degree to get a job as a software engineer in Norway?
It’s not 100 % necessary to have a diploma from a university to get a job as a software engineer in Norway, but it’s going to be very difficult to find a job without it!
Norway is a country where the population is highly educated (we got free university education after all), and applicants are pretty much expected to have a degree when applying for a job as a software engineer.
Some companies will hire on experience or skill alone, but this is still pretty rare in Norway. At the very least, you will need to have a résumé to prove your experience, or be able to show your work.
I would not advise anyone who dreams of moving to Norway to work as a software engineer to pursue the path of being self taught. It’s going to make it much more difficult to actually get a job compared to if you got a degree.
Working for a non-Norwegian company as a remote worker in Norway: Is it possible?
I have been asked by people if it’s possible to bring your remote work to Norway to live in Norway, and collect your paycheck from your current non-Norwegian employer (back in the US or any other places).
It’s kind of possible for EU or EEA citizens, but extremely difficult or impossible for non-EU/EEA citizens to work remotely for a non-Norwegian company in Norway.
You have no right to a citizenship or even a work visa if you don’t get hired by a Norwegian company, so you cannot really come to Norway to work. There are currently no remote worker exceptions to the work visas, and you are likely to be breaking the law if you come to Norway to work without a work visa.
EU and EEA citizens (and of course Norwegian citizens) do have other rights. If you do have the right to work in Norway to begin it, you also have the right to work on behalf of a foreign company.
I have met EU citizens who have moved here to work remotely for a foreign company before, and they have said that there are some hoops and hurdles to overcome, but that it’s definitely possible.
Keep in mind that this last section is not legal advice, and that it will depend on many different factors such as where you are from, what type of visa or citizenship you have, and other factors. So please consult a lawyer or UDI to get answers tailored to your own specific case.
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.