Moving to a new country to teach English to children at a school is a popular way to make some money and get life experience in many parts of the world, but it’s not common in Norway.
In contrast to many countries like in Southeast Asia, you need to have an education in teaching if you want to teach English as a foreign language (TEFL) in Norwegian schools. In addition, you do need to know Norwegian pretty well.
It’s simply not possible for people to get teaching jobs in Norway without a teaching education, because these jobs are reserved for qualified teachers.
The biggest chance of getting a teaching job in Norway is at a private, international school. This is because these school don’t necessarily follow the regular curriculum, and often prefer English native speakers.
That said, there are some more options out there, so it’s not impossible to get a job as a teacher in Norway. Let’s take a closer look!
Can foreigners get teaching jobs in Norway?
Foreigners can absolutely move to Norway to get a job as a teacher of English, or other subjects.
However, it’s definitely not possible to get these jobs without qualifications for it.
So 18 year old teenagers who want to move to a new country and earn some money by getting teaching jobs in Norway should look somewhere else. There’s simply not a market for TEFL jobs in Norway.
However, if you got a master’s degree, experience with teaching or a bachelor’s degree in teaching, then you might be in luck.
Working as a teacher at a public school in Norway
You might think that it makes sense to look at public school when you are researching teaching jobs in Norway, but I would argue that it’s not.
The “problem” with public schools is that they do require you to be fluent in Norwegian, and to have the proper education to teach.
All public school are required by law to hire the best candidate for the job, which means the one with most experience and the most education.
Since teaching is a pretty popular profession in Norway, pretty much all positions are filled by teachers who have at least 4 years of university education.
Working at international schools
International schools are probably the best option if you want to do teaching jobs in Norway. These schools tend to be found in any big city, and offer classes in English.
The biggest diversity of international schools is at cities with a lot of foreign workers, like places with oil or gas industries.
There are 4 reasons why these international schools tend to be better for foreigners who want to TEFL, than public schools:
- The private schools are free to hire whomever they want.
- The private schools do not have rigid rules for the required education to be teaching.
- The private schools often prefer native English speakers.
- The private schools can follow a different curriculum then Norwegian public schools.
So it’s much easier for regular foreigners to get jobs at these schools, granted that you don’t speak Norwegian or have the needed education to work at a public school.
That said, teaching jobs at international schools in Norway are popular, so they won’t be handing them over to young people with no education or experience as a teacher.
They will typically get many good candidates for the positions, but can be more lenient towards not speaking Norwegian or not having the education formally needed for public schools.
There are obviously some downsides to choosing teaching jobs at international schools in Norway as well, mainly that you won’t get the authentic Norwegian experience. These schools tend to be very different from regular Norwegian schools.
Working as a teacher in a university in Norway
To get a job as a teacher at a university in Norway, you do need to be hired as a researcher by the university. There are no pure teaching positions at universities, but rather researchers that teach their field of work.
Getting a job at a university in Norway is considered very difficult, and requires a PhD in whatever field you want to research and teach.
How to become a teacher in Norway
If you want teaching jobs in Norway, your best option is to actually get the education you need to formally become a teacher.
Teachers in Norway require at least 4 years of education, but most actually have a total of 6 years. So it’s not something that can be done very quickly, and requires a certain level of commitment. Even though university degrees are free in Norway, being a student for 4 or 6 years is obviously very costly.
There are two options on becoming a teacher in Norway:
- Do a four year degree in teaching (pedagogikk). This includes 3 years of teaching, and 1 year of education for a certain subject that you want to teach.
- Get a master’s degree (5 years), then do one addition year of teaching education (pedagogikk).
You are free to get the education from anywhere in the world, but the teaching part has to be approved by a board if it’s from outside Norway. The exact requirements to get an approved teaching education are pretty rigid, so make sure to research this thoroughly before committing to a degree.
There are many different universities in Norway that offer the course in pedagogikk, but they are all taught in Norwegian.
How much do teachers make in Norway? (2022 Figures and Numbers)
Teachers make a decent amount of money in Norway, but this is mainly due to the fact that they have a long education.
The minimum wage offered for working in public schools in Norway is 504,700 NOK per year with a 4 year degree, or 550,100 NOK for the 6 year degree.
There is a scheme where you get an automatic pay increase for each year you work as a teacher in Norway, for 16 years until you hit the pay cap.
The pay can rise to 597,400 NOK for a 4 year degree, and 674,900 NOK for the 6 year degree with 16 years of work experience (and will gradually get to this point year by year)
So the salary of a teacher in Norway is actually pretty close to the average salary, and most teachers have a pretty nice income.
You will likely get a little less than the figures above if you don’t have the formal teaching education.
It’s also worth keeping in mind that there is no general minimum wage in Norway, but all public schools follow the same payment ladder. But international schools are free to not use these wage guidelines if they don’t want to.
Should you get teaching jobs in Norway?
Whether or not you should aim at getting teaching jobs in Norway really depends on what your goals are.
As mentioned earlier, getting teaching jobs in Norway is not really an easy method of making some money while experiencing a new culture, but rather a goal that you need to work towards getting to.
If you really want to get teaching jobs in Norway, you really need to work for it by getting a long teaching education, and there are no good shortcuts you can use to get it done easier.
In addition, you will need to become fluent in Norwegian to teach as Norwegian public schools, even though you aim at only teaching English as a foreign language.
All that said, Norway is an incredible country with amazing nature and a nice work-life balance (even kinda for teachers), so it’s far from the worst place you could be working as a teacher.
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.