Exploring Jobs in Norway: The Queen of the North

Exploring Jobs in Norway: The Queen of the North

The Kingdom of Norway is Europe’s northernmost country, sharing a long eastern border with Sweden and with Finland and Russia to the north. The capital of Oslo lies close to the border with Sweden and is the most densely populated area with around one million inhabitants. Norway is one of the most beautiful countries in the world, known for its spectacular landscape of soaring mountains and rugged coastline broken by vast fjords, glaciers and island clusters. It is also the richest nation in the world, thanks partly to oil and gas exports. Although not a member of the European Union, Norway is an EEA partner with close links to the rest of the continent.

Norwegian Education system

The Norwegian school system can be divided into three parts: Elementary school (Barneskole, ages 6–13), lower secondary school (Ungdomsskole, ages 13–16), and upper secondary school (Videregående skole, ages 16–19). The Barneskole and Ungdomsskole levels are compulsory, and are commonly referred to as Grunnskole (literally translates to "'base-school").

Elementary and lower secondary school are mandatory for all children aged 6–16..

Primary school (Barneskole, Grades 1–7, ages 6–13)

In the first year of primary school, students spend most of their time playing educational games and learning social structures, the alphabet, basic addition and subtraction, and basic English skills.

Lower secondary school (Ungdomsskole, Grades 8-10, ages 13-16)

When the students enter lower secondary school, at age 12 or 13, they begin getting grades for their work. Their grades together with their location in the country will determine whether they get accepted to their upper secondary school of choice or not. From eighth grade, students can choose one elective (valgfag) and one language. Typical offered languages are German, French, and Spanish as well as additional English and Norwegian studies. A student may take the Grade 10 exam in a particular subject early as long as he or she has been granted an exemption from further instruction in the elementary/middle school curriculum of that subject.

Upper secondary school (Videregående skole, Grades VG1-VG3, ages 16-19):

As of 2017, graduation from videregående skole was at 73%.


Norway has about 3,500 compulsory schools, resulting in an average school size of 150 students. By mandate of the Parliament, no compulsory school has more than 450 students which suits the population demographics very aptly. Oslo is the most densely populated city in the region.

In terms of higher education, Norway has seven accredited public universities, nine accredited specialised university institutions, 22 accredited university colleges, two accredited national colleges of the arts and several private institutions of higher education, with either institutional or programme accreditation.

Wage Structures

Norwegian academic salaries are determined by a salary scale set by collective agreements between academic unions and state authorities. This salary scale specifies a range for each level of academic job. The candidate’s experience will determine where their compensation falls within the range of their position. While every university uses a slightly different range for each type of position, the salary grade and corresponding range is usually specified in the job posting

The minimum annual salary for PhD students is 442,400 NOK, which corresponds to salary grade 50 in the Norwegian state salary scale. In 2017, the average annual salary for a PhD student (stipendiat) was 456,165 NOK.

A person working in Teaching / Education in Norway typically earns around 1,540,000 NOK per year. Salaries range from 747,000 NOK (lowest average) to 2,550,000 NOK (highest average, actual maximum salary is higher).

Why Norway?

Norway is, as quoted, one of the most beautiful countries in the world by far and wide. In retrospect, Norwegian lifestyle with its centralized benefits system, non-existent crime rate and a fair expenses vs income ratio, is an ideal to look forward to! Applying to a Norwegian institute just might turn your life into a great adventure!

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