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Which skilled jobs in Norway don't require fluent Norwegian?

Robin-Ivan Capar
Robin-Ivan Capar - [email protected]
Which skilled jobs in Norway don't require fluent Norwegian?
Numerous industries and professions in Norway don't require Norwegian language proficiency. Photo by Josue Isai Ramos Figueroa on Unsplash

While being fluent in Norwegian will notably increase your prospects of finding a job, multiple professions don't require mastery of the language.

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There's no need to beat around the bush – most job opportunities in Norway require fluency in Norwegian.

On top of that, if you're moving to Norway from abroad, knowing the language will be invaluable as you establish a new social circle and integrate into society.

So, investing in developing your proficiency in Norwegian is a smart choice regardless of whether your current job requires you to use Norwegian during your day-to-day work.

However, there are multiple industries and careers that won't require you to speak Norwegian or will only require minimal language skills.

READ ALSO: Why you should learn Norwegian even if you don't need it for work

Skilled jobs that don't require fluency in Norwegian

There are several industries where skilled workers, especially those with higher education, can find work even without being fluent in Norwegian.

As a quick search on Finn.no or LinkedIn will show you, there is a number of jobs like these in IT, international relations and communication, finance, engineering, oil and gas, and academia.

READ MORE: The best websites to look for jobs in Norway

As long as you qualify in terms of competencies and skills, not speaking Norwegian is unlikely to be a major problem in these industries.

Not only that, companies and organisations in these industries are likely to pay for your Norwegian language course after you land the job (this is practically the norm for positions in IT and academia).

It's important to keep in mind that skilled jobs that don't require Norwegian language skills are very competitive (especially in the country's oil and gas industry), which means that dozens of applicants will jump at the opportunity to apply for such positions.

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Trades and crafts

In-demand skills in trades and crafts are also a common pathway to finding a job in Norway without being fluent in the language.

So, if you're a handyman, welder, plumber, electrician, painter, carpenter, technician, auto mechanic, landscaper, or any other similar tradesman, you won't have to wait too long before you get a job offer, regardless of your language competencies.

It's worth noting that the specific requirements for trades and crafts in Norway can vary depending on the region, industry, and employer, so make sure to ask about the prerequisites beforehand.

While Norwegian language skills may not be necessary for these jobs, keep in mind that having basic communication skills in the local language could be beneficial for interacting with both clients and colleagues.

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Entry-level and unskilled jobs

So, we've established that skilled workers and professionals in trades and crafts can pretty much get by without a working knowledge of Norwegian.

But what if you don't speak any Norwegian, and you want to move to the country without any formal skills or education?

There are many options, though the jobs you're likely to find will often be paid less compared to what is perceived as skilled work.

Examples of such jobs include work at bars, restaurants, cafes, and fast food chains, as well as cleaning and construction jobs. Seasonal work in the seafood and agriculture industries also attracts thousands of foreign workers to Norway each year… The list goes on and on.

You can expect long hours and demanding work conditions in these professions, but if you're willing to take up anything as a starting job in Norway, you'll probably be able to find jobs like the ones enumerated above.

Many people who move to Norway start by getting an entry-level job (even if they're overqualified), and learn the language while they work so that they can move up the job ladder.

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Insider tips

There are a few things you'll notice if you spend more than a year keeping an eye on job boards and recruitment sites in Norway.

The first is that – unsurprisingly – the most significant number of English-speaking jobs is available close to Oslo, the capital, which is the country's economic hub.

READ MORE: Tips for finding an English-speaking job in Norway

Secondly, you can often find interesting job opportunities in gas and oil that don't explicitly require Norwegian language skills in the country's "Oil Capital", Stavanger.

Thirdly, Bergen, Norway's second-largest city, is well-known for its international profile, and it attracts a large number of foreign workers due to its tourism and seafood industry.

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