Salaries in Norway in 2019 – what are the minimum hourly wages?

For many years, Norway has been a country eagerly visited by people who move there for financial reasons. This is evidenced by the fact that officially, there are approximately 850 thousand immigrants living there. The above is mainly caused by the high level of salaries that is incomparably higher than in other countries. What are the wages in Norway in 2019? What is the minimum that you can earn?

The lowest wage permitted by law in Norway

Despite the fact that the Norwegian law does not provide for the minimum salary for work, Storting (the Norwegian government) has made a decision to ensure a minimum hourly wage in select industries. This activity aims at protecting immigrants against exploitation by Norwegian employers. This is also why the list of professions to which the minimum wage applies is relatively short and regards only those industries, where people coming from other countries find employment most often.

What are the wages in Norway in 2019?

We have to mention that the lowest wages in Norway are updated each year. The information is published on the website of Arbeidstilsynet (Norwegian Labour Inspection). Industries to which minimum hourly wages apply are as follows:

  1. Construction.
  2. Cleaning services.
  3. Hotel and food services.
  4. Shipyard industry.
  5. Gardening and agriculture.
  6. Fishing and fish processing.
  7. Electrical services.
  8. Transport of people and commodities.

Wages in the construction industry in Norway in 2019

The wages offered in the construction sector in Norway depend on experience and skills of employees. The age of workers is also important. Keeping in mind the above criteria, the minimum hourly wages in the construction industry are as follows:

  • qualified employees can obtain no less than NOK 209.70 per hour;
  • unqualified employees without experience in the industry can obtain no less than NOK 188.40 per hour;
  • unqualified employees with at least one year of experience in the industry will earn at least NOK 196.50 per hour;
  • employees below 18 years old can receive a minimum of NOK 126.50 per hour;

It is worth mentioning that the employer is obliged to equip employees with safety uniforms and footwear.

Wages offered for cleaning services

Many immigrants also move abroad to work in the cleaning sector. This is one of the most popular industries among the group of people who relocate due to financial reasons. The minimum wages in this sector in Norway in 2019 are as follows:

  • employees hired in private companies can obtain no less than NOK 187.66 per hour;
  • employees below 18 years old hired in private companies can obtain at least NOK 139.62 per hour of work;

The employer is obliged to provide a work uniform and safety footwear appropriate for the working conditions.

Wages in the hotel and food industry

Minimum hourly wages in the hotel and food sector depend primarily on the age of the employee. Monthly salary may be reduced, depending on whether the employer provides accommodation to its employees. Conditions regarding the hourly wages are as follows:

  • employees who are at least 20 years old can obtain a minimum of NOK 167.90 per hour. People over the age of 18 will receive the same wage if they have already worked in this profession for at least 4 months;
  • 18-year-olds without experience in the industry can obtain no less than NOK 134.09 per hour;
  • 17-year-olds can obtain at least NOK 119.83 per hour;
  • 16-year-olds can obtain at least NOK 110.33 per hour.

Additional information

The employer can reduce salary if accommodation is guaranteed to its employees. If a single-room accommodation is ensured, the employer can deduct NOK 555.73 per month. If two employees are accommodated in one flat, the employer can deduct NOK 361.45 NOK per month from the salary. Accommodation in lower standard is not subject to legal regulations.

It is worth knowing that the minimum hourly rate does not apply to employees working in managerial jobs. The above includes directors, managers as well as middle management coordinators.

Wages in the shipyard industry.

Employees hired in the shipyard industry can obtain one of the three minimum hourly wages:

  • people with large experience in this profession can earn no less than NOK 178.55 per hour;
  • specialists can obtain at least NOK 170.53 per hour;
  • assistants without experience can receive a minimum of NOK 162.60 per hour;

Bonuses

According to Norwegian regulations, if an employee is assigned to perform their duties outside the company seat, the employer must pay a bonus to the salary. Three thresholds apply, as follows:

  • NOK 35.71 per hour if you have large experience in the industry;
  • NOK 34.11 per hour if you work as a specialist;
  • NOK 32.52 per hour if you work as an assistant.

Other bonuses apply to hourly wages if you work in a shift-based system. With two-shift work, you can receive the following bonuses:

  • NOK 18.91 per hour of work during the second shift;
  • NOK 40.41 per hour started after 2 p.m. on Saturday and on days preceding national holidays;
  • NOK 57.93 per hour started after 2 p.m. on a day preceding Christmas, Easter and Pentecost.

With three-shift work, you can receive the following bonuses:

  • NOK 19.49 per hour of work during the second shift;
  • NOK 29.01 per hour of work during the third shift;
  • NOK 41.58 per hour started after 2 p.m. on Saturday and on days preceding national holidays;
  • NOK 59.57 per hour started after 2 p.m. on a day preceding Christmas, Easter and Pentecost.

The situation is slightly different if your employer operates 24/7 and offers three-shift work. In such a case, you can receive the following bonuses:

  • NOK 20.66 per hour of work during the second shift;
  • NOK 30.64 per hour of work during the third shift;
  • NOK 43.90 per hour started after 2 p.m. on Saturday and on days preceding national holidays;
  • NOK 62.94 per hour started after 2 p.m. on a day preceding Christmas, Easter and Pentecost.

Gardening and agriculture

In the gardening and agricultural industries, your salary will depend on your age and principles of employment. Temporary workers and assistants can obtain the following hourly wages:

  • employees below 18 years old can obtain at least NOK 103.15 per hour;
  • employees who are at least 18 years old working for less than 12 weeks – NOK 123.15 per hour;
  • employees who are at least 18 years old working for more than 12 weeks but no more than 24 weeks – NOK 128.65 per hour;

If you have been performing work for more than 24 weeks, you will obtain the status of a “permanent employee”. In such a case, you will receive the following hourly wage:

  • NOK 143.05 per hour if you don’t have qualifications;
  • NOK 112.65 per hour if you are below 18 years old;
  • if you are a qualified employee, you will be entitled to a bonus of NOK 11.75 for each hour of work.

You can also receive a 25% bonus if:

  • you perform work after 2 p.m. on Saturdays;
  • you work between 1 p.m. and 12 a.m. on 24 December or 31 December.
  • you have to be at work between 12 a.m. and 11:59 p.m. on national holidays, 1 May and 17 May.

Fishing and fish processing

How much you earn in the broadly-defined fish industry depends on your experience and age. The following hourly wages apply:

  • NOK 195.20 per hour of work for qualified employees;
  • NOK 183.70 per hour for production employees;
  • if you are below 18 years old, your hourly wage cannot be lower than 80% of the minimum hourly wage;
  • if you are below 17 years old and have been working for more than 12 weeks, your hourly wage should be the same as for other employees working on the same jobs.

When you work in a two-shift system, you can also obtain a 20% bonus on top of your hourly wage. If you work in a three-shift system, you should obtain 25% more per hour.

Salaries in the electrical industry

The salary range for electrical services are defined very simply. If you have experience in this profession and you are a qualified employee, you will earn no less than NOK 217.63 per hour. Other people can receive at least NOK 189.52 per hour. The wage will be increased by 17% in a two-shift system, and by 27.3% in a three-shift system.

Wages in transport services

If you are hired as a driver at a company transporting commodities a minimum hourly wage applies in your case in the amount of NOK 175.95. If you are responsible for transport of people, then you can obtain at least NOK 158.37 per hour. Keep in mind that these regulations apply regardless whether your employer’s company is registered in Norway or any other country. These provisions aim at equalling competition chances between foreign and Norwegian companies.

Wages in Norway have been increasing every year

Not just the minimum hourly wages in Norway have been increasing every year. All wages in Norway have increased, which in the first quarter of 2019 were higher by 3.2% on average, as compared to the first quarter of 2018. Currently, the average monthly salary in this country is at the level of NOK 43,870

Industries with the highest wages include: petrochemical industry (NOK 62,160 per month), finance and insurance (NOK 60,070 per month) and communication technologies (NOK 56,500 per month). The lowest wages are offered in the hotel industry (NOK 31,270 per month), agriculture, forestry and gardening (NOK 38,220 per month) and sales of automotive parts as well as mechanical services (NOK 39,300 per month).

Before you relocate to Norway, keep in mind the following:

Starting a job in a different country is a serious decision. Especially, when you have family in your home country and you will have to be away from them for a while. With such circumstances, it is specifically important for the new job to offer significantly higher wages. In the end, what you want to do is to return home with savings. You can look for good jobs on the NAV website, on the internet or ask friends to recommend something.

At first, you will only need to know English. Translation from Norwegian to French through Google Translate is not the best idea for becoming familiar with job advertisements. It is worth knowing that Norwegian has similar syntax to English. Changing the language version to English thanks to the Google Translate features will significantly simplify the process of understanding ad details.

Translation of documents into English

Keep in mind that you will need proper translation of documents into Norwegian. This is specifically important if you hold certificates or other documents that will evidence your professional experience and qualifications. Private employers will probably accept standard translation but if you want to work in the public sector, be sure to prepare sworn (certified) translation before you relocate.

Is it worth going to Norway to work?

Despite the fact that wages in Norway have been increasing every year, it is worth knowing that the increase also applies to costs of living. Let’s take rental of a 75-metre flat in Oslo as an example. It will cost you NOK 14,000-16,000 per month. It will be slightly less expensive when you rent a room but even in this case, the cost will not be lower than NOK 4,000 per month.

Prices of food, electricity and other categories that decide the final cost of living in this country, have also been going up. Whether the decision on going to Norway to work will be profitable, will depend on the job you find. Before you leave, be sure to estimate living costs. It may turn out that you will earn more but you will also spend more. In the end, the relocation may not be profitable at all.