When looking at the IT industry in Norway, you will find the majority located around Oslo. However, Trondheim is also gaining popularity thanks to the University of Science and Technology. Compared to other Scandinavian countries, Norway is still behind. There are no major international companies like Nokia in Finland and Ericsson in Sweden. Norway is similar to Denmark with regards to the overall volume of the IT market. Yet even Denmark has Bang & Olufsen with a worldwide brand name. While Norway hasn’t made its name in the IT industry, it has played a huge role in the growth of the oil industry.
In recent years, Norway has made a habit of selling off software firms to foreign investors once they have reached a certain size. This is because there isn’t enough competent capital available in the Norwegian market. Not only this, but foreign investors tend to value intellectual property more than Norwegian investors do, the Americans being a good example.
Due to the high standard of living, now we are starting to see more ICT specialists working in Norway. 7% of European ICT specialists reside in Norway, which is more than countries like France or Turkey. One explanation could be the higher standards of living the country enjoys.
Norway’s IT Sub Sectors
The IT industry in Norway can be subdivided into Technology (hardware and software) and Services (consulting and infrastructure). The technology sector aims at developing stand-alone software or add-ons for existing software. The services sector pays more attention to solutions and customizing existing software.
There are no issues for talented Norwegian developers to create new technology and apps with great potential. The problem arises when reaching the next step, becoming big enough to expand into international markets.
You won’t find many differences in the culture of Norwegian IT firms to that of firms in the U.S, Sweden, Denmark, or Finland. There are qualified and highly talented engineers, who do not cost as much as engineers in the U.S. There is, nevertheless, only a slight difference in the salaries between those who are well educated and those who aren’t, potentially encouraging the highly educated to look for jobs overseas where they can earn higher salaries.
Some of the biggest and most common challenges the Norwegian IT industry has to face are:
- Access to people
- A costly workforce
- Lack of skill within sales and marketing
- Lack of capital
- High taxes
- Lack of well-educated people
As there isn’t sufficient talent at home, the country has been forced to find the necessary talent overseas. It has been almost impossible to access international markets without the assistance of an international middleman due to the lack of competence from sales and marketing.
On that note, let’s take a look at how much a Norwegian software engineer can earn.
A breakdown of Norwegian Software Engineer Salaries, Skills, Experience, and Gender
In 2018, the Norwegian Statistics Office provided official data stating the average monthly salary was NOK 44,810, or $5,233.
Payscale examined average annual salaries from 2018. The average developer’s salary was $74,100, just under the national average wage of $75,100. Developer salaries varied from $38,000 to $110,000. The highest salaries are attractive on a global level!
There are some skills that will have an impact on a developer’s salary. They include C++ language, .Net, and Java.
The levels of experience that were reported were not so extreme as the wages. 8% of developers have less than a year of experience, 39% have 1-4 years, 38% have 5-9 years, and 15% have 10-19 years of experience.
As with many other countries, the IT industry is still very much dominated by males. 91% of the ICT sector is men, while only 8% is female.
IT specialists receive appealing benefits like 50% of medical services, 8% of dental services, and 13% of vision.
Senior Software Engineer Salaries in Oslo
It’s not surprising that senior developers earn more than their less experienced colleges. However, the lowest salaries at around $36,000 in 2018 were quite surprising. The highest senior developer wages were $120,000, with an average of $88,200. In Oslo, senior developers earn approximately $68,000 (ranging from $51,000 to $93,000.
Only 5% of senior developers had more than 20 years of experience and 30% had been working for 10-19 years. The majority of developers (65%) had 5-9 years of working in the IT industry.
How does Norway Compare to Other Countries?
- Norway- $88,200
- Poland- $24,000
- France- $56,191
- Spain- $34,926
- Ukraine- $40,000
- Czech Republic- $32,000
As the figures show, Norway has higher average senior developer salaries than many other European countries and even some of the highest worldwide.
Norway has a progressive tax system from 36-45%. It is not uncommon for employees to ask not to receive a salary increase as it will put them into the next tax bracket and the will end up taking home less money. Not forgetting that Norway is in the top 3 of the most expensive countries.
What’s it like working as a software engineer in Oslo?
It is not necessary to be a native Norwegian in order to work as a software engineer but it is advisable to speak enough to be able to communicate complex topics. If not, you should try finding work with English as the primary language.
All candidates need to be able to demonstrate their skills, level of education, and provide a highly presentable curriculum.
Summer is short in Norway, lasting only about 2 months. Most companies oblige their employees to take the larger part of their 5-week holiday in summer.