Norway/Engineering salary in Oslo
QUESTION: Hi Roy,
A little bit about me first : I'm a geological engineer with a master's in geotechnical engineering and have been working for over 10 years in the field of dams, levees and dykes for a hydroelectrical company. I have the chance to take a year off from my job and have a wonderful experience in Norway for an engineering consulting company in Oslo in my field.
At present, I've done a lot of research to see which salary will allow my familly to live decently in Oslo for a year, without being overly frugal, but not spendy either.
I will be moving to Oslo with my husband, and two children (3,5 and 1 y.o). For the moment, the plan is that my husband stays at home with the children, but if we can have 2 places in barnehage, he could also look for a job.
The company offers the appartement (not free) and it's near my future workplace (so no bus/subway pass to pay). I do not plan on buying a car, but we will rather rent one when needed. I would like to have some extra money so we can travel a bit around Europe and also Scandinavia (I don't want to be stuck - moneywise - in the apartment!).
So after much research on government taxes databases and comparison with employees of the future company with similar backgroung as mine, I came up with a range of 900 000 - 1000000 NOK (for 2016). I will start this work contract in 2016. It this reasonable for my background, and is it enough for a year? I do not intend to put money aside, but I do not intend to come back with debts either!
ANSWER: You would certainly be able to live comfortably on that salary. But be aware that 1mio NOK/Year is 30%-40% above the going rate for engineers of your type at the moment. But that all depends on how eager they are for your experience. An average MSc makes about 700k NOK/Year, unless you're in government work where the pay is less, but the pension is higher.
If you're a perfect fit, and they need you. Go for a million and see what they say. If you're the eager one, go for 800K, that is suitably modest but not underbidding yourself.
---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------
QUESTION: Hi Roy,
Thanks for the answer, it will allow me to negociate a better salary for myself, and my familly and allow us to live a wonderful year in Norway!
I was wondering about how much taxes I would pay on such a salary (700 000nok)? Are there tax exemptions/deductions/returns for expats living in Norway for over 180 days? How can I calculate them?
Also, when is my family allowed to use services offered by the state, i.e. health system, child care (barnehages),etc...? Is it after a few months, or as soon as I pay those "taxes" on my salary?
Your entire family are full members of the norwegian public health system from day one of your employment. If you plan on staying here as tourists before employment starts, it is prudent to make sure your health/travel insurance covers your stay. (Although for emergency hospital care there will be no questions for payment, even for tourists.)
You can calculate your taxes here:
I did a quick calculation and it looks as you'll be paying about 28% taxes in total (the average for all citizens). Depending on your deductions. Possibly as low as 25-27% the first year due to special excemptions for foreigners and if your husband does not make any money.
That tax number includes full public health coverage for your whole family, no health insurance needed. Free public schools and higher education for your children. Unemployment insurance that pays out 65% of previous salary for up to two years (depending on the length of your employment - basically this part is fully effective after three years of employment and with permanent residence. The special deductions for foreigners is to negate the impact of this public insurance cost the first year.) and all the usual public services.
Your own part of health or hospital costs are limited to 2000,- NOK/YEAR. Beyond that even prescribed medicines are free.
But (most) dentistry is not covered by public health. For that you'll have to pay market price.