With access to oil and renewable energy sources, Bergen’s energy sector is the largest contributor to the local economy and employs more than 30,000 people. Offshore workers commute to the rigs and platforms from nearby Flesland, the main heliport for the Norwegian North Sea oil and gas industry.
The Royal Norwegian Navy has its base approximately 10 miles (17 Km) south of Bergen, at Haakonsvern, and the city is also a main player in the shipping industry, with over 40 shipping lines operating internationally.
The seafood, tourism, media and culture sectors are also big employers in the area, with the annual Nordic Media Festival – the biggest of its kind in Norway – taking place in Bergen every May. The city and the surrounding fjords also attract film companies looking for beautiful and dramatic backdrops. Sections of Indian blockbuster, Maattrraan, were filmed here.
The Bergen Chamber of Commerce INN Service Center provides a variety of services and resources to businesses in the region, including assisting companies by providing support with relocating new employees from abroad, and their integration into Bergen life.
Wages in Norway are usually in proportion to the high cost of living, but jobs are often not advertised and instead found through word of mouth. This means being in Bergen to job hunt and network is desirable. The majority of Norwegians speak good English, but basic knowledge of Norwegian is beneficial when it comes to finding work.
Local daily newspapers Bergens Tidende and Bergensavisen advertise job vacancies, but if you are looking for work before moving to the city, there are plenty of useful websites and recruitment agencies online. These include Manpower, Finn and Kelly Services.
The Norwegian Labor and Welfare Administration collects new job vacancies from newspapers and websites across the country and post them on their own site. The majority of the database is in Norwegian only, however, there are some English results to be found as well.
EU/EEA nationals are entitled to work, study and live in Norway but expats who are going to stay for more than three months must register for a permit.
If you are arriving from a country outside the EU/EEA and wish to work in Norway, you must apply for a residence permit for work (previously called a work permit). This should be applied for at the Norwegian embassy in your home country. Getting a permit can be time-consuming however, and companies can be reluctant to hire foreigners who are not already living in Norway. For more information, see the website of the Utlendingsdirektoratet (UDI). The website is available in several languages.