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Working in Oslo

Working in Oslo offers great work opportunities, a strong economy, and much more. For instance, expats benefit from Norway’s social welfare system and a healthy life and work balance. Read our guide to working in Oslo for info on the economy, the job search, etiquette, and more.
Oslo's seaport not only accommodated cargo ships but also passenger ships from Sweden or Germany.

Oslo’s Economy

Oslo has a diverse economy with one of the highest regional GDPs in Europe and makes up a significant percentage of the total national GDP. Indeed, expatriates working in Oslo find themselves at the economic center of Norway.

The city has an important seaport, which is home to nearly 900 companies and over 8,000 employees working in Oslo. Large shipping companies as well as insurance and ship brokers are based here, for instance. Oslo Havn accommodates both cargo ships and passenger ships from Denmark or Germany.

Are you curious about working in Oslo but do not see yourself in the ship industry? You may find work with Det Norske Veritas for example. DNV is a major classification society which is located in Høvik, close to Oslo. It has a big part of the world fleet in its register and is therefore a major global player.

Facts and Figures

More than 660,000 people are currently working in Oslo. The city was ranked number one in the fDi Magazine report on European Cities of the Future and comes in second in the category business friendliness towards people working in Oslo.

All in all, about 1.5 million people live in Oslo’s metropolitan region. The local unemployment rate was at 3.7% in February 2015. Oslo is a global player in the field of maritime knowledge and one of the major European destinations for those who wish to work in this field. Overall, there are almost 2,000 companies of the maritime sector located in the city, including the world’s largest shipbrokers and insurance companies.

Important Sectors

Oslo is home to some of the most important business sectors in Norway. Not only is it a great location in terms of its close proximity to the sea, it also offers an excellent infrastructure. In this section, we would like to introduce you to the city’s most important sectors.

Research and Development

Oslo’s research and development sector mostly focuses on advancements in energy production. Due to Norway’s experience with hydropower and offshore petroleum development, this does not come as a surprise. The majority of research institutions are located in close proximity to the University of Oslo and focus on renewable energy and petroleum-related issues.

Other important institutions in the field of research and development are the Norwegian Geotechnical Research Institute, the Center for International Climate and Environmental Research, and the Norwegian Meteorological Institute. However, it is the Oslo Innovation Center which is the leading business incubator in the region. Located in the heart of the Gaustadbekk Valley, it focuses on environmental technology and other fields of research and development.


Norway is considered one of the world’s leading information societies and has a highly developed mobile market. The Oslo region is a key location in the development of new information and communication technology products, due to the strong R&D environment and the unique expertise of Oslo’s workforce. Aside from new business start-ups which have settled in Oslo in recent years, many expats working in Oslo have found an occupation at international companies such as Google or Microsoft.

If you are curious about working in Oslo’s ICT sector, you will be happy to learn that there are quite a few companies which contribute to the growing mobile and wireless industry in Oslo. Tandberg, which is known for its video conference systems, Kongsberg Gruppen, which is responsible for developing technical products, and Wireless Future (Trådløs Fremtid) are just a few examples. It is, however, Telenor which is one of the fastest growing mobile communications services providers worldwide.


We do our best to keep this article up to date. However, we cannot guarantee that the information provided is always current or complete. 

David Hicks

"Thanks to my network on InterNations, I already had some contact persons to ask for support on coming to Oslo. "

Amelie Barreau

"Enjoying the great spirit of our InterNations’ Oslo Community for the last few months, I am absolutely convinced of the vision to bring people from different nations together."

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