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WORKING IN THE

CONSTRUCTION
INDUSTRY IN NORWAY
(Updated January 2012)

About the industry

The construction industry is important for the country and functions as a good indicator of the general labour market
situation. Since September 2008, and due to the world wide finance crisis, the construction industry has suffered an
unemployment increase of about 150%, mostly carpenters, electricians and plumbers. Some mention the fact that the
activity level has come down from an extraordinary high level to a more normal level.

What is the demand for workers in the construction industry?

There has been increasing activity in the construction industry through 2011, and this is expected to continue in 2012.
A strong increase of the population demands efforts to be made with housing, schools, and transport infrastructure.
So the need for skilled labour force is expected to be present in 2012. Of course, the crisis in Europe, and general
economic perspectives make these views more uncertain.

How to find work in the construction industry?

Go to www.nav.no, choose ledige stillinger.


Then define your search: category Industri, bygg/anlegg, etc and undercategory Bygg og anlegg.
Further below you can define in which geographical region you wish to work, and please note the possibility to use
a specific search word (Stillingstype, omrde eller arbeidsgiver). The system allows you to register your search,
and will provide you with matching vacancies automatically.
You can also look up free vacancies in Norway at the European Job Mobility Portal, www.eures.europa.eu.
You could as well contact temporary work agencies (Vikar og bemanningsbyrer). You can use the Norwegian
Yellow Pages to look up these companies. These agencies must now by law be registered on a list administrated by
the Norwegian Labour Inspection Authority.

Language, education and training requirements

The construction industry is generally in need of highly skilled personnel, from workers with current professional
certificates (called fagbrev) to college-educated technicians/engineers (Norwegian titles: ingenir and
sivilingenir). The employers themselves must meet standards for safety precautions and quality control measures,
so you will need documentation for your skills when applying for construction jobs here.
The working language in the construction industry is Norwegian. Though many Norwegians speak at least some
English, it is not often used for communication at the workplace. With a lack of Norwegian language skills many
employers will require at least a minimum of good English skills in order to function at the workplace. Knowing
Norwegian will of course make your integration in Norway easier. Information about language course possibilities
in your home country may be obtained from the Norwegian embassy/consulate.

ID-cards for construction workers

As a measure to ensure that employees health, safety and working environment are in accordance with regulations,
all Norwegian building and construction enterprises must now issue identity cards to their employees. These personal
ID-cards are issued for two years at a time, and must be worn visibly at all times.

Wages and taxes

The Norwegian building and construction industry has instituted a minimum wage scale for construction workers
(given in current hourly rates), which is to be followed, by all companies, according to the law.:
Skilled workers: NOK 159
Unskilled workers with no experience in construction work: NOK 143
Unskilled workers with at least one years experience in construction work: NOK 149
Workers under 18 years of age: NOK 96
Depending on production schedules, travel requirements and other work-related assignments, you may also be
entitled to overtime pay, compensation for board and lodging and other expenses.
When you work for a Norwegian employer, you are required to pay tax in Norway. If you reside in Norway for less
than six months, special tax rules apply. Bring your employment contract and passport to the nearest tax office
(skattekontor) and apply for a tax card (skattekort). If you start working without a tax card, the employer will
deduct 50% tax. Otherwise the tax usually amounts to around 1/3 of your pay. See the Norwegian Tax Authority
(www.taxnorway.no) for more information.

Important things to consider

There are regulations about working hours, salaries, insurance, and other conditions at the workplace. Companies
should ensure that their activities are run in accordance with the law. The authority which deals with these questions
is the Norwegian Labour Inspection Authority.

Employer organizations

www.arkitektur.no (Norwegian Architects Association)


www.bnl.no (Federation of Norwegian Construction Industries)
www.ebanett.no (Construction Entrepreneurs Association)