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Difference in monthly salary may exceed NOK 20.000 between Masters and Bachelors

Written by Sondre Tallaksrud Dec. 1 2021

How much more does an engineer with a Master’s degree (MSc) earn than one with only a Bachelor’s (BSc)?

Have you decided to become an engineer, but are wondering about how many years you’ll have to study? Or maybe you’re working as an engineer with a BSc and thinking about going back to school?

If salary’s a deciding factor, there’s no reason for you to hesitate. This is because NHO’s salary statistics show that there can be a big difference between having a BSc and an MSc.

Information on this topic is based on data from the Educational Attainment of the Population (BHU) in Statistics Norway (SSB), (from NHO’s statistics).

Get access to Tekna’s salary statistics

Your best bargaining chip in salary negotiations is seeing what others with your background are earning. Because we offer our members some of the country’s best banking and insurance deals, legal assistance and a lot more, it pays to join Tekna.

Big differences – that’ll grow over time

Based on 2020 figures, a civil engineer (MSc), can expect to earn an average gross monthly salary of NOK 82,020, while an engineer (BSc) can expect to earn NOK 66,890 for the same time period.

Katrine Olsson
Substantial difference: Katrine Olsson thinks the large pay gap between these two educational levels is to be expected. Photo: Mikkel Moe


Of course, these calculations might have to include extra money paid to the Norwegian state Educational Load Fund and lost income for the extra years it’ll take you to finish your MSc; but in the long run, your salary will quickly make up for this loss of income.

Tekna advisor Katrine Olsson thinks the large pay gap between these two educational levels is to be expected.

  – Competency pays off, and the value of Tekna members’ competency is sought after in the market.

  – It means a lot for a company’s productivity level and, even more so, its ability to develop over time, she says.

Salary may differ more than NOK 20,000

The statistics show two groups of engineers – one group working in the oil industry and the other working in other industries – in the comparison of employees’ ages and salaries.

 For instance, a 26-year-old civil engineer working in the oil industry earns on average NOK 47,570 a month in 2020, while an engineer of the same age earns NOK 46,930 for the same time period.

  Outside of the oil industry, a civil engineer earns on average NOK 47,460 a month, while an engineer earns on average NOK 45,810 a month.

 A look at senior-level engineers shows that the pay gap grows even larger over time.  

For instance, 63-year-old civil engineer working in the oil industry earns on average NOK 112,220 a month, while an engineer of the same age earns on average NOK 91,730 for the same time period (based on 2020 figures).

  Outside of the oil industry, a 63-year-old civil engineer earns on average NOK 95,480 a month, while an engineer earns on average NOK 74,160 a month.

  In other words, the numbers show that as far as salary goes, it pays to become a civil engineer and work as long as you can.

What are you earning compared to others?

Are you wondering how your salary compares to others working at your same level? 

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