28 Guides trained
Rita - guiding since 2017
"I can't wait for the next season to start [...] I love my guests and have so much fun with them. Can’t wait to be surrounded by interested, fun loving people [...] and to give them fun stories to take back to their countries and an experience to remember. Best job ever!” "
Do I need to be Norwegian or from Bergen to become a guide?
Some of our guides are Norwegian while others are from different parts of the world. You do not need to be Norwegian or from Bergen to become a guide with Norwegian Guide Service (NGS) but you do need to be genuinely in love with Bergen and Norway.. Working as a guide means working in an international environment, and we see the cultural diversity of our guides as an asset.
Do I need to know Norwegian to become a guide?
You don’t need to know Norwegian to become a guide, but the core educational literature and training is in English. Knowing Norwegian can be useful, so we do warmly encourage you to learn and use it if you don’t already.
What is the guiding season in Bergen?
The guiding season is defined by the tourist activity in Bergen. Cruise ships start arriving in January and the last are leaving Bergen in mid November. However, the high season in Bergen is from the end of April to mid-September, with June usually being the busiest month of the season. Refer to Bergen Havn’s website for statistics on cruise calls at https://bergenhavn.no/en/cruise-en/cruise-statistics
How can I apply?
First and foremost, read carefully the job description on our website to familiarize yourself fully with our offer and the job requirements. After you have decided that becoming a guide with NGS is something for you, you need apply via our online form. After that we take it from there together.
What are the most required languages for guiding?
What do I get in return for working with NGS?
We are passionate about guiding and we view it as a profoundly human experience. Working with guides gives us a chance to help them become better and do the best work they can. The skills you acquire as a guide will help you for the rest of your life: how to speak to large groups of people so that they will listen; how to lead a group of people, how to manage emergencies and difficult situations; how to react professionally to complaints and emotional outbreaks, and many other skills in addition to that. We operate over 80% of the cruise calls, which means our guides have a large percentage of the guiding assignments in Bergen. You will also benefit from an international environment of professionals to work with and a chance to develop and certify skills to build a career.
Can I develop a career with NGS?
Once you become a certified NGS guide you also have the possibility to return to guide for NGS the following seasons; many of our guides return to guide season after season. NGS is also a part of a larger network of companies all over Norway and Northern Europe. Working as a guide with NGS might just be the stepping stone towards future career in the service industry. Our network is continuously growing, and should you apply for other positions, starting as a guide is a great way to get noticed.
What are the steps towards becoming a guide?
You will find details of the application process on our website.
Do I need to do the course to become a guide?
Yes; everyone who wants to become a guide with NGS must complete the online and on-site elements of the guide Basic Requirements training. This is because there are specific tasks, techniques and standards required of all our guides by our company and our clients.
Will I get paid while I am doing the course?
Guides work as freelancers and it is assumed that when they accept assignments they bring with them the skills and competence to fulfill the assignment to a satisfactory level. It is the responsibility of every guide to acquire and develop these skills and competences. This is why the Guide Course is not paid. We aim to get you working as soon as possible after your completion of our Basic Requirements training. The education and certification programme to become a guide is an investment in your future.
Do I have to pay for the course?
The costs for the courses, seminars and materials are sponsored by NGS. Guides do not get paid for training, but attending these and continuously developing your guiding competence will open up possibilities and opportunities to take on longer and more complex assignments. When guides develop their knowledge and skills, they should view it as a long-term investment that will pay back over the years to come.
How is the course organised?
You will find details of the guide Course on our website.
What do I need to bring for the guide training?
What if I fail to get certified?
Am I guaranteed paid assignments after the guide course?
If you successfully complete and pass the course, you will receive a certificate and work agreement that enable you to work as a guide with NGS. We will then endeavour to give you as many assignments as possible, as per your availability, requirements, skills and the needs of our clients. You will find more details on assignments and expected work in the Employment section of this FAQ.
If I want to come and guide next summer with NGS, do I have to go through the selection process again?
No. Once you have received your certification you are qualified to guide for NGS in the future.
Is there further guide training during the season?
Is there anything I need to do to be able to work in Norway?
It is your responsibility to check whether you are able to work in Norway. Please consult the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UDI) website at www.udi.no/en and the Service Centre for Foreign Workers (SUA) at www.sua.no/en for more information.
Do I need a work permit?
Citizens of an EU/EEA country are allowed to visit and work for 3 months. After 3 months you have to register with the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UDI). It is your responsibility to check whether you need a work permit. Consult the UDI website at www.udi.no/en and the Service Centre for Foreign Workers (SUA) at www.sua.no/en
Do I need a tax card?
Will I have to pay tax? And if so, how much?
Yes, you will need to pay Norwegian Income Tax. This usually amounts to 20% to 36% of the income. However, if you overpay tax during the summer, this will be refunded the year after.
Do I need a visa to come to Norway?
Citizens of Nordic and EU/EEA countries do not need a visa to come to Norway. It is, however, your responsibility to check if you do need a visa to come to Norway. You can do that here: https://www.udi.no/en/want-to-apply/
Does Norwegian Guide Service organise accommodation?
Guides are responsible for finding accommodation in advance of their arrival to Bergen. We strongly advise you to find accommodation in the city centre as this makes life and work much easier.
How do I find a place to stay in Bergen?
How much does it cost to rent in Bergen?
Prices vary depending on location, size and standard, but in Bergen city centre you can find a room in a shared flat for as little as 3700 NOK and as much as 7000 NOK. The average is around 5000 NOK per person. On top of that you should usually calculate electricity costs. Be advised that many places will require a 2 or 3 months deposit which will usually be returned at the end of your stay.
What should my budget be to live in Bergen?
What other financial practicalities are there to consider?
I have worked with a different guide agency in the past. Can I still apply?
We welcome guides that have worked with sister companies within our network.
The deadline has passed. Can I still apply?
If the deadline for applications has passed you can no longer apply.
I am not available throughout the whole season. Can I still apply?
You can still apply but guides who are available for the whole season have an advantage in the recruitment process.
I do not have enough funds to support myself during the guide course and training until my first salary. Can I still apply?
After the course you will start working and the first salary you will get will be on the 15th, the month after. It is your responsibility to provide for yourself during the guide course and training. If you cannot manage this season, we hope you can try again the next season.
I do not have any previous work experience. Can I still apply?
Not having work experience does not mean you cannot become a fantastic guide. But you must prove in the application process that you have experience to being committed to work as an employment or volunteer in a charitable or non-governmental organization and that you have people that can endorse you as a worker.
I do not live in Bergen. Can I still apply?
Yes. But you do eventually have to be in Bergen to complete the steps to be certified and then start working as a guide.
I do not live in the city centre. Can I still apply?
Yes, although we have experienced that guides living outside the city centre have a higher chance of being late because of trouble with their means of transportation (bus, tram etc.)
I do not have a passport and I live outside of Norway. Can I still apply?
You must make sure to obtain a passport by the time you travel to Norway. Our guides who have come to Norway and did not have a passport, have had difficulties with the paperwork (opening a bank account, getting a tax card etc.)
I am not an EU/EEA citizen. Can I still apply?
Unfortunately, not, unless you already reside in Europe and have the appropriate documentation to live and work in Norway. It is your responsibility to check that you are entitled to live and work in Norway. Check via https://www.udi.no/en/
I don’t currently live in Bergen. If I get invited for an interview how will that work?
All interviews will include an online video call.
I don’t have a visa for Norway. Can I still apply?
You must be entitled to work and live in Norway by the time you apply. This includes the visa. It is your responsibility to check that you are entitled to live and work in Norway. Check via https://www.udi.no/en/
I don’t have a work permit for Norway. Can I still apply?
You must be entitled to work and live in Norway by the time you apply. This includes the application for a work permit. It is your responsibility to check that you are entitled to live and work in Norway. Check via https://www.udi.no/en/
What kind of tours will I be doing?
Throughout a season, guides will experience and lead a variety of tours, such as: two-hour city panoramic tours by coach, tours around Bergen’s coast via coach and ferry, hiking tours up Mount Fløyen, scenic bus tours with 50 guests along the fjords with lunch, and many other tour varieties.
How can I practice and improve my guiding skills?
Will I be employed as a guide?
Guides are hired as freelancers, and not as an employee. You agree to NGS being the sole entity that provides you with guide assignments, and you accept the ones you can work.
Do I have to pay tax?
Yes, you will have to pay tax. Unless you are registered as self-employed in Norway, NGS is legally required to automatically pay tax for you in accordance with your registered Norwegian tax card. You must make sure you apply for and have the correct tax card registered with the Norwegian tax office (Skatteetaten).
Do I get employee insurance?
Being consultants to NGS, regular employee insurance does not apply to guides. However, you will be covered by an obligatory Norwegian occupational injury insurance for medical emergencies when at work. If you are a resident of Norway, then you have the standard health insurance provided by the social security system. EU/EEA citizens are covered for most health expenses by their European Health Insurance. Very often our guides from other countries obtain travel insurance for convenience.
Do I have the right for paid sick-leave?
Freelancers do not have the right to paid sick-leave. The argument goes that since you are not obliged to take all assignments you are offered, the right for paid sick-leave does not apply.
Do I have to stay and work the entire season?
Is guiding a full-time job? How much can I expect to work?
Tour sales and their distribution throughout the day
Guide availability during the season - this has to match with the tour times
Guide language skills - this has to match with the tour language/s
Guide ability, knowledge and certification - this has to match with the itinerary & venues of the tour
May, June, July and August are the peak months, with June being the busiest month. We do not guarantee a minimum or maximum number of hours. However, on average, our guides based in Bergen work around 20 to 25 days per month in the high season. Duration of tours varies between 2 and 9 hours. Should you guide outside of Bergen, paid travel time will come in addition to that. Some guides only work as a guide while others have other jobs on the side.
How are assignments assigned to guides?
Tour assignments are determined by the demand from NGS’ clients. Available assignments are then distributed amongst Guides according to language, skills, attitude and dedication. We aim to book guides as fairly as possible throughout the season, and guides that prioritise their work with NGS will be prioritised for assignments.
How much can I expect to earn?
Do you get tips (gratuities) as a guide in Norway?
Can I do other paid work while working as a guide?
When do guides get paid?
Guides get paid for on the 15th of every month for the work done the month before. For example, all guide assignments worked in May will be paid on the 15th of June. Please bear this in mind when applying to make sure you have enough funds to support yourself until your first income.
Do I need a mobile phone and Norwegian phone number? Do I get refunded for the costs of my calls/SMS?
Is there a uniform? Do I have to pay for it?
Are there any other clothing requirements?
Since Bergen can be such a rainy city, we recommend that you are prepared for the weather with rain boots, rain trousers, wool underwear, etc.
START YOUR STORY
Please read all the information above and the Guide FAQ before starting!
Guides need to be available for the full duration of the online & on-site Guide Course.
Guides must be able to support themselves financially during the Guide Course and until the first salary payment on the 15th of the month.