In the years 1978-1989 Trygve Gulbrandsen was employed in various positions in three different ministries. His latest position was in the Planning department, Ministry of Finance, as special advisor/senior advisor.
From 1989 he has been affiliated with Institute for Social research where he today holds a position as research professor. In the years 2005-2013, he was professor II at Department of Sociology and Human Geography, University of Oslo. His research interests include employee shareholding and professional partnerships, family businesses, civic organizations, trust, power and elites, and professions.